- What are the goals of 100 Things?
1- To complete the list
2- To encourage others to start achieving their own dreams
3- Raise $100,000 for Camp Quality
- What inspired the 100 Things list?
I can’t think of a better way to answer this than to share with you the first chapter from my book. Here is my reasoning:
I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m crazy, don’t you? I don’t mind; in fact, I’d probably assume the same thing if I’d just read about someone marrying a stranger in Vegas on a whim. In reality, though, this was not a spur-of-the-moment decision fuelled by alcohol, immaturity or even an unsound mind. Rather it was a very deliberate choice, the upshot of a set of significant events in my life at that time, the saddest of which involved the loss of a close friend’s life.
Without a doubt, the events leading up to the wedding in Vegas completely changed the way I viewed the world and myself. And in a moment of clarity whilst sitting upon that stretch Hummer saying my vows to Chevali, I felt something inside me click. It was this feeling that sparked an incredible journey that is still continuing to this day. I think without further delay I should probably explain in a little more detail why I found myself in Las Vegas in the first place.
As far back as I can recall, I remember living a fairly normal life; I had loving parents, a little sister to joke with and even enjoyed a bit of travel as we followed my dad’s work around the world. By the time I was four years old, I’d lived in four countries and like all young kids was leading the life that was handed to me. By my teens, the natural progression of growing up had led me into high school with no major hiccups and with a healthy diet of good parenting and a love of team sports, you could say that I was a well-balanced kid, a product of a solid upbringing. On paper everything was just right.
In honesty, like most, my life up to until the end of school was fairly easy; I didn’t have to think too hard and everything just happened systematically. The first decision that I ever had to make was whether, after graduating from Year Twelve, to start a career or further my study. Between you and me, neither of these options really appealed to me and although there was also a third option to travel, it was suggested to me that this would in no way aid in the process of achieving what had been deemed as paramount to a good life: financial security. Without financial security, the ideals that had been instilled into me, such as being able to afford a car, a house and even one day a family, would be jeopardised. So, in what was ultimately a process of elimination, I ended up committing the next three years of my life to a university degree in Human Movement simply because the notion of starting a career with no idea of what career path I wanted to follow seemed even more ridiculous.
Three years later though, after obtaining a degree and accumulating some $17,000 in student loans, I still felt no true calling. I was twenty-two years old and confused. On paper I’d accomplished all that society had encouraged me to do but in reality I remained lost. The overwhelming expectation that I become financially secure was still ringing loudly in my ears but by this stage I’d developed a curiosity that I couldn’t shake; why did financial security seem to take precedence over everything else?
My quick-fix solution was to travel and so I spent the next few years of my life drifting aimlessly overseas as I tried to search for an answer to one simple question: What do I want to do with my life? This though remained unanswered and so, by the time I’d completely run out of money at the age of twenty-four, somewhere in the middle of Canada I might add, I’d begun readying myself to return home to Australia in preparation for the inevitable next step of finding a career. I saw no other alternative.
One week before my flight home, I noticed what I thought was a mistake on my bank statement. They had swindled me out of $200! Naturally I got in touch with the bank to reclaim the last of my money but, within minutes of speaking to the gentleman at the other end of the line, learned that the only mistake was that of my own maths – I was not owed anything. Just as I was about to hang up the phone in embarrassment, the man added, ‘Sebastian, by the way, my computer is telling me that I can extend your credit card limit by $3500, on the spot. Does this interest you?’
It did, and within ten minutes of hanging up the phone, I had made plans to visit one more place before flying home. You see, I’d always wanted to go to Las Vegas and I saw this moment as possibly the last opportunity to do it before securing a proper job and, that old chestnut, financial stability.
It was on the eve of flying out that I heard the news about Chris.
Chris, or Detho, as everyone knew him, was a close friend of mine. We grew up together in high school. We played rugby together, rowed together and shared beers together. Detho was everyone’s best mate. He was a legend in his own right. Detho had lived his whole life in the same house, only minutes from our school, and closer again to our surf club. Not only was he a great person, but so too are his family. They all played a large part within a close-knit community.
The phone call I received from a mutual friend back in Australia stopped me in my tracks; Detho had died overnight. He too was twenty-four years old. I fell silent on the phone. To be honest, I can’t recall what was said after that.
Chris had been partying all night with good friends, as he loved to do. The partying had continued into the next morning, when they found themselves in a friend’s backyard. An exuberant game of roof-jumping then ensued, each person attempting to outdo the other, as boys do. Chris was a big kid at heart and always enjoyed the fun, carefree side of life. Detho went too far and tragically lost his life. He died at the scene. Coincidentally, the first responding ambulance officer was one of his good friends. Everyone knew Detho.
