Skip to main content

IAO = Improvise | Adapt | Overcome

By May 31st, 2022No Comments2 min read

“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

An acronym is a super fast command to your psyche that gives with it a feeling, information, and energy. One I use a lot is this: IAO: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome. The expression ‘no battle plan survives contact with the moment’ means that, although having a strategy plan is imperative, as soon as real life happens, the plan WILL change. In drumming, this is not being rigid and being able to flow with the moment. What I have learned (the hard way) by playing with my band modus factor, in which we heavily use improvisation in our music, is that the preconception of an idea I thought would be really cool, was that when I tried to force it, it was never as good as what would organically happen between us in the moment, in the most real and authentic way. By practicing surrendering to the moment, our songs would often turn out a LOT different than we thought they would, but always better than forcing any preconceived vision. Whenever I would try to out the square peg in the round hole (‘no, the song HAS to end THIS way, the way we PLANNED it’), it was never ever a good idea. Think of having a conversation with someone and trying to force a joke at the exact right moment and thinking how great it could be, but if it’s not real and aligned with the flow of the conversation in the moment, it will fall flat every time. This is where me must ‘flow like water’, to be open to all the present moment has to offer us (often deeper than we realize), and to always create from this limitless source.

IMPROVISING is your creativity.

ADAPTING is your flow with change.

OVERCOMING is victory.


Follow Chris for more DRUMMING MINDSET: