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Is Your Life A Masterpiece Or A Meaningless Existence?

Bob Geldof Live AidI had the pleasure to  hear a keynote presentation from the enigmatic Sir Bob Geldof tonight and I was mesmerized by the passion, dreams and the vision that permeated his words. The topic

“Reaching your Dream: A World Icon’s Insight On the Secret To Success”

He told how his mother had died when he was six years old and  how he and his sisters had to cope as his father, the travelling towel salesman was absent from the family home while travelling all week to support his family.  He attended good schools due to his fathers sacrifice as Bob and his sisters coped at home on their own. His passion and purpose for making a difference started when he was 13 when he and a friend started  a  movement against apartheid in South Africa. The reason he started this was the intellectual  absurdity of judging or making someone less of a person for the color of their skin.. he saw this as being as stupid as making someone less, for wearing a strange colored jumper or for having orange hair.

At the age of 16 he was working in soup kitchens in his city in Ireland to help the disadvantaged. He left high school feeling like a failure with his father wondering where he had failed his geeky son. He proceeded to travel and started a newspaper with great success in Canada despite being an illegal immigrant and was consequently discovered by the Canadian Mounties and then thrown out of the country by the authorities.

Back in the UK he thought “I am quite good at this publishing thing” and  started another publication and went to the bank to borrow some money and was told to come back when he was 40. Out of desperation he started a band and the rest is history. For the next 10 years his band “The Boomtown Rats” went on to be one of the most successful bands in the world.

In the mid “80’s”  he came home after his latest single was not turning into the success he was used to. On coming back home he turned on the television and happened upon a  BBC documentary about a famine in Ethiopia, with sudden insight his life before this moment suddenly seemed meaningless.

He flew to Africa to observe the situation first hand, then returned to England and gathered numerous British pop stars together to record a charity single under the name Band Aid; that song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” became the best-selling U.K. single of all time, and inspired a similar 1985 U.S. single “We Are The World”.

His life had become a masterpiece. The essence  and kernel of his passion had emerged when he was 13 and he hadn’t realised it then, but as the German Poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

Are you following your passion or are you just turning up?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • You got to listen to Sir Bob Geldof speak live? I am envious. He’s been my hero since I discovered the Boomtown Rats in the early 80’s….and he never stopped. Wow.

    And if I compare to even the things that he did as a teen, I am a doomed failure.

    And yet, today I find myself stumbling towards my passion. Yes, small stumbling step, by small stumbling step.

    It feels good to do so, despite the bumps and bruises.

    Hugs and Butterflies,

  • Janet Lawrence

    I wa challenged to dream again last saturday. I did not realized i had stopped dreaming and if i have stopped dreaming my passion which propelled me was gone. i thought to myself: what was my dream? how did i loose it and why? it was then that i went to the website and found: Is your life a masterpiece or a meaningless existence? I realize i need to retrace my step and find the reason why i am where i am. then i believe i will be able to remember my dream and with time develope the passion to resume what i have started. thank you for posting the masterpiece.

  • Jon

    Love the Goethe quote and this post. Living a life of meaning is living a walk-on life. In collegiate sports, there are walk-on players who try out for certain positions. When they succeed, we love their story because there is a lot of “heart” in their effort. They play “all in.” Live your life with a walk-on mindset, and it will be filled with meaning. Great post!

  • Lives cannot be dictated as ‘failures’, ‘successes’, ‘masterpieces’ or ‘meaningless’. It is purely down to the person living the life in question to decide what their life is, if they wish to set a label for it at all.

    Some people choose to simple ‘live’.

  • Memories come flooding back of watching Live Aid on MTV. We didn’t have Twitter back then or even YouTube. It was live television at its best. In my day kids, we had to sit in front of a TV to watch video we couldn’t do it on our phones like you kids watch today. Our TV’s weighed like 300#’s. LOL 

  • TakisPhilip

    What about Bob’s father life? Was it meaningless ? He didn’t organize a Band Aid but he just raised Bob. I believe that there is no meaningless life as you put it.