John Cleese’s 3 Steps to Increase Creativity

John CleeseJohn Cleese is one of the best comedy writers and actors that Britain has produced. At a recent event, he was asked about creativity.

Cleese said that his teachers did not recognise the creativity that was within him. “People who don’t have it can’t recognise it,” he said, “Creativity doesn’t have to be taught; it has to be liberated.”

However, the process of being creative is a complicated process. According to Cleese, creating and improving ideas is a three-step cycle that pairs the brain’s slow-moving unconscious with the fast-moving logical side.

Step 1 – Preparation
“You’ve been preparing all your life,” Cleese says, by living and studying and working and thinking, but the task at hand may require asking specific questions of specific people or carrying out other research.

Step 2 – Incubation
Ever notice how the solution to a problem strikes you when you wake up? Give your unconscious a chance to think, starting with a quiet space you can let your mind slowly wander. “Incubation is not about wracking your brain. The enemy of incubation is interruption.”

Step 3 – Inspiration
“That’s the ‘aha’ moment. Hints from the unconscious [need] to be interpreted, and it may take some time.”

This process would explain why an idea seems to come all of a sudden, but in reality, it is a result of long period of observation, fermentation and a rapid coming together perfect moment that leads to a creative explosion!

NB: Parts of this article was originally written and published by the Upstart Business Journal.

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