Things to do before you die

August 28th, 2008

I have this list.

Kept on a page on my Backpack account, in a text file on my computer, and a sheet of paper tucked into my wallet, is a list I created of all the things I want to do before I die. These things are not complex or vague; rather they are very specific and completely reasonable for me to accomplish with no hindrance but time.

Stephen Levine wrote a book years ago called A Year To Live in which he and his life lived one year as if it was their last. It gave them a certain perspective that most people won’t confront unless they’re forced to deal with a terminal illness or other death sentence. I didn’t read the book, but rather read about it in Dharma Punx, by Levine’s son Noah, about growing up in SoCal as a punker and drug user until he cleaned up and began practicing Buddhism. Then I think something along the lines of life goals was discussed in The 4-Hour Workweek. And finally, I somehow kept a jpeg of a list of all the things some guy wanted to do. All these coalesced into my list, which I keep handy at all times to make sure I’m following my dreams.

You want to see my list? Fat chance. They are my personal goals, and to give them out would spoil the fun.

But you can create a list of your own. Try it now:

  1. Write down every thing you’ve always wanted to do but never ‘had the time.’
  2. Next, cross out anything that’s abstract or too complex. For example, “Work as a Mickey Mouse greeter at the Magic Kingdom” is great because it’s exact and straightforward; but “stop global warming” is way too big.
  3. Now eliminate anything that could possibly be too hard. Remember, the only constraint to what you can do should be time. Try to be somewhat realistic – you’re probably not going to spontaneously turn into a unicorn or gain superhuman strength. However, you have more freedom to do the things you want than you think, so don’t hold back!
Congratulations! You now have some things to do, and soon. Good luck, and may all your dreams come true.

Similar posts:

Comments are closed.