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.”


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4 Responses to “How to be More Creative”

  1. andy w says:

    Man, this is just the greatest clip of all time. I love Jack White and I could watch this a million times. Exactly, exactly.

  2. Rod Roth says:

    I think those of us who strive to create should know we have to be up against it. It just feels right to be uncomfortable, and I’m glad to have this reinforced by Jack White. Bravo, Dan–Thanks!

  3. Aaron says:

    If that didn’t make you think of Steven Pressfield talking about resistance, woo boy! Very inspiring!

  4. […] 32. Stop waiting and just do. Like anything else, planning needs to stop at some point. Write! Ralph Dopping pointed me towards Jack White. Check it out and learn to be creative. […]

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