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50 Things You Should Do Before You Die

50 Things You Should Do Before You Die

We all have things we want to do before we die. I’m sure people’s lists involve stuff like ‘travel to Paris, Tokyo, a crack den, etc” so I won’t include them on this list. Most people aren’t Oprah-rich and can’t spend every day jet-setting to complete their bucket lists, but I couldn’t resist including a couple of things that might require a lottery win.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller…

    1. Go on a road trip

      Preferably without getting murdered. Stay away from abandoned buildings and don’t take advice from crusty old men at gas stations.

      2. Visit all seven continents

        Yes, even Antarctica. There are plenty of cruises that go down there now, and it only costs tens of thousands of dollars! And possibly your soul. It depends which cruise company you go with. You also run the risk of getting stranded, which often happens. Fun, right?!

        3. Live in a different country


          Traveling is one thing, but actually moving to a different country is a whole other thing. For bonus Life Points, get involved in a green card marriage, just for the story.

          4. Sleep under the stars

            This can be one of the most rewarding, beautiful and introspective experiences of your life…unless you’re doing it because you maxed out 5 credit cards and no longer have an apartment.

            5. Watch all those damn movies everyone keeps talking about

              You know the ones I mean. Most of them grace the IMDB’s Top 100 Films list.

              6. Read all those damn books everyone keeps talking about

                See above, but replace ‘movies’ with ‘books’ and ‘IMDB’ with ‘BBC.’

                7. Make something from scratch

                  One of the best feelings in the world is making something by yourself, as opposed to just buying it. It can be anything from satay to a piece of furniture.

                  8. Conquer a fear

                    Don’t spend your whole life letting fear hold you back! Try conquering some, or at least one, of your fears. Just don’t go jumping off any buildings if you hate heights, I don’t think that will work.

                    9. Learn a foreign language

                      Learning another language is incredibly rewarding, plus it gives you an excuse to travel! Just don’t be like those Amazing Race contestants who yell “rapido” at cab drivers in Asia.

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                      10. Donate your hair for cancer


                        You can raise big bucks by shaving your head for cancer, particularly if you’re a lady. It’s also a great opportunity to flip the bird at traditional conventions of beauty and expectations of women.

                        11. Disconnect for a week

                          No phone. No internet. No TV. Nothing.

                          Free yourself from the burden of modern technology. Sure, you may want to blow your brains out at first, but you’ll discover some amazing things you may not have otherwise. Plus, you’ll learn a lot more about yourself. If you think the temptation  of screens will be too great, remove yourself from them. Spend the entire time camping or hiking.

                          12. Go to a major sporting event

                            I’m admittedly not the biggest sports fan, but even I can’t deny the sheer power of an excited sports crowd. The atmosphere is unmatched. Worst case scenario, you have a few drinks and yell out the wrong sports terms or team names for fun.

                            13. Take part in a city running event

                              Not only does this give you the chance to get in shape, but you also get to accomplish something big with the rest of your city. Plus you’ll get to see people wear some pretty hilarious costumes.

                              14. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

                                And I don’t just mean at Thanksgiving or Christmas when everyone else is doing it too. Take the time to really help people in need.

                                15. Host Christmas

                                  Because who doesn’t love stress and cleaning up after people? Seriously though, this earns you some major Adult Points and you can always make it more fun by implementing Inappropriate Secret Santa. This is where everyone has to buy a terrible present on the cheap and then engage in Yankee Swap.

                                  16. Adopt a rescue pet

                                    No joking around on this one; there are so many animals out there who need love.

                                    17. Eat something you wouldn’t usually

                                      This could be anything from a vegetable you don’t like to chowing down on some insects in South East Asia. The worst that can happen is that you get a little grossed out. Who cares? Live a little.

                                      18. Learn a new skill

                                        You can always teach an old dog new tricks. If you’ve always wanted to learn piano, knitting or anything else, go and do it! Even if it’s learning traditional German dance in lederhosen, there’s no judgement here.

