This is possibly the most interesting video you’ll ever watch. I found it incredibly inspiring, activating and altogether well performed. Above all, it is performed by the marvelous Tim Minchin. Australian comedian, writer, singer and many more. I’ve seen him before in comedy shows and on Australian/British tv, but it wasn’t until I watched this video that I realised what kind of person he is and what he believes him. The thoughts he shares in the video are the thoughts of what I like to call a superior realist. Not realism in the wikipedia sense, but as in someone who found out what is truly important in life. One of those people who go beyond common standards to figure out who they are and what they want to do in life. Brilliant.
In the video below he shares, and I quote: “on the ripe old age of 37.9, I bestow upon you 9 life lessons”. I will list them below, but for further detail be sure to watch the video. *Note: Tim Minchin speech goes on until around minute 12:00.
If you’ve now watched it, I hope you liked it as much as I do. Keep in mind; the real meaning of his words are what you decide to do with them. In any case, his 9 life lessons are:
1. You don’t have to have a dream.
2. Don’t seek happiness.
3. You are lucky.
5. Be hard on your opinions.
6. Be a teacher.
7. Define yourself by what you love.
8. Respect people with less power than you.
9. Don’t rush.
When you put them in order like this it hardly seems impressive, hence I recommend watching the video a couple of times over a period of a couple of days. Eventually if you want to learn something from it, you have to make these lessons your own. Part of the reason I took the path down sharing my ideas on this website was because of Tim Minchin’s lesson nr 6. ‘Be a teacher’, ‘Rejoice in what you learn, and spray it.’
I won’t go through all of them, but can’t resist a little more detail. Most of these lessons come back on a daily basis, if you pay attention to them. Just think of the amount of times people around you define their opinion or simply add to conversation by stating what they dislike about the subject. Isn’t it nicer when someone adds to the topic of let’s say music by saying what they like, instead of slagging off an artist they dislike? I remember being in the car with a friend of mine, and he turned off the radio when Coldplay came on, saying he knew ‘how much I hated them’. He did this even though that is his favourite band of all time. A couple of years ago I would’ve reluctantly told him to put it back on, now I tell him to turn the volume up because I know how much he likes Coldplay.
Always wanted to learn another language, but never got to it because you say “I’ll go and live in that country for a year once, and I’ll learn it in no time.” True, but why not start already? Current technology considered, it is incredibly easy to access a way of learning new things, whether that is a language, or something else. I find it very interesting to learn more about the universe, and how things came to be. I read books about it before I go to sleep, or on a sunny day off. Getting used to learning something every day gives a sense of accomplishment, it nourishes the mind and makes you grow as a person. Sharing what you’ve learned can inspire others to do the same. Plus, you might be known as the person ‘who knows all that stuff’, a happy bonus. 😉
I look at lessons 1, 2 and 9 as being in a similar field, and they are sadly easily disregarded. It seems like things you won’t have to worry about for years, finding your dream and finding happiness. Point is, what’s stopping you from already having all these things? They are ambiguous words with different meanings to everyone who reads them. People wait for this to happen, or expect it to happen ‘later on in life’, for some of them it is because they believe they will be happy when they finally settle down and have a full time job, which in societal terms happens around your 30s. Fair enough, but what about the time before that? Have you really tried everything you wanted to try, and are you truly happy with the idea of settling down and working full time? Maybe you’d rather live in a shared house with lots of people and have a job four days a week so you can do other stuff on your day off. To each their own. Point being, sitting around and waiting has never got anyone anywhere. Stop hoping something will happen and make it happen. It doesn’t have to happen instantly, nor does it have to take ages, as long as you enjoy the process and get where you want go go.
Now, I can ramble on about this topic – and Tim Minchin’s speech – for ages, but eventually you’ll have to take your own lessons out of it. I’ll refer back to this one in future posts, so keep an eye out. Even though the man himself states that ‘you’ll forget all of this within a week’, I hope you don’t. I’d like to end as he did, with the following quote:
“Life is best filled by learning as much as you can about as much as you can. Taking pride in whatever you’re doing. Having compassion, sharing ideas, running, being enthusiastic. And then there’s love, travel, wine, sex, art, kids, giving and mountain climbing, but you know all of that stuff already.” – Tim Minchin, UWA Address 2013