Bucket List Ideas: 101 Things To Do Before You Die
76. Start a movement for a cause you believe in
Is there a message that you believe in? Female empowerment perhaps? Creating a life on your terms? Healthy living?
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If there’s a message that you’re passionate about, don’t just think about it — spread the word, educate others about it, and inspire them to join you! With tools like WordPress, Facebook and Linkedin, it’s now easier than ever to start a page/group, spread a message and rally people behind a cause — all for free. In the next minute, you can create your page/group about your cause and build a community behind it!
77. See cherry blossoms in Japan
In Japan, there is a tradition of flower viewing (known as “hanami” in Japanese), where people enjoy the transient beauty of flowers, usually cherry blossoms (known as “sakura” in Japanese). The custom is said to have started during the Nara Period (710—794); at that time it was plum blossoms that people admired. By the Heian Period (794—1185), sakura became the flora of interest and hanami became synonymous with sakura. (Source: Hanami)
The popular practice for flower viewing today is to gather with friends and family under the trees, have picnics, and enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms. For non-Japanese, many people specially plan trips to Japan just to catch the blooming of sakuras which happens once a year! I plan to visit Japan in the future, and when I do, this is one event I’m not going to miss out!
78. Bury the hatchet with people whom you had conflicts with in the past
Unless you live in utopia or you have a generally shielded life, chances are you’ve had conflicts with people before. Conflicts are never pleasant, sometimes resulting in soured or even broken friendships.
In my 30 years of life, I’ve had conflicts with people — some silent conflicts (where there’s unhappiness at the other person but it’s not aired out) and some direct ones. There was a point when I was 24 and starting Personal Excellence when I reached out to these people to re-establish our connections and “bury the hatchet,” so to speak. I felt this was necessary because I needed to practise what I preach first in order to do my work without reservations.
While a tough task, I felt a release — much to my surprise — each time the person I contacted responded, with a friendly message to boot. There was one that didn’t work out (which I shared in Day 24’s review in Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program), but this was okay as I had done all that I could and it was not within my control if the person refused to let go of her issues.
As Lewis Smedes rightly said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Is there anyone whom you had conflicts with before? Is it time to let go and forgive him/her? While it may be difficult to let go of incidents where the person hurt you very deeply, remember that when you bear a grudge against someone, the person who gets hurt the most is you and not the other person, because you are the one bearing the “hate” and carrying its weight. Be the better man/woman: reach out, speak to the person, and bury the hatchet. You may be surprised at what comes out of it.
- #KindnessChallenge Day 12: Forgive Someone
- Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, Day 24: Right a Past Wrong
79. Get closure on any past unhappiness
Is there anything that’s making you unhappy? Any childhood incident that still rings loudly in your mind every now and then? Any bad breakup that’s still hanging in your head? Any grievance that you’ve yet to let go?
While we cannot change the past, hanging on to it sure doesn’t make our life better. Have you ever watched a bad movie, and decided to watch it again and again after that? No? Well, then why replay bad incidents that happened before? Doing so only makes you more miserable, and prevents you from moving on to better things.
There are plenty of resources on PE to help you let go:
- Is It Possible To Let Go of Unhappy Past Forever?
- How to Let Go of Anger Forever (series)
- How to Move On from a Relationship (series)
- Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, Day 25: Forgive Someone
80. Organize a picnic outing
Having a picnic is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with loved ones! From the park, to a garden, to beside a lake, to anywhere in nature, these are great places to have a picnic. Even if you live in an urban city like I do, there are always public parks or private corners of nature that you can go to for picnics. Rather than go to shopping malls or eat at restaurants, how about organizing a picnic this weekend with your loved ones for a change? Enjoy the home-prepared meals in the comfort of nature, and most importantly, enjoy the company and conversation! 🙂
Other fun activities to consider during a picnic are kite flying, playing board games or card games, playing the guitar, and playing frisbee.
