A few years ago I stood in John Lennon’s bedroom.   Yes, his actual BEDROOM.

Not in his New York City apartment, but in his childhood home in Liverpool called Mendips.

John moved in with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George when he was four years old and lived there until he was an adult.  The home is available to tour, if you get to Liverpool sometime.  There’s also a way to see the real Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields from those famous songs while you’re in the area.  Pretty cool stuff.

But the real treat is seeing John’s bedroom.  After a lifetime of listening to his music, it was magical to actually be in the place where he got his start and see what his home environment was like. 

Here are 5 lessons on creativity, motivation, and success I took from my visit:


1)  Have a space for yourself to allow ideas to germinate

John’s bedroom was simple and small, but it was his own private haven where he retreated and spent hours thinking, dreaming, and writing things down.  It was the place he could go to relax, have solitude, and let his imagination run wild.   The space you choose could be your car, a hiking trail, the shower, or somewhere else.  What matters is that it gives you quiet time alone with your thoughts.


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2)  Keep a journal of ideas

In John’s bedroom you can see a few pages from his childhood notebook.  I’m not sure it was a formal journal in the traditional sense, but it was a notebook full of thoughts.  It was fascinating.   There were doodles, ideas, and random thoughts.   What it told me is that he was already starting to get in touch with his inner world and to mine this treasure trove and put it on paper.


3)  Dream far beyond your current situation and abilities

As the old adage says, from humble beginnings can come greatness.  John’s modest home in an average neighborhood didn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams.  He wrote his dreams down and imagined himself being as famous and talented as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.  Don’t let where you start deter you from your destiny.


4)  Find someone who believes in you

John’s Aunt Mimi was a stable, loving influence that provided the necessary environment for him to start expressing his creativity.  He was allowed to use the front entrance hall to practice his guitar, which was a gift from his mother.

If you’re around a lot of people who don’t believe in what you’re doing, or you face constant criticism, you’ve got to find a way to counteract that with at least one good mentor, family member or friend who supports you.   It doesn’t have to be an army of people, but you do need someone.


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5)  Focus on your end goals to push through obstacles

John routinely practiced his guitar in that tiny foyer he was allotted.   He kept honing his craft and didn’t quit.   Even when his mother was tragically killed by a drunk driver when he was 17, John kept going.

Most likely, he used the pain of her death to spur his creativity even more.  That doesn’t mean you have to have tragedy strike in order to be your most creative self.   It just means you have to use what you’re given and not give up on your dreams despite setbacks.

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