How to be Champion

One of the things that I wanted to talk about on this blog is mental health. Specifically, I want to share my own experiences and some of the things that helped me with my recovery and continue to help me to be in my day-to-day life. In this post, I want to talk about one handy piece of advice from British comedian Sarah Millican…

A little over a year ago, I started to read regularly on the Metro. I’d like to say it was because I properly motivated myself to do so. The reality is that there is no 4G signal in the metro stations near where I work, so I couldn’t play any games on my phone until the train emerged from underground. So, I started taking my Kindle to work and finally got started on the long list of books that I have been meaning to read. As well as novels, I decided to read some autobiographies and other books by people that I like/admire/find hilarious.

How to be Champion

This lead me to Sarah Millican’s ‘How to be Champion‘. This book is full of stories from her life, including her divorce and her career as a stand-up comedian. It is equal parts touching and hilarious, and also includes an important message that really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share it with you here. It is a sentiment that I have seen expressed by a few other people, but – as a Geordie – Sarah was able to say it in unique a way that really hit home.

The title of Sarah’s book is based on the word ‘Champion’, which she describes like this:

“Champion is Geordie for good or alright. But champion is a better word that alright. Alright can mean great… But it can also mean not quite shit but teetering… Champion means canny means pretty good means not bad means fair to middling means cracking on with life means nowt’s a bother.”

There is more to the book, including lots of other advice from Sarah about how to be champion, but I think that being ‘champion’ is a good thing to aim for in life. If you aim for every day to be amazing, then you are putting too much pressure on yourself and you are likely to be disappointed. It might seem pessimistic to some. It may contrast with most self-help books that encourage us to ‘reach for the stars’ or tell us that if we believe in ourselves then ‘anything is possible’. But I think that one of the keys to being happy is to set achievable goals and to have realistic expectations about how things may or may not turn out. You will still have amazing days, you will still have shit days, but if most days you are ‘champion’, then you’re doing pretty well!

Final Thoughts

If you’re a fan of Sarah Millican’s humour or are interested in the lifestyles of the rich and famous (spoiler alert: it’s not as glamorous as you think!) then you should definitely check out her book. But even if you don’t/aren’t, then hopefully you will find the idea of being ‘champion’ to be a useful one, as I did.