5 David Bowie quotes that will inspire you for the new year

Written by Workopolis
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David Bowie would have been 70 years old yesterday, and a collection of his last recordings has been released to mark the occasion. This is in conjunction with a much larger celebration of the Thin White Duke’s life, which includes a new BBC documentary, and a tribute concert with over 30 musicians that collaborated with Bowie throughout his career.

Check out the video that accompanies the new EP:

Bowie, though, was far more than a towering figure in the history of rock music. He was also a genuine badass that inspired countless people around the world. In that spirit, here are five quotes from the man himself that will inspire you for the new year.

Confront a corpse at least once. The absolute absence of life is the most disturbing and challenging confrontation you will ever have.

This quote is even more profound now that Ziggy Stardust has left us for good, and it carries an extremely valuable lesson that needs constant reminding: life is fragile and short, and you need to make the very most out of every single day. If you’re unhappy at your job, or if you feel as if your career has stalled, don’t just accept it. The time to act is now.

You can neither win nor lose if you don’t run the race.

Is that nagging self-doubt making you feel as if your dream job is out of reach? As Bowie said, stop listening to that little voice in your head and start working towards your goals: update and tailor your resume to the job you really want; get serious about networking and going to industry events; and set up job alerts to always stay on top of openings. Even if you fall short of your goal, you’ll be happier knowing you gave it a shot.

I’ve come to the realization that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing half the time.

When you were young you might have thought that the adults around you knew what they were doing. Newsflash: they didn’t, and they still don’t. One only has to look at the actions of politicians around the world for proof. This quote provides even further proof: David Bowie felt like he had no idea what he was doing half the time. David Bowie.

So don’t panic, your coworkers (and that HR manager at the interview) won’t expose you for the giant fraud you think you are…provided you turn that uncertainty and lack of knowledge into a benefit. Use it to fuel your own self-improvement. As Socrates once said, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Embrace that nothingness, and seek out opportunities to improve and learn.

I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.

If there is a quote that sums up the extraordinary career and life of David Bowie, this is it. It’s also a reminder to understand what it is that’s important to you on a professional level, and to always keep that in sight.

Turn and face the strange, ch-ch-changes, don’t want to be a richer man, ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Turn and face the strange, ch-ch-changes, just gonna have to be a different man, time may change me, but I can’t trace time.”

In the original review for the Hunky Dory album, Rolling Stone magazine interpreted the lyrics to Changes “as a young man’s attempt to reckon how he’ll react when it’s his time to be on the maligned side of the generation schism.” In other words, time marches on, and no matter how weird it gets with all these Gen Z’ers and Millennials walking around, it’s a good idea to step out of your comfort zone to try new things.

 

See also:

5 Steve Jobs quotes that will make you reevaluate your life choices
Courage: inspiring words from Gord Downie

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