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FLASHBACK: David Bowie’s inspiring advice for artists is also wisdom for life

Do you feel as if you’re treading water? You may be in the right place to create your best work.

The late, great artist David Bowie once shared some advice on art that also applies to life. When you want to make something great, you can’t set out to please other people – and you should feel out of your depth.

In a 1997 interview, Bowie said:

“I think it’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations; I think they produce – they generally produce their worst work when they do that. … Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in, go a little out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

Watch the full clip (above) for the full quote along with Glenn and Stu’s comments.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: I have this old audio today from David Bowie. And I wanted to share it with you. If you're an entrepreneur or a self-made person, I think you'll find it inspiring as well. Listen.

VOICE: -- never plays the gallery -- I think -- but you never learn that until much later on, I think. But never work for other people at what you do. Always -- always remember that the reason that you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt, if a at that if you could manifest it in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you co-exist with the rest of society.

And I -- I think it's terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people's expectations. I think they produce -- they generally produce their worst work when they do that.

And if -- the other thing I would say is that if you feel safe in the area that you're working in, you're not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you're capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting.

VOICE: That you felt if you could manifest it in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you co-exist with the rest of society.

And I think it's terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people's expectations. I think they produce -- they generally produce their worst work when they do that. And the other thing I would say is that if you feel safe in the area that you're working in, you're not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you're capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting.

STU: And that's the story of the Dancing in the Dark video, a tragic chapter in global history.

GLENN: He did -- he talked about that. I watched a couple of videos from him today. He talked about that. He said, you know, I thought, hey, this is commercial. This is where it's at. He said, boy, was I wrong.

STU: And in a way, really, it's an example of what you don't do. He's describing, don't do the Dancing in the Dark video. Right?

GLENN: He is. He is. And he said, you don't learn that until too late.

STU: Yeah. And it's true. You have to go through that, I think, to actually figure it out.

GLENN: Yeah. You do. You do.

You know what I find interesting is, what was the 1960s? What was that all about? That was about the greatest generation coming home after complete decimation. I mean, just -- I don't think we can really even begin to understand what the rest of the western world was like after World War II. You know, we came back, and we started making big, huge cars with tailfins and everything else. Because we had the factories. We had the resources. We had the money. We had the gold. We had everything.

Europe didn't. You remember -- you know the three-wheeled cars that England made. Okay? They made the three-wheeled cars for two reasons. One, the government was out of control. But, two, they couldn't afford big cars. They couldn't afford anything of any size because they were broke.

They were destitute after the war. And so they didn't really start digging themselves out of that until '60s, '70s, and '80s. They didn't have the good times that we had in the '50s and the '60s, you know, up until the '70s. They didn't have those. So what was the 1960s -- what was that about? That was about the rejection of what they saw their parents build.

And their parents just wanted to come home and build this idyllic little space that didn't have any horrors in it. It didn't have what the Soviet Union had. It didn't have what Europe had just gone through, what Germany had gone through, what Spain was going through.

It was perfect. It was good. It was wholesome. And so, the kids knew, well, wait a minute. Hang on. My mom is not like that. There were problems in my house. But everybody is pretending because they're trying to create this image. And that's not what it is.

And so the kids rejected it. And that gave us the hippie generation. And that's what we've been doing. The hippie generation begat the excess.

So we have -- we have this crunch of the hippies and the people like Donald Trump. You know, that's the same generation.

One generation went, no, man, smoke dope. Free love, and rock on, Marx! The other went, you are an idiot. And went in to amass wealth and build something.

Okay. But unlike the previous generation, when they built something, they wanted to build something that lasts, they just wanted to build wealth. So you had, wealth is evil, and greed is good.

That's the '60s generation. So now the generation that I'm in, just watched them. And we were kind of the Forgotten Generation. And we just kind of watched them and did our own thing. But we were always just a little bit behind. So we begat children who saw that excess and that Marxism, and some of them are gravitating towards that. And the Marxism is -- is once again kind of cool because everybody who is living in these homes know, there's no meaning here.

It's why people who are younger are starting to feel like, I want to get rid of everything. I don't want to have all of that stuff. I don't want to have the life of my parents.

Just like the kids of the '60s did, they didn't want the life of their parents because they knew that was meaningless. They knew that it was -- it was being hidden by cocktails and Xanax. And now what's being hidden is being hidden by the drug of Facebook. It's not perfect. That's not what it is.

And so people are once again hungry for something real.

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