Kermit the Frog: Talking About Creativity at TED


The creative act of listening to a talking frog

“You are going to TED, and you are going to do a fantastic job. …Because being creative is who you are. It’s the thing that keeps you going.”

perspective taking

open minded and integral approach? artist master piece or a better way to organize your cubical. Creative economy grows when we seek out the wisdom of others.


0:00Ling the
0:07do it
0:14first there was nothing when and then
0:19there was something see on
0:24no out if she raised emptiness and
0:27creativity way emerged wait
0:39watching it remember is the creativity is not a separate faculty
0:43but some people have another's don't a home the truth is
0:47we all have different creative capabilities because she creativity
0:52is a function intelligence for home and so creativity
0:56is possible in any activity which actively engages
0:59human intelligence of or human
1:03a bad choice of words medicare two species thing I'm used to it
1:07but look sirkin you know I really appreciate this pep talk in all but
1:11I'm just not sure I'm ready to give a talk at TED
1:14of caution of you but they want me to talk about creativity
1:18and that you feel you're the expert in me no
1:22I'm just your average everyday talking frog Kemet
1:25name listen to me from looks attend
1:29each speaker brings that own expense that you their own
1:32unique idea was chairing so you going to Ted
1:36p.m. a new are going to do a fantastic job you think
1:39in yes you who me and you know one
1:43me because being creative is who you are it's the thing that keeps you going
1:47form yeah I guess it is and if that plane to Ted
1:51leave the ground and you're not on it who
1:54you regret maybe not today %um
1:58maybe not tomorrow me but soon and for the rest of your life
2:02you know I think you're absolutely right
2:05yes watch out dead here I come
2:09yep all our pain and it was that last thing you said from Casablanca
2:13yes you know sir can I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship
2:18thank you thank you please welcome
2:23my dear friend a much greater amphibian
2:26I have ever met and actually I'm at quite a few
2:30ladies and gentleman come at the frog heart thank you
2:34%uh thank you all
2:37on thank you so much wow you know I have to tell you guys it is great to be back
2:44yes it is yes it is we are there
2:48and I gotta tell you know I have deep roots here are
2:51or as we project to say our knee deep roots sad day for our
2:55joke are okay I note too far the bear opening job did not work
3:00are anyway listen you know I grew up in a swap not far from the Capri
3:05theater here out which back in those days had a surprising number of
3:09amphibian films
3:11I like Star Wars and Lawrence of amphibia
3:16and this one Who's Afraid of Virginia ham
3:20yes you know in fact when I was a tadpole
3:24it was in this very theater that I lost my
3:28in my tail no now and I'm betting I'm not the only one here today losses tell
3:33a movie theater reader
3:34now now I'm pretty sure that's why they call that little place down the street
3:39to pinpoint arm a pig
3:42a pint and the rest is history
3:46yep lots of life changing events happen here to Capri anyhow
3:50anyhow before before we explore all the important creative insights you would
3:54expect to hear from me talking frog
3:56I want to say a very special I thank you to Sir Ken Robinson
4:00for being such a good friend and creative mentor are yeah and of course
4:04my creative mentor I mean that for today's presentation
4:07are I am bart has many of his ideas as possible without getting super
4:11tower thank you sir can of and now
4:16it's time to address the most fundamental of all questions
4:19why are we here now I mean I know some others are here because somebody paid
4:24for our flight martek
4:26are and and most people I say good for you but I'm talking about the big
4:30why are we as humans and non-humans here on this planet
4:34and I'm what are we supposed to do
4:37until it's time to I'll move on to the fertile ground
4:41around whatever lies beyond is wrong wall
4:45I gotta tell you folks to tell you the truth I don't know why we're here
4:48but offering a mine who also grew up around here said that
4:52his ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world
4:56and to leave this world a little better for his having been here
4:59that ground that was a guy named Jim Hansen the
5:09and if I say so myself he certainly did leave this a better place for having
5:13been here you know
5:14because for Jan creativity was all about making us take a a fresh look
5:19at the world by showing us from you like some unusual perspective
5:23you know I mean for instance think about it what's happening right now you're all
5:27sitting here listening to me a talking amphibian
5:30are that alone is a rather radical active creativity
5:33it's what I like to call a conspiracy
5:37of craziness yep that I thought
5:40we've all decided to accept the premise suspend our disbelief and just enjoy the
5:45to need that conspiracy of craziness and that freedom of thought
5:49well that's what being creative is all about and I'm
5:53it's a pretty neat things creative anything are you don't have to be a
5:57hollywood frog or a
5:58even date a pic to make it happen lucky you
6:02arm you know and the best part is
6:05anyone can be creative and not matter-of-fact we
6:08all create every single day and arm
6:11I actually mean that literally you know out what we literally create every
