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The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die

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The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die

What are your most rewarding life experiences? Here is a list of 60 things that others have said are their most rewarding experiences. Things which, when mastered, are life changing. Check out the list below and get inspired, add your favorites to your personal list and then cross them off one by one as you go!

1. Master your emotions

Nobody likes grumpy people who drag other people down. Over the time you will learn to master your emotions and you tend to no longer get upset over little (mostly unimportant) things. Your goal should be to lift people up by your sheer presence instead of dragging them down because you feel like they owe you something. Master your own emotions first and then use your happy attitude to help others to do the same. This should be on your bucket list now and you should work on it every day.

2. Take care of your body

Eat good and healthy. Just be curious about it. Try to limit the toxic stuff you put into your body, because you actually care about it. Learn to value health over instant and short-term pleasure provided by fast food, sugary candy and alcohol. Finally get in shape and get the body you really want for yourself. You don’t have to go super crazy here and become the next Mr. or Mrs. Olympic but just take care over your body, because you only have one (and you might want it for several years to last).

3. Learn to apologize

Show strength by admitting your mistakes and wrongdoings. Don’t act all cool and tough. If you messed up, stand your ground and admit that you screwed up. People value this kind of behavior.

4. Forgive the people who treated you poorly

There is nothing more refreshing than to sincerely forgive somebody. It allows you to get rid of the anger and it frees up your mind. It enables you to allow new better stuff to enter your life. If you keep holding on to the people who treated you disrespectfully because you think they owe you an apology you might use up a lot of your own energy and nobody is helped here. Just forgive them and move on.

5. Also, make peace with yourself

Don’t forget to do the same with yourself. Be nice to yourself. Everyday.

6. Learn how to appreciate being alone

There is power in spending time with yourself and really finding out how you work and tick.

7. Question your convictions

Think about all the stuff you believed was true when you were 10 years old and now you know is completely wrong. Think about all the stuff people in general believed to be true like 100-200 years ago. Don’t you think that you might be wrong about something right now as well? Learn to be open-minded and non-judgmental to other people’s opinions and ideas. This way magical connections and things might happen.

8. Get rid of the emotional baggage

If something is holding you back, learn to get rid of it. Time is valuable and better spent “unchained”.

9. Be curious about people

Be interested in people. Often, the people interested in others are the most interesting people themselves. Become one of these people. Learn to listen and learn something new from everybody you meet. Everybody can teach you something. They have x years of their own, unique life experience which you don’t have.

10. Work on your relationships

Make it a habit to deepen your relationships and constantly bring them to the next level.

11. Love deeply (and mean it)

It is rewarding in itself, but it also comes around.

12. Deepen your adventurous side

Adventurous have more cool stories to tell. Become one of them!

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13. Swim naked

In the best case under the crystal clear sky.

14. Sail continuously for three days and nights on the open ocean

You can combine that with the one point above.

15. Expose yourself to new stimuli

Always expand your mind and try new things.

16. Do something you might regret later (but probably won’t)

It’s fun to do something “stupid” from time to time. Just don’t do something dumb!

17. Tackle your inner wanderlust

Do something you feel like doing without justifying yourself to anybody else. Just listen to the voice which tries to tell you to explore and see the world.

18. Live somewhere vastly different from your hometown

It will give you great new insights, you will become more open-minded and you widen your horizon.

19. Visit a new country every year

Why not go somewhere you have not yet been before? Why not do it every year?

20. Spend a year abroad

Study abroad or just go for a travel. There is something magical that happens when you spend a long time in a new surrounding.

21. Travel without being a tourist

Resist the urge to take a picture of every attraction all the time. Just look and experience instead of watching it through a small lens and then applying a filter to distort it again. Use your own eyes and see the vibrant colors by yourself!

22. Camp in the wilderness hundreds of miles from civilization

Do it and experience the clear and wide sky with all the stars that brighten the night. The farther you are away, the clearer the night!

23. Pick two to four friends and go on annual vacations

It’s fun and it will reconnect you with your friends again. Doing stuff together gets more and more difficult the older we get because of more pressing responsibilities and other issues. But taking a time off together might be a nice and new chance to bond again.

24. Learn how to get by on the bare minimum

Cut down on your expenses. You will find out you need far less than you think you do.

25. Expand your comfort zone

Once you have stretched your mind it can no longer go back to its default state.

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26. Get comfortable meeting and talking to strangers

Strangers are your friends! We are all humans and we are social creatures.

