Ep 5: Behind The Wheel – A Conversation For The Masses

We continue our Conversations For The Masses and our look at living life true to yourself with the help of Martin Gore and Depeche Mode.

This week’s song is Behind The Wheel and we look at:

  • why you don’t need to be in control and in fact you’re not in control even if you want to be
  • why you don’t need goals to make you happy
  • why you should take your hands off the steering wheel
  • and what happens when you do

I love this song. You can check it out in the usual place. If you have time to read the comments you’ll see that I am far from the only person whose soul has been tocuched DM!

Full Interview Transcript

(Scroll down if you prefer to download the transcript).

QUIETLY BOHEMIAN Season 1 Episode 5

Behind The Wheel – A Conversation For The Masses


Welcome to Quietly Bohemian, the podcast for introvert and highly sensitive people with Big Dreams, where we look at turning away from your inner critic and towards your inner wisdom so you do your thing, your way, in your own time and live life true to yourself. I’m your host, Laura Li, Transformational Life Coach. You can find out more about me and living life your way at quietlybohemian.com

Hello Quiet Bohemians and welcome to episode five and our third conversation for the masses. And today we are looking at behind the wheel, which is a 1987 single from that album: Music For The Masses. And I really love this song and I know, I must say that every week, but this really is a good song and it is particularly notable, I think, for the way that Martin Gore and David Gahan blend their vocals together, or probably more accurately the way Alan Wilder has blended their vocals together.

And this week I will go through some of the lyric for you; and Martin Gore says:

My little girl, drive anywhere, do what you want. I don't care. Tonight, I'm in the hands of fate. I hand myself over on a plate.

Oh little girl, there are times when I feel I'd rather not be the one behind the wheel. Come pull my strings, watch me move. I do anything.

Sweet little girl, I prefer you behind the wheel and me the passenger.

I think we can see that he's talking about a relationship with a woman and probably a particular aspect of that relationship. But what if the lady in the song is life itself?

What if we say to life, you drive anywhere, do what you want, I'm in the hands of fates I hand myself over to you, Life. I prefer you behind the wheel and me the passenger. I don't know if that's what Martin Gore meant, if he meant to use it as a metaphor in that way, but I think it serves our purposes today very well.

If we start at the beginning with “my little girl drive anywhere” Martin Gore is willing to go wherever this lady wants to take him and for us, we are willing to go wherever life wants to take us. So we are not in control.

That is counter to a lot of self help and personal development stuff out there. A lot of times we are encouraged to take control and make things happen and I think to put that idea to one side in favor of something less strident suits more introverted and highly sensitive people. If we take a softer, a gentler approach to life, to release the need to be in control and recognize that we're not in control anyway.

We are not in control of the outcomes, the results that we produce, and we are not in control of the things that interest us or the things that we feel drawn to. And ironically, it makes me feel more in control when I realise that I'm not!

Having this recognition that I'm not in control of where this goes or what the ultimate outcome is, has given me a greater peace of mind and has allowed me to shift my focus more onto my inner knowing and away from my inner critic. And so really, I think what I'm feeling now is a freedom, and it's a freedom that is open to all of us, the freedom of knowing that we can open up.

So all of those things that want to come through us, all of the things that we feel inspired to do, the things that we want to do, and when we acknowledge and listen to those and step into them, we step away from being a victim of circumstance. We are no longer a reactor to life. We are a creator in life. It is not that circumstances are pushing down on us and leaving us with little choice but to follow the default path in front of us. We can see that it is within us to bring forth whatever it is that's bubbling up from within, and we can playfully create that.

Along with that freedom from being a victim comes the freedom from feeling stuck, the freedom from feeling you're not able to act on those ideas of inspiration. You can move forward in the direction that your intuition is showing you.

Knowing that you can follow what is in front of you in the moment puts life behind the wheel and makes you the passenger.

Now let’s have a little look at handing myself over to the hands of fate.

I applied for a job recently, just 7 hours a week as an admin assistant. Now, I wasn’t even looking for a job, although I admit I was open to the idea of an increase in my regular income.

Someone told me about this job and I just had a knowing – I didn’t decide – I just had a knowing that I would apply for it.

When I sat down to do the application, I put in effort, I made a good job of it. But because I wasn’t invested in the outcome, because I wasn’t desperate for the job and hanging my happiness on it, I didn’t struggle and overthink and spend days on it like I would have done in the past. It’s possibly the most stress-free job application I’ve ever submitted.

Fate decided to call me for an interview. But again, without a huge investment in thinking about getting the job I didn’t do any interview preparation. On the morning of the interview, I started to feel nervous and doubt started to creep in -why didn’t I prepare at least something – but overall I had a peaceful feeling about it. And in fact, the last thing I said as I went out the door was “let the Holy Spirit decide”.

First question at the interview was “ Why do you want the job”? Erm, I don’t know. That’s a good – and obvious question.

So now anybody who's used to a lot of thinking, some may call it overthinking, will be familiar with what happened next. I'm trying to think, Oh, why do I want the job? What would be a good thing to say? And at the same time, my mind is just ruminating around, this is such an obvious question. Why didn't I prepare for this? Oh my gosh, this really isn't going to go well. Oh, they're really gonna think I'm stupid.

All of that going on in the background, but the Holy Spirit or Universal Energy or Source Energy, whichever way you might want to look at it, did come and speak for me, it didn't feel like it was me and not in the sense that, you know, I'm possessed and something is speaking through me. But in the sense that I let go and allowed whatever occurred to me to come through in the moment, rather than focusing on those thoughts, the critical thoughts about,  why did I not prepare for this in advance?

And what I said was: “I absolutely love admin and I wish that I had a passion for something that was more glamorous or paid more money, but admin is what's chosen me. So there we are”. I had no idea whether this would sit with them very well or not. But the feedback I got afterwards was that one of the reasons they offered me the job was because of my passion for admin. So I guess it did work.

