You have an 8% chance of living, now what?

by Rich DeMatteo on November 30, 2009 · 9 comments

1 Flares 1 Flares ×

Heaven_CloudsA buddy of mine recently returned to the great state of Pennsylvania after a two year adventure in Los Angeles.  He moved out to Hollywood land to chase his music and acting dreams, but Dave came back to PA to save up some money and decide if/when he’ll go back.  Dave is the exact definition of freedom.  Since I’ve known him he’s always done the shit that he loves to do.  There have been times he’s admitted to maybe being envious of his friends that have set careers and maybe more of their shit in order, but I can’t see Dave ever wanting to change places.  My friends and I have enjoyed Dave being home, and last night he stopped over and we checked out Judd Apatow’s newest film, “Funny People”.  Don’t get me wrong, the movie was full of giggles, but in the end it turned out to be a dark life lesson movie, similar to the feelings I had after watching “Garden State”.  Through the movie I couldn’t help but think about how the lessons in it could be related to my career philosophy that I’ve shared a few times on Corn On The Job.  Here goes nothing…

You have an 8% chance of living, what does that mean to you?

Before presenting my quick review of the movie I’ll mention that nothing I say will spoil the ending or give too much away.  In the movie, Adam Sandler plays a successful older comedian that finds out he has an 8% chance of living after being diagnosed with a rare disease.  Maybe a bit cliche, but when his life flashes over and over he starts realizing all that he’s missed in life.  While he can say he owns an entire garage full of exotic cars, he can’t say that he has one meaningful friendship or relationship established with another person.  Let the dark humor begin…

Adam Sandler’s character, George Simmons, goes back to his roots in stand up and performs an incredibly depressing routine where he meets Ira Wright, a young, struggling comedian (Seth Rogan).  Their encounter leads to a friendship between them when Ira takes on a position as George’s assistant.  Ira travels with George becoming his opening act, his only friend, and the one person that knows about his illness.  Like most movies, this one eventually becomes about a girl, and in this movie it’s about the one that got away.  George’s career success, fame, and money blurred his priorities when he was younger and now its all crashing down on him.  When George finds out from his doctors that the alternative medicine has miraculously made him ‘better’, he finds out it may have been too late in his life to build what really matters in life.  Relationships.

How I want to be remembered

My favorite scene in the movie is one that takes place after Sandler finds out he’s going to make it.  He’s sitting outside of his ridiculous house facing the water and he says out loud to himself “I’ve played it all wrong”.  My whole life I’ve been taught that hard work pays off, and there is no denying that.  What I won’t allow is hard work to ruin my life.  Maybe I’ll have a wife someday, maybe a family, or maybe I’ll just always have great friends.  Whatever happens, I always want to be remembered for the people I’ve kept close around me.  Sure, maybe I’ll invent something ridiculous, or maybe more and more Corn Heads will join me here on COTJ and I can grow us into a career blog mecca and be remembered for that, but the people around me will always be most important.  A career is just a job and money.  Isn’t that what it comes down to?  When you are told life isn’t going to last much longer, your job and your money won’t replace the comfort good people can give you.

But what is surely different from what you want, and probably different from what my friend Dave wants in life.  To break into music or acting would be everything to him.  While I’m sure he’d keep his relationships, I could assume he’d be willing to sacrifice them for a while in order to carry out his dreams.  We are all different, and we all have different paths to happiness.

How do you want to be remembered?

We all have our prerogative.  What’s important to you?  I know us Generation Y workers must continually prove our worth to the older generations in the work place.  Should our long term happiness be sacrificed for that?  If you were put on the 8% list, what would you do, how would you be remembered?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
8 comments
Sajjida Alloo
Sajjida Alloo

Like you, I feel the same "Here goes nothing" You watched Funny People, I watched 2012...same difference...what captured my thoughts through out the movie was how a dad uses every last bit of his energy and strength to get his family from getting engulfed by mother earth's wrath...these same roads, building that we use with pomp, the dad an author where many claim he sold only 422 books, yet towards the end it's his 1 fan who did read his book save his and his family's lives, how a lonely radio guy stays back at his station to share his passion which was reporting to his listeners! Now that's touching lives...not to mention those who did work behind the scenes building the "ships" for saving mankind were not given a chance to be on them...although in the movie doors do open to such but I really doubt that'll happen in the real world...money talks alas! I did dream to be someone important at a fortune 500 hell, even a fortune 200 company...only to realise how many lives I would have to ignore to get there... I'm now switching gears and becoming an educator, that's how I would like to be remembered through sharing knowledge and being there for the next generation always...wish me luck as for u keep up with the bloggin n watch 2012 for sure! Peace

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

"Life is what happens while we're all busy making other plans". Great quote. I forgot how powerful that quote can be. Thanks for your comments, Elisa! Pretty scary topic, but it needs to be discussed!

Elisa
Elisa

Reminds me of the old idea "You can't take it with you." All the glitz and gold and money in the world won't matter when you're living the last few moments of your life. Because those last moments are the time for you to be surrounded by love and contentment, and very rarely will material things and societal accomplishments bring your either. It's one of the dangerous things that occurs when you set your vision so straight on "making it" that you lose sight of everything happening around us. And you know what. Life is what happens while we're all busy making other plans. It's all about our ability to take it in, adapt and adjust, and in the end know that we were happy.

Veronica Ludwig
Veronica Ludwig

Great thoughts! Living to work. Exactly. That's what I do everyday and I'm fortunate that I've found work that I can live for. So to answer the question: How do I want to be remembered? I want people to remember that I lived my life in the most genuine way I possibly could. True to myself and respectful to others. I really feel that if people know at least that about me, I'm pleased with the way I've lived and what I've done with my time here so far.

Lindsey
Lindsey

I would want to be remembered for my ideas, my passion and my humor. Do I want to be remembered as the CEO of some mega corporation or even an insignificant worker in a firm? No. I want to be remembered for the people I may have touched, inspired, helped, and motivated. If you look at the symbolism of a job, it's to make money to provide for yourself and/or a family. It's a livelihood but it shouldn't define who you are. I was initially attracted to life in France (and most of Europe, for that matter) because of their work to live approach rather than that of their American counterparts - live to work. That's slowly changing here but I think the value is important. If I had an 8% chance of survival the last thing I'd be doing is devoting myself to a job. I'd focus all my remaining attention on the people that have shaped my life. The answer might be very different for someone .... on wallstreet! :)

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hi Sajjida - What a great comment. I actually just saw 2012 as well, and wow did you hit the nail right on its noggin. That movie can surely be compared to many of the feelings in Funny People. It was pretty crazy in that movie to think of how many people built those ships only to find they wouldn't be on them. I think you are doing something very admirable, and I'm proud that you are a reader of mine. I feel like your attitude will carry you far, and as an educator you must have the right attitude. I look forward to hear how this quest goes, and please feel free to e-mail me at any time to share your story. Good luck, you'll do amazing!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Thanks for your thoughts on this V-Ron. Sure, finding work to live for is ideal. I think in ways I preach that if your work isn't what you live for then its time for a new job. Great thoughts on how you'd want to be remembered as well.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Lindsey - great thoughts. I like how you touched on the "live to work" vs "work to live" ideas. Hopefully the US gets there soon. I will always be loyal and work my hardest in my career, but in the end I work so I can provide for me and the people around me. It's just how it is.