Episode #11 Sebastian Terry
Sebastian Terry Is Founder of 100Things.com.au, an author, Motivational Speaker, Life Adventurer, Guinness World Record Holder, Reverend & midwife. What started as one man’s journey to find purpose in life has grown into a global movement of people chasing their dreams and helping others do the same. Sebastian is also an ambassador for ‘Make A Wish’ Foundation.
Sebastian also covers
- How to prioritise happiness
- The importance of giving yourself permission
- How helping someone else transformed his life
- How to form a new habit
- How action taking changes your belief system
- Just why he delivered a strangers baby.
On todays show,
Sebastian Terry shares his ‘Life Changing Question’. A question that has empowered him to create a global movement that pays him to travel around the world, contribute massively to others and do cool things that has meaning for him. Like delivering a baby, naked skydiving and getting shot from pointblank range. Fun, funny and very insightful message.
Sebastian Terry of 100Things is sharing his Life Changing Question. You can listen here .. Click To Tweet
Resources Mentioned in this show:
If just one question could immediately transform the quality of your life or the results of your business, would you want to know what that question was? Life and business strategist Kevin Bees interviews success masters to discover their life changing questions, welcome to the life changing questions podcast.
Kevin: On the podcast today is Sebastian who experiences the moment in his life where he asked himself a simple question, ‘Am I happy?’ The answer was no and so he decided to write down a list of hundred things that he’d always wanted to achieve and then set about to achieve them. Along the way he created the bestselling book and the discovery channel documentary of his antics which range from marrying a stranger in Las Vegas, delivering a baby in Canada, even representing the Mauritian National Rugby team at the African championships and I understand they won as well so, now 100things has become a movement of people helping one another so, I would really like to welcome today Sebastian Terry, welcome to the call.
Sebastian Terry: Hi how are you?
Kevin: I am very good and I can’t go past this amazing moustache that you have, I am very impressed, I am certainly not able to grow one like that…
Sebastian: Ya I just came back from Antarctica and then I forgot obviously that we are doing this and so I am slightly embarrassed but I like it so…
Kevin: Nothing to be embarrassed about, if I could grow one, I certainly would. Antarctica, I would love to hear a little about it, is this part of what you do now with your work?
Sebastian: Ya I guess so, I am * my website 100things.com.au that is an online community so people from around the world share their goals and create meaningful lists and I suppose one part of that is the thinking behind trip such as Antarctica is there, for anything to happen I think people like to create an opportunity or respond to an opportunity and often it is easier to respond because to create an opportunity you have to be quite proactive so there is always people who want to go to Antarctica for example but don’t organize it for themselves. So I look at it and I think if I organize it, I wonder whether they will come, so I just started organizing a few trips and strangers from all over the world now come and join me on these trips and seek things off their list so, it is not actually on my list but I become more of the enabler, I am sort of the middle person and I love it, it’s great and Antarctica is, you have to go by the way. It is amazing.
Kevin: I would certainly love to, it is, that is on my list and for people who haven’t had the opportunity to read a 100 things yet, it is certainly an amazing book, I picked it up and couldn’t put it down for the whole day, I mentioned at the top of the call that you married a stranger in Las Vegas and delivered a baby in Canada. Tell us a little bit about your story, how did you find yourself in those situations, how did you even wind up doing the hundred things?
Sebastian: So a couple of years I finished university, when I finished school while I was doing, I was told to go to university so I did. I got a degree for human movement and did and ended up spending a lot of money doing it, three and a half years of my life and I came out the other end and graduation was really underwhelming for me and I wonder what else is out there and why was I told to just get a degree so I went backpacking for a couple of years as many people do now and ended up in Canada. At the age of 24 and I basically got the news that one of my close friends, I have sort of grown up with had passed away and that news stopped me in my tracks. As I was in Canada and I basically, all I could do was just think about life and trace my friend who I had lost so I thought about his life and essentially just got to a moment about, I just asked myself, ‘Am I happy?’
