Movies and TV, Organizing

On With Her Head

Jean Marsh as Princess Mombi holding one of her 31 heads in “Return to Oz” (1985), courtesy of Walt Disney

Do you remember the character Princess Mombi from “Return to Oz” (yup, I’m talking about the movie and L. Frank Baum book)? Do you also recall how this dark witch kept the heads of 30 beautiful women in a cabinet so she could change them out with her own on a whim? While this was purely an aesthetic dalliance for Princess Mombi, today I’ve been wondering what it would be like not only to change the physical appearance of our heads but also to switch out the brains inside them. I know this sounds like a ludicrous sci-fi fantasy, but hear me out and this just might yield a useful positive-thinking tip…

Haven’t you ever wished you could unscrew your own head and just let someone else take over for a day? I know I have, and I’ve been itching for this ability today in particular; I woke up with my temples pounding and throat aching, wishing I could lob off my head and replace it with that of a clear-thinking, well-rested person. This desire undoubtedly stems from the fact that I still haven’t been able to shake the bug I caught in Europe, but I’ve also longed to switch heads/mindsets with someone else countless other times when I haven’t been sick…I mean, don’t you ever wish you could borrow your friend’s eloquent confidence the day of a job interview, embody the savvy stylishness of your coworker on a first date or channel the productive genius of Michael Chrichton the night before a deadline? C’mon, I know you’ve been there, and I’m pretty sure that – like me – you’ve also let these desires lurk in your subconscious as frivolous wishes and written them off as mere impossibilities. Sure, we’d be hard pressed to actually screw someone else’s head onto our shoulders, but what if we abandoned our inhibitions and just played pretend? Specifically, what if every time we encounter a task that’s outside our comfort zones we simply imagine we’re a real person, book or movie character who’s perfect for the job? For example, as I soldier through my sickness in the days ahead I think I’ll pretend I’ve swapped heads with Barbra Streisand from “The Way We Were” – a character who I am sure takes upper respiratory infections in stride and reaches her goals no matter what. Do you have a daunting task or seemingly insurmountable challenge you’re facing this week/sometime in the near future? If so, who are you going to emulate and pretend you are as you tackle the world head-on?

You might also like:

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Tim Oey February 8, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Excellent thoughts! If you cannot do it physically at least you can do it mentally. Unfortunately I often catch myself after the fact realizing I should have had a different head on for a particular occasion. Some of the role models whose heads I’d like to wear more often: Ghandi, Deanna Troi, and especially Jean-Luc Picard.

  • Reply J. R. Coté February 8, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Thank you for greeting me with “Star Trek the Next Generation” reminiscences this morning, Tim. There really is no better way to start the day. 🙂

  • Leave a Reply