Give Yourself Permission To Be Creative

“Play the fool.”

Ethan Hawke

I love this quote and it’s a great takeaway from Ethan Hawke’s TED Talk.

In fact, this talk is jam packed with great quotes. Here’s another from Ethan Hawke:

“If history has taught us anything, the world is an incredibly unreliable critic.”

I wish I’d written this particular quote, hell, I wish I’d written the first one I quoted too.

Back to the second quote though. Why do I wish I’d written that one in particular?

Because it’s true. When the Beastie Boys released their second album “Paul’s Boutique”, it was universally disliked by critics AND fans.

That must have hurt for the Beastie Boys. I honestly don’t know if I’d have been able to create another album after that. Not I was in my early 20s and had to take that kind of rejection after a debut album where I’d conquered the world (Beastie Boys – Licensed to ILL) .

The Beastie Boys didn’t give up. They went back and learned instruments. They took time out to work on their craft and on have fun with their instruments. Zero expectations.

They played the fool.

They became beginners again and in the process reinvented themselves.

They gave themselves permission to be creative.

Seems to have worked well for them!

I try not to do regrets, but I do regret every period in my life when I didn’t give myself permission to be creative.

However, I can’t EVER remember a time in my life, particularly since 2017 when I regretted giving myself permission to be creative.

Sometimes the end result is great. I’ll get the validation and praise for my work. Sometimes my work is ignored.

But, giving myself over to the process of creating…it just makes me feel alive and full of purpose. And new paths unfold.

“To thrive, to express ourselves…we have to know ourselves.

What do you love?

And if you get close to what you love, who you are is revealed to you and it expands.”


Ethan Hawke

Deep down we know we want to thrive.

The path to thriving comes through creativity.

Give yourself permission to be creative.

Here is Ethan Hawke’s TED Talk.


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