The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Legacy Or Lethargy?
October 13, 2011, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So I was recently reading an obituary [I’m at that age] about a man who pioneered digital publishing when I saw a comment he is said to have made shortly before his death:

“I’m not afraid of dying, I have achieved all that I set out to do”.

Now a cynic may say that he could claim this because he either had low expectations or few goals to achieve – however I found this comment both fantastic and fearful at the same time.

I live in fear of looking back on my life and thinking about things I wish I had done or tried or experienced.

And the bugger of it all is that as I get older, I pick up more things I’d like to do or try or experience.

It’s like it’s a never-ending quest for fulfillment and so to read about someone who achieved that … who could look back on their life and feel they had done all that they wanted to do, is both brilliant and jealousy inducing.

OK, so this guy was driven by one all encompassing objective whereas I float along in life having a play with things that interest me … but still, to have lived a life of fulfillment rather than of disappointment, regret or even contentment must be amazing and that is – at least for me – more inspiring than any bollocks spouted by ad folk, ad mags, ad blogs or ad award shows.


36 Comments so far
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Love to be able to say that, still working on it, but with joy.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

fuck me campbell, how random are your posts this week. anal tickling to baby welcoming to fucking legacy. what the fuck is going on?

maybe im ill. maybe its because northern has just had baby evie. maybe this is all a fuvking dream, but i quite like this post but not as much as i like mel blancs tombstone.

Comment by andy@cynic

Tombstone? Isn’t that the sort of thing you get on Raiders of the Lost Ark or something? Eitherway, yes … it has been a bit random this week, don’t know what’s got in to me but there’s been some highs including the birth of Northern’s little girl and you complimenting me. You might be drunk or ill, but it’s still a compliment.

Comment by Rob

not if i get a fucking good attorney it isnt

Comment by andy@cynic

“float along having a play”.

oh yes you do, oh yes you fucking do.

Comment by andy@cynic

If float like a butterfly, and take responsibility like a 5 year old.

Comment by Rob

the problem with 99% of the fuckers in adland is they only talk about adland. probably because its all they fucking know. anyone who finds them inspiring should fucking get out more. or kill themselves. the only positive part of this fucking blog is ad bollocks is kept to a minimum. even when you try and write some ad shit you cant help going off on some weird as fucking shit tangent. im not saying youre inspiring, just not a total fucking waste of skin, bone or oxygen stealing.

Comment by andy@cynic

Another compliment. Albeit a back handed one … but because you make a fairly justified attack on the sycophantic and myopic views of many in adland, I am happy with it.

I’ve always said adlands role, purpose and value is in understanding what society thinks, wants and needs – and then knowing how to take that and use it to benefit our clients commercial while also benefiting our audiences. [Never just one way – and that doesn’t mean you can justify ‘helping society’ by simply bringing your clients ‘frozen meals for one’ product to the market]

Turning our back on society and living in a little bubble of ego, back slapping and self congratulation does no one any good, especially the industry which is becoming more irrelevant to business and society by the day.

OK, rant over. Off to take some deep breaths.

Comment by Rob

fucking drama queen.

Comment by andy@cynic

Very random posts this week but this is a great one.

I really understand your quandary about wanting to feel you are living a fulfilled life but then you find new things to challenge and interest you. Maybe it’s the identifying of these things that makes you fulfilled? Either way, if I was to look at what you do and have done, I’d say you live a very fulfilled life but what people see from the outside doesn’t reflect what the person in question feels on the inside I guess.

Great post and the title of it sums it up perfectly.

Comment by Pete

Good point Pete, though inside, I am constantly struggling to feel I’ve “achieved” something … something that is worthy, something that I can feel proud of.

That doesn’t mean I give myself a hard time about life, but when I compare myself to the things my parents did/do or my wife, I feel a complete amateur about life and at the end of the day, while I have no kids, I do have an overwhelming need to feel I have done something that has contributed to the betterment of society and – selfishly – something that means I am remembered for doing something good by people long after I’ve gone.

That might sound like ego – and there is a bit of that – but it’s much, much more … even if I can’t quite explain it properly. Yet. Which is possibly why that obituary struck such a nerve.

Or it could be because I’m such a sentimentalist. Ha.

Comment by Rob

since when did this pile of shit suddenly become an episode of dr fucking phil? get a fucking grip you big girls fucking blouse.

Comment by andy@cynic

And that headstone is awesome.

Comment by Pete

Yep. Almost as good as George Burns that say’s:

“See, I told you I was ill”.

Comment by Rob

When you have children Robert, you will find the requirements to live a life of fulfillment will change dramatically. I am not saying you lose your hunger, curiosity or ambition, it is just the hierarchy of your focus changes, but in a good way.
I hope you will find out what I mean someday because space docking posts aside, you’d make an excellent father.
I enjoyed this post very much, you should do more of them.

