How “Yes, And” Can Help in Difficult Times – by Edward Trout

In improv, one of the foundational concepts is that of “Yes, And.” I will accept what my partner brings into the scene or story, and I will build on it. This concept works because we don’t waste time arguing about what is real, or what I would have chosen for you to say or do. I accept your contribution, and then I get to make my own choice about how we move forward from that point.

In 2020, we have been experiencing a lot of change – a lot of things that we would have chosen to be different. For many of us, there is an understandable reaction of wanting to push back against our experiences, wanting to force them to be different. But that is not our job. Our job is to look with acceptance on this moment and show up with full acknowledgement of the reality we are living through. Then we make our choice. That is where our power lies. Our choice. It is not our circumstances that define us. It is what we choose to do with those circumstances. When everything around us seems to be in flux and changes keep coming, what is your “And”? How will you show up in this world? Will you try to go back to what was, or will you see the changes before you and choose progress?

As John C. Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” I, for one, hope you choose growth.