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Last Updated on January 3, 2018

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.

                                                                                                        More by this author

                                                                                                        Tegan Jones

                                                                                                        Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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                                                                                                        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                                                                                                        7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

                                                                                                        7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

                                                                                                        What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

                                                                                                        For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

                                                                                                        It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

                                                                                                        1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

                                                                                                        The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

                                                                                                        What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

                                                                                                        The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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                                                                                                        2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

                                                                                                        Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

                                                                                                        How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

                                                                                                        If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

                                                                                                        Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

                                                                                                        3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

                                                                                                        Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

                                                                                                        If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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                                                                                                        These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

                                                                                                        What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

                                                                                                        4. What are my goals in life?

                                                                                                        Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

                                                                                                        Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

                                                                                                        5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

                                                                                                        Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

                                                                                                        Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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                                                                                                        You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

                                                                                                        Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

                                                                                                        6. What do I not like to do?

                                                                                                        An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

                                                                                                        What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

                                                                                                        Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

                                                                                                        The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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                                                                                                        7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

                                                                                                        Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

                                                                                                        But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

                                                                                                        “What do I want to do with my life?”

                                                                                                        So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

                                                                                                        Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

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