5 Lessons on Happiness: From Pop Fame to Poisonous Snakes with Mike Posner at TED – Video

5 Lessons on Happiness: From Pop Fame to Poisonous Snakes with Mike Posner at TED – Video

5 Lessons on Happiness — from Pop Fame to Poisonous Snakes | Mike Posner | TED

Mike Posner, known for his hit song “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” shares his journey of fame, loss, and self-discovery in a powerful TED Talk titled “5 Lessons on Happiness.” Despite achieving fame and success in the music industry, Posner reveals that true happiness eluded him for years. Inspired by his father’s words about health and happiness, Posner embarked on a challenging journey to walk 3,000 miles across the United States.

Facing physical and emotional obstacles along the way, including a poisonous snake bite and the loss of his father to cancer, Posner learned profound lessons about life and happiness. Through perseverance and self-reflection, he discovered that true happiness comes from growth and that reasons often mask excuses for quitting. Ultimately, Posner emphasizes the importance of not waiting to pursue our dreams and finding joy in the journey.

With heartfelt honesty and vulnerability, Posner’s story is a reminder that true fulfillment comes from within and that self-discovery is a lifelong journey. His inspiring message serves as a poignant reminder to embrace life’s challenges and embrace the opportunity for personal growth and happiness.

Watch the video by TED

Video Transcript

I took a pill in Ibiza To show Avicii I was cool And when I finally got sober, felt ten years older Oh, fuck it, it was something to do I’m living out in LA I drive a sports car just to prove I’m a real big baller ’cause I made a million dollars

And I spend it on girls and shoes You don’t want to be high like me Never really knowing why like me You don’t ever want to step off that roller coaster And be all alone You don’t want to ride the bus like this Never knowing who to trust like this

You don’t want to be stuck up on that stage singing Stuck up on that stage singing All I know Are sad songs Sad songs Darling, all I know Are sad songs Sad songs Thank you. My name is Mike Posner, and some of you may recognize me from that song, “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” but I’m not the same person I was when I wrote that. In fact, that’s why I’m here today. I want to tell you about the time that I did something crazy

And it changed me. I want to tell you about the time that I tried to walk 3,000 miles all the way across the United States of America, the big challenge that got in my way and the five life lessons that I learned. But way before I tried to walk across America,

My story begins with my father. My dad used to always tell me when I was little, “Mike, there’s two things that are most important to me. Number one, I want you to be healthy. And number two, I want you to be happy.” Now the healthy part, that came easy to me.

But the happiness … I struggled with that. I was kind of a shy and depressed kid, and I thought if I could get everyone to like me, you know, maybe I would be happier. And so I set about trying to get everyone to like me.

And I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. I was very effective at getting people to like me. In fact, by the time I was 22, I had become famous. I would walk onto stages and people, forget about like, they would scream for me. I would take my shirt off at the concert, they’d scream even louder. I’d go backstage, they tell me how great I was,

But I’d get to the hotel and I’d be alone. And the happiness that Dad wanted for me, it just wasn’t there. I don’t know how to tell you this, I tried everything. Therapy, meditation, self-help books or retreats. Nothing worked. And it’s not like this went on for six months,

This went on for 10 years. And so out of options, I decided to chase after the happiness that Dad wanted for me in one last way, in a way that had been stuck in my head for many years. I decided to walk across America. Now, very quickly,

The people I worked with in the music industry gave me the feedback that this was both a bad and a crazy idea. You can’t just stop making albums, stop doing shows and leave. This is a career-ending decision. That’s when I learned life lesson number one. Not all crazy ideas are great,

But all great ideas are crazy. And so I made the decision, but still, these negative thoughts kept coming up in my head. Thoughts like: What if I really hurt myself permanently from doing this walk? What if they’re right and I do ruin my career from trying this project? What if I fail? What if I don’t make it across

And, like, I fail in front of everyone? And to make matters worse, I lived in LA, but strategically, I wanted to start walking on the East Coast. So before I walked across America, I had to drive across America. And I don’t know if you guys have checked lately, but America —

It’s really freaking wide. It’s really freaking wide. In fact, even driving across it at 70 miles per hour was daunting. I literally had to look at this vast expanse of land that I was going to attempt to walk across. I was going to try to walk one eighth the circumference of planet Earth.

And so it was scary. But on April 15, 2019, I stood off the coast of New Jersey, and I took a step. And when I took that step, all the fears and doubts about what might happen if I chose to do this, they disappeared because I was doing it.

And that’s when I learned the second lesson. Step one is take one step. I walked across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I walked across Ohio, where I developed blistering foot pain. It was worse than I thought it would be, but I kept going. I walked across Indiana and Illinois.

I walked across Missouri during a heat wave, I walked across Kansas. I walked into Colorado. Before I knew it, I’d been walking for over three months. I could just see the Rocky Mountains on the horizon when — ow! Pain shot up my left leg.

