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Rick Rubin on Listening

What I learned from Rick Rubin about Listening
Rick Rubin on Listening

Welcome to Make Daily! This email contains an idea, reflection, and a simple action you can take on your creative project today.

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Idea 💡

“My goal is not to form an opinion. It’s to understand.” - Rick Rubin

Reflection 🤔

Creativity is the balance of two forces: play and judgement.

Play is the “flow state” we get when we are deep in the creative process. Judgement is the ability to harness play in a specific direction. Balancing these two forces is what separates amateurs from pro’s.

So where do these two forces to meet? It starts with listening.

As Rick says, don’t form an opinion right away, but instead simply try to understand. Judgement-free listening is what gets you closer to the truth of what needs to be done to succeed.

When you’ve taken the time to deeply understand a problem, you can play your way to the solution.

Action ✅

What is a problem you’re facing in your creative work? Listen without judgement to find a new solution.

Deeper Dive 🌊

Here is Rick describing how he gets the most out of working with the biggest musical artists on earth.

About the creator 👤


Rick Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the cofounder of Def Jam Recordings and also established American Recordings. In 2007, MTV called him "the most important producer of the last 20 years," and the same year, Rubin appeared on Time's "100 Most Influential People in the World".


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