Like pretty much everyone yesterday, I felt total shock when I woke to the news that David Bowie had died. My first reaction was to say ‘no’ out loud. As if voicing the denial would make it any less a fact. Then I cried. I wasn’t even sure why, if I’m honest. Yes, it was a shock, and yes, I do like his music, but I’ve never been a superfan by any means. In fact (whispers) I don’t own a single album of his. Not. A. One.

So why was I so upset that I found it hard to concentrate for the rest of the day? Was I caught up in some sort of mass hysteria? If so, I was failing at that, too – I wasn’t wailing and gnashing my teeth, just distracted and prone to the odd tear here and there. Why?

It was because the world had lost a fabulous artist and unique talent. Love him or hate him, Bowie could never be ignored or denied, no matter what persona he was using. He had the courage of his convictions, and the willingness to be different and push boundaries. He stayed true to himself. Even as a child, he was described as being exceptionally single-minded.

By mid-way through the afternoon, I decided that was what I was going to take from this sad loss. We should, each and every one of us, decide what we want and go after it. Don’t listen to doubt, but instead have calm confidence. Don’t be afraid to be different. Have the courage of our convictions and push through. Be single-minded – and one day our dream might just come true. Because Bowie was right: we really can be heroes. The heroes of our own stories…perhaps for even longer than just one day.

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