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Asks David Bowie: Where Are We Now?
“A man lost in time […] Just walking the dead”
First things first: Happy New Year 2013 from the theatre of operations.
So here’s a great -and rather unexpected song to start the year: "Where Are We Now?". David Bowie turned 66 last Tuesday, January 8th, and posted this new single from his new album, "The Next Day", upcoming in March.
While everyone thought that the Thin White Duke was dead, or dying, or living “like a recluse with wife and daughter in New York City”, and being the first rock artist to have actually retired, David Bowie “returns”, out of nowhere, almost without a word, and no promotion, to release a new song: Where Are We Now? Journalists are still recovering from the event as we talk.
It’s true that not every day does a musician “shock the world by releasing a mournful single”.
David Bowie asks a great question here: where are we now? And remembers his time in Berlin where he recorded 3 legendary albums known as the Berlin Trilogy: “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger”.
The Dame had moved to West Berlin to clean up and get a new start. Whether this is a hint at what is happening to his career right now in 2013 or not, it offers everyone a chance to reflect on Time at the start of a New Year.
A New Hope
With the New Year come new resolutions. But why do we keep on making such resolutions while knowing they are a sure path to failure? Comes January 1st and we’re all thriving for a total revolution, or at least willing to change in several areas. Health, work, family, you name it.
The problem is that we engage in too many projects and exhaust ourselves by springtime. The reason is that habits are difficult to change or to take on. It takes time, commitment and consistency. Leo Babauta has published a good method on How To Fail At Habits if you’re interested in learning more on this subject.
But the most important thing to be aware of is that you are not a slave of your habits, or shouldn’t be. The start of a new year is a perfect moment to remember that you are in control of your behaviors –even if they have been with you since you were a child. You are free to change the way things are and become who you are. Whoever that is…
And you’re also free to do whatever you want. Really. Take someone like Chris Guillebeau, who has decided a few years ago that he’d visit all the countries in the world. And he just came back from penultimate 192nd country Tuvalu. And that’s just one of his side projects as he is mainly the founder The Art Of Non-Conformity. It has nothing to do with being on permanent vacation or having too much time on one’s hands, believe me…
Start With Why
I was thinking about decision making the other day, choosing being what freedom is all about. What if I choose the wrong path? Well first I do not think that there are bad choices. You just choose a direction to follow which will shape your existence to a certain degree and from which you’ll learn on move on. And you will remain free if you maintain the control all the way, meaning that you can confront your choice and confirm it or not every day.
The real question is not what is the best choice to make but why would you choose this outcome rather than another one. Most people think that the good solutions are written somewhere and that we have to somehow guess what they are.
I think that we go down a chosen road and build from there. Hence, the irrelevance of such a notion of good or bad decisions. The worse being not choosing at all and going for the status quo.
We are building what will eventually become a good decision.
It’s not what you choose it’s why you choose it. Answer this question and you’ll unravel the longer term perspectives. Because the decisions you are taking today are steps that will lead you where you want to be tomorrow. “Why” is the challenging question as it challenges the status quo. “Why” reveals the structure that defines you. Simon Sinek came up with a whole theory based on the “why” that I recommend you check out.
Here’s a quick overview:
Live Free or Die
Still having hard times making up your mind and struggling to choose? Think long term and ask yourself the real questions:
Choose Life What’s a bad decision anyway? It’s one that implies compromising and complacency. Because behind one choice lies a series of sub choices. When choosing an avenue, you have to make sure you’ll go all the way and follow this direction completely. Beware of choices that end up being traps, or, worse, golden prisons.
The good decision is the one that will let you be true to yourself or become who you truly are. Sounds cheesy right? But who actually lives by this standard? Take a look around you. I see people hating their job and inventing themselves an adventurer’s life (i.e. a lot of vacations and sun tan lotions) to escape this reality. Or explaining they’re “artists” waiting for their time to come. Or just playing it safe and saving during their whole life with the promise of fulfilling all their wildest dream when they’ve retired…
If you’ve decided to be independent and free, are you doing all it takes to be independent and free from all of your chains? Or are you just taking the money and not running?
So this may indeed be the greatest occasion of the year to ask ourselves: Where Are We Now?
Where are you now? What’s your decision? Take a risk and bring it out in the open.
Want to read & hear some more?
Credits: image: Peter Tandlund, Charlott L, moe in berlin, Nesos, Paolo Crosetto
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