81. Do something completely crazy and out of character
Our daily lives can get repetitive and boring. You wake up at the same time, take the same route to work, get the same cup of coffee, and get disturbed by the same things over and over again. It’s easy to get lost in such daily routines.
So, do something crazy and out of character for a change, just to spice up your day! After all, we only have one life, so why live it one way?
- Rather than keep to yourself in your commute, strike a conversation with the stranger sitting beside you on the bus!
- Rather than work the whole time at the office, draw smileys and write “Hellos!” on post-its and stick it on your colleagues’ desks!
- Book a weekend getaway and go skydiving at a neighboring island (with a certified, reputable vendor of course)! (See Bucket List Idea #12: Do an extreme sport.)
- Go to the busiest part of your city and give free hugs to every stranger you meet! (If you think this is crazy, I’ve done it before and it was indeed crazy but fun! Read about my experience: The Day I Went Around Giving Free Hugs to Strangers.)
- The next time in rains, don’t use an umbrella — dance barefoot in the rain! (See Bucket List Idea #28: Walk/Dance barefoot in the rain.)
Remember, if you’re worried about what people think, “crazy” is merely a perception. There’s nothing too crazy in the crazy world we live in! 🙂
82. Fly first class
It’s expensive to fly first class. Like, ridiculously expensive. For reference, a one-way flight from Singapore to San Francisco by Singapore Airlines costs USD $1584 by economy class, $5082 by business class, and $7974 by first class! This makes a first class ticket 5 times the price of an economy ticket, for exactly the same flight, time taken, distance traveled! The price difference is purely for the added amenities, the extra leg room, and a service fit for a king/queen.
But hey, this is precisely why flying first class is something to put on our bucket list, isn’t it? Don’t use all your life savings just to make this happen though. Rather, pursue your dreams, achieve financial abundance, then enjoy first class as one of the perks of your success. Then you can truly sit back, relax, and soak in the first class experience. 🙂
83. Hit bull’s-eye on a dartboard
Whether you have experience throwing darts or not, hitting a bull’s-eye requires a steady hand, precision, and most of all, practice. While being able to hit the bull’s-eye isn’t going to change your life, it’s nonetheless a fun milestone to achieve, and a great way to wow everyone at a party!
84. Visit a volcano
Do you know there are an estimated 6,000 volcanoes in the world? About 3 quarters of them are underwater volcanoes, which means they are inaccessible to humans. About 1,500 volcanoes are on land, and about 50 of them erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava into our ecosystem.
While volcanoes are dangerous, there are some volcanoes which are worth visiting such as the Mount Sakurajima in Japan, Mount Mayon in Philippines, and Mount Pelee in Martinique (more in the second link below) — just be sure to keep a distance, as there have been volcanoes that erupted while hikers were climbing the summit!
- Volcano Sites Around the World
- 10 Active Volcanoes to Visit on Vacation
- The world’s best volcano tours
- 2013: The Year in Volcanic Activity
- Meet Tim Orr, Volcanologist
85. Fly in a helicopter
Unlike a plane that sends you about 30,000 feet above ground and brings you right to the clouds and into the skies, a helicopter hovers at about 1,000 feet above ground, hence giving you the opportunity to enjoy some really fantastic views on earth. Thanks to Groupon, you can get a helicopter adventure ride at relatively affordable prices. If you have a special occasion coming up such as a wedding anniversary or a loved one’s birthday, or you are simply looking for a way to spice up your weekend, this will be a great activity to try out!
86. Meet someone you can only dream of meeting
If you can meet someone, anyone, living in this world, who will you choose? There are many inspirational people whom I want to meet, but tops on my list will be Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres. They are an embodiment of what it means to be a strong, successful, authentic, and inspirational female in our modern world today, all values that I strive to achieve myself.
Rather than just dream about meeting someone, how about making it happen? Perhaps it may be difficult if that person is inaccessible like Barack Obama (president of U.S.) or Richard Branson (billionaire business magnate), but you can start off with other people who inspire you and are more accessible. Identify the events where they will be — conferences, public functions, and networking events will be a great start — and meet them in person. Talk to them, ask questions, and learn from them. It’ll undoubtedly be a consciousness-raising event.
