Tim Minchin’s 9 Life Lessons for good life.

This One Meaningless Life of Yours.

Dr TimRecently Tim Minchin was awarded an honorary doctorate by The University of Western Australia. In his speech he mentioned, from his 37.9 years experience, to the gathered students, his 9 Life Lessons.

To start with in summing up and  balancing life…

Arts degrees are awesome and they help you find meaning where there is none. And let me assure you, There is none. Don’t go looking for it.

Searching for meaning is like searching for a rhyme scheme in a cookbook,
you won’t find it and it will bugger up your soufflé.

9 Life Lessons.

  1. You don’t have to have a dream.
    Work on whatever is in front of you.
    Be careful of long-term dreams if you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out of 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 may get some as a side effect.
  3. Remember it’s all luck.
    Understanding that you can’t truly take credit for you successes, nor truly blame others for their failures will humble you and make you compassionate.
    Empathy is intuitive but it is also something you can work on intellectually.
  4. Exercise.
    Take care of your body, you’re going to need it.
    Most of you Mob are going to live to nearly 100 and even the poorest of you will achieve a level of wealth that most humans throughout history could never dream of. And this long, luxurious life of yours is going to make you depressed.
    But don’t despair, there is an inverse correlation between exercise and depression. Run!
  5. Be hard on your Opinions.
    We must think critical and not just about the ideas of others.
    Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out on the verandah and hit them with a cricket bat.
    Be intellectually rigorous.Tim piano
  6. Be a teacher.
    Teachers and the most admirable and important people in the world.
    Even if you’re not a teacher, 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 tendency to define ourselves in opposition to stuff. But try to also express your passion for things you love.
    Be demonstrative in your praise of those you admire.
    Be 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.
    Most people I know who were sure of their career path at 20 are now having mid-life crises.


For me the most shockingly significant and profound piece of this is number 3. Remember it’s all luck. As he says…

I suppose I’ve 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 attending lectures when I was here at UWA.

And so it is, all of it, and even when you think it’s not and you’re doing something based on aptitude or decisions, they too are because you’re just plain lucky to have whatever it takes to do that.

What to do with your life!

Life is best filled by learning as much as you can about much as you can, taking pride in whatever you’re doing…
It’s an incredibly exciting thing,

This One Meaningless Life of Yours.

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