11 Amazing David Bowie Quotes: Fame Make People Mediocre

David Bowie (1947 - 2016) was a famous singer, songwriter and actor born in South London.  As one of the most important musicians of the 20th century, it is believed that a big part of his success came from his talent, his hard work, and his mindset.  To pick the brain of this absolute legend, let’s look at some of the best David Bowie quotes in the following.

“I don’t like to read things that people write about me. I’d rather read what kids have to say about me because it’s not their profession to do that.”

The above David Bowie quote is filled with a great sense of humor and a large dose of truth.  The media get more money by writing juicy stories that don’t necessarily reflect the truth.  Most people have the tendency to prefer reading about negative news than positive news.  On the other hand, kids, though not knowing much about the world, are not saying things because of money and that can sometimes make them more trustable than sophisticated adults.    

“Fame itself… doesn’t really afford you anything more than a good seat in a restaurant.” 

A lot of people spend most of their energy looking for money and fame.  The above quote tells you how David Bowie looks at fame.  The benefit of being famous is to have a good seat in a restaurant and that’s it.  Can you think about the disadvantages of being famous?  

“Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.”

Not only that fame doesn’t help you much.  And not only that fame may take away some of your freedom, but it can make a potentially great person become a just-average person.  For example, let’s say that a man was very talented at music composition.  One day, he wrote a very typical pop song and became very famous.  Then, instead of continuing to use his talent to the fullest and compose more good songs, he made many more songs that are very similar to the one hit song that had made him famous.  Instead of really making use of his talent to the fullest, he chose to duplicate his success and fame and stuck to mediocrity.  

“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.”

The above quote is Davie Bowie’s way of saying the following quote by Carl Jung: “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”  People say things about you due to different reasons.  Why do you care much about what people say about you, given that you know for sure that you don’t know much about you.  Yet, by looking inside, it doesn’t mean that you are trying to create a world that is made up by your imagination and ego.  It’s about really looking deep inside yourself in a truthful way.  Since we have no idea whether people around us are judging us in a truthful and fair way, we should be the ones who look at ourselves truthfully.  Don’t lie to ourselves as that’s probably the saddest thing that can happen.  

“Age doesn’t bother me. So many of my heroes were older guys. It’s the lack of years left that weighs far heavier on me than the age that I am.”

Don’t worry about getting old.  The ancient greek philosophy stoicism has taught people that we should only focus on what we can control and ignore the rest.  That’s a way of living that stands the test of time.  I wonder how anyone can argue with the idea of “ignoring things we can’t control”.  It’s rational but may be counterintuitive to many people.  But learning to live that way can really simplify your life and make you a lot more happier.  Getting old is one of the things that we can’t control and we shouldn’t be bothered by this unavoidable experience.  

“As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?”

As we get older, we will eventually see more clearly that external things such as money are not the primary source of true happiness.  Knowing what you want to do with your time and actually doing it is what makes your life fruitful.  

“For me, the world that I inhabit in reality is probably a very different world than the one people expect that I would be in.”

Very often, people think you are a particular type of person, living in a particular way.  But that image can be completely different from the reality.  Don’t let that bother you.  There are no reasons for letting your emotion be altered by these thoughts of other people.  

“I’m very good at what I do, and I don’t turn my hand to something unless I’m very good at it, frankly.” 

Warren Buffett, the most famous investor in the world, often stresses that it’s a good thing to stay in our “circle of competence”.  Knowing what you are good at and make the most use of it is likely one of the paths one can take.  

“Frankly, I mean, sometimes the interpretations I’ve seen on some of the songs that I’ve written are a lot more interesting than the input that I put in.”

When we create something that we are good at creating, such as our writings, songs, and foods, there are times when other people would feel that these creations are so valuable that they exceed the expectations of the creators.  That’s why we should find what we are good at and focus on mastering our crafts.  We are eventually creating values that improve other people’s lives.  

“What I like to do is try to make a difference with the work I do.” 

To a lot of people, life is about taking the path of mastery.  Mastery is finding what you are good at and doing your best with it.  Have a big and long-term goal and work towards it relentlessly.  

“I guess, taking away all the theatrics or the costuming and the outer layers of what I do, I’m a writer… I write.” 

In a lot of cases, creating different things are just forms of writing.  Movies, drawings, songs and even software development are just ways of expressing ideas.  

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