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: Passion
This week’s word, “passion” was suggested by Lauren.
I don’t think there’s anything more infectious than watching joyful people do what they love.
When you can plainly see someone’s enthusiasm, care, curiosity and fascination about something (or someone) it’s awesome. Even when it’s something that doesn’t necessarily interest or affect you.
TED talks are a great example of this – every talk is a demonstration of a person’s passion. And passion can make boring things like bread, seem like the most amazing thing ever.
And it can make less boring things like improv pretty amazing too.
Part of the reason I think people get so passionate about improv is because of the safe, warm, welcoming space it creates.
People come to play knowing that they will be accepted, failure is OK – if it even exists at all, and that they can further their personal growth in a way that doesn’t feel like work.
In his book FLOW, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says: “There’s lots of things that can make you feel happy. But ‘flow’ is the state of involved enchantment you feel in moments when you are fully absorbed in an activity that has meaning to you.
When you are in flow, you ‘forget’ yourself and lose track of time. In these moments, you feel strong, alert, unselfconscious and at the peak of your abilities.”
These exceptional moments provide flashes of intense living against the dull background of everyday life. They create a different type of happiness, of your own making, that is truly fulfilling and ultimately helps you develop a stronger sense of who you really are.
If you’ve ever seen a great improv show or been in one yourself then you know improv is an addictive way to feel the flow. Our very first full-time teacher, David Evans calls it unstructured adult playtime.
So it’s no wonder people are passionate about improv. Some people may be a little too passionate. I mean, unless you run an improv school and an improv based corporate training business, there’s more to life.
Maybe. I wouldn’t know. I run an improv school and an improv based corporate training business.
The point is people get excited about improv and it’s that very fact that has kept me and LMA going and growing over the last few years.
There have been more than a few times when I wanted to throw in the towel and shut the businesses down. But then I’d overhear a comment about how a class changed someone’s life. Or read a review where someone describes the transformative experience they had and how they will never be the same again. And I think – we have to keep going.
And to keep what we do going (or anything else really) takes drive and determination, but it’s passion that makes it all possible.
The teachers here, the support staff, and all the students do this because they love it.
And their passion is contagious and inspiring. And their passion, drives mine.
So that’s my take on passion. Thanks for the great suggestion, Lauren.
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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