Sunscreen Challenge

On this day in 1997, the words that were immortalised by Baz Luhrmann in On “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” are 14 years old. The original article appeared  Chicago Tribune entitles, ‘”Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”. The author, Mary Schmich set out to write a fictitious graduation speech, “Most of us, will never be invited to sow our own words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns”. She invited her readership to do the same. 14 years later, we take up that mantle and the #sunscreenchallenge was born.

Each blogger spent 1-hour creating a graduation speech. Essentially, it’s the advice that they’d pass onto school leavers today based on their own life experience. 

Twitter Users: If you’ve enjoyed the blog – please RT the post, include the #sunscreenchallenge tag and find other blog posts using this hashtag.

Love, Abundance, Mystery Everyday

Don’t Block, Flow.

In Acting, there is a rule in improvisation which states ‘Say Yes’. It doesn’t mean literally say yes (where’s the drama in that?) but allow for suggestions to get played out. In Life, allow something fun to happen, just to see what happens, when you let go. This doesn’t give you carte blanche to go mad, but every once in a while, say yes to an invitation to a coffee with a new friend, or say yes to that curious part of yourself that says ‘I’ve never walked down that street before of I’ve never got off at this tube stop, I wonder what’s there. You’ll never know what you’ll find until you’re exploring. It’s pretty big, this world we live. Get to know it.

If It’s Hard, Breathe.

Every learning experience will seem really difficult at first but if you’re not breathing, you’re not living. Don’t hold your breath: whether you’re playing tennis or doing a crossword, oxygenate your brain cells. Most people seize up in fear. Breathe. It makes things flow much better and feel a lot more fun. Make it seem more like playing. Remember when things were easier? It’s because you were playing at it. I’m only any good at snooker when I’m playing the role of a great snooker player.

Walk The Streets With An Open Heart

There is nothing worse than seeing people trudging the streets looking like they’re depressed. Don’t be part of that blockage – meet a stranger’s eye when walking towards each other and feel like you’ve opened your heart. The impact you’ll make on their day will be immeasurable but you’ll know that for that fleeting moment, you’ve made a connection in the world. For them, the world will seem less lonely. And you never know, it might gain you a friend.

Praise Yourself

Take your own counsel. People find it easy to criticise, and most do it without thinking. Know that what you do is for yourself and for your own experiences. You’re making your own life and taking your own path, not theirs. Your route might be longer and circuitous but think of all the fun you’re going to have and the people you’re going to meet along the way! Learn, however, the difference between genuine praise and your own publicity.

Discover Compassion – For Yourself

I learned this recently. This is where the path to loving yourself starts. Learn what’s good for you and do it. Don’t get into anything addictive, be it drugs, sex, gossip, computers. Moderation might sound boring but I’ve spent many a weekend recovering from excess and not spending it in the sun, exploring. You’ll feel better in the long run. After that, learn compassion for others.


Do something active. You’re not going to be that body shape forever. You don’t need to be a great athlete but a strong body means you can do things for longer periods. I suggest dancing. You can do it in a room with no one there. Find your own rhythm. There’s no need to be cool or aloof on the dancefloor. Where’s the flow or enjoyment in that? If you’re with someone, make sure you dance with them. Don’t leave people out of your enjoyment. Make them feel silly too.  In my head I’m as strong as Irek Mukhemedov with all his strength, technique, grace and imagination. And sometimes when I dance, I have them.

Surprise Yourself

Learn something. Pick a language that you weren’t good at at school or from a country you want to visit. Or take up a hobby, an instrument. Paint. Do something that you used to do as a kid or always wanted to do. Write a poem. Read it aloud. Or not. Write one a week. Think, after a year that’s 52 poems. When I was 35 I started painting again. Within a year I had an exhibition of my paintings and even sold 4 of them. Some to complete strangers. I dared ask one of them why he was buying it, he said ‘Looking at at it gives me pleasure’.

Share Something Of Yourself

Life can be incredibly lonely at times and it can make you hard and brittle and cold, easily breakable. I recommend seeing your friends often. I discovered that I have a good friend who lives 20 minutes door to door from my house in London. When you do visit them, bring them something that you can share, like a story or a cake. Something nice. Without expecting anything in return, apart from their stories.

All The People, Alone, So Close

Make Sure You Say I Love You

Everyday. Every time your parents call. If you love your friends. It’ll creep them out at first and make them laugh, but they’ll get used to it and realise, ‘yes, they love me, wow. And you know what? I love them too! Hey Zooby – I love you’.

You Count

I guess everyone thinks that they haven’t lived enough to impart any knowledge or learning. That’s nonsense. Your life is just as precious for the experiences you haven’t had as for the learning that you have had. It’s how you use it that is important. Joni Mitchell wrote ‘Both Sides Now’ when she was 21. Unsurprisingly, it always sounded better being sung by someone ‘elderly’ and with experience. But then, how did she, a mere 21 year old write a lasting piece of work? Because she always believed she counted. Her experiences so far had told her that. Here it is.

I hope these things help you. I learned them the hard way. Here they are for you to take as you please.

someone has compiled as list of others that have been done today. Here they are in alphabetical order.

(A special thanks to @WindsorBuoy for starting this off today)