Logistically, I couldn’t get back in time for the funeral and as such was left in North America, feeling useless. All I could do was to think and before long I decided to start writing. I wrote down all my thoughts on pages and pages of scrap paper as a way of trying to make some sense of what had happened.
My parents of course attended the funeral back in Sydney. They, along with hundreds of others, had to stand outside the church, due to the sheer number of people grieving the loss.
Death sparks reflection, first of the deceased, and then of yourself. There were many questions in my head at that time but there was one in particular that I couldn’t look past: If Detho knew that that particular day was going to be his last, would he have changed anything? Would he have changed his last week, his last month or even his last year? Ultimately, given another chance, would Detho have changed the way he lived up to that point, full stop?
Although I could only guess, I think Detho’s answer would have been no; he wouldn’t have changed a thing. His life revolved around his friends, family and good times. He surrounded himself with the things he loved until his last day and as I saw it, he was happy because of it.
With this same question in mind, I pondered my own situation. Could I say the same thing? If I knew I was to die next year, next month, next week or even that very day, would I change anything? I thought about this long and hard, first considering everything I had done and then taking into account how I felt inside.
Unlike Detho, my answer was yes; I would change something.
This wasn’t just a question that disappeared from my consciousness after a moment’s thought. It stuck with me, and does to this day. With my affirmative answer came a realisation that there was a huge problem: I was not living as I wanted to; fundamentally, I wasn’t happy. I was furious with myself. Who would allow such a thing? The answer was me! I had never felt so angry. For the first time I had seen my own life with absolute clarity, and I realised I wasn’t who I wanted to be.
Immediately I began to question everything. Why was I not out there achieving all my true dreams and desires – the things that I wanted to do? In my eyes I had been wasting my life up to that point in an effort to walk a path of comfort, a path that society had dictated for me.
The next question was obvious as it was pivotal in my life: If given another chance, what would I do differently?
I fetched another piece of paper and again started to write.
Death puts things into perspective. We only have one life.
After scribbling frantically for a while, I put the pen back on the table and looked at what I’d written. It was a list of 100 things that I had always wanted to do, dreams and goals that would test me on all kinds of levels – physical, mental and emotional. As I peered down at the plethora of challenges before me, I was suddenly filled with possibility and excitement. I had even left room on the list for things I was yet to discover. I labelled these ‘TBA’.
Calmness soon replaced my anger as I grasped something just as important as the question itself: I was not dead, I was alive. I had a chance to make a change. With this realisation I immediately felt empowered, flooded with energy and a determination not to waste my life from that day on. There in front of me, on that piece of paper, was the key to my self-fulfilment. This was my chance to answer no, I wouldn’t change a thing.
The next day I flew to Vegas and three days later I married a stranger.
Although at face value, marrying a stranger was certainly an odd thing to do, it was the first time I remember feeling like I’d accomplished something of meaning. This sense of achievement was something I’d never felt before. It wasn’t so much the fact that it involved a stretch Hummer, wedding vows and a celebrity impersonator, but more so the underlying fact that for the first time in my life I’d simply achieved a goal that I’d identified as important to me. Although seemingly a bizarre goal to pursue in light of Detho’s passing, it was something I felt compelled to do because of it.
By sheer coincidence, Detho’s funeral occurred on the very same day as my Vegas wedding. I think this was a sign. It was at that moment I decided that I would complete my list.
One item down, ninety-nine to go.
- How is 100 Things journey funded?
The simple answer to this is that I’m not sure. I do not accept sponsorship or money donations from anyone.
When I began the trip I saved up $9000 to travel with but this of course ran out rather quickly. At that stage I began working in a bar in Switzerland that fuelled a few more items but I’ve found that money is not the key element with this journey. Instead it’s fuelled by an open attitude and a momentum that allows it to continue with complete dedication. As such money tends to manifest in various ways as it needs to.
When people contact me telling that they have a relative that can put me in touch with the right person or a friend that can offer me a bed for a night I simply say yes. I have no other commitments and prioritise my list in my life.
I now get invited to give motivational talks to schools, businesses and community groups around the world and with the addition of a book deal which also allows me to gain some income, I’m able to continue the journey with the same dedication.
I also donate 10% of any money earned from talks to Camp Quality, the charity helping kids and famillies affected by cancer.
- What happens when you finish his list?
I have no idea. There is no plan other than completing the list but it’s this unknown that excites me. There have been many developments within the journey since it began and it’s with the same trust and belief that I know that the right things will occur when they need to after the list.
Perhaps I’ll be able to help complete many other people’s lists.
Life itself is perpetually changing. As such, so to does the key to our self fulfillment. At the moment though there is nothing in the world I’d rather be doing.
