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

Embracing Your Truth Changes Your Outcome …
November 10, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, David Terry, RoObin

A few weeks ago I wrote about my friend RoObin Golestan who sadly died recently.

It has affected me deeply for a whole host of reasons and yet I can’t help but feel utter pride in how he lived.

I don’t just mean in his everyday life – though he definitely embraced that – I mean in his final months, when he knew his time was likely to be coming to an end much quicker than anyone thought or wanted.

To do that takes a special sort of person.

But then he was exactly that.

On the day I learned about his passing, I went through his Facebook.

He never hid his illness from anyone but neither did he make a big deal out of it, preferring to use it as an opportunity to celebrate life rather than its unfairness.

One of the things he wrote was a quote from Henry Miller.

“Every man has to own his destiny: the only imperative is to follow it, accept it, no matter where it leads him”.

Reading that quote and knowing RoObin posted it when he knew he was facing an uncertain future not only shows the graciousness of his spirit, but also his acceptance of his circumstances.

That doesn’t mean he gave up on hoping to change the outcome – or at least delay it – but that he was able to stop fighting against it to ensure he could use his time for more positive pursuits.

And he did, which makes me both happy and proud.

This attitudinal shift reminds me of a time I was with David Terry – the head of planning at Wieden Portland.

We were both going through some health dramas at the time and comparing notes.

After we had worked out Dan wasn’t trying to kill off all his strategists, we discussed how we were dealing with our issues.

David’s prognosis wasn’t great and as a high-octane jock, he kept talking to me about how angry he was about it and how he was fighting it.

That was until, with options looking more remote, he went to a traditional Chinese doctor.

“Why are you fighting your illness?” he was asked.

David didn’t understand what he meant because the only alternative to fighting it was to not fight it and that just wasn’t who he was.

But then the Doctor explained to him that his body wasn’t fighting against his will, it was telling him it was not well and rather than fight against that, he should be listening to it and embracing it so that he can focus on health not hate.

This kind of blew David away.

It was the polar opposite to everything he believed, everything he stood for.

But Dave is smart. Smart enough to know that when present approaches aren’t working, the most obvious alternative is to do something else.

And he did.

And he got better.

This is amazing for many reasons.

Part of that is because his illness was very severe and very few survive it.

The other part is David had to accept an approach that he previously would have probably called ‘commie thinking’, worked.

I love David.

I love RoObin.

There are many, many reasons for it, but without doubt one of the biggest ones is how they understood embracing their destiny would give them far more than fighting it.

How letting yourself be vulnerable is possibly the ultimate demonstration of strength.

Here is Dave’s incredible TedTalk from a while back.

It was done before he accepted his destiny and was just fighting it.

I hope one day he does another, the sequel, where he talks about the beauty of his destiny.

15 Comments so far
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A truly inspiring post Robert. Thank you.

Comment by Lee Hill

Even in the darkest times there remains some light. Brilliant post.

Comment by George

not bad campbell. not fucking bad.

Comment by andy@cynic

though i wish uncle dan was trying to fuck all his planners over.

Comment by andy@cynic

Of course he is, he’s a creative.

Comment by John

I hate it when you write good posts. Lucky it’s so rare that i don’t have to hate myself too often. Great post and tedtalk.

Comment by DH

Lovely, heartfelt post Rob. And things we need to talk about more. My business partner passed way too young, and how he deal with it was a great sadness and a great revelation.

Comment by Theo Erasmus

Wow, everyone is being nice. What’s going on? Oh that’s right, it has nothing to do with me and all to do with two amazing and inspiring gentleman.

Comment by Rob

it fucking well isnt because of you campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

Fantastic post Rob.

Comment by Pete

Very inspiring! It reminded me of what my father says when I’m sick ‘Don’t push yourself now. Have a little empathy for your body’ (It’s not translated well).

Comment by debopriyob

Nothing to add, brilliant.
Just to be clear though, it’s not your destiny to wear Birkenstocks andslogan t-shirts while loving Queen , that’s choice, and not a good one either

Comment by northern

Monday’s post. You OK?

Comment by DH

[…] Ensuring the focus is on loving what is precious, not hating what you can’t control. […]

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