6:15single day for ourselves
6:17through our cultural perspectives in our belief systems are
6:20by manifesting our particular view of the world
6:24we actually create our world with every thought now I don't take my word for
6:28as Sir Ken said creativity is possible in
6:31any activity which actively engages human are out non-human
6:36intelligence and i know i just want you to know that I am NOT
6:40a newcomer to this creative thinking stuff are here's some footage we honor
6:44them even associate
6:45all jacks wrong footage are my goodness
6:49are yeah that would be any other footage that we honor them me with an associate
6:54when the early a TED conferences let me see if I can on
6:57on the ringer my butt
7:00my brother back hmm
7:06who billion yuan corporate records and we will thinking
7:11do you have a very large group of what who
7:15without learn and to begin a role here
7:18the no watch who a row what
7:22with moon part number: yeah
7:25the guy with the glasses are you people probably don't know this but that's
7:27actually ted
7:28yeah capital T capital E Capitol me
7:32bring I gotta tell you everything is not easy being green try be in black and
7:37such the Rainbow Connection right now you're arm
7:40but you know even in those early days
7:43I was fascinated by the creative impulse and how to get started
7:47and up I realize that being creative is a lot like
7:50living in the swap are first and foremost
7:53you got to stay alive you need to avoid being eaten by alligators are attacked
7:58by snakes
7:59for even piggish and other ones you need to make a living in you gotta feed and
8:04clothe yourself and your families
8:06and one-to-one in mississippi swap or I am any midtown Manhattan or Silicon
8:11it can seem easier and safer to avoid risk bennett et created chances
8:16and let your mind run free were also worried about making a living in
8:20not getting devoured by alligators are competitors that we kinda start
8:24believing that there's no time for being creative
8:26creativity we think is for artist imagination and inspiration while
8:32those are just words we use around kids but for grownups
8:35well those are just nice words and some corporate mission statement
8:39are real job yes to make a winning well folks I am here to say that
8:43is wrong or at least stop deceptive you know
8:47because I believe creativity is an inherent part everyone
8:51I to again put sirkin creativity is the true engine of our economy
8:56it's the very essence I'm invention and innovation
8:59I believe that's true and when you find that place in your life
9:02to be creative you make the world a better place to live in
9:05saw now that I have declared that everyone is in fact creative
9:10where do you start to tap into this creativity and the answer is
9:14anywhere now michelangelo
9:17for instance started with a block of marble any famously said
9:21I saw them angel on the marble and carved until I set it free
9:25but you know some people start with test tubes in beakers
9:29or they come up with a better way to mop the floor or or a more effective way to
9:33a chief what
9:34even on a motorcycle
9:35some people work in a kitchen some people work in politics
9:39and others well they do as little as possible and figure out a way to get
9:42paid for it in other words
9:44there are as many ways to be creative as there are muppets
9:48and believe you me there are a lot of Muppets and I'm
9:51ion kno I gotta meet payroll every week but to get started
9:56sometimes you have to take a chance you don't michelangelo chipped away on water
10:01stone before he found his angel
10:02and albert Einstein well he scribbled on lotto numbers before he came up with
10:06this theory of relativity
10:08and of course then there's ron popeil he burned times objections
10:12before he could set it and forget it with that rotisserie operator
10:15yeah but almost people
10:20had one thing in common folks they didn't want to know where they were
10:24going before they started their journey
10:25they each have let Jim Henson like to call
10:28rediculous optimism yep that right without back
10:38we would not even have this amazing world we live in heck without doubt
10:42without ridiculous optimism there's a good chance none of us would be here
10:45I mean let's face it if our mothers were ridiculously optimistic
10:48they probably would have gone out on a second date with our fathers as the
10:52saying goes
10:53if necessity is the mother of invention then creativity is the father
10:58which means on some cosmic level we are all
11:01the children are necessity and creativity
11:05all I with me. my head hurt
11:08are you guys could just act excuse me just a sec I am
11:23my STi
11:24mmm me hi
11:33night axes me
11:36wow that was really good are a warmer we are
11:39skinny alright passion so
11:43passion are but see here are are not that kinda passion know what
11:47I mean a I mean the passion to do something creative because you can't not
11:53do it
11:53that's the most important thing to me not doing it is not
11:57and option right can I get an amen
12:01thank you for harsh hate crime let's 190 where they do that
12:05of yeah I mean sure are we all have to learn a little earn a living but but we
12:12also shouldn't be afraid to wander off down the trail and creative risk-taking
12:16once in a while
12:17and explore a whole different way of thinking and living
12:20and doing now the great 20th century surrealist Salvador Dali
12:25are who incidently looks a lot like a good friend of mine boomerang fish