87. Tell your parents and siblings that you love them
None of us choose the families we were born into, but that doesn’t change the fact that we love each other unconditionally. From being there with us when we took our first step as a baby, to our first day at school, to going through puberty, to our graduation day, to our wedding day, our families have always been silently working behind the scenes to help us get through our lives in one piece.
Given that our families have always been there for us, it’s always easy to take their presence for granted. How many of us have neglected our family for work before? I know I have — and that’s because my thinking is, Work is urgent, but family will always be there tomorrow. After all, they’ve always been there — what’s to say that I can’t just spend time with them this weekend rather than today?
But that is precisely the wrong kind of thinking — a thinking that takes things for granted. Life is short — you will never know when things disappear, for the most unexpected reasons. No matter how busy you are, always make sure to set time for family every day. Drop your family a call just to say you love them (you’ll really surprise them). Give your mom and dad a peck on the cheek before you leave for work. Let them know that no matter how busy you are, family will always comes first to you.
- How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Parents (series)
- #GratitudeChallenge Day 3: Write a Gratitude Note to Someone
88. Ride a roller coaster
They say life is like a roller coaster: it has its ups and downs, and loop-de-loops. Some of us may be fearful of roller coaster rides (I personally love them but my husband doesn’t!) because of the way it twists and turns oh-so dangerously!
But don’t be, because a roller coaster ride can be very fun and exhilarating — it’s the one time when you’re defying earth’s gravity and “coasting” through the air! Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride — who knows, after the ride, you may find yourself at the end of the queue, waiting to get on the roller coaster again. 🙂 (Of course, make sure the ride you’re taking is by a reputable vendor that does rigorous testing to make sure that it’s safe. You don’t need to put yourself in danger just to experience exhilaration.)
- List of Roller Coaster Rankings [Wiki]
- 100 Best Roller Coasters in the World
- Top 10 Roller Coasters in the World 2013 [Video]
89. Go on a cruise
Going on a cruise is an experience unlike any other. If you think you may get bored on board, then throw those thoughts off the deck because cruise companies offer various entertainment choices on board nowadays! From karaoke, to mini-concerts, to movie screenings, to arcades, to talks, to buffets, these are some of the many activities I’ve seen on cruises I’ve been to before.
90. Try frontline jobs for the experience
We live in a service-oriented world today, with waitresses, waiters, cashiers, call center staff, and retail assistants at our beckoning. While service staff is everywhere, it’s certainly not an easy job. From unreasonable customers to weird customers, there are all kind of people in this world!
Yet, customer service can be fun and rewarding. I’m listing this down as a bucket list idea to consider because not only is it a tremendous personal growth experience, it puts you right at the intersection of people contact — where you interact with people face-to-face (or voice-to-voice if you’re in a call center) and have the power to impact them and change their lives. Consider doing this, even if for a short duration — and you may find yourself a changed person after that.
- Lessons From a Poor Service Encounter (and 10 Elements of Great Customer Service)
- How to Deal with Rude People — Co-Workers, Associates, Customers, Managers, etc (series)
- How to Make a Customer Feel Lousy About Herself
91. Fall in love 🙂
To get things straight — you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. Are You Looking For A Relationship To Complete Yourself? is an article I wrote in 2009 — when I was still single — talking about how we are complete beings who don’t need relationships to complete ourselves or to be happy. Media often hypes up the notion of “finding your soulmate,” “being in love,” and “happily ever after,” like being in a relationship with someone is the answer to all life’s problems.
However, to meet the right person who shares similar values as you, supports you in your life endeavors, and loves you unconditionally — this is one of probably one of the best things that can ever happen to anyone. I was a complete individual before I met my husband Ken; I thought that I was the happiest I could ever be and this was as good as life gets. After I met him and we got together, my life became several layers richer — layers which I never knew were there before. I have finally experienced for myself the true meaning and value of being in a conscious relationship with someone who is the perfect match for you, and I believe this is something that all of you out there can have for yourself too.
