One thing that is very important to me, and is one of the main reasons I’ve made the choice to be an entrepreneur is experiencing new, exciting, fulfilling, interesting, things and places. That’s what life’s all about right?
So, what happened to me yesterday afternoon was pretty cool… and I want the same thing to happen to you 🙂 Read on…
I opened it up, half expecting it to be some scribble from one of my late-night “idea bursts”… but what I found was even better. Way better.
As I opened it up one crumpled edge at a time, a list… 102 items strong – all handwritten… appeared. Reading through the stuff on that list was inspiring as heck… fun, and got my juices flowing again. The crazy cool thing was that I had accomplished mostly everything on there… this year has been an amazing year in many aspects.
It was the life list I created earlier this year. I usually do a new one every year to keep it fresh.
I had heard about a “life list” a few years back and I immediately grabbed a hold of that idea and knew I’d always keep a life list of some sort. So, whats a life list you ask?
Simple. It’s everything you want to do before you die. I’ve heard it called a bucket list, but I like “life list” better… sounds a bit more positive than “kicking the bucket” lol.
My life list has things all the way from big epic experiences (like skydive over a tropical ocean – which I did earlier this year, fulfilling things like starting a scholarship at my college – which my wife and I did this year, to places I want to go/see like mountain bike in Moab Utah – which I did this year w/ friends)
… to places I want to see (like visiting all 50 states, watch the Masters live, Oktoberfest in Germany, walk the great wall of China, and other places)
… to little fun experiences ( like mastering a surprising cocktail, read 24 books in a year, catch a salmon in Alaska, and help 5 friends or family become free and start their own businesses)
And it’s not just trips and fun stuff… a big hunk of my, currently 102 item life list, is things that truly fulfill me and are a part of what I feel is my purpose. Things like raising $1,000,000 for an awesome charity (I haven’t hit that yet, but will someday), teach a college class on entrepreneurship, finish a tri-athlon, be published in Entrepreneur Magazine for doing something truly amazing, and a bunch of other stuff.
In the end, when I’m 90 years old and look back at my life and ask the questions (as a mentor of mine posed to me) Did I live? Did I love? And Did I matter?
And I want the unequivocal answer to all 3 questions to be an instant YES.
So, now as always I want you to come away from this article with something you can apply in your own life to “live a legendary life”. I want you to come up with your own life list this week.
At first it can be a bit intimidating. It was for me. But, as you’ll find… once you get rolling things just start to flow and it’ll be inspiring as heck.
Now… lets get rolling. Grab two blank white pieces of paper, a pencil… sit in a quiet place and block out a solid hour today – and a couple 30 minute time blocks in other days this week. As you’ll find you’ll get more ideas later this week as you have time to think about it.
What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?
Ask yourself that question. Too many people live day-to-day and never really put much thought into what they really want to do in life. Again, this could be places you want to see, things you want to do, experiences, things that make the story of your life what you truly want it to be.
Grab one of the pieces of paper and write down those categories (it helps me to get creative when I’m given restrictions). Leave some space below each category so you can write stuff below it. Here’s those categories again: Places I want to see/go, Things I want to do, Things I want to experience, Things that will fulfill me.
Next, start writing. Pick one of the categories… usually the “places to see/go” one is the easiest because almost everyone has thought of places in this world they’d love to go. But, as you’re doing it be really specific. Rather than just say “New Zealand”. Say, “New Zealand during summer for 2 months” (or whatever your specific desire is). It helps it become more real.
Spend as much time dreaming as you want. Its your life… you might as well put some thought into what the heck you really want to do while you’re here on this earth. If you get stumped, move to another category… take a break check out a travel/lifestyle magazine/website. Find inspiration.
Now, once you feel you’re done (for now)… grab your 2nd piece of blank paper and with a pencil start writing out the things you had on that first paper. The cool thing here is… on your actual list you don’t have to keep things in categories if you won’t want. I just have my 102 items written out by hand and numbered. There’s no specific order to my list… no specific organization… just a brain dump of what I want to do in life. Once you’re done… awesome. Keep that list and put it somewhere you’ll see it on a daily basis.
Add to it as you think of new things… and cross things off you accomplish as you do them. Your life list should be an ever-changing list of your life broken up into bite-sized experiences. As we get older we have new goals and want to experience new things… so spend time each month or each year looking over your life list and adding to it.
Now, here’s where the real magic comes. The act of writing these things down takes the huge first step in actually doing them. On my last life list I spontaneously wrote “skydive over a tropical ocean”. Then, 1 month after I wrote that down, I got an email from a friend (a fellow entrepreneur) who asked if I wanted to join him on a skydive for charity, ya, then within 2 months, I was 18,000 feet up over the ocean in Florida and loving every second of it. Amazing what happens.
I can’t tell you how amazing the experience of creating a life-list has been for me. I hope it is the same for you. Don’t put this off as something “I’ll do later”. Do it tonight. Don’t put off living. Don’t put off dreaming. If you don’t write down what you want to do in life (from the big stuff to the small trivial stuff) who’s life are you going to live? Who’s dreams are you going to achieve? Probably not yours.