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: Success
No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s easy to feel unsuccessful – you don’t have to look far to find someone who drives a fancier car, owns their home instead of rents, has more friends, has more followers, has more fame, has helped more people, has better hair, better boobs, better shoes, takes more holidays – whatever.
And while these are all nice things, it’s important to remember that none of them needs to define you – and that only you can define what success is for you.
If you already know, awesome! Own that shit. But if you’re still struggling, then you owe it to yourself to do some deep digging and figure it out.
It might be: being a good dad, or selling your startup, or living off the grid, or owning a Tangerine coloured 1967 Porsche 911 with a factory sunroof and Fuchs 7R wheels…
The point is, it’s entirely up to you.
Sometimes we get caught up in the trappings of success only to realise later in life that those things didn’t define it for us at all. I remember back when the movie “The Secret” was all the rage, I made a mood board of all the things at the time that I thought would make me feel successful.
And one of the things on it was a Panerai wristwatch. I loved this watch, and I swore I’d get one someday, and then one day a few years later I realised that if I really wanted it, I could actually just go get one…
and that’s when I realised that every watch I’d ever owned before I’d broken or lost, that I had a perfectly good time teller on my phone, and the Panerai was so big and heavy it made me walk funny.
I didn’t really want the watch. I wanted the opportunity to have the watch. I wanted the choice. And once I realised that, everything on that old mood board came off.
Except for the Porsche. That’s still on there.
So how does this relate to improv? Well, without getting too hippy-dippy, I believe the universe conspires for your success. And when things go wrong that’s the worlds way of letting you know you have something you need to learn still before you can get what you want.
And I believe that when you are on stage, audiences conspire for your success. They are rooting for you, not against you. They want you to be awesome and entertain them. And as long as everyone on stage with you is present, aware, and understands the rules of the game you’re playing, and is committed to supporting each other, well, you’re gonna succeed.
And in business, it’s similar, but not quite as simple, even if all those things still apply.
The stakes are higher. Jobs and livelihoods are on the line, but just like on the stage where a good show is the result of good training, so is good business.
And the skills you learn at LMA, either in one of our school classes or corporate training workshops will help set you up for success, no matter how you define it.
As for my definition? It’s always evolving, but at the core, it has to do with how many people’s lives and businesses I can positively impact and improve.
And maybe, whether or not I can drive a sweet 1967 Porsche on my way to do it.
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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3 June · Season 1 : One Word Suggestion · Episode 19
One Word Suggestion: Success
By Eran Thomson
Sometimes we get caught up in the trappings of success only to realise later in life that the things we thought would make us feel successful don't define it for us at all.