Tim Minchin’s 9 Life Lessons

When life is getting me down, I like to watch convocation/graduation speeches. Nothing is more inspiring than what you were told when you first started out. When you weren’t jaded, we you hadn’t gotten beaten down by the man, when you still had the innocent view that the world was your oyster and you could literally do anything you wanted.

It’s always good to regress back to that point and remember what you were thinking then, and then where you are now. It can put your current state into perspective. It can give you a kick out of complacency and inspire you to alter your current state. Today I watched this one.

In 2013 a graduating class at the University of Western Australia was given nine great pieces of advice from Australian comedian Tim Minchin. I would encourage watching the video, as he is a comedian so the delivery is funny, but the points are as follows (I especially liked 1 and 5):

Nine Life Lessons

  1. You don’t have to have a dream.
    I advocate passionate dedication to the pursuit of short term goals. 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 might appear in your periphery. Which is why you should be careful of long term dreams. If you focus to far in front of you you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.
  2. Don’t seek happiness.
    Happiness is like an orgasm, if you think about it too much it goes away. 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.
  3. It’s all luck.
    You are lucky to be here…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.
  4. Exercise.
    Take care of your body, you’re gonna need it…this long luxurious life ahead of you is going to make you depressed. But don’t despair there is a invest correlation between depression and exercise. Do it. Run my beautiful intellectuals, run.
  5. Be hard on your opinions.
    We must think critically and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs, take them out on the veranda and hit them with a cricket bat. Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privileges.
  6. Be a teacher.
    If you’re in doubt about what to do, be a teacher…share your ideas. Don’t take for granted your education. Rejoice in what you learn and spray it.
  7. Define yourself by what you love.
    We have a tendancy to define ourselves in opposition to stuff…try to 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.
  8. Respect people with less power than you.
    I don’t care if your the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful.
  9. Don’t rush.
    Don’t panic. Most people I know who were sure of their career path at 20 are having midlife crisis now.



Jes spends approximately 25% of her income on brunch, really likes to laugh and is certain if Regina George punched her in the face she would not think it was awesome.

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