12:29storms Zealand
12:30of he said have no fear perfection you will never reach it
12:35so the point that is to never worry about failure cuz it's gonna happen
12:40but that's okay go and take chances and you might just find that what feels like
12:44failure isn't failure in all
12:46it's what inspired you to dream even bigger so be thankful for the good
12:51and the not so good you know it's just part of getting better at the things you
12:55and it being you I mean discipline focus is important
12:59blocks always controlled inspired chaos
13:02and we need to encourage each other to take chances in sometimes fail
13:06and yes our critic's can be harsh in relentless
13:10your child current funded by Paul
13:13yeah of but it's chaos mixed with her
13:18and I all kinds of inspiration and perseverance their raise me up outta
13:21this fertile ground in Mississippi Mud
13:23and made the Muppets possible now another one of my favorite quote
13:27is from the 19th century French polite Charles
13:30Baudelaire who also can look like losing on
13:34are but anyway he said genius is no more than childhood
13:39recaptured at will now I gotta tell you folks besides Sir Ken Robinson
13:45are there's this other guy named can I really like to pay attention to
13:49and his name is Ken Wilber hot you might even say that when it comes to humans I
13:54have a real kinship with cams
13:56and dad again you might not sin that notifies the is what
14:01but anyhow Ken Wilber says
14:05that the process of evolution is to transcend
14:08and including now what that means is that as we evolve
14:12we don't just become different we transcend
14:15and go beyond who we formally were by evolving through stages of growth and
14:21while still including all that we were before we transcend
14:25but we include CNN yeah it's all still in their sole
14:30it turns out that we can look back at the stages have development we've
14:33already gone through objectively
14:34sort of our are former selves which means that that sometimes elusive inner
14:39his actually always with us now that can help us recapture childhood
14:44cost when we use our ability to look back objectively as our
14:48oh I don't know the the fertilizer to make our creative got even more fertile
14:52Matt a good thing and I if you're expecting a fertilizer joke
14:56hot not gonna happen now I day for this thing get bumped off YouTube on a
15:00saw let's take something crazy like say lose the lawns boomerang fish growing
15:06I mean you know that may sound absolutely batty to a trained mine
15:11but to the mind of a child it can sound wonderful inviting
15:14why because without fixed ideas they're open to silliness in crazy next steps
15:20the mind of a child is a beginner's mind
15:24and for them every ideas fresh and stimulating and lead somewhere special
15:29and surprising now I found out a lot more about
15:32the beginner's mind
15:33when I read about all sham now I first of course
15:38I thought so shinwa some overpriced West Hollywood so she farmers but you want me
15:42to take her to
15:43but that's true she did make me take her to such a West Hollywood sushi bar
15:48but it turns out that show shane is actually a concept in Zen Buddhism
15:52beginner's mind hamburgers minds about having sort of an attitude of
15:57up openness and eagerness and a lack of preconceptions when it comes to studying
16:01a subject
16:02op as in teacher Sandra Suzuki wrote
16:05in the beginner's mind there are many possibilities
16:08in the experts mine there are few so
16:12by approaching a subject the way a beginner or a child want
16:15we start to open up possibilities and we leave ourselves open to work
16:20well who knows what right now
16:23so now as you know I've been working with kids for decades in fact
16:27back in the day I'm not embarrassed to say I used to run numbers on Sesame
16:32and I think what Sir Ken said about kids in creativity is so brilliant
16:36well if he weren't already yes sir i'd night in myself
16:40so I'm here are a few things I've learned from Sir Ken Robinson and now
16:43you can sort of thing is as the complete
16:45amphibians guide to Ken Robinson so your house first
16:49we train kids to follow the right way to solve a problem now
16:52sure I want the guy who designed the airplane I'm flying onto a dumb things
16:57the right way
16:58but doubt you know there are so many areas of life
17:01where there's room to explore and to experiment and to make mistakes
17:05arm I you know what you know what I don't think I can say this any better
17:09than Sir Ken did
17:10so if you guys don't mind I'm just gonna go for milli vanilli we have to rethink
17:15the fundamental principles on which we're educating our children
17:17paying out think I sound a lot like Michael came when I do that
17:21are all who incidently I told me on the senate mother Christmas Carol
17:25never get between a pig in the camp that's why the man as Oscar
17:31anyway lesson I think what Sir Ken is saying through me
17:35is that we need to value all kinds of talent not just what seems value to us
17:39right now
17:40you know because because we need to appreciate the things which seem like
17:43mistakes today
17:45well those things could turn out to be tomorrow's innovations
17:48and second we need to help kids
17:51and all of us trying did to connect with our inner tadpole
17:55to pursue our passion even when the going gets tough
17:59now for grownups that just might mean folks
18:03you gotta have a day job because let's face it it's easy to take creative
