Life: The Ultimate Improvisation

Avish Parashar

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What’s amazing about the fear of improv is that everyone does it already anyway. Life, after all, is the ultimate improvisation. We have no script, no outline, no plot, no anything. We just live, moment to moment, taking what life throws at us, and rolling with the punches as best we can.

The fear of improvising leads to people not taking chances, not trying new things, and waiting until things seem ‘just perfect’ before taking action. Have you ever had a situation where you wanted to do something, but you obsessed over minute details before beginning because you were afraid you might do it wrong? The thing is, something will go not as planned, regardless of how meticulous the planning was.

This is not a knock on planning. I fully believe in planning. It is over-planning that I am knocking, and also planning that is out of proportion with the risks. A military operation needs to be planned to the last detail. A sales call, for example, needs a script and plan, but it also requires the flexibility to toss the plan and work with the prospect.

Consider a person who wants to ask for a raise. This is a fearful and stress filled situation. A person can spend months waiting as they think through all the possible responses their boss might have, and what they might then say in response. Chances are, when they finally get around to asking, their boss will have no response at all or will have a response that is completely unexpected. If that person was just relying on their plan, they are in trouble.

Life requires improv skill. Things do not always go as planned. If you are clinging to a plan or script, then when things go differently you will be paralyzed. Or maybe you are just completely unwilling to try for fear of things not going as planned.

There are few things as empowering as the knowledge that no matter what happens you will be able to handle it. That’s what a solid understanding of improv skills can give you.


Avish Parashar is a dynamic professional speaker who shows organizations and individuals how to get what they want using the Art and Science of improv comedy. He weaves together humorous stories, witty observations, and interactive exercises from improvisational comedy to get people laughing, learning, and motivated!

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