I didn’t think he was going to pass away at such young age 24. Would he have changed anything? I don’t think he would have. I asked myself well if I was going to die today, ‘would I be happy looking back at my life?’ and I realized very quickly I wouldn’t and I didn’t even know what my values were as an individual. so I simply just got a pen and a piece of paper and I just jotted down a whole bunch of things in point form, I thought would make me smile. My only goal was just to pursue this idea of trying to be happy or happier and that was the beginning of the list so I decided shortly after that, that I needed to go and do this. I prioritize happiness, left everything else and I left Australia and that was it. I wish it was more complicated but it is that simple. I haven’t stopped since, six and a half years on now, I’ve ticked off so many things, I’ve raised a lot of money at various charities and currently I am an ambassador of Make a wish, they are awesome. There is a big part in the middle here that I am missing out on and that is that I basically went on to, completely accidently inspire people around the world. So now 100things isn’t so much about me and my list, it is more about connecting complete strangers to help each other do things.
Sebastian: Does that make sense?
Kevin: It makes a lot of sense and you said it is a very simple thing but I guess a lot of us get so busy in day to day life that you said something really keen to hear more on, in the middle of that, which was prioritizing happiness. So are you suggesting that from writing down a list of hundred things and then actually going through and following them and delivering all those 100things, that will help you achieve and obtain happiness?
Sebastian: Ya I suppose the goal I hoped in the first place that it would. At that time I didn’t know really what the things were, I am just so * that was like marrying a stranger, jumping out of a plane naked, helping a stranger, growing a beard, whatever these things were. I retrospectively I can now say that I suppose out of the hundred things you probably place them into about four or five different baskets and those baskets represent a different value so I said first I wanted to be adventurous and I wanted to liberate myself from normality, or what I thought was normal. And ultimately I wanted to try and create a blue print to living that reflected all my values and I didn’t know that at that time but like I said, now I can look back… ‘oh that is what I was doing’… but yeah I mean I had a business, didn’t make any money but I was putting all my time into this business before pursuing my list and made me really unhappy and remember thinking, this is you * . It ran and it functioned but I remember I had my list, a map on the wall, actually I don’t know if you can see this. There is a map over here
Kevin: Yeah I can
Sebastian: and I have got a hundred tags on it and it is all the things on my list. I remember looking up at this map and just thinking, if I put all the energy that I am putting into my business but just reallocate it up on to my map and my things, I think I could do anything in the world and I thought why I am not doing the things I really want to do. Why I am not pursuing my list and just made the decision to like you say ‘prioritize happiness’ and that was it.
Kevin: An also simplest way for people listing then to prioritize happiness, would be to also write a list themselves and start following that?
Sebastian: definitely, I think the end is always creating a list I think the first kind of step in doing that is, a process to achieving things and I think it starts with gaining a bit of clarity. I think the key term here, something that I think about a lot is this idea of permission, people don’t give themselves permission to consider themselves, deemed as selfish. So think about yourself which typically or certainly I went through school, I was told you need to get a degree, you need to get financially secure, you need to do all the things so you can afford a house, a car and a family and then retire at a certain stage which is not by any means wrong but I was just told to do these things and I never gave, no one ever said before you do any of that just think about who you are what you would like to do, who are you, what are your values. So I gave myself permission to do that I think that is a really important first step, just simply asking what is important to you. I think once you gain that clarity and you know where you are I think you can then make meaningful goals. I am here, I would love to be there and it is just not plucking things out of the sky, I think again that goes down to understanding your values as a person. You are able to do you know very simple values test for example. You can understand that you might be adventurous or you might seek comfort, you might want money. I mean there is no right or wrong but once you establish those values, you can then make a list based of that and that I suppose that is the end result, where you come up with a meaningful list. Then it takes action of course, there is a whole process to doing that. It runs familiar with, this is the law of attraction, which is great, it works but you actually need to work as well and that is another part.