So get out there and date freely! Open your heart and mind and allow yourself to fall in love. Who knows, “the one” for you may well be around the corner. Some articles to get you started:
- Are You Treating Dating as a “Game”?
- Are You Looking For a Relationship To Complete Yourself?
- “I’ll leave love to fate.” 5 Myths Keeping You from Finding Love
- Why I Used to Be Afraid of Intimidating Men and Why It Does Not Faze Me Anymore
- 10 Tips to Improve Your Body Language
92. Be in a conscious, fulfilling relationship 🙂
The path of true love never does run smooth. Before you meet “your one,” it’s normal to experience a few bumps on the road, where you are in bad relationships that drain your energy, on-again and off-again relationships that don’t go anywhere, or worse case, abusive relationships. (Read: Top 12 Signs It’s Time To Move On From A Relationship.)
Before I met my husband Ken, I went on many dates and became close to a few guys (at different time periods), all of which didn’t work out. From ambiguous relationships that seem to be heading nowhere, to toxic connections that leave you feeling like a piece of sh*t, to relationships that may have worked out had it been a different time, I experienced them all.
If you’ve been in bad relationships before, don’t lose hope. Love is everywhere around us, and love is certainly in your cards too, as long as you believe it. These 2 series I’ve written before will be particularly useful for you:
93. Go on a romantic getaway
With all our tight schedules, it’s very difficult to set up quality time with our significant other. Bring back the spark in the relationship by going on a romantic getaway! Be it a dreamy Caribbean cruise or a simple staycation, anywhere is romantic as long as you’re spending quality time with the person you love.
Having a getaway every once in a while is also beneficial for the relationship as it allows both of you to spend quality time with each other, as opposed to being weighed down by day-to-day responsibilities.
- 50 Best Romantic Getaways [Travel+Leisure]
- Ten Super-Romantic Getaways: Top Seductive, Small Hotels All Over The World [Forbes]
- Honeymoon Destinations & Romantic Getaways [Orbitz]
- 5 Vacation Ideas For Cash-Strapped Couples [Your Tango]
94. Do a somersault
Have you ever seen stunts in an action movie and stared at the actor (or rather, the stunt person) in awe?
Well, most death-defying stunts (think Jackie Chan movies) shouldn’t be attempted by anyone at all, but with some training and practice, it’s possible for the average person to do a somersault! Doesn’t matter whether you are a kid or adult, fat or thin, ripped with a six pack or terribly unfit, nothing is impossible with perseverance and determination.
While you don’t get any prize for doing a flip, it sure as heck is fun and satisfying to be train and accomplish a seemingly impossible physical feat to many!
If you normally don’t exercise, please consult a professional trainer and get supervision before attempting to practice for any “stunt.” I also recommend phasing in your training: you can start off by training for a forward roll, progressing to a cartwheel, then finally progressing to a somersault.
95. Visit a castle
Castles are an innovation of Europe and originated in the 9th and 10th centuries. The noble people built castles as offensive and defensive military structures, and used them to control the area around them. For the urban castles, they were used to control the local populace and travel routes; as for the rural castles, they were used to control integral areas like mills and fertile land.
Today, many castles have become tourist sites, with the more popular ones being Windsor castle in England (oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II), Edinburgh castle (Edinburgh), The Tower of London (London), and Château de Chambord (France). I’ve been to at least 3 castles — Windsor, Edinburgh, and Tantallon) — and it’s always fun to take a walk through these medieval structures and marvel at their beauty.
I definitely recommend visiting at least a few castles — with hundreds of castles in the world, you’ll be spoiled for choice!
