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Comedian Tahir’s tips on how to achieve happiness

Wow, what a week. Just when we thought things were getting better, greater Melbourne is back in lockdown, the NSW Government is warning the same fate could be coming to us here in Sydney, and when it looked like we might have this pandemic beat, it’s popped back up for round two. While it’s a…

Wow, what a week. Just when we thought things were getting better, greater Melbourne is back in lockdown, the NSW Government is warning the same fate could be coming to us here in Sydney, and when it looked like we might have this pandemic beat, it’s popped back up for round two.

While it’s a tough time for everyone, things are particularly difficult for people who make their living on the road.

With venues either dealing with restricted numbers or facing another shutdown period, it’s not a great time to be a stand-up comedian. Although to be fair, it’s probably harder to be a stand-up comedian’s family.

Take Tahir Bilgic, who has gone from performing sellout shows to big crowds to largely performing for his family, night after night. Worse still, he says they’re providing almost all of his material.

“My head is always ticking and you can’t beat human behaviour for material,” he tells Health Hacker.

“My mum and dad, my brothers and sisters, my family. There’s so much material there.”

Tahir emits the kind of positive energy that makes you think it will take more than a pandemic to dent his confidence. And one thing is certain, it hasn’t hurt his sense of humour.

“I’ve always just been very relaxed with myself,” he says.

“Take my haircut. People are always saying I should get a hair transplant happening. I always think, ‘what for?’

“Besides, I looked into it, turns out you lose your libido. So I’d have hair but I wouldn’t want to be with anyone? I’d rather be bald and horny, thanks.”

I caught up with Tahir to talk about holding onto happiness in these uncertain times, given lockdown is something he’s surprisingly familiar with.

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The Sydney-based comedian was a contestant on the 2019 season of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, spending weeks in the African jungle, often without much to eat or drink — an experience he says saw him lose 8kg in a month.

“Sure, there were hunger pangs but after the first couple of days, I really started feeling fantastic. We were sleeping like logs, nobody was waking up feeling heavy, we all woke up feeling great,” he says.

“I just concentrate on the important things in life. Your happiness, your family, your kids. It helps you put all these other things into perspective.”

HUNTING HAPPINESS with TAHIR BILGIC

1. Laugh it off

“The number of times people have come to a live show and had a really good laugh,” Tahir says.

“People come up to me afterwards and tell me they’d forgotten what that feels like, and it’s so important.”

2. Get comfortable

“Spending time with yourself is always a big challenge,” Tahir says.

“But because I travel a lot for comedy, I’m used to being by myself, in hotel rooms or conference centres or backstage. I think its so important for people to be comfortable by themselves, in their own skin.”

3. Take baby steps

“I’m approaching 50 and I probably need to lose around 5kg,” he says.

“I’m trying to be more active but there’s always an excuse, isn’t there? It’s Christmas or Easter or someone’s birthday.

“So for me, it’s about little changes. Skipping the dessert at a function, for example, or skipping the chips. It’s the little things that add up.”

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