John Cleese on the Two Elements You Need to Empower Your Creativity
How to fight procrastination and nurture creativity are two ongoing topics and will remain so as long as we -humans on planet Earth- breathe and want to make something that didn’t exist before. Everybody has their own techniques, developed over time, after trials and errors, and it’s always precious when someone as creative and productive as John Cleese shares his own tips to trick his mind into entering a creative state.
The video below is a kind of ‘super cut’ from a talk John Cleese gave in Belgium. I recommend watching it in its entirety, as Cleese talks about how he learned what worked for him, and what worked for him. What got my attention were the two simple, and yet easily forgettable, conditions Cleese advocate one should create for herself to be able to create: boundaries of Space and boundaries of Time.
Here is what he says:
“The key to to get into a creative state is to avoid interruption. (…) We don’t know where we get our ideas from, what we do know is that we don’t get them from our laptop. In fact, we get our ideas from our unconscious, the part of our mind that goes on working when we are asleep. So what I’m saying is that if you get into the right mood, then your mode of thinking will become much more creative. But if you’re racing around all day, ticking things off on lists, looking at your watch, making phone calls and generally just keeping all the balls in the air, you are not going to have any creative ideas.
So now I want to run really quickly over how in this sort of frenzy world we are living in, how you can create a mood that will enable you to be more creative. And basically the way I put it is that you need to create a tortoise enclosure so that you’re little tortoise mind, this little nervous creature, can just look around and say ‘yes, it’s safe to come out‘. And to do this you have to create a kind of oasis in your life, in the middle of the stressed “Ohhh, I’ve got to do this, I forgot to do that, by eleven I need to…” In the middle of all of that you have to create an oasis, a tortoise enclosure when your tortoise mind can come out and play. And there are two things that you have to do:
You have to create boundaries of Space, and you have to create boundaries of Time. It’s as simple as that. Boundaries of space simply means that you create boundaries to avoid the interruption that I was talking about earlier which is so disastrous to the creative process. And what you have to do once you’ve created boundaries of space is to give yourself a starting time and a finishing time. Because when you do that you’ve created an oasis that is separate from the ordinary life and then and only then can you play. Boundaries of Space, boundaries of Time, it’s as simple as that.”
Happy Creativity Play![thanks to Kickstarter for the mention, although the video link they sent didn’t work so I’m not sure they were talking about the same thing].
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check the archives for a taste of it.