And then I heard a sound that I didn’t want to hear. Sh-sh-sh-sh. And I realized that a poisonous rattlesnake had just sunk its fangs into my left leg. I called 911 and I asked, “Dispatch, am I going to die?” And the voice on the other end of the phone said,

“I don’t know, sir.” I spent three nights in the ICU, and my leg swelled to the size of an elephant trunk. I went from walking 24 miles every day to not being able to walk to the bathroom. But after a lot of PT and great medical care, a really funny thing happened.

I got better. And so now I had a decision to make. I could either, A: return to my life of fame and luxury and Uber Eats. And unhappiness. Or I could B: go back to the sweltering heat. Go back to the blistering foot pain, go back to the sides of the roads where the cars almost hit me every single day. This path sucked and it hurt a lot, but it taught me lesson number three.

When it comes to things I care about, my reasons to quit are always excuses in disguise. See, I had the best reason to quit of all time. Let me spell it out for you. I was bit by a deadly snake, And I almost died. This is the gold standard of reasons to stop doing something. In fact, it was such a good reason to quit that if I did quit, most people probably wouldn’t even consider me a quitter, it would just be a really cool story with a bad-ass ending. But I wasn’t doing this for most people. I knew. I knew that the only way

For me to become the version of myself that I’d actually be proud of and have a chance to taste the happiness that Dad wanted for me so bad, was to walk the remaining 1,000 miles. And … I don’t know how to tell you this.

There was no podcast I could listen to about it, there was no book I could read about it, there was no documentary I could watch about it, there was no magical piece of advice a friend could give me about it, there was no psychedelic, I had to do it.

I had to do it. And so I went back to the exact spot that that darn snake bit me. I was scared to go back there, too. And I took a step. And I kept taking steps until I walked up and over the Rocky Mountains. And I kept taking steps until I walked across Colorado. And I kept taking steps when I didn’t want to keep taking steps. I kept taking steps until I walked across Navajo Nation.

I kept taking steps until I walked across Arizona. I kept taking steps until I walked across Nevada. I kept taking steps until I walked across the Mojave Desert. I kept taking steps until the Hollywood sign was on my right. I kept taking steps until the pavement turned into sand.

I kept taking steps until my walk transformed into a sprint. And after six months and three days, 2,851 miles, 5.7 million steps, I dove face-first into the Pacific Ocean. And while I was in that water, an unfamiliar emotion washed over me. And that was happiness. That’s when I learned lesson number four, that true happiness comes from growth. So now I had the health, I had the happiness. But I didn’t have my dad. Two years before I started walking across America,

My dad was diagnosed with glioblastoma, that’s a form of brain cancer. And on January 11, 2017 … My dad passed away. And I want to be real with you today. I had the idea and the inspiration to walk across America way before my dad got sick

But every time spring rolled around, I would say, “Next year. Next year, I’m too busy right now. I’ve got a concert, I’ve got a tour. Next year, I’ve got work, I’ve got a wedding that I don’t want to go to, but I feel like I’ve got to go to it.

Next year, next year.” And as a result of me saying “next year” … My dad never got to see me achieve my biggest dream. My biggest accomplishment. And he never got to see me truly happy. And so, if lesson number one is not all crazy ideas are great,

But all great ideas are crazy. And lesson two is step one is take one step. Three: reasons are excuses in disguise. Four: true happiness comes from growth. Then lesson number five … Don’t wait. Don’t wait. Thank you. This song is for Dad. You tell me that you can see your mother I couldn’t see her That was my fault, it wasn’t yours And I spit back these words I heard in Ram Dass lectures To make you feel better about what’s in store And everyone has their theory of where you’re going

And here I am about to throw more words on top of that pile I happen to think that you always know who I am You’re just stretching out your wings You’re gonna fly for a while And that’s all right with me Fly, baby, fly Yeah, that’s all right with me Fly, baby, fly

I’m so tired of life inside the saddle There’s no reason for that It happened just because And the moon’s so bright tonight that I have a shadow And that’s a reminder that I’m not who I thought I was And everyone has their theory of where you’re going

Here I am about to throw more words on top of that pile I happen to think that you always know who I am You’re just stretching out your wings You’re gonna fly for a while And that’s all right with me Fly, baby, fly Yeah, that’s all right with me Fly, baby, fly

Yeah, that’s all right with me Fly, baby, fly Yeah, that’s all right with me Fly, baby, fly And then it comes undone It all unwinds And there’s only so much I can take Only so much time Yeah, it comes undone It all unwinds

Been in the dark so long that the light just makes me blind Been in the dark so long that the light just makes me blind At some point, every light begins to flicker So I suspect that even mine will start to wane But I’ve got an idea that I’d like you to consider

If I could love you without trying to change you, could you do the same? If I could love you without trying to change you, could you do the same? Thank you guys so much, my name is Mike Posner, appreciate you.

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Video “5 Lessons on Happiness — from Pop Fame to Poisonous Snakes | Mike Posner | TED” was uploaded on 03/20/2024 to Youtube Channel TED