busy being born

Earlier this week, I was watching the 9th episode of the third season of Billions and that’s when I heard Bobby Axelrod (played by Damian Lewis) quote a line from a song by Bob Dylan titled It’s Alright Ma. It goes:

“He who is not busy being born is busy dying.” - Bob Dylan


First off, it’s easy to approach this quote from a pessimistic standpoint. A pessimist would say it means ‘from the moment you’re born, you start dying.’ - and in some ways, that pessimist would be right but I decided to keep an open mind and think more broadly about it. That’s when it hit me. 

Dylan was singing about a rebirth - one that nevers stops - and that made so much sense. 


The only way to grow is to keep being born. In order to experience any sort of change, we have to renew our minds, refuel our energy, relearn and learn new concepts, rethink our steps and recharge our batteries. That’s the only way we can grow. 

It’s interesting because that puts a lot of things into perspective. It is so easy to keep marching on, doing the same things, performing the same old tricks and retelling the same stories. The real challenge is to take progressive action. 

And many at times, when we try to take progressive action, we end up doing the same things again.

Dylan was right. 

The only way to make progress or grow is to go back to where it all started, take a chance on yourself, recollect yourself, rethink your steps and patterns, don’t be afraid to try new things and get creative. 

I believe that if we are busy being born, we just might never die.