Advertising
Advertising

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

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!

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!:)

Advertising

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

More by this author

The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die 10 Reminders That Some People Are Happier with Less than What You Have

Trending in Communication

1 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 2 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 3 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 4 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About 5 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

Advertising

1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

Advertising

3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

Advertising

It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

Advertising

Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next