Kevin: of course, no action no traction.
Sebastian: I like it.
Kevin: and so amongst all of this in the book I mean there was the Guinness world records, there was actually being shot at from close range, you have already mentioned jumping out of the airplane naked
Kevin: out of the list of seventy that you completed already, what was the most interesting and exciting thing for you.
Sebastian: I can’t pick a favorite. I said to somebody the other day, it must be like picking a favorite child, then this mother said ‘I know which my favorite child is’, so, maybe it is not like that. To be honest it is the one I am currently doing, whatever it is, I am currently doing, that excites me the most and every time I tick something off I think I must say to myself this is the best thing ever, so they have all been, you know all seventy have been the best thing ever but I mean they are so varied and I think everyone is different, everyone’s list is different of course. Mine puts me out of my comfort zone and I think that is a really important thing to do. I think I grow in those moments so I visit a man on death row, by Google I found inmates, there is thousands of people and started writing to this one I got hand written letters and eventually he invited me into visit him so I flew to Oklahoma in the U.S and I visited this guy James and that was an amazing experience. Very grounding and very sobering and it gave me a huge appreciation for freedom and life but then I tried for an iron man like long distance triathlon, it wasn’t as emotionally kind of draining but in another way it put me out of my comfort zone physically and mentally so it is really hard to compare to be honest. The first time I got to say that I think that probably the thing that was, probably struck me the hardest was the time I helped somebody and that just sounds very simple but I helped somebody once and it was amazing and it changed my life and so now I help people more so I have got another thirty things left on my list but I would rather help thirty other people achieve one thing.
Kevin: I love it. Absolutely love it and some of those things are quiet challenging because I wonder have you managed to hit your hole in one yet
Sebastian: No, I think I am up to eight thousand two hundred and fifty seven attempts. I haven’t gotten in yet.
Kevin: And I heard some great questions as you have been talking and I can hear your thought process I mean certainly around the values, asking ‘Am I happy?’ and giving yourself permission, I know that I share with people on this call that ‘the quality of the questions we ask ourselves really impact the quality of our life’. So for you, what is the one question that has had the biggest impact on your life?
Sebastian: Well I think I have mentioned it briefly before, but I know when my, when Chris passed away, I stopped everything, I pressed pause on my life and I just gave genuine consideration to if I got to relive these twenty four years ‘would I do the same thing?’, ‘would I live any differently or wanted to do the same thing?’ and I think that was a question that I at that time said that oh my God I change everything. So that was certainly like a very profound question that you know create a lot of action for me. The question I like to ask now of course is ‘What is on your list?’ I ask everyone, it is on the front cover of the book that you have read. It seems very simple but I mean I think given consideration that question has a potential to change your life, I have learned that it also has some potential to change life of people around you.
Sebastian: there a million questions but it boiled down to that, ‘what is on your list?’
Kevin: ‘What is on your list?’ is absolutely a perfect question and particularly with the background and the context of ‘Am I happy?’ You have mentioned through here by giving yourself permission and allowing yourself to do these things and gotten in to the point before by action, action is really important if we are going to achieve any of these things so, I recognize that the habits and rituals that we have in our life to this point and lead us to where we are and the habits and rituals that we have today are going to lead us to our future, what are some of the habits and rituals that have allowed you to have the success and make such difference to the organizations and the people you have been working with?
