John Cleese on Creativity

Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.

When I say a way of operating, what I mean is this; creativity is not an ability that you either have or do not have. It is, for example; and this may surprise you, absolutely not related to IQ… those regarded by their peers as most creative were in no way, whatsoever, different in IQ from their less creative colleagues… The most creative had simply acquired a facility for getting themselves into a particular mood… an ability to play.

-John Cleese


I first saw this video on Brainpickings and I encourage you to go there and read more about it.

John Cleese, if you didn’t know already is an English actor, comedian, writer and film producer. If you haven’t heard of him, you have not been paying attention to comedy for the last for the last 40 or so years (since Monty Python’s Flying Circus first aired). His discussion of Creativity is riddled with great quotes (many of which Maria Popova had pulled out for you), but it is worth your time to watch this and learn simply, how to be more creative. Not specifically what you should think about, etc; but under what conditions can help.

Lesson: This entire video is a lesson in becoming more creative. It does not explain how to be more humorous, or how to write comedy better or how to make better art… it is simply an explanation of how you to become more creative in everyday life.

Get out of this idea that creativity needs to lead to something delivered… it could simply lead to something new.


First Post, better make it a doozy!

I hope you found this page looking for a bit of advise to give your daughter or son, or even for a little bit of a reminder for yourself. However you found it, you’ve reached the bottom of my new blog, it can only go up from here. I will post more on why I am blogging and who it is for, but for now here is just a little bit of a look into what I hope to share to do my part in moving us (community, civilization, family – take your pick) forward.What it is is beautiful

The first bit of “advice” I want to pass on to my daughter is something that I need constant reminder and that I hope will encourage her throughout life.

It comes from an Advertisement (as odd as it sounds) for Lego that came out in 1981. The tagline is:

” What it is is beautiful.”

Insight: There are a lot of reasons why I love this ad and want to share it with my daughter. Some less relevant ones are the little redheaded girl is a projection of my daughter, my affinity Lego’s and also my love for good advertising. Beyond those reasons there are two things I want my daughter to grab and hold onto from this ad.

  1. The power behind the statement, “What it is is beautiful,” is that it doesn’t matter what was made, just so long as it was made. There was effort behind it and reason for it that may not be ‘right’ or even ‘logical’, but it is there in spite of itself. I want her to be willing, able and interested in making/creating something for herself.
  2. The second reason behind my interest in sharing this with my daughter may have a little more to do with why any parent would want to share something like this with their child: I want her to know everything has beauty, including her.

It may be foolish and sentimental, but there are some things that need teaching. This blog is going to be a collection of lessons that I have learned that she will need in here life. There is no clear path, but as I said, more will be discussed in future posts. For right now, it’s just about getting started.