Live life the Seb Terry way

24 May 2012

Written by: Jake D'Amato

Have you ever given yourself time to think about what is really important to you? What really makes you happy?

For Sebastian Terry, these questions changed his life and helped him realise his dreams.

‘Seb’ wrote a list of 100 things he had always wanted to do, packed his bags, and departed on a journey in an uncertain manner on 9 June 2009, with less than $10,000 to his name.

His first stop was Las Vegas, his mission, to marry a complete stranger for 24 hours(#2).

Not only did he make a move that many people would refer to as just plain stupid, but he also did it to achieve, in the eyes of many, even sillier tasks.

Not everyone will understand why he would want to be a team mascot for a day (#77) or why he would want to say yes to everything for a week (#20), but some people can.

Seb could never have prepared himself for the impact his journey was going to have on other people.

In less than three years he has not only changed his own life, but many others’ lives as well, in what can only be described as a movement.

After starting a blog as an easy way of keeping friends and family informed of his adventures, Seb was beginning to receive a large number of hits. His blog has now transformed into an interactive community full of people who share his vision.

The community has over 300 active members, who share their lists and adventures with each other. Seb describes this as the biggest surprise on his journey thus far.

‘I only ever did it as a personal endeavour and the way that it’s connected with people around the world has been really surprising.’

What makes his list different from other bucket lists is perhaps its quirkiness.

His list is not filled with many simple (or what many people would consider to be normal) tasks, but instead focuses on getting him out of his comfort zone.

‘All the things on my list put me out of my comfort zone in one way or another, and I really enjoy being there it makes me feel alive … I love those moments.’

Aside from marrying a stranger Seb has also partaken in obscure activities like medical trials (#13), ministering a wedding (#27), skydiving naked (#58), crashing the red carpet at Cannes film festival (#98) and even being shot! (#73)

‘I’ve got this Guinness world record (#19) for crushing the most amount of eggs with my toes in thirty seconds so that’s a bit ridiculous, but they’re all crazy and I think crazy is a good thing,’ he said, explaining what he believed to be his craziest experience so far.

Right now you may be thinking, well how is this man an inspiration?

The answer to this is quite simple, although many of the items on his list are somewhat outrageous; Seb is also doing things that benefit others in a big way.

‘I’ve got to the stage now where I’m really, really happy with where I am as an individual and the big driver for me now is trying to help other people and to be honest that’s just as important as anything on my own list,’ he said.

Item number four on Seb’s list was to raise money for charity, and began as an objective of raising $10,000 for Camp Quality.

But Seb has combined his journey with raising money for this great cause by gaining sponsors and encouraging people to donate. Within months the goal had nearly been reached so he decided to up the ante.

His new goal is to raise $100,000 and he is currently more than halfway there.

Besides raising money, Seb is inspiring people to create lists of their own, and better yet, he is helping people tick items off their list.

Although the Help a stranger (#26) item has been ticked off his list, he’s keeping this one open. After sending an open invitation for people to ask for his help on The Circle, Seb received a copius amount of emails.

Amongst these people is Mark, a man that has his own list of goals, but who also unfortunately suffers from an undiagnosed neurological disease, which confines him to a wheelchair.

Mark initially asked Seb to shave his head, which he did, but during the process Mark hinted at his dream of running a half-marathon. The only issue was finding someone to push him.

Seb offered his assistance, and five months later Seb, as well as a group of other helpers, pushed Mark the entire duration of the 21km Melbourne half-marathon.

At the races end Mark looked at Seb with a big smile and said “that was special,” and it’s moments like these that keep pushing him.

Besides using his blog or the media, he spreads word about his journey and the importance of setting goals in a number of ways.

Seb speaks at schools, businesses and wherever he is able to spread a message that he says has changed along the way.

‘At first when I got asked to speak I just thought my role was to get on stage and make people laugh with silly stories of what I’ve been doing.’

‘But with the idea that people would actually become inspired to create their own lists, my talks then moved towards trying to encourage others to create lists and now when I speak, I talk about how I’ve been able to help some people with their lists and how people are helping other people with their lists, it’s becoming more of a movement.’

The next item on his list that he will be attempting to tick off is, throw a dart at a map and visit the country it lands on (#60). Seb states that after hurling a dart at a world map, he will be heading to Mongolia in the near future.

As Seb continues his amazing journey and continues to help people reach their goals, why not join him?

If you want to learn more about Seb, the first 16 months of his journey are covered in his memoir ‘100 Things: What’s on your list? which conveniently helped him tick an item off his list (#100: Publish a book).

Check out Seb’s full list of 100 Things here!

Help Seb reach his goal of raising $100,000 for Camp Quality here!


Jake D’Amato is a third year Bachelor of Journalism student at
La Trobe, and is part of the upstart editorial team
. Follow him
on Twitter @jdamato32