Artist Resources

Daily Inspiration: John Cleese on Being Open

Writer, actor and Monty Python original John Cleese has some wise words on being an open and closed being in this world. His thoughts on existing in “open” and “closed” modes makes sense for any creative individual, there are times when responding creatively isn’t the best idea for anyone, and a time to harvest from experience later.

"We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately spend most of their time in the closed mode. Not that the closed mode cannot be helpful."

We can all agree that mid-jump over a ravine isn’t the time to “take a moment” to do well, anything, and the usually side-splittingly funny Cleese brings us today’s Daily Inspiration in an unusually sobering tone. Please ponder accordingly.

"If you are leaping a ravine, the moment of takeoff is a bad time for considering alternative strategies. When you charge the enemy machine-gun post, don’t waste energy trying to see the funny side of it. Do it in the “closed” mode. But the moment the action is over, try to return to the 'open' mode—to open your mind again to all the feedback from our action that enables us to tell whether the action has been successful, or whether further action is need to improve on what we have done. In other words, we must return to the open mode, because in that mode we are the most aware, most receptive, most creative, and therefore at our most intelligent."

"Taken" by levman