Advertising

50 Things You Should Do Before You Die

Advertising
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.

                      Advertising

                      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…

                                          Advertising

                                          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

                                                              Advertising

                                                                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.

                                                                                    Advertising

                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                        More by this author

                                                                                                        Tegan Jones

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

                                                                                                        11 Surprising Benefits Of Coffee That Make It More Irresistible What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities What to Eat After a Workout? 10 Foods You Should Never Eat 26 Romantic Ways to Show Your Love for Someone 12 Unexpected Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

                                                                                                        Trending in Communication

                                                                                                        1 How to Live a Happy Life: 10 Keys to Happiness 2 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 3 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 4 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 5 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

                                                                                                        Read Next

                                                                                                        Advertising
                                                                                                        Advertising

                                                                                                        Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                                                                                        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                                                                                        Advertising
                                                                                                        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                                                                                        You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                                                                                        Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                                                                                        Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                                                                                        Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                                                                                        1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                                                                                        According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                                                                                        “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                                                                                        Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                                                                                        Warming up

                                                                                                        If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                                                                                        If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                                                                                        Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

                                                                                                        Advertising

                                                                                                        1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                                                                                        2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                                                                                        3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                                                                                        Stay hydrated

                                                                                                        Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                                                                                        To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                                                                                        Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                                                                                        Meditate

                                                                                                        Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                                                                                        Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                                                                                        Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                                                                                        Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                                                                                        2. Focus on your goal

                                                                                                        One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                                                                                        Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                                                                                        Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

                                                                                                        Advertising

                                                                                                        Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                                                                                        If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                                                                                        3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                                                                                        There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                                                                                        ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                                                                                        It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                                                                                        Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                                                                                        Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                                                                                        Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                                                                                        4. Understand your content

                                                                                                        Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

                                                                                                        Advertising

                                                                                                        However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                                                                                        “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                                                                                        Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                                                                                        Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                                                                                        One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                                                                                        5. Practice makes perfect

                                                                                                        Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                                                                                        In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                                                                                        Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                                                                                        6. Be authentic

                                                                                                        There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                                                                                        Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

                                                                                                        Advertising

                                                                                                        Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                                                                                        To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                                                                                        With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                                                                                        Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                                                                                        7. Post speech evaluation

                                                                                                        Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                                                                                        Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                                                                                        We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                                                                                        You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                                                                                        Improve your next speech

                                                                                                        As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                                                                                        Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

                                                                                                        Advertising

                                                                                                        • How did I do?
                                                                                                        • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                                                                                        • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                                                                                        • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                                                                                        • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                                                                                        • How was the flow of the speech?

                                                                                                        Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                                                                                        If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                                                                                        Reference

                                                                                                        Read Next