Philippe Petit & Paul Winter Discuss Creativity

Nov 17, 2011

Is creativity an act or an attitude? In Man on Wire, Philippe Petit, the high wire artist who walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, says, “To me it’s so simple that life should be lived on the edge of life. You have to exercise rebellion, to refuse to taper yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a challenge.”

Of course, that's the hard part of creativity. Anybody can sign up for an art class or a writing workshop. The hard part of creativity is the almost-daily destruction of everything you've done before in the quest for something original. We're all born with varying degrees of talent, but that seems to me to be less important than temperament. And a lot of it boils down to Petit's creed.

You're either going to adopt the attitude of challenging yourself or you're not.

If you do, you're going to be creative.

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***This episode originally aired on November 17, 2011***