The internet is for sharing, right? So I have taken it upon myself, as occasional blogger, to enlighten you all in the wisdom that radiates from comedian, writer and rock n roll megastar/nerd, Tim Minchin. I discovered this guy during the period of depression in my life earlier this year, and he never fails to put a smile on my face with his musically genius lyrics and catchy tunes, touching on a broad range of taboo subjects such as, religion, prejudice, sexism, oh, and inflatable dolls.
Here is an overview of Tim’s life lessons taken from a speech at a graduation ceremony at The University of Western Australia.
1. You don’t have to have a dream.
“Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you… you never know where you might end up. Just be aware that the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery. Which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.”
2. Don’t seek happiness.
“Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect. We didn’t evolve to be constantly content. Contented Australophithecus Afarensis got eaten before passing on their genes.”
3. Remember, it’s all luck.
“I suppose I worked hard to achieve whatever dubious achievements I’ve achieved … but I didn’t make the bit of me that works hard, any more than I made the bit of me that ate too many burgers instead of going to lectures while I was here at UWA… Understanding that you can’t truly take credit for your successes, nor truly blame others for their failures will humble you and make you more compassionate.”
“Play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run… whatever… but take care of your body. You’re going to need it. Most of you mob are going to live to nearly a hundred, and even the poorest of you will achieve a level of wealth that most humans throughout history could not have dreamed of. And this long, luxurious life ahead of you is going to make you depressed! But don’t despair! There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise. Do it. Run, my beautiful intellectuals, run. And don’t smoke.”
5. Be a teacher.
“Teachers are the most admirable and important people in the world. You don’t have to do it forever, but if you’re in doubt about what to do, be an amazing teacher. Share your ideas. Don’t take for granted your education. Rejoice in what you learn.”
6. Define yourself by what you love.
“We have a tendency to define ourselves in opposition to stuff; as a comedian, I make a living out of it. But try to also express your passion for things you love. Be demonstrative and generous in your praise of those you admire. Send thank-you cards and give standing ovations. Be pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff.”
7. Respect people with less power than you.
“I have, in the past, made important decisions about people I work with – agents and producers – based largely on how they treat wait staff in restaurants. I don’t care if you’re the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful. So there.”
8. Don’t rush.
“You don’t need to already know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. Life will sometimes seem long and tough and, God, it’s tiring. And you will sometimes be happy and sometimes sad. And then you’ll be old. And then you’ll be dead.
There is only one sensible thing to do with this empty existence, and that is: fill it. 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…”
-Becky Potter is the founder of thebettylife.com, a holistic health and lifestyle blog