It’s often in moments of darkness that people start questioning what life is about. Living with grief and enduring hardship can be the driving force behind the search for meaning and purpose in life.
After the loss of a close friend in his early twenties, today’s guest, Sebastian Terry, took a close look at his own life and asked himself a simple question, “am I happy?” When the answer was a resounding “no”, he put pen to paper and wrote a list of 100 things that could make him smile, hoping that pursuing those things would find him happiness. Little did he know this adventure would start a global philanthropic movement and that his list would be the inspiration for an ESPN documentary, US reality TV show, a whole new career and a brand new perspective on life.
What started as a journey about pursuing his own happiness has now developed into a movement of bringing happiness to many. Sebastian’s true purpose was revealed after he answered a request for help from a quadriplegic man named Mark who dreamed of completing a half marathon. Sebastian helped him reach his dream to complete the race by pushing him in his wheelchair the entire way. This was the event that changed Sebastian’s entire perspective and he realised happiness wouldn’t be found by checking off the items on his list, but by helping others along the way.
100things is now a movement that enables individuals and organisations to identify their values, create meaningful and impactful lists and then support and facilitate the achievement of those dreams. It has helped millions of people to grow, connect and find purpose in their personal and professional lives. Through the amazing response to 100things, Sebastian was able to then start Kindsum, a peer-to-peer platform connecting people who need help to people who can help.
In this episode, Sebastian talks about the importance of values and living a life of purpose and connection with the people around us. It’s not about doing crazy things for the sake of it, but about pursuing meaningful goals in your own life which then impact others for the better. Sebastian shares some of the important lessons he has learned over the last 10 years since writing his list and how everything comes down to connection with yourself and with others.
The biggest untapped resource on the planet is kindness. What could you do today to bring kindness to yourself and to someone around you?
TOPICS DISCUSSED AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
[2:56]: How Seb’s self discovery journey started by asking the question, “Am I happy?”
[5:00]: How happiness was the driving force behind the list of 100 things and leaving everything behind
[7:57]: What society says about thinking about yourself and the importance of shining the light on what you want
[9:00]: Why we often wait for dark moments to start questioning what we want and that the secret is to give yourself permission
[9:55]: How the mindset of past generations and the educational system is outdated
[11:19]: How Seb’s family and friends first reacted to the pursuit of his list
[12:50]: How everything in life should be purpose driven and not bound by
[13:56]: Values are the bedrock to meaningful goals and help us to stay on purpose
[15:20]: How Seb’s values have changed over the years and how this is reflected in the items on his list
[18:20]: How it’s crucial to look after yourself
[19:12]: The item on Seb’s list that had the most impact on his life and how it changed his whole perspective on life
[21:00]: How achieving relevant and meaningful goals causes you to feel that you’re living a purposeful life and that we shouldn’t compare our list to someone else’s.
[24:48]: Action is important. Question to ask yourself to get your list going.
[26:20]: Understanding the pillars of your life and how it helps to identify goals to work towards
[29:00]: You don’t have to be extreme in your list but you can incorporate meaningful things into your life to find a balance
[30:30]: We are accountable for our lives and create the environment we live in. We have the power to change it.
[32:25]: How it’s important to become aware of what we want so that we can make room for it in our lives
[35:30]: The moment Seb fulfilled one of the scariest items on his list by kissing a celebrity
[37:39]: The need to break through doubt, fear and uncertainty
[39:25]: How Kindsum started by people reaching out to Seb asking for help
[41:20]: How Kindsum enables people to connect with each other and share kindness to change people’s lives
[43:13]: How community is important in managing difficult times and how Seb has recently started seeing a therapist
[46:25]: How it’s difficult to ask for help and how doing so is brave and creates an opportunity to connect with someone else
[49:05]: Seb’s advice to someone who is struggling
Thanks for listening to another episode of It Ain’t Weak to Speak with Sam Webb.
If after listening to this episode and you don't quite feel right or you want to reach out to someone to speak to, we have provided some useful resources below.
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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
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If you would prefer to speak with someone face-to-face, we recommend visiting your local GP (doctor) who will be able to have a chat with you about what is going on in your life and refer you to a mental health professional if required.
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