How can you make someone feel brilliant today? Travis Thomas

How can you make someone feel brilliant today? That is one of the questions I posed during my talk at this year’s Gear Up 2 Lead Conference for 2015. It’s not a question we probably ask ourselves too often. I know it is not something I thought much about until I took my first improvisation class back in 1998. That changed everything. In improvisation we use the mantra:Make your partner look like a genius!

People ask me, “How do you think so fast and make things up so quickly?” The trick is by not thinking, but instead focusing so much on my partner and how I can make them look like a genius. How can I make them look good? What are their needs, and how I can I meet them?

We tend to live in a “me-first” society. We think about helping other people, but only after we’ve had our needs met first. But when will that be? Improvisation has taught me the opposite. Instead, by taking care of my scene partner I give them the tools they need in order to be successful. And since my scene partner is focusing on my needs, we end up taking care of one another and creating really entertaining scenes. 

Life is no different.

Instead of thinking “what can I get,” we need to shift our thought to “what can I give?”

On Friday, November 27th, we all have the opportunity to give instead of getting. Many of you will recognize the 27th as the day after Thanksgiving, better known as Black Friday. It is the largest shopping day of the year, and every year we hear tragic stories of road rage, malls fights, and people being trampled in stores. Instead, what if we spent the day performing Random Acts of Kindness - thus transforming the day from Black Friday to RAK Friday!

Last year we had over 800 shared stories of RAK’s people performed on Black Friday. Our goal this year is bigger! With your help - we want to see 2,015 RAK’s performed on Black Friday. It can be one simple act of holding the door at a store, giving up a parking space, or passing out notes of encouragement on windshield wipers. It could be buying someone a cup of coffee, giving away blankets to the needy, or picking up trash. And once you perform the RAK, you share it with us via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 

What can you do to make someone feel brilliant today? It is actually a lot easier than you would think, it just requires one act of kindness at a time. 


This year, help us turn Black Friday into RAK Friday! #RakOn


Twitter and Instagram: @RakFriday

Travis Thomas

Adam HartleyComment