Ben: Hey Sally want to come down this old abandoned mine shaft with me after work? I think I heard pirates singing sea shanties!
Sally: No, thanks.
People say no. They say it a lot. They say it too much. It’s a terrible word and it’s killing your good time.
Don’t feel bad about saying no. We come from a world of no. Where the strong say no and the week submit by saying yes.
On stage in improv we must agree. We must say yes and we must justify any idea that comes out of our scene partners mouth. Without this rule there can be no creativity and no new story told.
Should we go into detail about no? Yes!
Worse than the word no is the philosophy of no.
“No, I don’t want to go out tonight.”
“No I don’t want to let you into my lane.”
“No, I don’t want to eat there.”
We say no for a reason. A good reason too! We don’t want to get hurt.
When we say no, nothing changes. If nothing changes we can’t get hurt.
That’s not true we get hurt anyway.
Things will happen to us. As an improviser it’s exciting to know that a thing could happen to me at any moment. I love when things happen to me. The entire reason we exist right now is so things can happen to us.
How to have a good time:
The next time you are in a meeting at work or talking to a co worker and they ask you to do something, smile and say yes. If someone runs an idea by you and wants your opinion. Say yes, you love it! Support them with gusto and tell them it’s a great idea!
Do this and a wonderful thing will start to happen. The dark could will lift, the sun will come out, the grass will grow at your feet, people will be attracted to you and you will no longer be NO-MAN destroyer of ideas, but rather YES-UM the god of agreement and positive thinking. I just made those names up and I don’t guarantee you will attract anyone and grass can’t grow that fast, but my point is this: Just like Sally, Ben and the mine shaft, we have a 100% chance of anything happening if we say yes, instead of no. Say yes, take risks, and let me know how it turns out.