Shine Your Light – Yes, Lets! — Lionesses of Africa

By Angelique Adcock & Dr Alison Hofer 

Yes, let’s talk about YOU. The minute you were born, your life in this world began and things and people around you changed to accommodate and support you. As you grew up and started taking responsibility for yourself you started to recognize who you are and what drives you and what makes you happy. 

This knowledge about yourself helps you to know what choices to make in order to create your own life success. If you pay close attention you will notice when a choice option makes sense for you intellectually, financially and emotionally – and your decision to take action is rooted in a positive, progressive, energized “Yes!” YOU are thus creating your life by choices you make; this includes everything around it, including your business. 

The practice of being creative, seeing potential in ideas, and finding constructive ways to take an idea forward is at the heart of every exciting new business venture. Likewise, your new creative projects or decisions for home and heart need that kind of “Yes lets” vision. You cannot start a new business without knowing who you are; what you want; believing in your idea; seeing its potential, taking risks to activate the idea and having the vision of success to keep you motivated. To quote Elon Musk, “A company is a group organized to create a product or service, and it is only as good as its people and how excited they are about creating.” 

Interestingly a great example of seeing the explosive effect of using these simple words: “Yes Lets” is seen in the hilarious and energized example of Improvised Theatre. This is where the actors are placed into random situations with given criteria and must instantly use a free flow of creative ideas to bring a scene to life. Think of the TV show: “Whose line is it anyway?” There are rules for each game that underpin the structure of the scene. And in the “Yes Lets” game, the task of each actor is to take any random idea that is put forward and respond to it with an unhesitating “Yes!”. They then need to find a way to use something in that idea to keep the overall scene flowing forward. 

One is not allowed to ‘block’ the flow of the scene by saying “No” to anything the other actors offer. 

For example: The scene is a few actors in a workshop where everyone is building an imaginary machine. Another actor comes along and says “Here, I brought a keyboard. Let’s put it in”. It is natural for those actors who are imaginatively building, let’s say: a car, to respond with “No that won’t work, we want a car and a piano does not fit into my picture”. However, in this game, “blocking’ forward flow of action is not allowed as the actors would be stopping any progress of the scene by saying “No”. Instead they must say “Yes lets” and find a creative way to take the car construction forward using a keyboard, resulting a totally new direction for the story. The actors need to add on to the ‘crazy’ new idea by saying “Yes lets, and...”. That “and” means that the idea is absorbed and will be integrated. 

The interesting thing about this process is that it forced actors to allow a story to be built in totally original, unexpected directions, and because there is a lack of resistance, new ‘out of the box’ solutions are found to what could have been an impossible problem: keyboards do not traditionally belong on top of a car. But what if there was a car in the world that could have musicians and instruments attached and could drive around bringing us music. Or your hooter could be a jingle of new notes for different situations, instead of the one old “Beep”. Imagine if a taxi’s hoot when wanting to ask people on the curb “Do you need a ride?” sounded different to “You are about to crash into me: STOP!”. It might result in us South Africans not having heart failure ten times on the drive into work. Crazy? Maybe – but think how many creative new inventions are seen as ‘nuts’ at their first introduction. Think: light bulbs, umbrellas, personal computers, taxis and vaccines. The list is long. 

Now, let’s think about this application to business – there are structures and rules that guide how we operate. The challenge for the actor on stage, or for the business person at the helm of his or her venture, is to build creatively and intelligently so that the business moves forward towards greater success. 

How many cases do you know of where someone, perhaps you yourself, brought a wild idea to the table, only to have it blocked, and the idea went to die. Years later, you still think “I KNOW that could have worked”, if they had only had the vision I had for it. 

This brings us back to thinking about YOU at the centre of your work and life. Remaining open and taking a moment to consider all the potential results of a new idea, may provide answers to problems that seem unsolvable. The great gift of the creative people in our world, or in your business, is that they have the ability to think differently, and to find solutions to problems by thinking outside of those straight lines. Conflict resolution can be managed better when we find that the key to a solution often lies inside the problem. You just need to look at it differently and think of possibilities. 

Saying “Yes lets, and…” is not always possible, we understand that. But engaging, even briefly, with new ideas that will help you move toward a success that you are after, is possible. And yes, let us look again towards our own brilliant solution finder Elon Musk who said, ” The first step is to establish that something is possible, then probability will occur”.

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