When my most sarcastic and cynical friend Carlos sent me the link to Tim Minchin's honourary Doctor of Letters acceptance speech, I was expecting something sarcastic, certainly not something I would connect with in the strong way that I did. Here are Tim Minchin's nine life lessons and how you can apply them.
Most of the time I ate chocolate bars without much thought. In fact, I'd often half-consciously find a wrapper in my hand without any real memory of eating a chocolaty treat. The ease with which I could afford chocolate bars had caused me to appreciate and savour them less. I came to think of this phenomenon as the cost of convenience -- a failure to appreciate things.
I completed my master's degree in applied positive psychology, which is the scientific study of psychological well-being, happiness and human flourishing. While things like practicing gratitude and performing random acts of kindness were more obvious paths to happiness, there were some very surprising things I learned that transformed the way I thought and lived my life.
I started practicing gratitude and, though it makes the cynic cringe to say it, doing so has genuinely had a positive effect on my attitude. I'm not saying it's a cure all, but taking a moment to smile about the good instead of brooding over the bad can't really hurt in the grand scheme of things, can it? To that end, here's what's been doing the trick for me this month.
What are the things that I want to achieve in my life? What do I want to do? How do I structurally lay it out? Are there places that I can visit that are relevant to what I want to do, to whatever will make me happy. I try to be clear on those things that are important in my life as opposed to those things that are not important. And I try to eliminate all those things that have nothing to do with me focusing on things that are relevant to my passion, my purpose, my skills, my development.
I meet a lot of people who are either unhappy with their career choice or just plain unhappy with life. There's a feeling of confusion, of being lost, of having lost oneself somewhere along the way. Do you know that person? Maybe you are that person. The good news is it's a simple fix to turn that around. Here's what to do in five easy steps.