7 Lessons We Can Learn from David Bowie

It’s rare that a person dies and has such an impact on millions and millions of people across the globe. The reaction to David Bowie’s death yesterday, was just one of those times, and his impact on generations and generations of people spanning the world over, could be felt in every office, on every radio station, in every cafe and shop playing his music, every newspaper this morning. I overheard strangers on the street commiserating!

I couldn’t help but think, as I watched back to back Bowie tribute documentaries last night, about what a shining light of a human being this man was, what an example he led. Whether you liked his music or images or had similar values to him or not, he really lived for him. He was confident in his abilities without being cocky, sure of himself without being forceful and knowing, in an easy way, that most people strive for, but rarely reach. He mastered his art, he mastered his life! He had a sense of humour about himself and yet took his work very seriously and everyone loved working with him and that’s success! Above all else, he lived life on his terms, he did it ‘his way’. It got me to thinking about what we can take away from such a shining light, how can we use his example to live more satisfying, more self-directed lives ourselves?

One of his musical collaborators last night called Bowie ‘self-actualised’ and isn’t that what we’re all aiming for? Living in a place of choice, feeling empowered to move in the way we want to, continually growing and evolving into the fullest expression of ourselves? It’s certainly what I’m here for and I know all of our Coaches and many of our coaching clients who work with us are aiming to achieve.

Here’s my take on 7 things we can learn from the life and times of David Bowie:

  1. Use an alter ego, you don’t need to go as far as creating your own Ziggy Stardust, but to achieve your dreams and goals, this is easily one of the best tools I’ve successfully used with my coaching clients in 2015. An alter-ego is distant enough from you that your fears aren’t necessarily an issue, your alter ego can do things you might be afraid to. Your alter ego can represent who you want to become, who you dream of being, who your future self is, and you can tap into that mindset to achieve things that to your present self, may seem out of reach.
  2. Value your opinion, your perspective, your natural strengths, your ideas, your urges. Value you!
  3. Keep evolving, keep growing, never stop. Inspired people are inspiring. Stimulated people, are stimulating.
  4. Question, whether that’s the status quo, yourself, keep questioning. It keeps you in an open place.
  5. Do it yourself! If you don’t do it, no one else can.
  6. Focus on creation rather than repetition. You can live creatively, use your imagination, be entrepreneurial, you don’t need to be a songwriter, performer or artist to do this, everyone is creative, your life can be as interesting and as tailored to you as you wish, set the bar higher and experiment.
  7. Look to the future. My favourite David Bowie quote is “The future belongs to those who can hear it coming!” You’ve got to be tuned in, to hear or see the future coming, and that’s just a matter of keeping one ear or eye on the ground a few steps ahead of yourself. In business this is a key skill and also in your career, if you can get in the habit of being 3-5 steps ahead of yourself at all times, you’ll always be in the driving seat, never have the rug pulled out from under you!

This is our homage to David Bowie, a visionary, an artist, a great human being! But still just a human being, just like you, just like me! We could all sprinkle a little ziggy stardust on our lives every now and again! #BowieForever

Photo: Fabio Diena /

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