John Cleese gave this speech back in the 1990’s about creativity. Apparently he was a bit of a student of the topic. 🤷🏻♂️
His main point was that creativity is not something that you have or don’t have. And it is not related to traditional intelligence.
Creativity is a mood – an open, curious, and playful way of operating. He calls this playful, creative state “open mode”, whereas we normally go through life in “closed mode”, basically trying to get stuff done.
To be fully effective, a creative person needs to juggle both modes well. After all, you’ve got to find the creative flow and keep your projects on track to actually get sh*t done.
This creative “open mode” is subconscious and requires de-focusing in a way. In other words, you can’t force creative breakthroughs. It is in this relaxed open mode where the creative magic happens. You just need to allow yourself the time and other factors to let yourself be creative.
This is the extraordinary thing about creativity: If just you keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious.
One reason I liked improv class was that it forces you into this open, playful mode (even when you are terrified).
With really interesting problems, you usually don’t need to think harder. You need to relax and let you mind do its thing while you sleep or do errands. That is when genius strikes. ⚡️
Creativity is all about making interesting connections. Albert Einstein called it “combination play.”
In my experience, this unconscious combo play is important for figuring out what do to and not so much how to do it. Once the what is clear in your mind, it can be followed by all the conscious thinking and hard work to get it done. Unfortunately, that part does not happen in your sleep. 😉
As a side note, there is also a beautiful space when your mind is so immediate and present that is simply doesn’t have time to think. This is what I like about improv. And also baseball.
It takes 12 (kind of)simple things such as taking responsibility for your own happiness, living for the struggle, manage your emotions, showing patience and restraint, being indepdendent and vulnerable and expecting the same from others. You know, easy stuff like that. 😉
Having now read enough (too many) self-help books, I was starting to think that they all overlap and are just saying different variations of the same thing. I feel like I have unofficially graduated from self-help school. 👨🏻🎓
So I was happy to see this post that basically captures all of the self help out there in one concise list. It’s a really good summary of how to take charge of your life and your own happiness. It has “chapters” on goals, limiting beliefs, growth mindset, thinking too much, self-care, gratitude, and all the other top hits.
Basically it says that you need take good care of yourself before you can aspire to your “ultimate self-actualization”. I guess that’s super obvious, but still it makes for a cool idea and a good visual. 😆