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Yes I'm upset, and....


Today while out to lunch with a friend in Denver, I was reminded of the energy that is present in this fast-growing city. Young people were everywhere, the energy in the restaurant we met at was palpable. Despite a few of the growing pains that have surfaced: traffic, cost of living and gentrification, the intentionality and optimism of this place is hard to discount. My friend said he was excited about the life he was building for himself here and felt more empowered having taken action to attempt this.

As we parted ways and I made my way back to my car, I thought about my own city, which can be famous for complaining about itself rather than anything else. This spirit of complaining and negativity is also something we seen playing itself out in political circles and online.

For some reason, the core rule of improvisation, "yes, and...", jumped out at me. The yes portion of the phrase is affirming what you have heard or seen. The and portion means you will now build upon it. Build is a important to explain to because building may mean disassembling rather than furthering the thing.

I am now going to challenge myself to use this principle when it comes to my own future, as well as the story I tell about my city and how I view the world. To take the opposite stance of this approach is merely to say, "no", and the case stops there. I challenge us to turn complaints into personal calls-to-action. If we have the time to complain about something, we should absolutely have the time then to take action towards addressing it in some small way.

Go Forth Boldly


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