In interviews we often, I don't know what should I say, massage the truth or put a slight spin on it, but in this case, that actually was 100% the truth. I do love admin, and actually I do wish I was better or more interested in something that paid more, or perhaps that society  valued more or thought was more important than being an admin assistant.

I have a law degree and I have worked as a lawyer. I have a postgraduate diploma in property valuation and management, and I have worked as a surveyor and an estate manager, although I never fully qualified in either of those professions. And recently I sat a civil service exam and got through to the last 5% I think out of about 5,000 people.

I did really well, but failed on the day. And I think probably, again, I'm gonna take a little segue here, a little diversion, probably because of my high sensitivity. By the end of the day, we had to do a group exercise, and I didn't even understand what the rules of this thing were, my brain was just shutting down.

And partly because it got to lunch time and they provided lunch for us, it was a buffet. And I had, you know, a couple of those little triangles of sandwiches, and then I needed to get up and go to the loo. And when I got back, they'd removed all the food. They'd cleared it all away. I was still starving at this point. So I sat down to the afternoon, really hungry, presumably low blood sugar, and having to do this group exercise. I had no clue what was going on. So I really wasn't surprised. I did not get offered that job.

I just mentioned it here as something that I would have loved to do, but that just is not for me.

So I can continue to put myself in situations where I'm in an environment that just don't suit me, I don't function well in. And it's true to a certain extent, I think, that I could adapt to those situations, if I open up to the idea of what could be possible for me rather than shutting down possibility because of my introversion and sensitivity, but I think also it wouldn't be truly authentic for me.

Yeah. I just have to admit that those environments don't really call to me. It is just because I know I have the intellectual ability to be a lawyer or to be a surveyor and commercial property as a subject does interest me enormously. But the whole package of what is involved in working in that kind of job just isn't for me.

And so in that sense, I'm in the hands of fate and handing myself over on a plate, handing myself over to the idea that administration is what I'm good at, and it's the environment in which I thrive in. If I put to one side, all my thoughts about how suitable that is as a job, whether it's the kind of job I should be doing, whether it's the kind of job that pays me enough money.

And again, we can see that life is behind the wheel and I'm the passenger

Let's take a look at another example of where I put myself in the hands of fate, and that is these conversations for the masses. I do not choose these songs. They choose me.

Now, last week I somehow got myself away from Martin Gore and Depeche Mode’s, A Question Of Time and kind of manoeuvered myself into Time by Pink Floyd and spent a little bit of time on that lyric and I felt a bit guilty about that. The whole idea of this is conversations for the masses and a tribute to Martin Gore.

And this week the song that came to me was Behind The Wheel. But I thought, no this week I want to use a song that was not only written, but also performed, by Martin Gore. Now, this podcast doesn't take any research. I'm not going out and scouting around for ideas and evidence. I am simply speaking from my own experience, from what I already know from studying I've already done and coaching I've already received. So no research required except this week, because I wanted to find a Martin Gore song, I had to do some research.

And because I have such a fab job doing this podcast, the research consisted of an hour on YouTube watching Martin Gore videos, but the thing is, aside from having an an hour that made my heart sing and my spirit soar, I found a few lyrics that I thought I could build a conversation around, but nothing that really inspired me. And so after an hour of listening to Depeche Mode, I really just circled back to the idea that this week's episode is Behind The Wheel and it isn't up to me to choose. The song chooses me.

Normally I would say that is a good example of not resisting, not fighting, just going with what is. And yet it was the hour searching for something when I already had the answer in front of me that gave me the idea of what I would actually speak about, gave me the conversation to hang on the peg of behind the wheel.

So ordinarily, I think it is wrong  to fiddle with things. Yet in this case, I think we can say that. I followed what was in front of me. I was inspired to sit down and watch an hour's worth of Martin Gore singing Depeche Mode songs, and it brought me to where I needed to be

The conclusion I draw from all this, is the conclusion that I think I come to every week. I'm a little bit wary of repeating myself and sounding boring, but I think it's an important message and probably one which people need to hear a number of times, before it really sinks in or perhaps one week I will say it in a way where you hear something that you don't hear in a previous week.

And that conclusion is to do what you love, to live life true to yourself, to do what you feel drawn to do. Even if you feel resistance or doubt or fear, uncertainty, discomfort, disbelief or any variation on the theme of I'm not good enough/ who am I to do this?

The reason why I think I come to this same conclusion week after week is because really that is all there is to it.

So despite how it worked out for me this week, don't you poke your fingers in the machine and start to fiddle about and try and steer the boat in a different direction like I did.

For you, I want you to go with what's in your heart. Go with what you feel drawn or called to do.

And again, with my usual caveat, not because you need goals to strive and hustle for, because achieving them will bring you happiness. Or worthiness or make you successful, but because knowing you are already enough and that you don't need anything else to be happy releases you to follow the fun, to be creative, to be playful, and get in the flow with life.

To shine your own unique light in the world and to follow your passion and share your gift. In a way that makes you feel alive.

And now the pressure is off. You can go along for the ride knowing that life is behind the wheel and you're the passenger.

But you have to get on the bus.

Thus ends this week's conversation. Thank you for listening. If you liked it, please do leave a review and a rating in iTunes. It will help spread the word about Martin Gore and living a life true to yourself. And if you'd like to explore any of the themes that we've been talking about today or in our previous conversations for the masses, and you want to forget perfectionism and thinking there's one right way to do something in life or business, and it isn't your way, I can help you connect to your authentic self and be guided by your inner wisdom and not your inner critic. You can book a free discovery call on my website Quietly Bohemian. Thanks again for listening.

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