Two Words That Will Transform Your Life And Business
“Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward” – Tina Fey
I recently completed a five week improvisational comedy course that far exceeded my expectations. While learning the ‘art of improv’, which is grounded in a set of rules, two significant words emerged that have been transformational: “Yes, And”.
These two words are the foundational rule for improv actors, setting the stage to accept anything their fellow actor brings to the scene and adding information. Adopting this positive “Yes, And” attitude allows for flow between the actors, inspires creativity and encourages collaboration.
The profound impact of the rule while applied on stage did not escape me after class, it propelled me to reflect on how differently my future might look if I embraced the rule personally and professionally. I took a sharpie and wrote “Yes, And” on poster board and hung it in front of my workstation at home.
Since taking this step, each time I have been approached with an idea, invitation or request, the rule has paved the way to listen, consider how I could make it work and add information. I am astounded at the results! Networking relationships have transpired in to partnerships, prospects I would normally refer out have become clients and social experiences I might have passed on are bringing fulfillment. Often the end result looks different than how it was originally presented due to flexibility inherent in “Yes, And”.
Here is what I realized: we find comfort in the word “No”, it is safe, non-threatening and often our decisions are based on this negative attitude. We grow older, get stuck in our comfort zone, allow fear to hold us back, are driven by ego and all those other stumbling blocks that prevent us from attaining desired success and living joyful lives. But “No” is suffocating, stagnating and stops the beautiful scenes that “Yes, And” unfolds in our life and career.
Incorporating “Yes, And” means releasing fear, relinquishing control, retiring ego and permitting yourself to be open to new possibilities that bring unexpected opportunities. It does not mean you never say “No” to people, things or situations that violate your boundaries or drain valuable resources such as time, energy and money. It means saying “Yes, And” to what energizes the body, excites the mind and feeds the soul.
Today is the second day of the year and I’ve already applied the rule three times. I now have a new accountability partner, I am founding a book study group, and am meeting to discuss becoming part of the board of directors of a start-up non-profit. My year is off to an exciting start thanks to the power of “Yes, And”!
Are you ready for great things to happen this year? Want to transform your life and business in 2016? Say “Yes, And” and begin applying this rule starting now!
What are you saying “Yes, And” to in your life and business in 2016?