John Cleese on Creativity as Mood, not Aptitude

I am a huge fan of Open Culture for their daily inspiration of open source books, videos and more. Recently, they posted this on John Cleese of Monty Python fame and his views on creativity:

Drawing on research from his friend Brian Bates, a psychologist as Sussex University, Cleese claims that …[Creativity] is not a skill or an aptitude, it is a “mood,” one Cleese describes as “childlike” in that it aids one in the ability to play. Cleese makes a similar point in his 2009 talk at the top, emphasizing that acquiring this mood is difficult but not impossible. As all artists know, genuine creative insights occur when rational thought ceases—during dreamstates or moments of absorption so intense that self-consciousness, anxiety, and the needling cares of the day drop away. As Cleese put it at the World Creativity Forum, “if you’re racing around all day, ticking things off a list, 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.”

– Open Culture

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