Sebastian: So I mean I, look I am a pretty simple person so anything that I have done, anybody can do. I guess we get affected a lot by you know like a list of reasons which are probably more of excuses to why we can’t do things so whether that be money or other commitments, we tell we have got so many other things to do, being put on a platform, other people’s opinions influence us. Getting out of my comfort zone, that makes me very nervous. For example I use to try something and I use to get quiet nervous and my throats were constricted and I use to sweat, my heart beat fast, and they use to stop me do anything so anytime I felt like that it was a big red light you know I can’t do that and I would walk away but I think to form you had to try something differently once and repeat and so now I feel less things nerves, I am not bullet proof a lot of people think I am, I am absolutely not, I am very fearful about things still etc. but when I feel that, when I feel my that sweating, when I feel my heart go, I mean all that stuff, I just hit the green light now and that is a habit from just changing my action. I think you just have to change your action, that is not like a secret thing, I am no better or more talented, I am probably less talented at the most but it is just about just having a go. I think about things in baby steps, it is through elementary the way I approach things you know if I want to do an iron man, I sign up to do an iron man I buy a pair of running shoes and I start running as well as swimming and cycling and I think it is just asking questions. All the people have been able to help, done incredible things, why was I able to help them because they asked me to. You know, I don’t think tricky, I was just applying yourself and taking responsibility, we are so accountable, we are so responsible for what we do in our lives but I think it is easy to pretend that we are not but I believe everything is choice, you choose to be successful, you choose to be unsuccessful, you choose to be happy, you choose to be unhappy. I just don’t think there is any way to hide in life and that is, that can be quite * but if you are able to look at it, feel comfortable when they just change your action, the result ends up changing and you believe ends up changing, I believe anyone on planet can do anything. Wow I really went on a rant, didn’t i?
Kevin: I love it and what an empowering belief, anyone on the planet can do anything and I love the element of baby steps so you can break things down. I mean to think of taking on a whole triathlon all in one go, sounds like a big elephant to eat but I guess if you are just looking at first step sign up, second step shoes, third step run
Kevin: then that makes it a lot easier
Sebastian: yeah and that is being proactive about something and the other thing is if you already know what it is you want to do and you understand that was important to you, when an opportunity comes your way you can just say yes. I wanted to deliver a baby, I wasn’t going to have a baby for the sake of that but I got an offer one day, to do deliver a stranger’s baby in Canada and I didn’t had to think about it. I already knew it was important so I just said yes. So again this is (*), making things happen and I think a separate skill is reacting and responding to opportunities like that.
Kevin: Opportunities that come up and the one thing I heard you saying that I really like it was for me about your association so now when you are doing something is challenging, it is out of your comfort zone, you can feel your heart go, maybe the palms get sweaty, for you I heard you say is the green light that means it is ready for you to go whereas I can imagine certainly how this experience in the past you get this feeling, it makes you probably want to retreat and go away so how you have built that associations get the green light for those situation?
Sebastian: how did, I am sorry I missed that
Kevin: how did you build the associations to get a green light so when your heart races, you palms sweat, you know it is time to go rather than time to step back into the comfort zone?
Sebastian: sure. I got a show in this triangle recently. You know what I have got a pen and paper in front me, I am just going to show you. So I think like, is that alright can we do this
Kevin: yeah of course
Sebastian: okay so this terrible handwriting and a little triangle says belief, action, result and I think that is the way you forge a head right so I think for anything to change you just have to try it once and I remember for example marrying a stranger in Las Vegas, which was probably the first thing I ever did. So, I believed it was crazy, the action is crazy, the result is obviously outrageous but I wasn’t sure like I was do I do this, I am really apprehensive, my family is going to judge me, I am going to laughed at, etc, etc but I can’t change any of that, that is all in my mind. I just had to change my action so I just went and married a stranger in Las Vegas it was as awkward as I felt and I found that the result was I married a stranger in Las Vegas and my belief was well, you can’t be outrageous and can pursue goals no matter what they are and you can, I found out I was capable of doing it and so I just carried that on. I wish I could talk about it in a trickier way that maybe seem smarter but it was just a matter of doing it and I felt better for it and I thought wow that is just one thing, and I can do that and I feel great from achieving something that is meaningful to me, not saying everyone has to marry a stranger but everyone should be identifying goals that are important to them. You just realize how capable we are. Actually the first trip so to my Antarctica, the first trip I ever organized was to Kokoda, lot of people wanted to do Kokoda but no one had. Sixteen strangers overnight in two days booked to join me once I advertised it. And we all did it. The Kokoda track is a very tricky tropical seven day track in Papua New Guinea, lot of history to it and when we finished after seven days, we crossed the finish line and everyone burst out crying and I asked everyone why are you crying and none of them said oh because my legs are sore or anything like that but all said ‘this is the first time I have never backed myself to achieve myself and I can’t believe how capable I am’ and each one of those people who came they have all gone on to create meaningful lists which they were interested in doing. They have done plenty of other things you know I think it is snowball effect.
