Now it’s your turn…

In the alphabet of doing what you love… today’s post comes to you by the letter Y…

Y is for “Yes… and”

In improvisation, the rules of the “yes… and” game are simple: no matter how crazy/weird/unbelievable what your acting partner says or does, you respond with, “yes… and…”

“You’re insane!”

“Yes… and you should meet my sister.”

You get the idea

“Yes… and” isn’t just a game. It’s an attitude for life. When things don’t go quite how you’d expected, do you shut it all down and give up? Or do you welcome reality with a showbiz smile and work out what to do with what you’ve got?

“Yes… and” is about accepting what you’ve been given and adding to it.

Whatever you love and want to do, someone, somewhere has already started for you. I wanted to write a blog and some insanely talented person had already created an awesome platform and beautiful design (thank you WordPress and Webman Design!). Tim Berners-Lee had invented the World Wide Web.

So much of the work had already been done. All I had to do was say “yes.. and now it’s my turn. I have to just start writing.”

The only problem is that your lizard brain doesn’t know how to play “yes… and”. Its entire existence is devoted to the art of saying NO to anything new.

So creativity is about playing chicken with the lizard, sweeping aside all the reasons why you shouldn’t and saying, “I’m going to write that post/start that business/open that rescue shelter for guinea pigs. And not only that… I’m going to make it better.”

So many people, no more talented than you, have made so many things possible.

Your only job is to say “yes… and…”

I love improvisation. You can’t blame it on the writers. You can’t blame it on direction. You can’t blame it on the camera guy… It’s you. You’re on. You’ve got to do it, and you either sink or swim with what you’ve got. 

Jonathan Winters
Photo by Jacub Gomez on

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