- Castle [ Wiki] — More about the history of castles
- List of castles in the world [Wiki]
- Famous Castles in the World
- 29 Gorgeous Castles From Around The World
- Castles in U.K.:
96. Change the world
Regardless of race, nationality, religion, or social status, we all live in the same place — Planet Earth. The world that we live in is not perfect. Poverty, pollution, conflict plague our society. Solving these problems by changing the world is no easy task but you shouldn’t be discouraged. Everything starts from simple ideas. You can also find other people that will support your causes and ideas. Who knows? You might be the person who can revolutionize the world and make a mark in history.
97. Help someone in need
Do you know that 50% of the world’s population — that’s over 3 billion people — lives on less than $2.50 a day? That 80% of the world’s population live on less than $10 a day? That 22,000 children die each day due to poverty? And that a quarter of humanity — that’s 1.6 billion people — live with electricity each day? (Sources: Statistic Brain, Global Issues.)
The purpose of sharing these statistics isn’t to guilt trip you, but to help you realize how blessed and lucky we are. By virtue of being able to read this article, I assume that you have a computer and internet access like I do, which will already put us in a better position than billions around the world. Most of us are often engrossed in our own issues every day, but how about lifting our heads every once in a while to lend a helping hand?
Here are organizations dedicated at helping the less fortunate. How can you contribute, be it in terms of monetary or in-kind donations? Every little bit helps:
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- The Salvation Army International
- World Wildlife Fund
Don’t forget to people around you: these are people who need your help too, even if they don’t call out for it. Check out my 14-day Kindness Challenge, with 14 tasks of kindness: 14-Day Kindness Challenge.
98. Learn sign language
Sign language is a language that uses body language (as opposed to verbal communication) to convey messages. Did you know there is actually no one universal sign language? One of the greatest misconceptions about the sign language is that there is one common sign language across the world, which isn’t true. While sign languages may share similarities to each other, every country generally has its own native sign language, with some having more than one! In fact, Ethnologue lists 137 sign languages as of 2013!
If you’re not deaf or mute, you’d probably never need to learn the sign language. However, this I ask, “Why not?” Just like learning a new language can be fun and adventurous (bucket list idea #2 is to learn a new language), so is learning a sign language. In fact, I dare say that learning a sign language will be an mind-opening experience as it’ll utilize a totally different facet of your body — non-verbal, body cues — to communicate with others. Pick it up and practice it on people you know. Are you up for the challenge?
- How Sign Language Works
- American Sign Language University — A great place to start learning American Sign Language.
- Start American Sign Language — Another sign language resource
99. See the Mona Lisa (in Louvre, in Paris)
The Mona Lisa (Monna Lisa or La Gioconda in Italian; La Joconde in French) is a female portrait byItalian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.” The Mona Lisa is as famous as it is famous for its popularity, and many people flock to the Louvre in Paris each year just to get a glimpse and a chance to photograph with the enigmatic lady.
And that’s me in the photograph below, with the Mona Lisa, when I was touring in Paris in 2011. 🙂
Sadly, the hall with the Mona Lisa was so crowded and there were so many people egging to see it that I barely got a chance to study the painting, beyond snapping the quick shot above. I did spend many hours in the Louvre though, which I’d say that the amazing artifacts and sculptures makes this one of the most enchanting museums I’ve been to. They alone are worth the visit to the Louvre.
100. Go to a costume party and dress up as your favorite character
Cosplay, short for “costume play,” is a very popular Japanese art where participants dress as their favorite movie, comic book, or video game character, mimicking everything from their clothes, to accessories, to hairstyles, to makeup, right down to their mannerisms and personalities! While the cosplay culture started in Japan, it has since gained popularity around the world, with many joining cosplay events to dress up and pay homage to their favorite characters, as well as to meet like-minded fans.
One of the items in my bucket list was to participate in a cosplay event. So, when I got the chance to formally play dress up at my then-company’s dinner and dance event in 2008, I was more than delighted to masquerade as Danielle, the beautiful modern Cinderella in Ever After (portrayed by Drew Barrymore).
