Inquisitive Report 15/52

Week Ending May 11th, 2018

Content Covered: Improv Classes


Your state of being creates my state of being.

These past few weeks I’ve been attending an Improv class at Stanford. The intent behind attending these class is first and foremost – to increase my own awareness, and then to understand how others whom are in the same space that I wish to be – facilitate. Today, I’d like to share a few of the insights that we have discussed in class.

Walls up v. Barriers Down

There are two pillars that we shall examine: judgment and awareness.

Judgment is viewing things as right/wrong, good/bad. Judgment is control, rigidity, and perfection.

Awareness is freedom, care, allowing, and choice. Awareness is acknowledging what is and what works.

When we come from a place of judgment we have our walls up – to the conversation, to the event, and to the person. We are defensive.

When we come from a place of awareness, we have our barriers down. We create an atmosphere of choice, and creativity.

The aim is: in the pursuit of excellence give up judgment. A person can approach their job, initiative, relationship, dream, etc. from a place of awareness. And while doing so, they will still acknowledge what is the reality (what is needed), and what works all while removing the negativity created from judgment.

And the reason for striving for awareness is because your state of being creates their state of being. How I show up affects how others will show up, and if I come from a place of walls up – where judgment is paramount, then how can I ever truly create harmony?

Being what you know

Often times the concepts of confidence and authenticity come into conversation; an insight that was shared during one of classes was: when you are being what you know – you are confident.

Thus, confidence was highlighted as the by product of authenticity – confidence comes when we lean into what we love.

A lot of the work that I do revolves around helping people anchor themselves to their values; and identifying what their talents and strengths are. The intent of this is to allow individuals to discover (or re-discover) where their authenticity lies. And when we shape most of what we do, and reframe the reason why we do what we do to align from this perspective. you are being what you know.

Thus the relationship between authenticity and confidence is circular, one need not chase confidence as an external attribute required for leadership, success or even happiness. Rather, we already exude confidence when we embody what we love, so why not spend more time understanding what our strengths are?

What are you avoiding?

To build on the conversation we had a few moments ago on judgment, I’d like to ask: What are you avoiding by not being present?

Normally when we are not being present in the moment, it because we are trying to avoid a certain “feeling” (he makes me feel, why is she being, I don’t like, etc.). This is a very natural way to interact with problems and life at large, but I wonder:  what happens when we practice self awareness?

I don’t have any right answer to this question, I’m just curious to know- first for my self, and then for your life: what happens when we practice awareness?

What is your purpose?

We live in a culture that exemplifies the concept of feelings. We ask each other, we ask ourselves, we ask about the situation: how does that make you feel? While there is nothing wrong with feelings, they are right and valid in their regard- many things, including action is lost when we start the conversation with “how does this make me feel?”

The concept of being on purpose, takes the same situation and asks you to reflect on what needs to be done not from a place of feeling, but from a place of what is my purpose right now – with this person, with being at this event, with studying, etc.

In essence, asking what is my purpose is reframing the perspective with which you are approaching the situation to align yourself with your true intentions.

Often times, in our world of multitasking we go from one event to the next, and feel like we haven’t accomplished much – or never started what we set out to do. Asking: “what is my purpose” can be used to help you align with your to-do list for the day, and to align with what you value in your relationship with your spouse or parents.

It’s a powerful little cognitive tool that will bring you closer to the things that truly matter to you in your life.


If you’re interested in the book that we are reading as part of our course material, I’d recommend that you check out: Improv Wisdom. Additionally, If you’re interested in reflection exercises linked to the insights mentioned above to, please email me for more information.

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