what i wish i'd known when i was 18

Either if I see a YouTube film or read a blog, my eyes go below to the bottom of the screen. Because I get so fantastically upset by people who write comments. I don’t even know anybody who writes comments! I think that’s the point. The kind of people who put comments are themselves so weird and unhappy and alone and strange, it’s called ‘trolling’, you know, vicious comments about things. I mean, really weird. Either politically weird or religiously weird or just so intolerant or so desperate to be heard! So offensive! Just pleading: “Please listen to meeee!” they’re saying all the time. “Listen to me!” And of course you don’t want to, and if you do it just gets upset, you might even be tricked into replying with an aggressive reply to some idiot, and with vile opinions about things. Which they will use on a complete… it might be a puppy running around, some random Youtube thing, and it somehow manages to get a thread of nastiness into it. And they just want to be heard, and they are so resentful, and so annoyed, especially due to other people’s blogs, the fact that somebody’s reading someone else’s blog and not theirs is madly enough!
Well, to me… if I had known when I was younger, chasing technique, chasing an answer is fatal. And I would say this, and many people will scream in disbelief, the worst thing you can ever do in your life is set yourself goals. I think goal orientation is absolutely disastrous in life. Two things happen: one — you don’t meet your goals, you call yourself a failure. Secondly — you meet your goal, you go “Well, I’m here, and now what? I’m not happy. I’ve got this car, this job, I’m living in this address, which I always thought the place I wanted to be, and what?” Because you’re going for something outside yourself, and that’s no good.

Dearest Stephen Fry,

Thank you for the ever important reminder,

“Work is more fun than fun.”

Set aside a half an hour to watch this in full from start to finish.


What I Wish I’d Known When I Was 18

Stephen Fry all day

If there is a phrase that makes my heart sink, that’s “Not impressed”. People just say: “Yeah, it’s so… I’m not impressed.” As if, well… who cares with your “impressed”? It’s such a vain thing to say. If your standards are so high that you need to be impressed, “To impress me you’ve got to be damn good”, I mean, there are things we don’t like, there are things we think of as substandard or ordinary which we can turn away from. But it’s wonderful, the rush, the headlong of something with enthusiasm, like a puppy for things you admire and people you admire. Sometimes they’ll disappoint you, some great singer or some fabulous painter or writer may turn out to have a pretty horrifying private life or do unpleasant things to animals or whatever, but to admire is enormously helpful.