The following is taken from the Dick Cavett show aired July 1969 featured in the documentary Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin, Jimi Hendricks is answering Dick’s questions about his reactions to compliments regarding his musical talent,
Dick: “What do you hear if someone comes up after a concert? What kind compliment do you like to hear?”
Jimi: ”I don’t know I don’t really live on compliments. Matter of fact, it has a way of distracting me. And a lot of other musicians and artists who are out there today, they hear all of these compliments, they say ‘Wow must’ve been really great’ so they get fat and lost and satisfied and they forget about the talent they actually have and they start slipping into another world.”
The conversation continued with Jimi talking about compliments as corrosive to the spirit and hunger of a creative.
Compliments or Cheerful Validation: A Possible Threat to Creativity?
There are always various tightropes to walk as an individual in the world. On a basic human level, all of us struggle with balancing between feelings of confidence and ego. Many of us playing a balancing act along the continuum of seeing ourselves as we really are and along the way…..we sometimes inflate or at other times, we don’t give ourselves enough credit.
If you are unzipping your creative passions on any level in your daily lives, you understand this struggle well. In the opinion of Jimi Hendix, compliments or praise allows one to rest upon laurels. The need or want of validation plays an important role in the recognition of the work and courage it takes to share a creative endeavor with the world. Of course, it also presents a challenge for one to stay motivated to create while feeding the fire to continually improve.
Compliments are great but perhaps well worth keeping at a distance as you carve our your wildly creative. Well, at least that is according to Jimi…