John Cleese on creativity

I don’t usually just post a video, but I came across this one this morning while looking for something else, and it’s excellent.

A few years ago, I lead (or tried to lead) a series talks on homeschooling with a largish group. I wanted to emphasize creativity, and it never quite took. But this video is just the kind of thing I liked to show and tell about the most.

In a nutshell, for creativity, you need:

1. Space
2. Time
3. Time
4. Confidence
5. Humor

Sample nugget:

“The people I find it most difficult to be creative with are those who need all the time to create an image of themselves as decisive…And if, while you’re pondering, someone accuses you of indecision, say, ‘Look, Babycakes! I don’t have to decide ’til Tuesday.'”

But listen to the whole thing, because it’s John Cleese, and he would know!

Meanwhile, I’m off deciding what to do next.  I’ll get back with you next Tuesday.


5 thoughts on “John Cleese on creativity

  1. Laura,

    You’re probably in no position to take advantage of this bit of info, but if you’re a Fawlty Towers fan, your life will be much more complete if you find a DVD set of the series and watch the shows while listening to John Cleese’s commentary. They are a graduate-level course in comedy, television production, and creativity.

    A couple of years back Debbie and I watched them with the older kids, though to maximize enjoyment/minimize frustration we had to first watch each episode naked, then again with commentary running. I think we’re about ready to do it again.

    John Cleese has done many corporate training videos, and though I haven’t seen them, friends tell me they’re very good.

    1. Rick, I totally agree with you about Fawlty Towers. They are brilliant. My kids and I loved watching these together, too. My daughter owns the DVD set, but she’s grown and gone, so I haven’t listened to the commentary. Can’t wait to do so! Thanks.

      And, Laura, I haven’t watched this yet, but I will. I love the nutshell view of creativity, not least that “time” is on the list twice. (Even if that was a typo, and I don’t think it was, I still love it!)

  2. Okay, you guys aren’t the first to tell me I should watch Fawlty Towers, so if I get the opportunity, I will. Just so I don’t misunderstand, is the Cleese commentary on the DVDs, or somewhere else?

    And Susan, you’re right: “time” is not a typo.

    1. Laura,

      The commentary is on the most recent release of the DVDs. But watch the show any way you can, commentaries or not!

  3. Thanks for this, Laura. This was very helpful. He nailed my rut exactly: “It’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent than to do important things that aren’t urgent, and it’s easier to do little things we know we can do than to start on big things we’re not so sure about.”

    I like the 1.5 hour suggestion, too. I’m going to try that. I think one of my problems is that I felt I needed a whole day, or half a day, or something like that.

    And now to look into Fawlty Towers, of which I’ve never heard of before…

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