Home » Education » John Cleese on Creativity

John Cleese on Creativity

I was struck by John Cleese’s thoughts on creativity in a recorded lecture from some years ago (thanks to Brain Pickings for leading me to it!) and thought I’d share a quote with you:

“It is easier to do trivial things that are urgent, than to do important things that are not urgent.”

Mr. Cleese was speaking about avoiding the time and discomfort of letting the mind get into a creative state, and thus actually creating something, in favor of doing (sometimes suddenly) urgent things – changing a doctor’s appointment, organizing the silverware, amending 1974’s taxes, etc.

It seems to me that society has indeed exchanged what it deems urgent for that which is important.  It’s so tempting to be caught in the little urgencies of the day and forget to participate in the important things – share a conversation with a child, a cup of tea with a parent, comfort a wounded animal.

I’m grateful for this reminder from one of the great British comedians – and a wildly intelligent man, to boot.  Have you traded the urgent for the important?  What can we do about it?

Here’s the video in its entirety – well worth your time!


Talk amongst yourselves...

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