Comment by George

Thank you mate. That means more to me than you’d know. But let me tell you one thing, even if I ended up with 3 kids as wonderful and beautiful as yours, they would always play second fiddle to the latest pointless robot pet or glamour gadget, you do know that don’t you?

Comment by Rob

your focus changes because you are obsessed with making sure you have enough fucking money to fund new school uniforms every fucking 3 months as the little bastards keep growing and thats before youve spent a fucking fortune on prams, cots, toys, medical fees and every other fucking over priced piece of shit they make you buy. and dont get me started on school costs. my little bundle of angry joy will be learning at home, theres got to be some fucking website that teaches all that shit isnt there. and yes, im going to be a dad, do you want to make something of it you bunch of fucking pansies?

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s a great thing.
Especially witnessing how you will change.

Comment by George

So you’ve finally decided to come clean. Congrats … that’s even bigger news than you having a baby in the first place.

And if you thought being forced to buy some rundown [and expensively remade] loveshack in Vancouver was bad, wait till you hear what Mary has in mind for welcoming Boucher jnr.

But seriously, it’s wonderful, and not long to go either. I cannot wait to see how you’re going to change … though my worry is a lack of sleep will make you even ruder and grumpier, which until now, I thought was impossible.

Comment by Rob

why wont i get any fucking sleep? women have them, women take care of them.

Comment by andy@cynic

As I said, I cannot wait to witness the change.

Comment by George

so northern gets a wholefucking post about his second (second) baby and hardly any fucker congratulates me. better because youre all out buying shit for me. expensive shit. and where the fuck is doddsy? if he has managed to get a life and get away we might all as well pack up and go the fuck home.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m out buying advanced science books because they’re bound to be a genius. This is great news, congratulations and about time.

Uncle Dave.

Comment by DH

uncle dave? uncle sex offenders list more fucking like.

the kid will be brilliant. just not quite as brilliant as their dashingly fucking hot old man.

Comment by andy@cynic

It is hard to understand how people can even think they have done many achievement in their life. When I see where we are as a society I think how can be people so proud of it. How many things to do, shit!. I have never measured my life in goals or things I have done. I measure my life in how many things I have faced and I am quite proud of it.

Comment by Sgt. Pepper's lonely hearts club band

I don’t think Robert has some checklist of goals he wishes to metaphorically tick off, I believe he is referring to his desire to look back on his life and be able to say he is proud or satisfied about how he lived.
I may be wrong but I think that is what he is saying and I think that is quite similar to what you are saying based on your comment.
Different people have different goals and agendas, it’s what makes life wonderful and frustrating.

Comment by George

how measure your life george? Goals or things you have faced

Comment by Sgt. Pepper's lonely hearts club band

I have professional and personal measures. The personal are more important. Many of these revolve around being a good husband to my wife and a supportive and encouraging father to my 3 daughters. How I evaluate my success in these things is a balance between how I handle myself in specific situations and how happy and confident the people in my life are about their life. I do have some selfish goals. But it’s not based on money or titles. Like Robert, it’s about following through on things that intrigue or interest me, even if that means simply having some time to learn more.
What about you? Do you have nothing that you hope to explore or achieve? Is your evaluation of your life going to be purely on how you handled what life threw at you?

Comment by George

And this is why your nickname is Auntie George.

Nice. Very nice.

Comment by Rob

Hello Sgt. Pepper’s lonely hearts club band, thanks for commenting.

If I gave you the impression I have a checklist of things to do then I haven’t explained myself properly.

In some way I do – because there’s things that I am passionate about wanting to try, explore, experience and do – however it’s not for anything other than because it’s something that genuinely interests me, not because I believe it will make me ‘superior’ or ‘richer’ or any other bullshit.

I was fortunate that my parents said a fulfilling life is one where you explore and try things – and some of the joy you get from that is seeing how you handle the challenges and implications that arise from that exploration … and that is why I totally understand when you say about how you measure your life by the things you’ve faced.

Everyone is different, everyone has different approaches and goals but I make no apology from being excited and seduced by the things life shows me or throws at me and I’d rather measure myself by the things I’ve seen, tried, learnt or faced than the name on my business card or the company I work for, however nice they may – or may not -be.

Comment by Rob

but I wasn’t thinking in a checklist.

Comment by Sgt. Pepper's lonely hearts club band

Maybe I am mistaken, but when I read your first comment I thought you were criticising Robert for his view, if I was wrong, I apologise.

Comment by George

I was completely agree with the old man.

Comment by Sgt. Pepper's lonely hearts club band

Quite an eclectic mix of posts this week Robert.

I enjoyed this one much more than the one on Monday.

George, I found your comment about how you evaluate your achievements in life beautiful and humbling. Damn you.

Comment by Lee Hill

We’ve always said he’s a prick with influential friends.

Comment by Rob

Correction: A prick due to his niceness. With influential friends.

Comment by Rob

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