I’m a big believer in ‘flow’; the idea that if in your quest to live a fulfilling life you leave yourself open to influences out of your own control, things tend to fall into place. This is what happened today.
After being booked to speak at the ‘National Radio Conference’ at the Sydney Convention Centre about my 100 Things journey, I excitedly turned up early and entered the 1000 person strong auditorium half way through what was the first presentation of the day. Sitting down quietly at the back of the room, I looked up and began to take notice of who was speaking on stage and to my surprise it was none other than Sharon Osbourne. Yes, the Sharon Osbourne! Embarrassingly I had no idea she would even be at the event.
At first feeling somewhat proud of myself that I’d been asked to speak at the same event as such a high profile celebrity, it soon dawned on me that in this situation lay the potential for possibly another tick from the list. A tick so obscure and ambitious that even the thought of it made had already made me nervous; Number 34- To Kiss a Celebrity.
The stage is set
As this fresh idea began to bounce around my head, gaining momentum by the second, my heart-rate immediately doubled. Around me was calmness and intrigue as everyone listened to Sharon share her stories from dining with the Royal family, to frolicking with the likes of Elton John and Simon Cowell but in my head was a quickly growing question that was making my palms clammier by the second; should I try and ask her for a kiss? I was petrified and this I took as a sign that this was very possible!
As I sat there in absolute terror, logic told me that all I needed to do to achieve my goal was to somehow make contact with Sharon and ask for a kiss. Minor details like convincing her that I was not a mad-man, or even the crucial question of whether she’d say ‘YES’, were at this stage things out of my control. I could only hope.
“And we’ll finish our interview by taking some questions from the crowd. Does anyone want to ask Sharon something?” asked the female journalist who was seated next to Sharon on stage.
If I thought I was nervous before, the realization that there was a person now roaming through the audience with a microphone for questions made me clench every muscle in my body. Could I? Should I? Would she? I was sweating. This was the perfect scenario, surely?
Trying to internally list any reasons as to why I should’t put my hand up and ask Sharon if she’d up for kissing me, the only thing that I could think of was the unprofessionalism I might be showing. Seeing that I’d been invited to this event as a speaker, my mind told me that perhaps it would be a rude suggestion from someone who shouldn’t have a voice other than when on stage himself. This I considered for a few minutes.
It’s amazing as people how we try and talk ourselves out of doing things that we know we want to. It’s self sabotage of a the highest order. If we somehow convince ourselves that something is too hard or too much of a risk, we find it easier to avoid challenging ourselves. The sad truth is that subconsciously we would rather avoid the challenge of achieving something than risking failure in our attempt. Fear inhibits what we achieve in life and I could feel the battle in the my head begin.
Immediately I snuck over to one of the event organizers who I’d seen seated near to me. My awkward approach confused her,
“Hey Sam, do you think it would be rude if I asked Sharon for a kiss? It’s on my list, you see”
The response was immediate,
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
This I took as good news. It was my excuse not to put myself out there and risk failing. With this weak mindset, I could now blame the missed opportunity on someone else. Easy.
Standing there silent for a moment though, I looked down at Sharon and again began to wonder ‘what if?’.
‘That’s a shame, you know? It would be a great story and even if she said no I think everybody would get a good laugh out of it.’ I continued.
This time the response was more positive and Sam got out her walky-talky and radioed the head organizer, Julie. The delay was unbearable.
“No, that’s not going to work. Tell Seb we’re sorry” came the response.
This time though, the confirmation upset me. I was winning my mental battle; I didn’t to want to use an excuse as to why I couldn’t do this! I wanted to risk failure. It would be funny! This is what I live for!
“Where is Julie? I’m going to ask her in person” I replied quickly
A point in the direction of Julie’s whereabouts was all it took for me to begin running. Sixty seconds later I’d found her backstage. Thirty seconds after this, having explained my predicament in person, Julie had given me the green light to ask my nerve-riddled question. It was now up to me. There were no excuses.
