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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!

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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 January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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