It’s a sobering fact when we sit and contemplate our own mortality. Our time on this earth is limited.
Our limitations put us in a unique bind. As responsible adults, we have responsibilities that we must attend to, however I have to believe there is more to life than simply working, pro-creating and surviving.
We are meant to do more. We should be open to the idea of new experiences and new ideas.
Before we depart this realm, we should take time to discover and accomplish certain accolades that will help us get the most out of life. Certain adventures and life experiences we all should do before we move on to the next phase of existence.
1. Travel out of the country. No matter where you live, visit as much of the world as possible.
2. Take a road trip. Explore everywhere you do actually live. Take in the special places with a special person or two (or more!)
3. Create something that’s never been created. Whether it’s something ground breaking or just for yourself, create something that is unique and will last beyond your life.
4. Fall in love. Even if your heart gets broken, everyone should experience true love in this lifetime. We can’t always force love, but we should open our hearts to it. If we are uncertain if we have ever felt true love, then we haven’t. Be open, find it and experience it.
5. Skinny dip in the ocean. It’s a liberating experience! The complete freedom! Don’t pass judgment on it until you try it!
6. Be a mentor to someone. Pay it forward. Teach new things and share your life lessons with others to help guide them on their own path.
7. Gamble. The ultimate risk/reward. Take a chance. Feel the ultimate thrill of victory or defeat. There’s something unique about risking what we have. We may lose, we may win but to have the stones to take the risks is a worthy life experience that has lessons to teach us about what is important.
8. Step foot somewhere where no person has stepped foot before. That place will always be yours and no one else’s. We don’t need to plant a flag, our soul will forever be connected to that place.
9. Sing or speak to a public audience. It’s a unique experience many are terrified of doing, but once you do it, you will be happy you conquered a fear that grips so many. It also builds confidence.
10. Become an expert on at least one thing. More is better, but at least one. Even if you self-learn it. If all else fails, this becomes your hidden talent and always can be used as an ice-breaker for conversations.
11. Forgive someone in your life that hurt you. When you forgive, you release a part of anger, or frustration that you have been holding on to another. In turn, forgiveness may be what that person needed to hear.
12. Reconnect with someone from your past you lost touch with. Doing this we learn new things about the person and they usually help us learn new things about ourself from their experiences.
13. Get lost. I mean this politely. Get yourself lost (the farther out the better) and try to find your way home. This enables us to see what our instincts of survival are made of.
14. Write a personal memoir. Each of our lives are unique. Put them on paper, then read it. It will always serve as a reminder of all you have overcome and all you have experienced.
15. Find and pursue your passion. It took me over close to 30 years to even understand what passion really is. However once I understood it, I identified it and pursue it vigorously. Passion is food for our soul. It inspires and motivates us to push our boundaries and enables us to do great things.
16. Live one day like it’s your last day on earth. The experiences you experience and the memories you make on that day will last you a lifetime and will most likely be your “Groundhog Day.” A day you wish you could relive over and over again.
17. Give something back. If we are fortunate to have or earned a “privilege,” give back to someone or those less fortunate. Help be the reason someone else smiles or is able to turn their life around.
18. Trace the roots of your ancestors as far back as possible. There’s a saying, “You’re never going to make it where you’re going unless you know where you came from.” It can also be a humbling and motivating experience to fully comprehend the background of your family.
19. Fulfill all your sexual desires. This may sound broad, but we only have one life to live. Some may have a separate bucket list just for these desires alone. We all have appetites, and it’s better to do it all than regret never doing something. Especially when it comes to our primal urges.
20. See the sun rise in the east and set in the west. Experience the awesomeness of nature and all the seasons It amazes me to meet people my age who have never seen the ocean, never seen snow, never seen the beauty of autumn leaves or the gentleness or spring air. Take in all of nature. See the storms, see the peacefulness of the calm before and after. This helps gain a tremendous amount of appreciation for the world and wonders in which we live.
21. Make peace with yourself. Often people search for forgiveness for certain past acts from other people or a Devine entity. The truth is that we must accept who we are. We must also accept who we aren’t. We can push ourselves to do great things, but first we must truly make peace with who we are; our inner self.
Some of these I have done, some of these are on my list that I have still yet to accomplish. If I ever finish my own personal bucket list, I would add more to it. A bucket list should never be complete, it should be an ongoing project of life experiences that we year to accomplish.
Some of these are broad and some I left so for an open interpretation of how to personalize our own fulfillment of each experience.
A good friend once told me that her number one goal in life is to be happy. At first I thought it to be a bit selfish. I thought about it for a long time and I came to my own personal conclusion, and did a 180 on my original thought, that it is not selfish to want to be happy.
People often ask others and themselves: “what are we here for?” Well, “to be happy” works for me. It is a simple notion to grasp, yet difficult to obtain.
While achieving our own personal happiness it is still possible to be a good person. It is still possible to be an unselfish person. In my humble opinion we are each here for our own reasons. We were put on this earth to each individually decide what our purpose is in life.
However before we go, I strongly recommend doing as many of the 21 listed above. The ones I have accomplished have brought me great happiness and fulfillment, and I believe that’s what life should be about. Just one word. Happiness. How we choose to interpret happiness is up to each one of us individually.
Let us make the most of the time we have and do as much as possible. Let us be happy in our quest to fulfill all our desires. Happy adventuring, discovering, exploring and searching for a true purpose in life!
Author: Adam Wilkinson