bucket listEvery man dies – Not every man really lives. William Ross Wallace

A few days ago I stayed up late into the night pondering the question “what would I like to do before I die?”  The concept of a Bucket List, a list of challenges and experiences you wish to experience before you kick the bucket, has been around for a while.  It was recently brought to my attention by the movie of the same name.  I embraced the idea immediately.

In society many people, myself especially, seem to fall into the trap of valuing comfort over challenge.  We find a comfortable routine, and comfortable friends, and try to avoid uncomfortable situations.  Unfortunately uncomfortable situations tend to be the ones that enact the greatest amount of personal growth, teach us the most about ourselves, and make us feel ALIVE.  Social ecologist Peter Drucker is famous for saying “What gets measured get managed.”  The Bucket List is a great way to measure how fully you’re challenging yourself, and therefore how fully you’re living.  You’ll feel more inspired and adventurous just looking at it.  I sure do.  And that’s the first step toward feeling alive.  Remember: the experience is what counts; not the list.  You have until you die, so no rush.

The following is the result of my brainstorm.  As of writing this I’ve had 21% of the experiences on the list.

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death. Leonardo da Vinci

  1. Start a blog.
  2. Fix an engine.
  3. Backpack through Europe.
  4. Attain a Black Belt in Karate.
  5. Learn to do a backflip.
  6. Swim with Dolphins.
  7. Learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (in Brazil?).
  8. Do a handstand push up in the middle of  the room.
  9. Ride the Trans-Siberian Railway.
  10. Climb a Baobab tree.
  11. Perform 100 consecutive push ups.
  12. Perform a “muscle up.”
  13. Run a marathon.
  14. Ride a camel in Egypt.
  15. Ride an Elephant in Thailand.
  16. Study Tae Kwon Do.
  17. Scuba dive with Manta Rays.
  18. See a Whale Shark while snorkeling.
  19. Learn to surf.
  20. Learn to Eskimo roll a kayak.
  21. Be able to play 10 songs impeccably on guitar.
  22. Learn to walk across a Slackline.
  23. Commute on a Skateboard.
  24. Be able to sing in harmony.
  25. Play the lead role in a play and/or film.
  26. Give a “coffee shop concert”.
  27. Get a poem published.
  28. Become an author.
  29. Become an entrepreneur.
  30. Make six figures in a year.
  31. Give a six figure sum to charity.
  32. Sail a yacht to Hawaii.
  33. Sail around the Mediterranean in a Catamaran.
  34. Go on a kayak camping expedition in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.
  35. Race in a dinghy regatta…and win.
  36. Learn Kendo in Japan.
  37. Live in my dream home.
  38. Decorate a room in said home with my own artwork.
  39. Take Golf lessons (in Scotland?)
  40. Meditate for 10 straight days.
  41. Visit Dharamsala India.
  42. Live in Valparaiso, Chile for a time.
  43. Live in Hawaii for a time.
  44. Climb Mt. Whitney
  45. See the Aurora Borealis.
  46. Spend at least a week in the wilderness.
  47. Go skydiving.
  48. Go Bungee Jumping.
  49. Whitewater raft down the Grand Canyon.
  50. Go Canyoneering.
  51. Go rock climbing.
  52. Fly in a wingsuit.
  53. Kayak surf in Central America.
  54. Go Kiteboarding.
  55. Go windsurfing with my Dad.
  56. Hike in the Swiss Alps, staying in a hut.
  57. Go heliskiing.
  58. Go Telemark backcountry skiing in Canada.
  59. Paraglide in Torrey Pines, Interlaken, or Chamonix.
  60. Go vagabonding in Central and South America.
  61. Read Emerson and Thoreau.
  62. Create a Muse, become location independent, and live the 4 Hour Work Week.
  63. Master the art of storytelling.
  64. Patent an incredible invention.
  65. Visit Antarctica.
  66. Help someone who is unable to repay me.
  67. Go on a “Volunteer Vacation”.
  68. Learn how to say a moving and powerful grace.
  69. Go paddle boarding.
  70. Learn to Salsa dance, and Tango in Latin America, and perform each publicly.
  71. Become conversationally fluent in Spanish.
  72. Race motorcycles (in Europe?)
  73. Become the most outgoing person I know.
  74. Perform 20 consecutive chin-ups.
  75. Become moved to tears by the simple beauty of nature.
  76. Meet the most vibrant, alive, and beautiful woman in the world.
  77. Master the art of simple conversation.
  78. Inspire others to live a simpler life, and become wealthier for it.
  79. Drive a Lamborghini.
  80. Make wine with my Dad.
  81. Do something that touches someone so much they cry.
  82. Spar with a professional level Cage Fighter and/or champion wrestler.
  83. Be able to do 10 pistol squats on each leg.
  84. Ride the Copper Canyon Train in Mexico.
  85. Get an article published in a magazine.
  86. Meet a handful of my favorite authors.
  87. Make women swoon.
  88. Take lessons in Spanish Guitar.
  89. Go surfing on the Isar river in Munich.
  90. Climb, then ski down Mt. Shasta.
  91. Live in New Zealand.  Again.
  92. Witness a solar eclipse.
  93. Put a letter in a bottle.  Throw it into the ocean.
  94. Climb 6 of The Seven Summits.  (forget Everest!)
  95. Rescue an animal from a grim fate.
  96. Fast for three days.  Nothing but water.
  97. Bike the Pacific Coast Highway.
  98. Attend the Olympics.
  99. Go to Oktoberfest.
  100. Milk a cow, then drink said milk.

If you have any personal gems, suggestions, or ideas please post them to the comments!