If you have a character you love, why not pay homage to him/her by cosplaying as him/her? Find out what is the next cosplay event in your country and join it! Who knows, you may even meet new friends there! Get started here:
- Cosplay Calendar — A calendar listing of all major cosplay events around the world
- Kotaku — Cosplay news, videos, reviews, and gossip
- Hello Cosplay | Cosplay Magic | Cosplay House — No time to make your costumes? Well, these are online stores to fulfill your cosplay needs — from Chun Li boots to Iron Man masks to Resident Evil jackets to Sailormoon Wigs, these sites have a wide selection!
- Homemade Costume Ideas — General costume ideas that can work for any party!
101. Gain enlightenment
If the purpose of living is to become a conscious human, then the ultimate aim of life is to achieve enlightenment. Enlightenment can seem like an abstract concept for those who are new to the idea of “consciousness,” but essentially enlightenment is the highest state of human consciousness.
That said, I don’t think enlightenment is an end goal per se, but rather a state to strive for in our everyday life. For example, say you just argued with your partner, and both of you are having a “cold war.” What is a more enlightened way to handle this situation: to ignore he/she gives in to you, or to be the better man/woman and break the ice first? It’s by undertaking these little actions that may seem to betray our ego but are in line with our highest selves that we evolve as humans and truly live the enlightened way.
Read: Map of Consciousness — Crucial article for anyone serious about personal growth. Here, I share the 17 levels of human consciousness, from the lowest being “Shame” and the highest being “Enlightenment.”
More Bucket List Inspiration
Here are some sites you might want to check out for inspiration as you create your list:
Take Action! 🙂
After you finish your list, here’s what to do next:
- Start acting on them! Plan out the successful path toward these goals.
- Be reminded of the list all the time. Use environmental reinforcement — put them up in a prominent spot where you will see them every day / very regularly. Put it in your life handbook, set it as your wallpaper, pin it on your noticeboard, print it out, stick it on your wardrobe/locker.
- Share them with your family and friends. Inspire them to create their own bucket lists too! This way, you also create accountability for yourself as you complete the items on your list.
- Don’t limit your list items to a certain definition. Sometimes opportunity present itself in a totally different manner. Keep your eyes peeled! The universe will start throwing things your way. 🙂
- Review your list regularly. Cross out the things after you do them. See if some of the items become irrelevant and if there are new things you want to add. Just as you finish the items, you’ll add new ones as they come along. There is absolutely no reason why your list should ever be empty. There is such an incredible wealth of things, events, activities, experiences to witness/go through in life that it’s impossible that you will ever be done with living. Likewise for me, I’m continuously completing and adding on new items that will help me live my life to the fullest, so my bucket list always has new items to accomplish.
Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] Bucket List: 101 Things To Do Before You Die
My Bucket List Interviews
Since 2010, I’ve been interviewed many times on the topic of bucket list, including CNN, Channel News Asia, Kiss92, 938 LIVE, and BFM 89.9. Below are some of my notable bucket list interviews which I recommend watching/listening — I share important tips to note as you create your list!
- My radio interview on BFM 89.9 (Jan 3, 2013) — Listen to recording in Media section
- My radio interview on KISS92 FM (Oct 22, 2012) — Listen to recording in Media section
- My radio interview on 938LIVE (Aug 27, 2012) — Listen to recording in Media section
- My interview on Channel News Asia again (Dec 21, 2012)
- My interview on Channel News Asia (Dec 28, 2010)
This is part of the Inspiration & Motivation series. Check out all the articles in the series:
- 10 Powerful & Inspiring Graduation Speeches You Don’t Want To Miss
- 15 Free, Beautiful Inspirational Wallpapers For Your Desktop
- 20 Amazing Commercials That Will Inspire the Greatness in You
- 56 Most Inspirational Songs of All Time
- 13 Meaningful Movies with Important Life Lessons To Learn
- 101 Most Inspiring Quotes of All Time
- 101 Things To Do Before You Die
- 101 Ways To Be a Better Person
- 101 Ways To Live Your Life To The Fullest
- 101 Important Questions To Ask Yourself in Life
- 101 Life Principles to Live By Every Day
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