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“I’m Gonna Swing From The Chandelier”!

We all have at least one song that particularly speaks to us and we do not necessarily know why. It could be a combination of the rhythm, the lyrics and the singer himself/herself. But also something much deeper than that like reminding us of a certain situation or feeling associated with it or both. While listening to some music while relaxing on the poolside, Chandelier for Sia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vjPBrBU-TM) came on and like magic automatically triggered an emotional response in me (like every time I listen to it and regardless of the environment).

This incident reminded me of a recent discussion I had with an artist(Painter) friend of mine: We were talking about Art and how it relates to life and this made me think:” Why does THIS PARTICULAR song trigger an emotional response in me? My personal belief is that it speaks to the desire for freedom and being free from any boundaries. For me, perhaps the imagery in this song represents an ultimate form of freedom. It is almost crazy to be swinging from a chandelier, but just the image in my head symbolizes and triggers feelings of freedom: The ultimate form of freedom: No limitations, no inhibitions, no reservations and no hesitations.

You see there is a very strong relationship between Art (and art forms of expression) and our lives. Living today is becoming more and more complex, or may I say, we are making it more and more complex and for good reasons sometimes: we want to increase our productivity, do more with less, be more efficient, faster, stronger, smarter, leaner, richer etc. We have all these tools and technologies taking away from our focus, energy and attention (again for the good reasons). Yet we never feel caught up, we are always rushing, running after something, feeling stressed, trying to prove something. It is no surprise that stress related diseases keep increasing. Our intentions are pure and righteous though. We think we are giving ourselves more freedom (to be able to work from anywhere, be connected all the time, to be able to access any information we need at any time, etc.), but without noticing we are often just becoming more and more busy, without necessarily really doing more, but for sure limiting our freedom to do things that are basic to our health and our mental wellbeing and that we used to take for granted. There were more opportunities to get “bored”, to just sit quietly, spend time in nature, just walk around… You get the idea… All that created time for introspection and for us to take a moment to appreciate what’s around us and create.

So what you ask?

We should be able to tap back into the simple things. We should make sure we give ourselves those same chances we used to take for granted to introspect, to create, to feel free. For me, Art is the answer and the way… When I am listening to music or singing, it is a very peaceful and “releasing” experience. Come to think about it, as I reflect at my life so far, some of my most productive and successful moments, even in my professional career, were when I was expressing myself through songs: I was putting enough time for practicing my music, or singing with a band, or simply working on my voice. Come to think about it, this is what used to allow me to disconnect, it’s the place where I felt the most free, boundless, and some would argue this is where and when I was mostly “myself” but I will leave that to another article.

Perhaps Art has been there since the early ages because it is simply natural to us. It is a way to really connect with our essence, a way back to basics and to pure creation, being in the moment and not distracted by anything around us. Tapping into this unlimited world that is both within and outside us. Really creating. No wonder that most of the brilliant inventors and innovators were also into Arts.

This is where I see the importance of bringing back Art into our lives now more than ever. Interestingly, certain leading business schools today like INSEAD (www.INSEAD.edu), with the World’s number 1 MBA program as ranked by the FT for the last 2 years, currently offers courses combining business and design. Have a look at the “Innovation by Design” programme if interested (https://www.insead.edu/executive-education/digital-transformation-innovation/innovation-design). There is this whole new trend to bring art into business and it really makes sense. Today creativity is missing and what we need the most of in our current business world is creativity not only to continue driving innovation but to also simply have a successful career.

As we bring more and more automation, AI, and all the disruptive technologies touching all aspects of our daily lives from healthcare, to retail, to transportation, to finance… it is evident that the jobs of the future will not be the same. A lot of the “normal” jobs known today started to and will continue to disappear simply because they can be done better by machines and AI. I am not really against that but what this means is that we need to go back to what we as humans are really good at! Creating! And to do that we need to kind of retrain ourselves to bring back our creativity to tap into that potential: Art programs, Art schools, or even simply taking time to draw or to paint, to dance, to sing, or however you feel like you can express yourself. I recall this nice article on how to raise our kids to compete for jobs in the future: https://www.inc.com/eric-mack/machines-will-take-millions-of-jobs-heres-how-your-kids-can-compete.html .

I hear a lot of people say things like: “but I can’t draw, I can’t dance etc.” but this is far from the truth. It is scientifically proven that anyone can draw, anyone can dance, it is just a matter of letting go. See this Ted talk from Graham Shaw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TXEZ4tP06c. It is innate to us. Of course, you can learn skills and techniques to help you in certain cases express better but that’s not the point here. Who says that you must abide by the rules anyway? Let yourself go and go swing from the Chandelier!

Michael

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