Creativity is only possible when we’re open

This excellent speech by John Cleese clearly explains when creativity is possible.
It’s not only instructive but also very funny – Cleese style.
It is well worth your time.

John Cleese – a lecture on Creativity

Cleese says that to get into the open mode you need:

  1. Space
  2. Time (creating the time)
  3. Time (using the time)
  4. Confidence
  5. Humor

Creating an oasis of space and quiet for ourselves is vital. Setting boundaries of space and time (switching of your phone, locking your door, getting your to-do list off your mind…).

“It’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent than it is to do important things that are not urgent. Like thinking.”

Creativity is dithering whether to take the first solution that pops up or sticking with the problem longer until something else (and probably more original) pops up.

This creates anxiety and discomfort of not solving the problem immediately. Those who do not take a decision but can stick with this tension for a while, come up with more creative solutions.

Cleese suggests that you look at the problem and efine when does this decision needs to be taken. And then postpone decision making until then!

And it takes confidence to be uncomfortable. And fear or making mistakes is the worst enemy of creativity. You cannot be playful if you are frightened of something going wrong. So you have to risk silly, illogical and wrong things.

Humor gets us from the closed to the open mode quicker than anything else. Humor relaxes and makes us playful. You can discuss serious things while adding humor.
Cleese says ‘Solemnity. I don’t know what it’s for! It serves pomposity.’

Humor is the key to solve problems, even serious ones. So ‘giggle all you want’.

So once you have done these steps, keep your mind gently around the subject that you need to ponder in a friendly, but persistant way. And ideas will come.

And by connecting two completely different or random ideas together makes them creative. And the funnier or more ridiculous they are, the better.

So when you or people start giggling at the idea – write it down! It might THE ONE!

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