You Get What You Ask For

assorted chocolates

One of the many lessons I’ve learned from improvisation is that you get back what you put out there. I first learned this in the context of energy and enthusiasm; the more fun you’re willing to put into a show or exercise, the more fun you’ll get back.

When I do an event and come out with low energy, the audience tends to respond in kind. However, if I come out with high energy (which to be fair, my version of “high energy” is moderate to most), the audience seems more into the program. You get what you put out there.

But I’ve also started to realize it has even greater implications. For example, I’ve started including that “I love the color orange and am obsessed with chocolate” at the end of my bio. I did an event last week for an OSU Alumni group in Michigan and was surprised to find that many of the attendees wore orange to celebrate my favorite color. (Shout out to Donna for getting people to do that.)

Not only that, as a speaker gift, they gave me assorted chocolates from Michigan (including two different pieces that were in the shape of the state). Not only was the chocolate delicious, it was particularly satisfying to be able to consume the state of Michigan. All because of my bio.

Similarly, yesterday I had the honor of being part of a fantastic new event called SHIFT, where eight of us presented new material on leadership. Not only did my talk go well, and not only did I get to hang out and learn from some great speakers, but we also ended the day with milkshakes.

Why? Because, in my program, I talked about why I love milkshakes so much (because they’re the most efficient form of dessert, all you have to do is suck) and how I use that as an example of the Golden Rule vs Platinum Rule. As a result, some of the other speakers were happy to use milkshakes as a way to celebrate the end of a successful day.

What’s my point? As I’ve shared before, I believe that job satisfaction, and similarly life satisfaction, is 100% your own responsibility. But the cool thing is, once you start sharing what makes you happy, sometimes others bring it to you. You get back what you put out there, like milkshakes.

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