                                        19. Get a ‘regrettable make out’ story.

                                          Sure you may regret it at the time, but making out with someone that you’ll regret later makes for great stories in the future. Sure, drunkly kissing a guy at a Halloween party who has half a front tooth missing and is ten years older than you may seem like a bad idea, but eventually it will become a hilarious anecdote. Especially when you find out that he spent time in a mental institution. Disclaimer: that is just an example and definitely didn’t happen to me…

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                                          20. Sleepover somewhere haunted

                                            Because who doesn’t want their lives to turn into Paranormal Activity?

                                            21. Stay awake for 24 hours

                                              It’s worth it just to see things get weird and emotional.

                                              22. Attend a cop-raided party

                                                Bonus points if you’re too old to be at a cop-raided party.

                                                23. Get arrested

                                                  I’m not advocating serious crimes or anything, so put the knife down. It could however be kind of funny to get arrested for a minor and embarrassing offense that you’ll have to talk about at parties for the rest of your life.

                                                  24. Climb a mountain

                                                    I’m not saying you need to rock up to the Everest Base Camp or anything, but climbing a real life mountain (even a small one) is a huge accomplishment. Bonus points if you perform a full rendition of ‘Climb Every Mountain’ once you get to the top.

                                                    25. Swim in the ocean

                                                      This may not sound particularly impressive, but not everyone has had the opportunity!  There’s nothing quite like bobbing up and down in the ocean on a hot summer day. Just stay away from Amity Island.

                                                      26. Sleep on the beach

                                                        Nothing says ‘colonization’ quite like sleeping on the beach. Bad historical jokes aside, camping by the sea is a liberating feeling, as is watching the sun rise over it as you have breakfast. You should however be prepared to get sand in every crack. Just make peace with it.

                                                        27. Pilot an aircraft

                                                          Take control of the skies! The good news is that you can achieve this even through a single flying lesson. You can even find coupons online!

                                                          28. Bury a time capsule…and open it!

                                                            Not only is this a cool idea in general, it’s a fantastic opportunity to reflect and to see how much your life has changed since you buried it. Hopefully not for the worse. Leaving a time capsule for random people in the future is also a good idea.

                                                            29. Take a cocktail making course

                                                              Not only are cocktail making courses fun, they’ll make you the life of every party from here to eternity! Plus, there’s no life skill more important than knowing how to make a decent martini.

                                                              30. Host a cocktail party

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                                                                Who doesn’t love a lovely, classy cocktail party? Pro-tip: take photos throughout the night as people get progressively more messy.

                                                                31. Skinny dip

                                                                  What feels more freeing than an old-fashioned naked swim? I’d recommend a place with flowing water, like an ocean or lake. Less risk of venereal disease.

                                                                  32. Grow your own

                                                                    No, not the illegal kind of growing! Because my spirit animal is a 60 year old woman, I love gardening. Nothing tastes more fresh and delicious than eating something you’ve grown yourself. Even if you don’t have much room or time, try growing some low-maintenance herbs. I can’t recommend this enough as a life goal. For a bonus challenge, try growing all of your vegetables yourself.

                                                                    33. Have a ‘Ferris Bueller’ day

                                                                      If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m afraid we can’t be friends. For those who do, welcome! We all deserve a day to kick back and do whatever we want, so make the time and do it. By the way, it only counts if you blow off work or some other kind of important commitment.

                                                                      34. Go to an expensive ‘open house’

                                                                        It’ll be both fun and depressing!

                                                                        35. Research your family tree

                                                                          Family and history are important, and definitely worthy of looking into. Plus, you may find some long lost rich uncle who you can scam money from.

                                                                          36. Leave a note for a stranger

                                                                            Brighten someone’s day by writing a nice, uplifting note and leaving it somewhere random. It doesn’t matter who finds it, or that there’s a chance that they’ll be weirded out. It’s a good exercise in doing things for people, even if you don’t know who they are and never see their reaction.

                                                                            37. Give blood

                                                                              Because why not?

                                                                              38. Google yourself

                                                                                I was joking. Don’t ever do that. Promise me.

                                                                                39. Ride in a limo

                                                                                  Even better if it’s one of those old ones from the 70s that looks worse than your regular car.

