Tonight I had all these ideas on what I was going to do before bedtime. Housework. Phone calls. Eat. Spend quality time with our balcony garden. Snuggling on the couch with Dan and the cats.
I was able to do *some* of these things, but then I watched this video and everything else has gone out the window. It’s Samuel Johnson talking at a TEDx event about Love Your Sister. I never hold back in telling anyone who’ll listen that what this guy has done in the name of his sister is phenomenal. Like, I can’t even fathom it.
But this video takes it to a new level. Sure, he looks exhausted and wasting away, but I’m not talking about that part. This is deeper than that. He shares his story and his sister’s story and he speaks with a rawness that I’m not entirely used to. It’s confronting in a way, but comforting too. His hands are shaking while he speaks, but you can tell that he’s bursting to share the story that his sister has entrusted him with.
And then, right at the end of his allocated 18 minutes (though he technically went over by about 1½ minutes), he reads what he calls his Tim Minchin/Oscar Wilde mashup “by the world’s most enthusiastic unicyclist”.
And I had to transcribe it. So many parts of it I want to get tattooed on my hands so I can read them whenever I need a boost. Sometimes I don’t need a boost for yonks. Sometimes I need one before I can think about getting up off this couch.
I’m a tad addicted to inspirational quotes on Facebook and Instagram. I madly save them to my phone, saving them for when I might (read: will) need them. But this mashup is like, a whole Pinterest account of inspirational shit.
Please take the time to watch this. And if you want the transcription of Samuel’s mashup (which I searched for high and low, to no avail), it’s pasted below the vid.
Manage your feelings well. Don’t waste more time than you have to negative emotions like jealousy or regret or self-loathing.
Try to achieve your dreams and you will fail. The mere realising of them renders them not-dreams. You don’t have to have a dream. By the time you get to it and stare into the abyss of your meaningless achievement, you’ll almost be dead, so it won’t matter.
I advocate the passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. You won’t see the shiny thing in the corner of your eye if you’re looking too far ahead.
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 of the side effect. We didn’t evolve to be constantly content.
Stay away from drugs and alcohol, and if you can’t help yourself, exercise moderation. Dependency is boring. Don’t sell your potential. The happiest people I know aren’t dependent.
Understand 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. Empathy is intuitive but it’s also something you can work on intellectually.
Be hard on your opinions and take them on the verandah and hit them with a cricket bat. Define yourself by what you love. Be pro stuff, not anti stuff.
Don’t rush. You don’t need to know what to do with the rest of your life. You will soon be dead.
Life will sometimes seem long and tough and God it’s tiring and you’ll sometimes be happy and sometimes sad. And then you’ll be old and then you’ll be dead. You have only a few years in which to live truly, perfectly and fully. Time walls against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, hollow-cheeked and dull-eyed. When your youth fades, so will your beauty and you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you.
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 as much as you can. Taking pride in whatever you’re doing. Having compassion. Sharing ideas and being enthusiastic.
Live. Live the wonderful life that is in you. That nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. The world belongs to you for a season. Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
– Samuel Johnson TEDx QUT Tim Minchin/Oscar Wilde mashup, August 2014