27. Be of service without expecting something in return

Volunteer or run for some position of leadership. Work a service job. Offer your service to charity. Give them some money to work with. Bring a homeless person a coffee. Go out of your way to help a stranger. Simply do something which has no direct payback for you and see what happens. Often, these selfless acts make us realize how fulfilling these kind of human interactions can be. Little (easy) things can mean a huge difference for somebody else in need!

28. Offer value to people

Offer value to people and people will give you back in return.

29. Make something with your hands

Create something with your hands. It’s cool.

30. Master a profession

And then another one. You are no longer meant to learn one thing and then do this very task until you die. We live in a very fast-paced and flexible world and you can be just like that as well. If you feel the urge to do something different, which might give you more joy and happiness, why not awaken your inner curious side and try something new! Maybe the time to start something new is right now!

31. Start your own business

Don’t hold back just because of fear. If you have the desire to do it you should just go for it. Trying and maybe not liking it is always a better story than saying: “I don’t know, I have never dared to try it!”

32. Fail really hard

Everybody fails at his first attempts to achieve something great. Try to be one of them and double your “fail rate”.

33. And recover from a big setback again

The trick is to recover from your failures again and go stronger next time. That is how people succeed in life.

34. Hire someone

You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Hire experts who can help you out.

35. Fire someone

Not every hire was a great idea!:)

36. Get fired yourself

Well, that might happen as well. But you will realize that it is not the end and oftentimes even a blessing in disguise.

37. Quit your job

Especially if you are miserable.

38. Drop a bad habit

Drop them one by one and try to reach your full potential. They are called “bad habits” for a reason.

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39. Execute on an idea you had for a while but never tackled

Finally decide to do it.

40. Email one of your heroes

Get inspiration talking to people you value or you feel inspired by. Try to reach out for them. It is a fun thing to do and you might learn something new with little to no efforts. You can ask for help or advice. But if you don’t ask you will never get an answer. But if you do and your hero actually responds, how awesome would that be?

41. Meet up with one of your heroes

Get starstruck. Get inspired.

42. See a band’s last show ever

Especially if you love that very band.

43. Educate yourself

Become a life-long learner and dedicate yourself to life long improvement.

44. Read 1000 books

There is so much wisdom in books. Why not read it and get inspired by what the people who wrote these books have gone through and found out? Also, read the novels you “read” in high school and be amazed.

45. Pass on your own life lessons

Blog about your experiences. Tell other people. Teach your wisdom to other people. Don’t be selfish and hold back, people want to know. A lot of people think what they might have to say is of no value to others, but they forget that there is a lot of stuff they know which other people have no idea of. Share your insights!

46. Become comfortable speaking in public

There is no need to be afraid of talking in public. It’s a crucial skill everybody should decide to tackle. It’s important for you in order to share your hard earned wisdom.

47. Perform on stage

If you have now mastered talking in public, why don’t you bring it to the next level and perform on stage (karaoke counts)?

48. Try a new sport

Try it and master it if you love it.

49. Run a marathon

Or participate in any other endurance trial. Just to find out how far you can push yourself and to learn that persistence and training pays off in the end.

50. Go scuba diving

Explore the deep sea and be blown away.

51. Learn to dance

It’s a fun way to express yourself. And it impresses the girls!:)

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52. Fly down a mountain on skis or a snowboard

What better activity to do in the snowy winter months?

53. Develop a bond with an animal

Bonding with an animal can teach you some very valuable lessons.

54. Ride a horse

Learn to give it commands and create a connection to such a strong and majestic creature.

55. Ride an elephant

It’s exotic and fun. Why would you not want to do that?

56. Fly through the air

Go paragliding/parasailing/skydiving. There is something great in conquering this fear. It requires trust. And being able to trust in yourself or somebody else is always a bonus in life!

57. Spend quality time with your parents

The older you get the more you see how your parents were right about a lot of things. Better spend as much time as possible with them and soak up their life experience. They care about you and you should appreciate what they have done for you.

58. Witness the birth of a child

It’s kinda magical. Don’t you think?

59. Hold a newborn’s hand

They are so young and yet so strong already. It’s a cool experience.

60. Be happy

In the end everybody wants to be happy! But oftentimes it is harder than we think. I guess the ultimate thing on the bucket list of everybody should be “being happy”! Find something you really enjoy doing. Something that gives you so much joy and happiness that you would never want to do something different ever again. If you can look into the mirror every day and love what you see, I guess this is so much more valuable than any other thing you checked off your bucket list.

Be happy and appreciate the little things!

Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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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:

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  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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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  • 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

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