Tim Minchin’s Nine Life Lessons

“It’s an incredibly exciting thing, this one meaningless life of yours” (Tim Minchin)

“TIM Minchin is a genius, pure and simple. He is to musical comedy what Charles Darwin was to evolution” (Tim Arthur, CEO of TimeOut Magazine).

We tend to agree.

For those of you unfamiliar with Tim’s work, you can check out some of his amusingly irreverent musical comedy here.

But how does this help you? How is this relevant to consulting, the universe, or anything?

Well, as it happens, Tim was recently asked back to give a graduation address at his former Uni, the University of Western Australia. His speech was not only hilarious, as you would expect from a professional comedian, but also incredibly heartfelt and deeply insightful.

In the speech, Tim provides 9 valuable lessons for enjoying a good and happy life.

Watch the speech above, and read our dot-point summary below.

Tim’s Nine Life Lessons

  1. You don’t need to have a dream – If you have a big dream then by all means go for it. But, even more so, you should pursue your short term goals with passion and dedication. Your next worthy pursuit will more than likely be a shiny thing that appears suddenly and unexpectedly on the periphery of your vision. And if you are too focused on your long term dreams, you could miss it.
  2. Don’t seek happiness – We were edified to learn from Tim that, “happiness is like an orgasm, if you think about it too much it goes away.” Tim encourages us to keep busy and aim to make others happy, and you might just get some happiness in return.
  3. It’s all luck – 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 because you’re going to need it. Most people reading this will live to nearly a hundred, and even the poorest among you are far wealthier than most humans throughout history could ever have dreamed possible. The long luxurious life ahead is going to make you depressed, but don’t despair, there is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise.
  5. Challenge your beliefs – Tim helpfully reminds us that “opinions are like arseholes in that everyone has one … except that opinions differ significantly from arseholes in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined.” Think critically, be hard on your beliefs, and take them out onto the verandah and hit them with a cricket bat every once and a while.
  6. Be a teacher – Teachers are the most important people in the world. Don’t take your education for granted, rejoice in what you have learnt, and share your ideas with others.
  7. Define yourself by what you love – We have a tendency to define ourselves by our opposition to stuff (think Tony Abbott during his years as opposition leader). Instead, we should try to express our passion for the things we love.
  8. Respect people with less power than you
  9. Don’t be in such a hurry – You don’t need to know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. Most people who were sure of their career path at the age of 20, are now having a mid-life crisis. It’s an incredibly exciting thing, this one life of ours, and we might just want to take it one step at a time.