A few months ago, I took my first improv class. I organized the event as part of our XO Community and I thought I’d summarize some key lessons from that class that apply to life.
It’s one of my goals to add more fun, play and spontaneity back into my life. I find it’s so easy to fall into serious routines, schedules and responsibilities. If I want to live my best life, I have to make intentional decisions and make real change.
It’s important to play, and have fun, even as an adult. Studies show that play improves memory, improves brain functionality and stimulates creativity. It can help you feel young and energetic. Not to mention the benefits of getting out of your comfort zone.
I was actually a bit nervous about this one but it was so fun! I’m going to share what I personally learned because I thought they were great lessons for life:
1. Who cares
The instructor had us breath deeply with our arms going up and down with each breath (a full body breath if you can imagine it). And with each exhale we had to say “who cares?” “F*&$ it” etc. It really let us relax before the session and be more free. I’ll need to try in my everyday life because really, don’t we tend to worry a bit too much about things that don’t need to be worried about?
2. Making mistakes is fun
This might be relative to the size of the mistakes if we extrapolate to life but I’d like to stress less about mistakes and smile more/learn more/experiment more/mess up more (I’m working on this one :p).
We had a skit about dinosaurs and in an improv, on stage, totally random moment, I may have said something about octopuses eating all the dinosaurs! It made no sense. I may have turned a bit red at my random thought brain in front of everyone, but do you know what? … we all laughed a lot!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could laugh about mistakes a bit more? Or at least take them in stride a bit better?
3. Putting yourself out there is super stimulating
I get nervous, I get shy, I even get terrified sometimes. But I always feel good that I tried, even when it doesn’t work out the way I wanted.
I ended up in horrible traffic and walked in 10 min late to the class (I know, argh – but I did manage a kick-a$& parallel parking job in a very tight spot, so that was satisfying). I was really embarrassed to be late, and have all the attention on me, but everyone was so nice and friendly and it made me really try to be present and contribute as much as possible for the rest of the class. I felt so good when we were done.
Have you ever done anything that helped you learn something valuable for life? I’d love to hear about it.
My thoughts are always now about sharing experiences and conversations because I find these conversations so important and stimulating. If you want to share with me (privately or interview for the podcast), let me know!
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