Cleese on Creativity

John Cleese is a comedy god.  He’s also incredibly smart.  If he were writing this blog, we’d all be better off.  But we have the next best thing.  More than 30 minutes of Mr. Cleese discussing creativity.

This is all gold, but if you’re pressed for time, here are the highlights…

* The most creative people were able to generate a “childlike” mood of play (play for play’s sake).

* Creativity has nothing to do with IQ.

* When Alfred Hitchcock and his co-writer would hit a roadblock, Hitch would tell a random story.  This enraged his co-writer, but Hitchcock knew the alternative was working under pressure.  By alleviating the pressure, the solution presented itself.

* Once we’ve made a decision, we are only efficient when we go through with it decisively.  (Once you’ve made the discovery, act.  Don’t keep digging.)

* To be creative, you need five things:  1) Space.  2) Time.  3)  Time.  4)  Confidence.  5)  Humor.

* The most creative people are willing to play with a problem longer before trying to solve it.

* You cannot be playful if you’re frightened that moving in some direction (any direction) may be wrong.

* If you are in a group with someone who makes you feel defensive, you lose your ability to play.

* Always make sure your “play friends” are people you like and trust.

* When you’re being creative, nothing is wrong.  There’s no such thing as a mistake.

* It doesn’t matter if the steps you take are wrong.  If they help you arrive at the “right” conclusion, anything will work.

… and I had no idea I could be more in awe of John Cleese.  That dude has his game down tight.


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