One of the biggest blocks to creativity and improvisation is getting stuck wishing the situation was different. Telling yourself, “If only I could get off this team” or “Why did I get stuck with this set of tools and these people?” shuts down improvisation.
Instead, do what jazz greats do: assume that you can make the situation work somehow, that there exists an opportunistic possibility to be gleaned. This is an affirmative mind-set—the assumption that a positive pathway will be found, that there’s a potential to be noticed and pursued.
Too often, in established cultures, cynicism is a way to attain status, and cynical responses to ideas seem justified because they are more “realistic.” It is much easier to critique than to build. Yet equating cynicism with realism shrinks the imagination.