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

When Life Becomes Real …

So I’m 49.

By any stretch of the imagination, that’s pretty old.

Sure, I still might have the dress sense of a 15 year old and the immaturity of a 12 year old, but the reality is I’m still 49.

Which leads me to the point of this post.

Recently I read this quote from Confucius:

“We have 2 lives and the second one begins when we realize we only have one”.

That’s one of the best insights I’ve ever read.

It’s brilliant … not just because it’s undeniably true, but when you have just gone through this, it hits you in the chest like a freight train.

While I will never probably act my age, I am now more aware of my situation than I’ve ever been.

That I am more than likely past the half way point of my life.

As well as in the final phases of my career.

Given I have a young child, a wonderful family and a mortgage to pay – that can be quite intimidating. And yet it is also liberating.

It means I don’t let little things at work get in the way of what I need to do to feel I’m being useful to the creative work. It means I ensure my team – who ultimately deliver my success – always feel supported and encouraged. It means I practice tough love with my clients because ultimately, the best demonstration of how much I care about their success is by being honest with them about their situation. And it means I won’t let the family I love with all I’ve got, feel I’m not present and invested in their lives.

In many ways, I’d like to think this is how I’ve always been … but when you realize you truly have one life, it’s amazing in how it focuses the mind.

Separates distraction from action.

Keeps you hungry rather lazy.

Growing old has a lot of negatives … A LOT of negatives … but the great irony is that while many think it means people are past their sell-by date, it tends to be a period where you are more productive than you’ve ever been, albeit in different ways.

Of course being young is amazing.




Bringing an energy and viewpoint others may never have or never see.

Being young is a wonderful gift that ironically, you only truly appreciate when you are no longer young … but it’s not all doom and gloom because the moment you realize you only have one life, that’s when you actually start living.

13 Comments so far
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I dont think you’ll have anyone disagreeing with your post today.

Comment by Bazza

And that quote is deeeeeeep.

Comment by Bazza

Deep but it feels close to home for me.
As does this entire post.

Comment by George

Deeper than deep. Everyone I’ve told it to has paused for a second as they contemplate it and then their face goes into this sense of enlightenment as they get it and then realize they are living it.

Comment by Rob

Hahahahaha … no, you’re probably right on that.

Comment by Rob

An excellent and thought provoking post Robert. I agree that you will never act your age and you are all the better for it.

Comment by Lee Hill

Yes to the first part. Not sure for the second.

Comment by DH

dont worry campbell, youre the cockroach of advertising so youll never fucking die.

Comment by andy@cynic

Admit you want a stair lift. And you want it wifi controlled.

Comment by DH

Is it too late to make a Second Life joke?

Comment by John

I really enjoyed this post. Now, being 38, I have been asking myself lately when I will start to feel like the adult I thought I should be at this age when I was 20. Maybe, focusing on the fact we just have this one life would be wiser, more useful and better. Thanks, Rob!

Comment by Rodrigo Monayar

I would love to hear what Keith Richards has to say about this.

Comment by Pete

Every now and again you reveal the real, wise thoughtful you. I really enjoyed reading this.

Comment by Northern

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