For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cameron and I am a musician and writer. I have appeared in a couple of films, and I was the youngest person ever to reach the summit of the second highest mountain in the world. I am also a keen liar. I am far less remarkable, I am a Psychology student and the closest I’ve come to being a musician is buying a guitar off eBay. And as for climbing? I usually take a seat after I reach the top of my stairs. But what I have achieved that I am most proud of is happiness.
I’m going to say a lot of stuff during this lecture (and yes, it is a lecture) and I hope that while you read this, whatever has been niggling away at you is put to the back of your mind. Now, you’re probably wondering why you should listen to me or what the hell I’m going on about which is fair enough, but you’re about 200 words in and you’re still reading so you might as well keep going. If at the end of this there’s only one line you take away from this then great. As my mum used to say, “If you throw enough shit, some of it will stick.” … I hope that isn’t the line you take away with you if I’m honest.
“Be kind to one another” – Ellen Degeneres
Let’s just clear the air first, I am not writing this for the sake of it. I’m not here to gloat, and I’m also not here to sit and try tell you I know what you’re going through. However, what I want is for you to read this and escape from whatever it is that’s bugging you. Even for five minutes just put it to one side because if it’s a problem now then it will be a problem when you’re done, and if it isn’t then it wasn’t really a problem anyway. One of the reasons I decided to do this is because I’m on community service and I don’t really have much of a choice. The other reason is because the best way I find to be happy and feel a great sense of satisfaction is by trying to help others in any way that I can. That doesn’t always mean that I am first at hand to help an old lady across the street… not that I’d leave her to be hit by a bus, but it’s just if you help an old person across the street, it’s not just across the street that you have to deal with them, they want to give you a story of where they’re going and what they’re up to. I’m a busy person I can’t be going round to Ethel’s house hearing about how her grandson Brian is on the rigs doing well for himself but he’s just had a kid in his complicated relationship with a girl he’s only been seeing for 3 months and how… sorry I got a bit carried away. What I’m saying is that one way I feel better is by helping people out however small it is. Just try it because if I’m wrong and it doesn’t work for you then fine. But at least you will have helped someone. You have got nothing to lose.
“Being selfish to me means you have to look out for yourself and you don’t have to sacrifice” – Herbie Mann
I have found that the best ingredient to becoming happy is doing what I want. In fact, why wouldn’t you do what you wanted? Whether it’s in terms of trying to decide where you and your friends should go for lunch, or whether it’s following what you have always wanted to do, if you look after yourself first and foremost then what does it matter what anyone else thinks? What’s holding you back? If it’s fear of rejection then I’m afraid I, or anybody else can’t help you. You will face rejection at some point in your life. You just will. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to start going after whatever your goal is. If your fear is being alone then you have no fear. People will follow you I promise, and if you don’t believe me then please go and prove me wrong. The worst that can happen is you’re doing what you wanted to do. Is it fear of failure? Well here’s a challenge, take the leap. Trust yourself. When you leap into the unknown it’s the only real way you can begin to understand whether you have made the right decision. Because at the minute, all that is holding you back is you. And as cliché as it sounds it’s bloody true. It would be awful if you lived a life of ‘what could have been’ because you were a bit scared of the outcome. Think of who inspires you or a role model from TV, how many times have you heard them say, “Yeah it was a real breeze getting to where I am.” It doesn’t happen because you have to work your balls (or tits) off to get to where you want to be. I’m not saying it will be easy, nobody ever said that, but at least through all the shit you’ll be doing something you absolutely love and you wouldn’t swap it for the world.
“Don’t worry, be Happy” – Bob Marley
Choose to be happy. Yes you can choose it. Not all the time, but the times you can, you should. How often do you look for something to annoy you because you’re just in one of those moods? Or look through old pictures or messages then get sad and listen to Adele and maybe watch the Notebook? Look at it the other way, and stick on your favourite music and turn the volume up. Watch a comedy and for God’s sake keep the Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer. There is one key feature in choosing to be happy I have found, and it’s caring less. If you care less about things and do what you want to do you’re onto a winner. “Oh just as easy as that? Care less. Do what you want. That’s it.” No you idiot, have you not been paying attention? None of this is easy. My point is that, for me, if I am sad I don’t look for something to feed my sadness. As humans, emotional pain is addictive but if you are consciously aware of that then the easier it is to break that habit. Instead of sitting in your room stewing over the thing that’s upsetting you force yourself to be around people. I don’t want you just to be in a room with other people, I mean actually be there and enjoy their company. If you sit in a room with other people around you and you’re still thinking of the issue then you’re no use to anybody.
“You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Alice in Wonderland
Don’t be one of those hormonal little bitches either. Do daft things that make you laugh. If you spend your time being serious all the time then you are going to be miserable. I have spent far too long taking pictures of myself making myself look as disgusting as possible in the bath and posting it on Twitter purely for my own amusement. I only posted it on Twitter so people could see they have nothing to worry about… and it could always be worse. Play pranks. I scare my dog every day, I put cling film (or saran wrap if you’re the type who pronounces ‘aluminium’ like ‘Aloominum’) over the toilet seat, and I write blogs that are as serious as a Telletubby’s finger-painting. I don’t take things too seriously because nobody likes someone who constantly moans but they do like someone who is light-hearted or is funny. I guess I’m trying to say don’t moan unless you’re saying it in a funny way… but don’t try and be funny if you’re not. That’s tragic. Only some of us are blessed with comic genius.
“Your journey has moulded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. There is no shortcutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” – Asha Tyson
This is the serious part; I don’t want you to waste your days by either taking things for granted or just ‘waiting’ for something to change. Things change for people who let the world know they exist. Here’s why I don’t want you to live an uneventful life where you might regret not chasing your dreams. The chances of you being given life are so minute, that it is the closest thing to being impossible. Think about it like this, every single decision your parents made in their lives led up to their paths crossing at a very specific point. For them to decide to have kids when they did was the precise moment where there was a slight possibility of you being born. Then out of those millions of sperm cells, for that particular one to reach that particular egg at that precise moment is what has created you. If anything in this series of events was less than exactly the way they were, you wouldn’t have existed. And then for you to live your life up until this very moment has been as a result of millions of years of evolution, and in those millions of year of evolution is the very beginning of your lineage. Where for the very first time, your ancestors made the very same decisions that your parents made. If anything had ever happened at a different time in history, you would not exist. That is why you cannot afford to live a life that you don’t want, because the harsh truth is this is it. All the dreams you’ve ever had, all the conversations you’ve had with yourself in the shower, will mean nothing in 80-or-so years. Don’t look back and wish you had cared less then. Denzel Washington once said, “Whatever your gift is be it money, talent, patience, love, you can’t take it with you so what are you going to do with it while you’re here? Who have you lifted up? Who have you made better? Who have you helped out? Not, how much do you have but what you have. Some people have love, some have patience, some have money, some have fame. Whatever your talent is, we all have something, help your fellow man. At the end of the day none of us are perfect, none of us are angels, but you do the best you can with what you have.”
In simplest form of what I’m trying to say is go out there and do whatever it is you have always wanted to do. You can take away anything you like from this or nothing at all but at least I’m not a hypocrite, I have tried.