Kevin: So take any action, you get a result and then your belief grows and then of course allows you to take bigger action and take more results.
Sebastian: yeah something like that I mean I think I confuse myself with that diagram but yeah absolutely it is that for me
Kevin: Love it, absolutely love it, What a great way to summarize that and I know that identity can be one of the strongest forces in our personality, we do things to stay consistent with how we define ourselves so I would love to know from you in five words, how would you describe yourself
Sebastian: I would say I am driven, I would like to think I am funny. I would say kind…
I feel like we are on a date. Do people just go boom, boom, boom and tell you five words and tell me you ask but they probably they put research into this
Kevin: So far so good.
Sebastian: Right so what have we got, driven, funny kind, two other words. I would say, open minded
Kevin: You could say decisive too!
Sebastian: Now awkward would be my fifth word
Kevin: Ahan okay, well then, for anyone who is about to go out on a date, this isn’t a question that you would ask on a date! Okay good, so driven, funny, kind, open minded and now a little bit awkward and definitely funny would be in there too.
Sebastian: I was meant to go sailing today, I didn’t go so I have just sailors hat anyway (puts on hat)
Kevin: good good enjoy the sailor’s hat and you said that earlier that the, the item that you are working on the moment is always the one that you are most excited about. What is the next thing, what is the list that you are working on at the moment?
Sebastian: So the context of this, I will give as quickly as I can, basically at one point, I did a T.V interview in Australia and a guy called Mark got in touch with me and he said I saw you on T.V, and I have created a list, would you help me shave my head and I thought that really odd . Okay. So I helped him shave his head. Mark had got bitten by a tick, got limes disease and his life has turned upside down, he can’t speak, he has ventilator, a care team twenty four hours round the clock and as I shaved his head, I saw how happy he was and I said ‘really, is there anything I can help you with?’ and he said ‘well, I always wanted to do a half marathon’ and I said ‘okay, how can I help you?’ and he said ‘you can push me!’
So I end up pushing Mark in wheelchair and that is the best thing I have ever done. So since then I have been approached by lots, hundreds, thousands of people to help them with things that are meaningful to them and as much as I can, as much as I am able to, I help these people. So there has been some amazing stories of me, you know, being a small part and helping someone else do something incredible for them. Some are hugely significant, some are every easy and simple, doesn’t matter, what has happened from all these stories is that a lot of people now approach me and want to help me help people. So I have become this sort of like middle man of introducing people who need help to people who can help and that is awesome and I wouldn’t change it. This is the best thing, it is the best thing that has happened from my list. So I have got thirty things left for my own list but they have become more insignificant. So the thing now I think about and I care about is helping people so right now. I have just signed to do a reality show called 100 things where I get to travel the world and help people. So I am off to, just came back to Hawaii filming and I don’t know why I pointed out there. I am about to go to the mainland U.S to do another twelve episodes and then I am off to Europe in a few months to do more episode over there so yeah the thing I get excited about is that. I just get to help people now so I don’t know who and how . Yeah it is that stuck more so than the fact that I want a line in Hollywood movie or more so than the fact that I want to catch a thief, which I think is number seventy two on my list. It is more about others. That is what I get excited about and I am developing an app to help introduce people automatically to help each other.
Kevin: wow super cool, super excited and I think around bit Mark from the book, didn’t you do half marathon with him
Sebastian: Yeah I pushed him in his chair and we did a half
Kevin: Yeah that is right and then you finished very tired and he was like ‘marathon?’