18:07chances when it's not here trying to support yourself
18:09that can be tough but even when you're working whatever job pays your bills n
18:14allowed to go to those expensive sushi bars with the pic your choice
18:17you can always look for ways to be creative
18:21whatever you're doing Frank outside the box
18:25and %ah if you're like me you're really had boxes
18:28specially when they forget the punch the air hose 'em I travel cargo
18:32are anyhow are and what you follow all this advice about passion and
18:39it's time to seek help and trust me you're gonna need
18:42now are just so you know I'm not suggesting that any you should see a
18:47maybe you should but doubt what i'm saying is
18:50find a mentor someone who is the perfect mix
18:53a fan and Creek you can learn to borrow from them
18:57you can observe not just how they do what they do
19:00but what they're thinking while they do it I think that's very important to find
19:04out the source thing
19:05to to learn about their unique interior process and how they go about it
19:09now sometimes a mentor someone who we meet at work
19:12are we might work with that person and on sometimes that person is someone we
19:17can actually work with but we know by their work
19:20we can read about and stuff like that like I steiner Picasa you know
19:23but they can still inspire and guide you and
19:26mentors can help us another great way they can help us to be aware of what's
19:30come before
19:31now to be creative you don't always have to reinvent the wheel
19:34sometimes you can start with somebody else's we don't put your own spam
19:38you know being a part of any creative discipline me
19:42knowing what the rules are even if you act every intention of breaking those
19:46not right finally there's one other thing that I think
19:51every frog or person needs to be creative and that is
19:54friends for me I think the very best part of creativity
20:00is collaborating with friends and colleagues now on
20:03admittedly might happen to be bears and pigs and rats and chickens and pigments
20:07are you can go with whatever works for you but let's face it
20:11none of us really achieved anything absolutely alone so
20:15as matter fact I'm just my very being here today
20:20took a lot of effort by a lot of folks are why at this very moment
20:24as I speak someone has a hand in everything I'm doing up here now
20:28and yes yes it's true
20:32actually true and I'll be the first to admit
20:36it moves me
20:39are anyhow our cooperation I think Ken Wilber gets right to the heart of the
20:45matter he's created something he calls it
20:47integral approach and here's what he says he says
20:50I have one major rule everybody is right
20:54but more specifically everybody has some important pieces on the truth and all
20:59those pieces
21:00need to be honored and include they only to have a place at the table now
21:04that's a great way to live and work in I know that because it's the way the
21:08Muppets have always worked
21:09are that way of thinking is taught me that as we go through life where sorta
21:13piling on deeper and deeper layers of consciousness
21:16which leads to a greater capacity to take
21:19multiple perspectives hot it's a little bit like the many layers have deserved
21:24their problems but he's played in all you can eat buffet
21:26are only with this there's a lot less carbs and a lot more nutrition
21:30I me think about it for a second everybody really think about this
21:34if everybody potentially has some Peter the Apostle to offer you
21:38doesn't make sense to be open-minded and to have an integral approach
21:42I think it does and whether you're creating some artistic masterpiece or
21:47a better way to organize your cubicle being open to many perspective makes
21:52whatever you're doing just
21:53more inclusive and hold and a creative economy grows
21:57if oliver share what we know and seek out the wisdom others
22:01now the other can Sir Ken Robinson put it this way
22:05he says creativity prospers best under particular conditions especially
22:10when there is a flow of ideas between people who have different sorts have
22:14I'm I actually shorter said something similar
22:18at the end of the very first Muppet movie the difference was I'm
22:22I'm drink albums I said I got a dream to
22:26and it's about singing and dancing in making people happy
22:29that's the kinda dream to gets better the more people you sure
22:32weapon well I found a whole bunch of friends who have the same dream
22:36and it kinda makes this a family and Saul
22:40maybe that's the answer to the first question I asked today why are we here
22:45maybe we're here to encourage each other to share our dreams
22:48and to become the
22:49best version of ourselves we can possibly be and maybe we're also here in
22:53this universe for the very same reason
22:55you know the great mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead
22:59who by the way I'll it's absolutely nothing like New Zealand of he said
23:04creativity is an alternate which means
23:07you have to have it before you can have anything else think about that for a
23:11so maybe the Big Bang was really just the first big creative idea
23:16they got this whole thing going in now it's our purpose to keep it going
23:20to be ridiculously optimistic about what the future can be solved don't just sit
23:25find your mentor pay attention to the two cans
23:28drop your tail on let's get busy and thank you for having me here
23:38thanks guys
23:43thank you thank you