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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 May 21, 2019

                                                                                                        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                                                                                        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                                                                                        For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                                                                                                        If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                                                                                                        Example 1

                                                                                                        You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                                                                                                        You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                                                                                                        In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                                                                                                        Example 2

                                                                                                        You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                                                                                                        People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                                                                                                        You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                                                                                                        Example 3

                                                                                                        You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                                                                                                        The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                                                                                                        Example 4

                                                                                                        You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                                                                                                        Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                                                                                                        If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                                                                                                        Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                                                                                                        • Understand your own communication style
                                                                                                        • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                                                                                                        • Communicate with precision and care
                                                                                                        • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                                                                                                        1. Understand Your Communication Style

                                                                                                        To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                                                                                                        In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                                                                                                        Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                                                                                                        2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                                                                                                        Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                                                                                                        If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                                                                                                        “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                                                                                                        This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                                                                                                        To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                                                                                                        3. Exercise Precision and Care

                                                                                                        A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                                                                                                        On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                                                                                                        Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                                                                                                        I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                                                                                                        I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                                                                                                        In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                                                                                                        The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                                                                                                        Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                                                                                                        4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                                                                                                        Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                                                                                                        In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                                                                                                        “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                                                                                                        Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                                                                                                        Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                                                                                                        It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                                                                                                        It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                                                                                                        It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                                                                                                        Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                                                                                                        Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                                                                                                        The Bottom Line

                                                                                                        When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                                                                                                        I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                                                                                                        Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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