I am so motivated to explore the topic of creativity discussed on one of the most uplifting podcast interviews between two of the most influential, inspirational, and innovative people of our time.
The interviewer is the charismatic and warmhearted Lewis Howes who has served as a beacon of hope to me personally since I first came across his work during the pandemic and have been an avid follower ever since.
Lewis Howes, once a professional football player, underwent a life-altering transformation following a career-ending injury.
Despite facing personal and financial hardships, he demonstrated resilience and reinvention. Transitioning into a thriving lifestyle entrepreneur, best-selling author, and influential podcast host, Howes has inspired millions with his motivational content and unwavering commitment to personal development.
His guest in this particularly epic “School of Greatness” podcast is the nine-time grammy award winning producer, the infamous Rick Rubin, a magical musical and iconic force to be reckoned with. Had it not been for him, it’s possible that I may have never even heard some of my most favourite bands, specifically in the grunge era. In fact, a large majority of the bands I loved were produced by Rick Rubin and they just so happen to be some of the most influential bands of our time. We’re talking Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, along with countless other world-class artists.
It’s hard to imagine a world without these pivotal acts that had such an impact on some of my most transformative years. Music has always been the one constant in my life helping me shift through great heartache and solidify happy memories. The whole genre of grunge, which ran through the majority of my angst-ridden teenage years, would not be the impactful anti-conformist, rebelliously raw and authentic phase of music it was, without the infallible driving force that is Rick Rubin.
The success of grunge also paved the way for the broader acceptance of alternative and independent music in the mainstream. It influenced a new generation of musicians and contributed to the diversification of rock music, setting the stage for the alternative rock explosion of the 1990s and early 2000s.
Cut back to the interview, the first answer Rick gave to Lewis left an immediate imprint on me that will forever change my perspective on life. The clean-shaven Lewis Howes’ first question to the contrasting sage-like Rick Rubin: “Do you ever feel insecure with your artistic expression or are you always confident?”
Rick, renowned for his regular meditation practice and his preference for walking barefoot, responded with: “I’m confident with artistic expression because my only goal is to make something that I like, and I know that I can keep working on it until I like it…” He continues to express the fact that it is more important for him that he likes the end product and does not have any expectations whatsoever about whether other people will also like it.
Initially, one might be taken aback by that seemingly self-centred point of view, but Rick goes onto express that one of his main philosophies of “the audience comes last,” which is also mentioned in his book, is actually about truly caring for the work that is produced as opposed to caring about whether or not other people will like it. It is only with this mindset that you can truly create a product that is from the heart and is authentic and true to your own creative expression.
This is something that will be energetically more impactful than creating something in the hopes that it will become popular. And judging by the enormous impact Rick Rubin has had in modern music, it is the foundational root of his success. He goes on to explain that making art for any reason other than your own enjoyment is not art at all but rather commerce.
The concept of doing what you love and following your highest excitement is not an original one, of course, but how do we step out of survival mode if we are currently in an unfulfilling job in order to follow the desire of exploring our ever-inherent creative freedom? How do we reawaken the wonderful ability within each of us to make something where before there was nothing but an idea, lying dormant, just waiting for the spark to ignite our ability to bring forth creations that come from our soul’s desire to express itself.
Realistically, we can’t all quit our day jobs and grab our instruments, our pens, and our paintbrushes and automatically wrack up millions with our delightful creations. We have to be able to generate some sort of regular income in order to survive, of course.
Rick goes on to express that what is ultimately best for your creative pursuits is to have a job that supports you already in place. While this can be something that is relevant to the industry of your creative pursuits, he also explains that there is nothing wrong with having the realisation that a job is not ultimately fulfilling enough and the need for a career change. He further suggests the importance of flexibility and seeking out opportunity as opposed to being so rigid with our goals and our chosen career path to the point of stagnating in situations that we have outgrown.
He reminds us that success and fulfillment can still be possible even when our original career choices are not successful or come to an unexpected and unforeseen end, like in the case of that of Lewis Howes.
The ultimate truth is that energy flows where intention goes. If you follow the path of seeking external validation then you will forever be seeking that validation. However if you follow the path of your highest excitement and remain flexible and adaptable to change then you can become an unstoppable force of creative expression and freedom.
It comes as no surprise then that Rick Rubin is celebrated for his dedicated meditation practice.
Mindfulness is the key to staying present, enabling us to reflect on the essential questions about our life goals and intentions. Only by immersing ourselves in the awareness of the current moment can we quiet the internal chatter of constant thoughts. This shift allows us to absorb the information necessary to take control of life’s journey, steering away from the role of a mere passenger driven by negative thinking, fear, and uncertainty.
Placing our sense of self-worth on external factors is unsustainable. Instead, we must navigate life with intention, fostering an awareness of our true selves and our deepest desires. Stepping away from limiting beliefs is crucial. Recognising our potential unveils the truth that these restrictions were imposed externally and are not the truth of who we are as limitless expressions of the universe.
See the full interview here: