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What Improv Teaches Us About Life

4 improv techniques to seize the present moment

We are the sum of all our little moments.

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Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash

What Is Improv?

Improv is a type of comedic theatre where actors play off of one another to create a one-of-a-kind performance that is entirely unscripted and spontaneous. It embodies the idea of living in the moment as you have to be quick-footed and confident to keep the show flowing organically. It’s also incredibly honest and helps you foster a more resilient mindset, which can help to strengthen resiliency in the mind.

Guiding Principles of Improv

Everybody strives to be the best version of themselves, and we all want to come out on top. We are all desperately look for an edge.

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Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

1. Tapping Into Courage

It takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of a crowd and go with it. What if people judge you, what if you say the wrong thing? Being vulnerable is not an emotion we care to experience; it means we are opening ourselves up to criticism, so in effect, we burrow into ourselves, create walls, live in denial and form negative opinions of ourselves. When really, fear is a natural part of life. Rather than living in fear, I’ve realized that I can downshift into courage to embrace whatever is trying to keep me from moving, and understand where it comes from.

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Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

2. Shut Up & (Actively) Listen

There is a big difference between hearing and active listening. Hearing is an anatomical process that just happens, while active listening is understanding the message that’s being broadcasted. Improv relies on active listening. Good listening skills are hugely beneficial because it forces you to be present and not stuck in your head where you can overthink things.

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Photo by Drahomír Posteby-Mach on Unsplash

Yes…And

Ever notice when you’re in a rut or feeling bad about yourself, that it’s a lot harder to accept invitations than it is to decline them? ‘Yes’ is available, but ‘No’ is so much more comfortable.

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

FAIL — First Attempt In Learning

Part of improv and life itself is learning from our mistakes. Mistakes are how we grow. How many times did you fall off a bike before you mastered how to ride it? Parents teach their kids to get up and try again; they encourage, support and sometimes practice tough love in order to raise resilient children.

Life Is Improv

Life is spontaneous, it’s unscripted, it’s addled with mistakes, and it’s hard. So why make things harder?

This post is part of a series of articles about my $100,000 journey into re-building my mind, body and inner-self through a series of uncommon experiences that completely transformed my life. Head over here to view more.

I spent $100k rebuilding my mind, body, and inner-self through a series of uncommon experiences that completely transformed my life. This is what I’ve learned.

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