Happiness, says author Paul Dolan, is a mix of purpose and pleasure. During a lecture at London’s Conway Hall, he argued that one of the problems with studies of happiness is that people tend to offer evaluations of how happy they think they were over a period of time, rather than direct in-the-moment ratings of their experience.read more
The human brain has evolved to make life easy for us. We do most of what we do effortlessly. Yes, we suffer sometimes from unfortunate biases and some of our heuristics don’t always work for us. But these are exceptions to the brain’s brilliance.read more
‘Beliefs’ are for things that aren’t true.
‘Values’ are for what you don’t do.
Beliefs and values are abstract concepts that are prized by consultants who have fallen under the spell of psychologists.read more
‘Hello I’m an improviser’
When you are introducing yourself, it’s good to create a frisson of interest. Much of the time I’ll say I’m a facilitator. It’s accurate enough, even if it’s rather vague and has a broad range of meanings.read more
It’s convenient to follow rules. If we already know what to do, there’s no hard thinking required. When we deliberately improvise, we put ourselves freshly into each moment, and give ourselves the opportunity to check out how we are doing with rules and conventions.read more
In an improvisation show or a workshop, when a group tells a story, who is the leader? Is it the person who speaks first?read more
Life tends to be easier when you know what to expect. You feel more comfortable when you are in familiar territory. When a detailed, plausible plan is in place, you think you know what will happen next.read more
Meet your Muses: The Muses were Greek gods and goddesses and the Classical idea was that people were not in themselves creative. But you could – in the right circumstances – be inspired by the God or Goddess visiting you. You would be the instrument of that Muse’s creativity.read more
Get better at communicating… words… making sense. All of that stuff. Communication is an invaluable skill in social life and at the workplace. The ability to communicate effectively can have a significant influence on achieving your goals.read more
The Comedy Store Players joined me in 2013 in setting up the Improvisation Academy. Since 1985, the Players have been performing as a team, their longevity recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.read more
It seems counterintuitive that something as seemingly ‘scary’ as an improvisation class would have a positive effect on your confidence. You’d think that in order to improvise, you need to have a lot of self confidence already.read more
Let’s trace a few strands of improvisational history. The films (and plays) of Mike Leigh, such as Abigail’s Party, Nuts in May and Naked, are scripted entirely before they are filmed or played before an audience.read more