Skip to content

Wise Words from John Cleese: Creativity is not a talent

(Thank you all for being so patient with me during these last handful of weeks. I know I haven’t been as present lately/posting as much. I’ve been really sick. But I think I finally turned a corner!)

Original photo found here:

You might recognize John Cleese’s name. If you ever got a massive cramp around your ribs from laughter while watching Monty Python, you should thank this guy. He’s one of the co-founders.

Creativity can be the lurking monster in the closet–too intimidating for us to tackle, especially if we don’t believe we’re capable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the words “I’m not creative enough to do ____.” I can’t tell you how many times I have stood in front of a canvas or a blank computer screen and wondered I could muster up the creativity for the next project.

In a Video Arts lecture in 1991, Cleese explained that creativity is not a talent. It’s not something you can be prolific at, like slam dunking a basketball or winning a chocolate competitions with your AMAZE-BALLS chocolate pudding. And Cleese had the sources to show creativity is completely unrelated to IQ. (So if you’ve always used the excuse “I’m just not smart enough to be creative”… Well, that excuse doesn’t work anymore (: )

The most creative people found a way to get themselves into a particular mood, a way of operating, so that they could be creative. They found a way to be playful, to be curious, to be open to new ideas–a way of living life that allowed for creativity.

When we think of creativity like this, creativity suddenly doesn’t seem like this intangible monster of colorful swirls. This is something all of us can do. We can all make small changes in our lifestye to be more playful, curious, and open to new ideas.

All of us can live a creative life.

(If you happen to have an extra 40 min of downtime, the entire lecture is worth watching. There’s lots of golden nuggets. I might make more of them into quotes for you. (: )


This Post Has 2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top