John Malkovich's Secret For Insane Productivity

Photo by Sebastien Agnetti

Photo by Sebastien Agnetti

Drive vs Ambition. The Ageist gang lives for their own opinion of themselves, for what they know works for them, not what others think of them.

"Finishing Just Means Knowing When to Quit
Here's how I look at work and productivity: It's best to be restless. And to be able to leave things when you feel that you don't have anything further to contribute. And then, on the other hand, there are things one believes one was completely done with, only to find there are new things to discover in them. I've had the opportunity to go back and direct a play, or act in a play, that I'd already acted in or directed. The play was the same, but my relation to it was not. In a certain way, you're probably never really finished, but you also have to accept sometimes that you're finished for now.

Don't Listen to Compliments That Don't Come From Yourself
You have to be able to tell yourself, “Listen, I thought that was a very bad, inadequate job I did.” Even if everybody else says, “Oh, I don't think so. I loved it” or “I thought it was fantastic.” Even if a majority of people say that. You have to have your own barometer.

Be Less Ambitious
Drive motivates you to do whatever it is you're doing as well as you can. That's an important distinction, and it always has been. It was as true 40 years ago when I started as it is now." -John Malkovich via GQ