John Cleese On Creativity

Reading The Basic Elements Of Creativity over on swissmiss the other day jogged my memory into digging into the early 90s and rediscovering John Cleese’s lecture on creativity.  Yes, John Cleese.

He’s probably better known for the likes of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, but let’s be honest – those two shows alone are some of the most wildly creative work you’ll ever see!

The lecture comes across as John Cleese’s own amalgamation of cultural experiences and utter comedic genius, specifically “the 5 factors that you can arrange to make your lives more creative”.

  1. Space – “You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures”
  2. Time – “It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time”
  3. Time – “Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original”
  4. Confidence – “Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake”
  5. Humour – “The main evolutionary significance of humour is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else”

If you can spare 36 minutes this evening, or perhaps even over a sandwich at your desk tomorrow lunchtime, it really is worth a watch.  The flow of eloquence and his delivery are simply impeccable, of which, from John Cleese, we’d expect nothing less.

If you can’t spare the full 36 minutes there’s an excerpt from the full lecture here.  Again, well worth a watch.

Via Brainpickings.

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2 Responses to “John Cleese On Creativity”


  1. 1 artourway April 17, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I love this way of thinking. Very true and funny at the same time. Thanks!

  2. 2 danielwalldammit April 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Great speech. Has me thinking about something…


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