Lessons From Bowie

by | Jan 12, 2016

Do you dread Mondays, pray for Fridays, and anxiously await the day you can retire and “take it easy?”

I usually welcome Mondays, but the news today shook me because one of my favorite performers – one who shaped my view of the world – is gone. Today the world said goodbye to one of the most innovative, cutting-edge artists of all time: David Bowie.

What does that have to do with the price of graham crackers and Mondays? Stay with me here because…

Bowie is sending a message from beyond – and you can see and hear it on his new album and videos…

David Bowie loved his work so much that he worked up until the day he died. More than that, when he discovered his illness 18 months ago he worked harder than ever. He wrote a new album. He wrote a play that is being performed right now in New York. People close to him say that he pushed himself to write despite being, quite literally, on his death bed.

He was a singer, an actor, an artist, and a writer. He had a purpose; he had a passion. He was a professional. He loved what he was doing, and it showed in his art and in his life. Through that love and vivacity, he showed us how to break the rules and be whoever we want to be.

History is full of people like that! Explorer Jacques Cousteau, poet Maya Angelou, innovator Steve Jobs, and biologist Rachel Carson all had one thing in common: they worked until the very end of life.

You can see passion and love of work now with some of the greatest thinkers and entertainers in the world – like actress Betty White (93!), physicist Stephen Hawking (74), actor William Shatner (84) (AND he still shows saddle bred horses), and conductor Zubin Mehta (79).

Why are they still working?!

Because they LOVE what they do! Do you still want to be doing your job when you are 80? No? Then you may need a change, and you have no time to waste!

Unhappiness at work can take a dangerous physical toll.

I recently had the pleasure of working with someone who was having a very real, very physical reaction to going to work in the morning. Plagued by sleepless nights, this smart, intelligent, and otherwise healthy person had to take extra doses of sleep aids and anti-depressants to counteract the fight or flight response (cortisol and adrenaline) that kept sleep at bay – literally manipulating their body with medication in order to face the coming day….

Work dread was actually keeping this person up at night. At one point that job may have been a good fit. After so many years it has grown stale and stagnant. It was boring and overwhelming at the same time. It felt like a trap. They were consciously stifling those emotions and were manifesting them through their body. Sleeplessness was taking a physical toll. Their body was sending a very clear, loud message, “I don’t want to go to that job anymore!”

If work is “keeping you up at night” in some form or another, then it’s time for a change.

I bet you have heard the maxim, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” It has an opposite that nobody ever mentions…

Unhappy at work – unhappy at life.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what your profession is or how much you make. There is always an option. There are always changes that can be made to make your life better, happier, and more satisfying.

You may not know that I had a thriving law partnership before embarking on my career as a full-time author, coach, and trainer. We were making good money and had a steady clientele. It was wonderful for the first few years, and then the novelty wore off. It became less challenging for me. Happiness gave way to going through the motions, and it wasn’t good for me or my clients.

It was terrifying to take the leap away (mid-career) from a safe place into the unknown – working on my own. I had to start from scratch. I went from robust income to no income at all. And I would do it again – in a heartbeat.

I loved every minute of it – even the lean times – because I had a passion for it. I AM following my purpose and it is exhilarating.

You can love your living

Imagine loving your work SO much that you can’t wait to get into it every day. Imagine wanting to work well into your 90s like Betty White.

And think about it…don’t you want your doctor, pilot, or dentist to be genuinely happy about their career choice? Sure! They enjoy what they do and want to be the best. People who are truly engaged in their work and love it are usually the best in town!

How do you want to be?

Imagine working because you love to, not because you have to.

Are you deeply, madly, passionately in love with your vocation? Some people arrive on earth just knowing what they want to do with their lives. I was not one of those, and you might not be either. You may still be wondering about your true purpose or contribution.

It’s never too late to align with your greater purpose (and yes, I think everyone has one). It’s never too late to start leaning in the direction of your happiness.

Do you ever lose time doing something? I mean those times when you get so involved with something that time flies… Those times when you work on something for 3 hours, but it feels like only 15 minutes have passed?

Even better, what would you be doing if money were no object and your success was assured?

Thinking about those scenarios will give you clues to your deeper purpose. You may not be able to embrace it fully – immediately – but you will be able to acknowledge it and make a plan to begin moving in that direction. Just doing this will lift your spirits and breathe new life into your life.

If you are losing sleep or overwhelmed at the idea of even trying to tap your potential and pursue your passion, contact me. Together, we will bring you into alignment with your true purpose.

Think about it (then give me a call),