Sebastian: yeah and then we actually did bike race together. That was horrendous to both of us. This was like, I had a bike with a crate on the front that we put Mark and his wheelchair in, we didn’t win that either but it was great, it was awesome
Kevin: Wow absolutely. Where will this show air? Will it be here in Australia or
Sebastian: It will be eventually, it is online. It is a web series, so to be online in 2016 and I think by the year it would be spread everywhere outside of the U.S. I am not sure the specific dates but 2016.
Kevin: Okay and if someone else did want to find it more about that or wanted to stay in contact with you mention you email address, how can they best contact you.
Sebastian: personal email is email@example.com. Or you go to the website 100things.com.au to keep in touch, yeah so it is that simple. Obviously Facebook, Twitter, I am in Instagram I think I am seb100things I live in Manly, come and find me.
Kevin: Alright that sounds a good plan, everyone is going to come and join you in Manly and track you down and they can go from there.
Sebastian: Definitely, anyone who is watching, I just wrote a blog post today, you know we are coming in 2016 and you see these things on social media like people are sharing quotes on like black and white beautiful photo, whatever these quotes might be and I would never go to sleep at night without having tried something new in a day or whatever, and like I don’t know how many people actually like live by those, I think that this 2016 year that is coming up is what an opportunity for people to start actually considering what is really meaningful to them. That question again ‘what is on your list?’, I can really challenge everybody to properly consider that question because the most people I talk to and I say what would you like to do, if you could do anything, what is your dream, you haven’t yet accomplished and I recon ninety percent of the responses are, ‘oh I have never really thought about that’ and if you don’t know what is that you really want to do as an individual, what are you doing? I mean you must be doing things that aren’t important to you so I think and identify what is important to you and just throwing yourself out of it for getting excuse and just trying it once. I think that is just an amazing first step for anybody and yeah
Kevin: Absolutely love it, what a really great share that is and of course if you haven’t picked up on it already a 100things is the book that you want to be picking up and reading and, Seb if there was one book that you would recommend to people listening to read after they have read your book, what would that book be?
Sebastian: okay so this is probably not the answer you get all the time, I don’t read too much. So I mean, there are million books that I get told to read and I don’t read them but particular book on the table which send this, I actually didn’t read it. It’s ‘Today I will fly’, it’s a kid book and it is about, it is about a pig who wants to fly and an elephant doubts it and I will tell you what, they story is just incredible, what emotional roller coaster
Kevin: I love it, not what I expected at all
Sebastian: I should say, I got sent this by a girl who I helped in the first episode of this show that I am doing which isn’t online yet but it will be. Her name is Vivian so I am going to say thanks to Vivian for sending that to me but she has got anxiety and she had panic attacks. So she tries to create memories and experiences that when she goes through when an awkward moment. She meditates on those moments, so we end up doing and amazing day in Hawaii and there were turtles involved and bit of snorkeling and stuff and she said that is a good bye and as a thank you she sent ‘today we will fly’.
Kevin: And that is by
Sebastian: it is by Mo Willems. Thank you for giving me the time to just come up with that book it was just right here. Great book. I don’t give to give it away. I don’t give too much away but the pig flew. I am not sure, but he did fly
Kevin: I love it
Sebastian: And the elephant, he ate his words didn’t he
Kevin: I just love it, not what I expected and certainly living up to the five words of being funny and kind, open minded, driven and I think there is probably one more word that I would stick in there, I think you are completely modest. There is a lot of modesty here of what you have done and what you achieved. Seb, I thank you so much for your time today and best wishes with the remainder of the projects that are coming.
Sebastian: I really appreciate and I hope this is in some way valuable to people and
Kevin: thank you sir, I really appreciate it.
Thanks so much for listening to the life changing questions podcast with your host Kevin Bees. We’ll catch you next time.