“OK, are there any more questions before we wrap up?” asked the onstage journalist one last time.
Immediately my hand shot into the air, and in it immediately was placed a microphone. Things were about to get crazy as my throat instantly dried up and my breaths drew shorter. I was sat midway back in the audience but it felt like the centre of the universe. It was time to let go and enjoy the ride;
“Hello Sharon, how you going?”
There was no turning back. We were in conversation and other than running out the back door, my request was now just moments away from being broadcast to Sharon herself.
“I’m actually speaking on stage after you about a journey that I’m on. I’ve got a list of 100 things that I want to do before I die. I’ve ticked off 60 items so far.”
Although my start was one full of nerves, I took the fact that she hand’t interrupted me as a sign that she was engaged, or at least not threatened. This was important. Drawing some strength from somewhere I then fell into a state of complete purpose, trusting that the rest would unfold as it needed to.
“Now one of the harder items on the list is to kiss a celebrity” laughter filled the room and encouraged me further. My flow was coming on. “And I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to maybe forward the idea, whether you’d consider it…”
Suddenly I lost my concentration and stopped speaking mid sentence. The crowd rose in volume and began cheering as they too realized that someone in the room was actually taking a huge risk of failing by actually propositioning Sharon Osbourne for a kiss. I, like them, was fascinated to see what would happen.
In the midst of my heart feeling as though it was about to pop through my chest, i only then noticed that Sharon was beckoning me on stage. Outrageously, things seemed to be working out but with my mind working at a million miles per hour, I was finding it hard making sense of reality. Was she keen? Thankfully my legs took over control from my brain and before I knew it, they were transporting me closer and closer to the steps that would lead me onto stage in front of 1000 people, and ever closer of course to a celebrity who seemed eager to help me.
“Come on, get your are over here!” came the demand from Sharon. I couldn’t believe it!
Having never been in situation like this in my life, I had no blue-print to follow at this stage and so naturally walked over towards Sharon who remained seated in her comfortable chair. Everyone watched in amazement as the unknown was about to be revealed. The mechanics of the kiss suggested that our faces would have to be at the same level to kiss and so in what can only have looked like an awkward stoop, I leant over and positioned my face immediately in front of her so that our lips were only centimeters apart. Something was about to happen, the energy in the room told me so, and as I braced myself with a mixture of child like curiosity and genuine excitement, our lips suddenly touched and my eyes closed. I was living. We were kissing!
Not wanting to force the issue, my plan of attack (if there was a plan at all!) was only to kiss if being kissed, but apparently I had hugely underestimated the crowd-pleasing ability of the fun-loving Sharon and after only a few seconds of fully pressing our lips together, her hand pulled my face closer to hers and her tongue cheekily whipped out and caressed mine. I felt like I hadn’t kissed before! Without any suggestion of romance, this was bloody hilarious and as my mouth began to smile with laughter, Sharon bit my lip. What a legend!
Number 34- Celebrity Kiss- TICK! (this is the pic that featured in the Daily Telegraph newspaper the next day!)
The applause and cheering which was plentiful at this stage left my thoughts as this moment became something I knew I’d never forget. Not for the fact that I was kissing a celebrity but more so because in that moment I felt the flow of life. Having opened up to the power of opportunity, all it took was for me to ask a simple question without being influenced by the fear of failure. I loved the simplicity. In in these moments that I think I grow as a person.
In near shock that not only had Sharon played her part perfectly, but gone above and beyond by making sure that there would be no room for doubt as to whether this was a real kiss or not, our lips and heads parted before I turned to crowd in disbelief.
In my eyes a celebrity kiss could be no more perfect and with laughter filling the room, I thanked Sharon for playing along.
Facing the audience one last time, I then grabbed the microphone again and announced;
“And that’s the latest tick from my list! Thanks.”
Number 34- Celebrity Kiss- TICK!
Thank you Sharon Osbourne (I’m still buzzing!)
100 Things… What’s on your list?