View profile

Don't Go Chasing Legacies

Don't Go Chasing Legacies
By Clay Lowe • Issue #24 • View online
I have to reconcile myself with my own insignificance. Much as Conan O’Brien has done in a New York Times interview:
Two years later, it’s going to be, ‘who’s Conan?’ This is going to sound grim, but eventually, all our graves go unattended.
He recounts a conversation he had with the actor Albert Brooks, in which he told Brooks he was awed by how his movies would “live on forever.” 
The exchange went something like this:
And he looked at me and he said, [Albert Brooks voice] ‘What are you talking about? None of it matters.’ None of it matters? ‘No, that’s the secret. In 1940, people said Clark Gable is the face of the 20th Century. Who [expletive] thinks about Clark Gable? It doesn’t matter. You’ll be forgotten. I’ll be forgotten. We’ll all be forgotten.
I’m guilty of chasing after legacy. When I reflect on it now, it’s been the single most driver in my life - what legacy will I leave behind? The thought that my name will one day fade into the dust, just as my body will, is something that scares me. But it’s a pointless pursuit. I’ve had a hard time accepting this, but this week, I had to look into y soul and say yup: You’re never going to have a legacy, so give up trying.
This is not a bad thing. It means our names and legacies are mortal, just like us. And so we are free to choose a more meaningful lodestar to guide our lives, rather than chasing the ephemeral possibility that our names will be spoken with gravitas once we’re dead.
So what really matters then?
Perhaps what really matters is the experiences we have in the here and now. Savouring the moments in and of itself and leaving that legacy stuff for others to sort out.

Today's Learning
Do You Take This Robot
Music, Feeling, and Transcendence: Nick Cave on AI, Awe, and the Splendor of Our Human Limitations
How well do you know the world's countries?
Egos and experiments
Quote of the Day
“I will not be ‘famous, great! I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.” - Virginia Woolf
She Outsmarted Jamie Oliver — And Figured Out The Future Of School Lunch
How to Build a Powerful Protest Movement
None of us are getting in The Good Place: NBC's comedy exposes the impossibility of virtue today
New Subscribers
Are you putting the new in newsletter? If you’ve only just joined my daily inbox learnings, welcome. Thanks for subscribing and feel free to hit reply to any emails I send your way. I read and reply to all messages. You can access the full archive of past issues here.
And if you enjoy these emails please forward to a friend!
Did you enjoy this issue?
Clay Lowe

Everyday wisdom. Conversations that change minds. Music that feeds the soul.

In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue