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by Darren Held

I was thinking about survival of the fittest the other day. It stemmed from people who couldn’t navigate the traffic circle and my uncharitable thoughts about how miraculous it was that they’d somehow survived long enough to have gotten a driver’s license.

What? I know it seems like I don’t have a bitchy bone in my body, but that’s just my brilliant façade. Ha! And you thought I couldn’t act!

Right. So as has been known to happen when I have thoughts, I sought to validate said thoughts by Googling. In this case, I Googled “Darwin Quotes.” And this was the first hit I got:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Now, I’m not going to swear that Darwin said this. Just because Google claims it’s so doesn’t make it so. But it explained how people who can’t manage a gas pedal, a brake pedal and a circle have somehow managed to live to adulthood: They may not be strong, and they’re apparently not bright. But they can evidently adapt.

Change happens constantly, and it’s not that pleasant or comfortable sometimes. But our survival – emotionally, if not literally – largely depends on our ability to adapt to the changes life throws at us. Maybe it’s job changes, or relationship changes that you struggle with. Maybe you find it difficult to deal with never-ending technological advances. Maybe you just wish they’d bring back Gilmore Girls already.

Whatever it is, improv classes can help. I’m not making that up. The very heart of improv is learning to go with the flow. You have no clue what’s going to happen in a scene or exercise, and you learn to be okay with that. It’s a little scary at first, but after a while, it’s exhilarating. You learn that you can adapt and go with the flow and take everything in stride, and you don’t freak out or die or stuff.

And once you get the hang of it in class, you start being more adaptable in the rest of your life. So you don’t bat an eyelash when you get a new boss. You aren’t as skittish about dating. You learn to text and operate all of your remote controls. You realize Modern Family is pretty damn funny.

I can’t swear it’ll help with the traffic circle, but honestly, peeps – it can’t hurt.

By Sonnjea Blackwell

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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