I’ve been practicing improv for years. At class. At work. At life. Always practicing, because practice makes better. In just the span of a few days, I was quarantined to my home, my vacation plans were immediately erased and I lost the only job that supported me and my family. See you later income and health insurance! I remember walking over to my wife to tell her I guess it’s time we cut the cord for cable, but not really freaking out about it all. She questioned how I can be so calm, and after thinking on it, I realized it was because off all of my improv training. Improv had prepared me for these times. It’s taught me a lot such as:
See everything that’s thrown at you as an offer. When you start viewing the world as providing you “offers” then it means you are looking for solutions and things you can use to get you through tough times. When you accept these offers you are “Yes, anding” the situation and it’s when you start from a place of yes, that you’ll find there are more options and paths forward.
Be like MacGyver. The really good improvisers, even MacGyver, are the ones who create new ideas with whatever they’ve got right then and there. They are so engaged with their environment. When you notice more, it allows you to work and solve any problem that might come your way.
Have a willingness to be changed. People and Teams are able to create more meaningful work when they collaborate and are willing to be changed by opinions, constraints or even someone else’s offers.
Have a positive attitude. If you go in to a scene or situation saying, I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I know it’s going to be fun, then you’re setting yourself up for success. So why not approach life that way too? I have a 4-year-old twins that I’m sure live their life this way. I’m sure they think, “gee, I don’t know what happens if I dump all of my toys all over the living room, but I bet it will be lots of fun!” I’m just yes anding their attitude. Positive types are the types of people others want to be surrounded by.
These are just a few of the improv tools in my toolbelt that are helping me get through these uncertain times. It’s helping me see the positive side. I'm spending more time with my family, and less time in front of a computer screen. Turns out my family is really great! Even the ones I’m connecting with on FaceTime and Zoom. I thank improv for helping me in how I approach tough situations and how I’m going to get through them.
Now…can I please get a suggestion to inspire what happens next?