Who would think that an outrageous British comedian/actor who has lived a lifestyle defiled by drugs, sex, and other forms of debauchery could offer words of wisdom? On today’s edition of the CBS This Morning, he read his “Note To Self” as if an older, wiser Russell Brand was addressing himself as a young boy. After years of drug abuse, sex addictions, and of course fame, he had some sobering advice to give. He warns Young Russell of always wanting too much of everything and being very good at getting what he wants. He tells his younger self to go ahead and do the excesses of drugs, porn, booze, and money because no matter what anyone says, he’ll do it anyway. He warns that it’s going to take him to dark places where he’ll find others with the same sadness and loneliness. But go ahead and do it, he says, but know this: “It can’t make you happy.” And here’s the clincher, Brand goes on to say, “In fact, no externally acquired thing can help you.” Wow, that’s huge!
He tells Young Brand that he will become famous, have lots of girls, travel the world, but none of “this stuff” is the answer. Then he says that not everyone is going to like him, but it’s not important. What is important is that you like YOU. I repeat: LIKE YOU, AS IN YOURSELF! That is something that I have learned is vital in order to move forward in life; otherwise one becomes paralyzed with self-doubt.
Brand tells his younger self to listen to the “quiet voice.” He suggests that it could be God or just love. As I get older, I try to listen to that inner voice that takes away my fear and brings hope. After a troubled childhood, Brand was always searching for something to make himself happy. It is obvious he made bad choices, but it is not my place to judge him. I, too, am flawed and have made my share of bad decisions. I wonder what advice I would give my younger self knowing what I know today. Would you allow yourself to go ahead and make mistakes knowing that it will shape the person you are today? Think about it.
See video of Russell Brand’s “Note to Self” at CBS This Morning