Welcome to One Word Suggestion.
Most people think improv is just for comedy or jazz music. But, really, it’s a tool for life. For each article in this series I use a single word, suggested by you, as a leaping off point to explore how having an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level, both personally and professionally, whether you have a career on or off the stage.
One Word Suggestion: Focus
This week’s word, “focus” was suggested by Ryan.
I don’t know about you, but focus has certainly been one of my greatest challenges in life.
I’ve always been excited by ideas, by potential, and by problems to solve… and sometimes I get excited about too many things. And because of that, along with a ton of optimism about what I can achieve, I have in the past, and occasionally still, find myself struggling with where to place my attention.
And I’m not alone. Even with all the to-do apps, calendar tools, and project management software in the world, it can still be hard to find focus and keep it – especially when we have the whole wide world to explore online.
Factor in open plan offices, email, text, and all the other things fighting for our attention, and it’s no wonder doctors are prescribing Ritalin and Adderall like crazy.
The thing is neuroscientists and behavioural scientists have proven that with training we can actually rewire our brains and become better at honing our attention. And one of the things that helps is improv training.
When you’re on the improv stage nothing is planned, rehearsed or written. All you can do as a performer is be present, aware, actively listen, and react to whatever happens. It takes hyper-focus to make unscripted shows seem like Aaron Sorkin was secretly involved.
Learning to pay attention to whoever or whatever is directly in front of you will greatly improve your performance on stage – and at work, no matter what it is that you do for a living.
This is a big part of what we teach at LMA in our classes and in our corporate training workshops. Because you can’t be a good improviser, and maybe even a good, or at least successful, person, if you can’t focus – at least some of the time.
Ooh! Cat video! 🙂
So that’s my take on focus. Thanks for the great suggestion, Ryan.
If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, drop me a note in the comments or in a review. I’m making one of these every week, for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that jazz.
Or better yet, listen to the podcast.
And in the meantime, if you’re interested in improv for personal growth, professional achievement, or just for fun, my suggestion is to get yourself into an improv class or book a corporate training workshop for your team.
You can learn all about PowerProv’s programs at powerprov.com.au
About One Word Suggestion
The One Word Suggestion series is your personal toolbox full of ways to help you use the power of improvisation to craft a more mindful and meaningful existence. Available as articles, a podcast, and soon, a book filled with powerful exercises for teams.
The One Word Suggestion Podcast with Eran Thomson
In each 3-minute episode, Eran uses a single word, suggested by listeners, as a leaping off point to explore how developing an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level personally and professionally.
Whether you aspire to be better on stage or on the job, this quick hit of improv inspiration is sure to bring you some insights, perspective, and joy.
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