Sebastian Terry is helping others live life with no regrets
Sebastian Terry is on a mission. Terry was out backpacking at the age of 24 when he received a phone call that a close friend of his had passed away. Almost immediately, the young Aussie-native asked himself that if his friend, Chris, knew he would pass at 24, would he have changed anything in his life if he got a second chance? Terry admits that he doesn't think that he would of, "I think Chris lived a life that really reflected his values." But then he asked himself the same question. He realized that he wasn't happy at all. Terry ended up grabbing a pen and a piece of paper, began jotting down all the things in his life that he had never done before that he believed would make him smile. The rest is history.
Terry's "100 Things" -- which included getting married in Las Vegas and running with bulls -- soon turned into a viral blog, where the adventurer would document his attempts at completing everything he had written down. Users followed along with Sebastian Terry across the world as he tried to knock off everything on his self-proclaimed anti-bucket list -- "I think a bucket list is a negative way to look at it. The emphasis is on death so it's really things to do for a more enriching life."
And while the memories were incredible, a newfound sense of being in control of his life was the most rewarding. "At the risk of sounding like Oprah, I really believe now that anything is possible." Terry claims that his journey also led him to realize that he had to help himself before he could help others, or in his words "you have to be selfish first in order to be selfless." Seven years later, Sebastian Terry is ready to take that next step and involve people all over the world find their own sense of self-empowerment.
Sebastian Terry recently teamed up with the live-streaming app go90 to take viewers through the process of others trying to complete their own list. The series titled "100 Things" showcases the Aussie meeting up with people from all walks of life, getting know them, and lending them help in form of a motivational push or a support system. The series is available to stream starting today.
AOL.com had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Sebastian Terry to talk about his inspiring journey, his new go90 series, and more! Read ahead to find out about his crazy overnight wedding, the biggest thing he's learned about himself along the way, and more.
And don't forget to tune into "100 Things" on go90 today!
What was your life like before you started "100 Things"?
I had finished school and I didn't really know what to do. I was told by my career advisor to get a university degree so I ended up getting a degree in something. I came out three and a half years later with my degree and still felt really unfulfilled. I felt just as lost as before. So I ended up going backpacking overseas and I found myself in Canada. I got a phone call one night from one of my friends back home that my friend Chris had passed away overnight very tragically. The news rocked me and it made me ask a lot of questions. In a time when I was drifting through life, I realized that I was unhappy. I thought about my life and if I was going to die today at 24 in Canada, looking back would I be happy? And I realized the answer was no. It was that moment that I created my list and that was it.
Did you ever have any reservations about leaving your life behind to go through your list?
No I didn't! I came to the conclusion that I was unhappy and that I wanted to prioritize my happiness when I devised the list. There were a lot of quirky things on there that got me out of my comfort zone. But it was actually the simplest decision I made. I thought, "What's more important than being happy?" So I just bought a plane ticket and left. Seven years later, every day feels very purpose driven and I feel happy.
What was the first thing you completed off your list?
First thing I did -- and you'll judge me on this – was marry a stranger in Las Vegas. So I flew there by myself and I met a stripper while I was there, proposed to her, and found a wedding chapel. Thirty strangers turned up and the only person who didn't show up was Crystal, the exotic dancer, so I was stood up on my wedding day. Thankfully I looked at the crowd and said, "Is there anyone else here who would like to marry me?" And there was. It was the receptionist at my hotel and she always wanted to do it too. We got married! It was really awkward moment and amongst a very weird environment in Vegas and a very abstract concept, but conceptually what happened was that I had achieved so many things that were expected of me at that point but it was the first time that I identified a goal myself. In a bizarre way it was linked to a value of mine and by working through it and achieving that goal I really felt empowered. I felt like I was in control of my life and felt a genuine sense of satisfaction. And I was smiling! And then I was tempted to do everything on my list. That satisfaction you get for achieving something meaningful is something that nothing else can really compare to.
Now with your go90 show, you're helping other people with their own lists. What's the hardest thing about that?
I had help along the way and offered so many opportunities. I think there's always help out there and the only hurdle is trying to change someone's mindset. In each of these episodes, we try to help someone with some hurdle, whether it be fear or a lack of confidence or a lack of resource. Life happens and for many people they forget about their list that they created when they were younger. I think the only hurdle is getting in there and remind them that it is okay to think about themselves. It's not selfish to be happy. In all the episodes we're finding people who take big steps emotionally, physically, and sometimes spiritually. People develop, they grow and they realize how capable they are. And that's not the end of the show, that's something that's really a first episode in many ways.
What has the filming process been like for you?
Completely different for me! I'm not a TV host; I'm just someone who likes to be happy. From a production point of view, it's been a really steep learning curve that I've finally gotten used to. The producers really understand me, and they have essentially said to "be you". So I have fun with it, I meet them, get to understand them, pinpoint why they haven't achieved their goal, and I get to help them. I have an amazing team around me and it has been awesome! I wouldn't change a thing. Everything that's happened in my journey has been an accident -- I never thought that I would be asked to write a book or do a TV show, so I'm just rolling with the punches and it's been absolutely brilliant.
How do you interact with your fans or followers online? What is your dynamic like with them?
It used to be all about me. But at one point someone saw me on TV and they said they came up with a list and they asked if I could help them shave their head. So I went a shaved this guy's head. I met this man Mark who was a paraplegic and he wasn't always that way; he had been bitten by a tick and contracted Lyme disease and his life turned upside down. He can't talk or move, and when I was shaving his head I thought about how happy he was. And via his translator, he said that he would love to run a marathon and I asked how I could help. He ended up responding back saying that I could push him. So I ended up pushing Mark and it was the best thing I had ever done. From that moment, all my social media conversations changed to people asking for help.
So I've been on the trajectory of helping people for quite some time. But there were just so many people and I couldn't help every single one of them. So I turned into a position where I began to connect people to third parties so strangers could help one another. I actually also received an email a month ago from a man in New Zealand who I had never met, saying nine months ago he was about to take his life. But he heard me on the radio, he researched me, and he decided to reconsider his life. So from what started as a crazy wedding in Vegas is actually saving lives now.
How have your goals changed since you've started your list and completed it?
A list essentially is an extension of your values. Over the seven years I've been doing this my values changed. My life used to be really sheltered so everything on there was about skydiving naked or getting married in Vegas, but now it has changed very much. I remember at one point I wanted to drive a Ferrari down the Autobahn in Germany and then after a while I thought that was quite easy and I didn't think that I needed the adrenaline rush. So I changed that to trying to stay awake for 72 hours which is on a different tangent all together. I think that as people we need to be checking in with ourselves every month or two months just so our list reflects who we are and who we're becoming. I started this journey thinking that it would take 100 things for me to reach a level of happiness or state of content. But it's taken me 71 things to realize that it doesn't matter how many things I tick off, the whole process is to uncover who I am as a person and be that person everyday.
For incredible sights around the world to add to your list, watch the video below!