5 Secrets About Creativity I Learned From Sir Anthony Hopkins
Illustration from my upcoming book - Mia and the Rocket Ship Tree
First off - watch this brutally honest video of Sir Hopkins talking about his art!
If that wasn't inspiring enough - Here are 5 lessons that Hopkins has taught us about creativity:
Lesson1. "My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier"
Isn't happiness just proper expectation management? And should you really give a shit what people think of you or your work? Accept yourself, know yourself, move forward.
Lesson 2. "Today is the tomorrow I was so worried about yesterday. So think your best. Unfold. Let go. If you want it, it will happen. Just surrender. Because it has nothing to do with you."
This goes along with what Hopkins said about "expecting nothing and accepting everything". People can become so controlling and self-controlled that they end up trying too hard, being needy, and not getting close to where they wanted to be in the first place.
Lesson 3. "We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything...You can never trust the human mind anyway. It's a death trap."
Buddha also subscribed to this idea, and illustrated our minds as being filled with inebriated, noisy, annoying monkeys, screaming for our attention.
I often find myself thinking too much and not getting much done. Feelings of anxiety and regret can fill my mind, instead of just feeling present, and getting shit done!
One of my favourite authors and podcasters, Tim Ferris, gave a fantastic talk at Google, about "How to cage the monkey mind", where he explained why it's so important to hit mute on your thoughts and to be less reactive. Identifying when we are being over-reactive is the only way we can be the authors of our own lives!
Like I said in another post - "Less thinking, more doing".
At least... I think I said that.
Lesson 4. "I don't analyse, I just go for it"
I've learned - Don't think! Do it!
Lesson 5. "I don't feel afraid, I don't feel that I have to prove anything by it, and therefore I am not afraid. Maybe it will turn into a god awful mess. It's like playing in mud, you know, kids love mud."
"It has to be childish, cause I'm a child"
I've learned - I need to re-discover the child within me.
Lesson 6."I've discovered lately that I enjoy everything that's so called wrong with me..."
"I work by trial and error"
"I'm inconsistent, I'm undisciplined, I eat like an animal."
I've learned - embrace my un-academic style
Lesson 7. "Life is vulgar, it's offensive. Death is offensive. The stench of life is offensive but it's also glorious."
I've learned - I need to watch more Hopkins' videos.
Lesson 8. "We are not here for long, so I want to express colour!"
Ok, so those were not 5 lessons. I lied...
Life is vulgar.
Deal with it.
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Quoted from -
1. The Telegraph, Jan 31 2011 - Link
2. Inside the Actors Studio, 2007 - Link
3. AboutFilm, 2006 - Link
The Tim Ferris Show - Link
4. My favourite quotes from the video above, taken from AnthonyHopkinsArt.com