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Tim Minchin's 9 life lessons

TimMinchinIn September 2013, Tim Minchin, the "Australian musician, composer, song-writer, actor, comedian and writer", was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Australia, his alma mater. In the same ceremony he also gave an address to that year's graduating students around the topic of his own 9 life lessons. I found the speech fantastic and thoroughly agree with all his pointers, although I admittedly don't follow many of them in my day-to-day life. Below I append his lessons with brief exerts from his speech, I encourage everyone to read them, even if you haven't got 10 minutes to watch the whole video.

1) You don't have to have a dream - instead "ensure passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals"

2) Don't seek happiness - instead "keep busy and aim to make someone else happy and you might find you get some as a side-effect"

3) Remember, it's all luck - "understanding you can't truly take credit for your successes, nor truly blame others for their failings will humble you and make you more compassionate"

4) Exercise - "play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run, whatever, but take care of your body; you're going to need it!"..."there is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise, so do it, run, my beautiful intellectuals, run!"

5) Be hard on your opinions - "opinions are like arseholes in that everyone has one [...] however, opinions differ from arseholes in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined"..."we must think critically...be hard on your beliefs, take them out onto the veranda and hit them with a cricket bat. Be intellectually rigorous, identify your biases, your prejudices, your privileges"

6) Be a teacher - "even if you're not a teacher, be a teacher. Share your ideas, don't take for granted your education, rejoice in what you learned and spray it!"

7) Define yourself by what you love - "express your passion for things you love. Be demonstrative and generous in your praise for those you admire, send thank you cards and give standing ovations; we pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff"

8) Respect people with less power than you - "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!"

9) Don't rush - "You don't need to already know what you're going to do with the rest of your life [...] Don't panic [...] you will soon be dead. 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 [...] take pride in whatever you're doing, have compassion, share ideas, run, be enthusiastic, and then there's love and travel and wine and sex and art and kids and giving and mountain climbing [...] it's an incredibly exciting thing this one meaningless life of yours; good luck."

These summaries are only small exerts of his 10 minute speech...I whole-heartedly recommend you watch and listen to the whole address, which you can do by simply clicking the link below:

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