There are a million ways to help out and most of these I couldn’t even guess. Here though are a few ideas:
- You could help me tick off a particular item
- You could donate to Camp Quality, hence adding to the $100,000 target
- You could become a campaigner and add to the ever growing community of go-getters
- You could throw a fundraiser for Camp Quality
- You could just say G’day and tell me that you like following the journey
- You could spread the love and tell a friend about 100 Things
- You could buy the 100 Things book
- You may know a journalist who may be interested in interviewing 100 Things
- You could book me to give a talk to your group
- You know someone who knows someone who is related to someone who can put me in touch with someone who can help
- You could join me on an adventure
- You could choose what I do next by making a generous donation to Camp Quality, hence buying one of the 5 vacant spots on the list which are up for auction (please send an email before donating).
- How do I become a 100 Things campaigner?
That’s easy! Just create your own account by clicking on the “Join Here” link on the right hand-side of the Home page. After adding your name, screen name and password, then choose to create your own blog. After activating your account you’ll need to create your own post that showcases your own list. To do this please do the following:
Creating your List-
To create your list, click on Dashboard > Add New Post.
On this blank page you can create and write your list (remember to give your list a name in the title box). When completed, click on Publish. Once published click on View Post. Whilst viewing your new list post, copy the the URL from the Address Bar and click on the HOME link. Then hover over and click My Account > Profile > Edit. Paste the copied URL in the field titled Link to your 100 Things. Hit Save Changes and proceed. You have now linked your list to your profile. The list can be found by clicking. View my 100 Things on your profile page. You are now underway!
Editing/Adding to Your List-
To edit your list, click on View My List and then edit this entry which will appear in the top right of your list. Edit, add or change your list as needed and then press the Update button. All changes are automatically saved.
What do I do when I complete an item? Creating a link)- In the same way that you created your initial list post (see above), hover the cursor over My Sites > My list (whatever you titled it) >New Post. On this blank page you can create and write your story (pics and video links can be added accordingly), remembering to give the post a title. When finished press Publish. When the page is published, click on View Post and again copy the URL from the address bar. With the URL copied, click on your Profile page and the View My 100 Things. Once on your list page, click edit this entry and in the edit mode highlight (with the cursor) the item that you have just written about. Whilst highlighted, click the small ‘link’ icon at the top of the edit box (top row, 10 from the right- it looks like two chain links) and paste the copied URL in the box that pops up. Then press Add Link. Finally click Update to save all changes. You have now created a link on your initial list page that can be clicked and viewed by everyone. You are now one item closer to completing your list!
Adding a Photo to your posts-
To jazz up your page and to prove that you completed your item by way of picture, you can add a photo by clicking on the small star icon located next to the words Upload/Insert located directly top left of the edit box. In the new pop-up box, click Select Files and choose a photo to upload from your computer (your photo must already be saved to your computer). Once uploaded add a caption (optional) and choose an appropriate size (medium is recommended) and then click Insert Into Post. Click Update to complete your post! Looking good!
Adding Video- Using YouTube as your source for storing your videos, copy the YouTube URL for your specific video and simply paste it into your post.
- What does being a Campaigner actually mean?
As a campaigner you can create your very own profile that enables you to put down all your goals in one simple place. It also allows you to share your list to a larger community of similar minded people. The idea is that we all help each other.
You can promote your profile page to friends and family, all of whom can show their support by leaving comments or donating to Camp Quality.
As you complete your list you can update your profile with photos, videos and text so that you can note your progress and start to achieve all of your goals.
All accounts are linked to the ‘Latest News’ box on the home page and so your progress is promoted instantly for everyone to see.
For many, by becoming a Campaigner you are realizing your goals for the first time and beginning a journey that will leave a big smile on your face!
With a pen and piece of paper in hand, ask yourself one simple question; if you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do differently today.
Warning; you may not be able to stop thinking about this question whilst in bed tonight.
- What is Camp Quality and how can I donate?
Camp Quality is the charity helping kids and families affected by Cancer. They believe that laughter is the best medicine.
100 Things proudly aims to raise $100,000 for Camp Quality. In fact it’s Number 4 on the list!
To donate you can use the online donation button to the left hand side of the page.
Those wishing to throw a fundraiser for Camp Quality should contact Sebastian directly to organise an official event.
Thanks in advance!
- How can I contact Sebastian?
You can follow Sebastian on Facebook and Twitter or alternatively you can contact him on email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Where can I buy the 100 Things book?
Most book stores will have the 100 Things book stocked but you can also buy the book here. Please just ask if you’d like it to be signed.
You can also buy 100 Things as an e-book.
- How can I book you for a talk?
Simple; just email and ask for a date. I’d love to meet you!
- Can I fund-raise for Camp Quality?
Yes! If you’re interested in throwing a fundraising event, please email me for details.
- I have a question that hasn’t been answered!
Oops.. please email and ask.