How to be More Creative

This is the single best speech on creativity I’ve ever seen. It’s from Jack White, rock star and former upholsterer. I love this because it shows that creative work is not about magic and mystery. It’s about designing an environment that helps you make new connections in the brain you already have. (The whole clip is useful, but if you’re short on time, skip ahead to the 40-second mark.)

Here are the takeaways:

  • 1) Inspiration is hugely overrated. Don’t wait for the clouds to part and rays from heaven to come down. Do the work, every day.
  • 2) Scarcity is fuel. Luxuries of time and space don’t help creativity; they strangle it. Constrict your time and choices; it creates clarity.
  • 3) Avoid comfort. Don’t settle into patterns, but seek ways to create tension

“Force yourself into it. Force yourself…. Deadlines and things make you creative. But opportunity and telling yourself, “Oh you have all that time in the world, all the money in the world, all the colors in your palette you want, anything you want…” —  that just kills creativity.”