No, this is not technically a word, but it is something we can all use to grow! If you’ve ever watched an improv show you’ve seen how the performers always take each other’s ideas and run with it. This is what makes it so interesting – every performance is different and you never know what crazy thing is going to happen. The yes, and technique is used in improv as the performers’ agreement to accept the idea that has been presented as reality – even when it puts them on a different planet or makes them a different species.
Whose Line is it Anyway is a great example of this concept. During this show the cast members are given random scenarios, personalities and/or props to create a skit around. Imagine how much the performance would change if there was one cast member who kept saying “no” to everyone else’s ideas. It not only inhibits the skit from moving forward, but it makes for a really terrible performance.
You don’t do or watch improve regularly? You still experience this – think of working in a group with that one person who constantly shoots everyone’s ideas down. If that person started saying yes to ideas, the entire group dynamic would change!
You may also experience this at a more personal level in regard to the situations life presents you. If you haven’t heard the quote already, it’s worth taking some time to let it sink in;
“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.” ~ Charles Swindoll
It’s not unusual to feel like we lack control over some of the things life hands us, but the key is how we react to these things. It’s really easy to think “no this isn’t how things are supposed to be!” This, however will get us nowhere. What if we started saying yes, and to everything life gives us?
The and here is really important. If we say yes, but it doesn’t get us much further than a no. Think about it:
Yes, that’s a great idea, but we don’t have time for it.
Yes, I got a B on my exam, but I wish it was an A.
Yes, I got a promotion, but it wasn’t as much money as I wanted.
The but still inhibits growth, whether it’s of an idea or a person. So, I challenge you to yes, and not only the ideas of the people around you, but to everything that happens in your life. Each situation presents us with an opportunity to grow and learn. It’s there for us to build another step to where we are going, if we decide to say yes, and.