                                                                                  40. Watch all of the James Bond films

                                                                                    Seeing that this is a franchise that’s been around for over 50 years, attention must be paid. Plus, they’re so kitschy and fun. If Bond isn’t really your thing, you can at least marvel at the sheer sexism and turn it into a drinking game. It’s also fun to think about how much of train wreck 007 would be if he were a real person.

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                                                                                    41. Try a sensory deprivation tank

                                                                                      I once had this experience described to me as “meditation on crack” so it’s gotta be good, right? Depriving your brain of external stimulation can make it do some weird and really cool things, including hallucinations. Some people even use it in order to rest because the brain can react in a way that similar to a sleeping state and thus they don’t need as much actual sleep. At the very least it offers a cool vehicle for relaxation and introspection.

                                                                                      42. Give your lunch to a homeless person

                                                                                        Because sometimes we forget how little some people have. It’s everyone’s responsibility to help their fellow man.

                                                                                        43. Get in a mud fight

                                                                                          Fun, messy and good for your skin! Get back in tune with your inner child. Ladies, if the men folk start ogling then it’s turned into a different thing and it’s time to stop.

                                                                                          44. Protest something

                                                                                            Whether it’s encouraging nations to boycott the Russian Winter Games or maintaining that Firefly needs to return to television, protesting or fighting for something you truly care about is an amazing feeling.

                                                                                            45. Karaoke

                                                                                              I don’t even have to explain this one, because karaoke is awesome. Especially bad karaoke. Unless Gwenyth Paltrow is involved. Make sure you have a signature song too. Mine is ‘I Touch Myself’ by the Divinyls, because making people feel awkward is funny.

                                                                                              46. Get your fortune read

                                                                                                Just for the lols. Better yet, get your biscuits read. I’m not even close to joking about that being real.

                                                                                                47. Swim under a waterfall

                                                                                                  What a way to feel alive! Also, if Tomb Raider has taught me anything, there could be some treasure or a med pack behind there.

                                                                                                  48. Go on an aimless drive

                                                                                                    Jumping in the car with no destination in mind can be liberating and a damn fun adventure. Just don’t talk to anyone that says you have a “purdy mouth.”

                                                                                                    49. Go stargazing

                                                                                                      A night of stargazing is the perfect way to put life into perspective, and feel super insignificant. If you’re lucky, you may spot an alien and get probed.

                                                                                                      50. Follow a dream

                                                                                                        Whether it’s big or small, you should definitely try to achieve at least one of your dreams before kicking the figurative bucket. Visit somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Go after your perfect job. Write an inappropriate children’s book. Eat twenty hotdogs in on sitting. Don’t leave room for regret.

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                                                                                                        Tegan Jones

                                                                                                        Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                                                                                                        Last Updated on April 6, 2020

                                                                                                        10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

                                                                                                        10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

                                                                                                        Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

                                                                                                        Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

                                                                                                        Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

                                                                                                        So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

                                                                                                        1. Be Authentic

                                                                                                        To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

                                                                                                        Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

                                                                                                        Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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                                                                                                        2. Listen

                                                                                                        Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

                                                                                                        To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

                                                                                                        Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

                                                                                                        Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                                                                                        3. Become an Expert

                                                                                                        Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

                                                                                                        You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

                                                                                                        4. Lead with Story

                                                                                                        From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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                                                                                                        If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

                                                                                                        5. Lead by Example

                                                                                                        It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

                                                                                                        ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

                                                                                                        We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

                                                                                                        6. Catch People Doing Good

                                                                                                        A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

                                                                                                        Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

                                                                                                        7. Be Effusive with Praise

                                                                                                        It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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                                                                                                        Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

                                                                                                        8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

                                                                                                        I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

                                                                                                        The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

                                                                                                        If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

                                                                                                        9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

                                                                                                        The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

                                                                                                        The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

                                                                                                        If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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                                                                                                        10. Understand Your Lane

                                                                                                        If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

                                                                                                        Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

                                                                                                        You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

                                                                                                        Final Thoughts

                                                                                                        Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

                                                                                                        It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

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                                                                                                        Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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