5 Factors for Creativity
John Cleese’s talk on creativity offers a humorous and refreshing perspective on inspiring creativity. He points out that most of the time people stay in their “closed mode” and are not open to freely being creative.
Cleese explains that there are five factors that should be combined in order to get into an “open mode” where they can be creative:
1. Space- you can’t be playful if you are under pressure, so to be creative you must have an undisturbed space for you to feel free.
2. Time- Cleese argues that having a start and end time to keep your creative space open is essential. Without a dedicated time block, it is easy to leave a creative mindset to focus on trivial matters that are easier to deal with than to take the time to do things that are important. It also takes time to get into your creative mode.
3. Time- He repeats time as a factor twice for another reason. Cleese says that you must realize that it will take time to achieve something truly original and creative. There is a sense of discomfort people feel when they don’t yet have a solution to a problem, but sticking it out and taking the time to work on problems leads to the most creative results.
4. Confidence- Cleese points out that you cannot be creative if you are afraid of being wrong or making mistakes. While you are being creative, you should know that nothing you do is wrong.
5. Humor- Laughter is the quickest way to get from a closed mode to an open one. Cleese points out the contradiction that society often considers laughter taboo for “serious” decisions, but that serious decisions often need creative solutions.
I feel as though Cleese presents a framework for people to channel their inner creative child in a structured way to achieve creativity. Many of the things he points out like playfulness, openness, and laughter are all things we know as children but somehow lose over time. This process he describes inspires me to get into my own open mode, and let myself feel free in my own space for creativity.