[photo credit to Mandi Mara]
When I was 15, all the adults I knew seemed to complain, ‘Oh, if only I’d done this or that when I was younger.’ That they had let life slip by them. I was sure that if I planned for it, I could have a life of excitement and fun and knowledge.”
On an ordinary day in 1940, John Goddard, age 15, scribbled 127 bona fide and passionate goals onto a ratty pad of yellow paper. Visit eight world-class rivers. See every country in the world. Climb 16 of the tallest mountains. Ride a blimp, glider and balloon. Teach a college course. The list goes on. By 1972, Life magazine, in an article titled “One Man’s Life of No Regrets,” revealed that Goddard had achieved 103 of his original dreams. Still alive, he’s currently deemed the “world’s greatest goal achiever.” To an idealistic (optimistically naive?) 20-something like myself, Goddard is a legend. I only hope that my life is as adventurous and fulfilling as his. Reading his goals, thinking about my own future, I’m inspired to dare great, to live a life of adventure and purpose. To become a modern-day Renaissance man. While I can’t say what I’ll be doing 5, 10 or 40 years from now, I do know that these (constantly evolving list of) goals will help steer me in the right direction:
Alan’s Life List
1. Visit 100 countries and all seven continents.
2. Complete the three legs of an Iron Man triathlon, separately:
a) Swim 2.4 miles.
b) Bike 112 miles. [2 October 2010 / Boston, MA / 10 hr, 20 min]
c) Run a marathon.
3. Learn to name all 192 (or 197?) countries without using a map. [25 April 2011 / Boston, MA — video clip]
4. Go to a Jai alai match.
5. Take a Parkour class.
6. Spend at least two consecutive weeks living out of a tent.
7. Complete a full P90x series.
8. Learn to do a “tree flip.”
9. Take three cooking classes. [taken 1/3]
10. Climb an 8000m peak.
11. Drink Yerba Maté. [20 April 2011 / Boston, MA]
12. Organize at least 100 fellow bloggers to do something engaging and informative.
13. Attend a Toastmasters International session. [June 2012]
14. Learn Adobe Photoshop.
15. Speak conversational Spanish.
16. Jump off an 80-foot cliff.
17. Build a “beverage can” stove.
18. Climb Mt. McKinley.
19. Go sandboarding. [16 August 2010 / Swakopmund, Namibia]
20. Photograph the Northern Lights.
21. Complete a 5000-piece puzzle.
22. Take a vow of silence for at least one week.
23. Write a $10,000 anonymous check to charity.
24. Build a low-impact and sustainable business that generates an average monthly revenue of at least $1000.
25. Start a scholarship.
26. Become a certified skydiver.
27. Become a certified scuba diver.
28. Write a book.
29. Cook at least 50 recipes from foodgawker. [cooked 5/50]
30. Eat at the world’s largest restaurant.
31. Take a survival class.
32. Hear a TED presentation in person.
33. Climb Mt. Kiliminjaro.
34. Go to North Korea. [8 May 2011 / DMZ tour in Seoul, South Korea]
35. Read the Bible. The Torah. The Qur’an.
36. Go vegetarian for an entire month.
37. Bake my own bread. [24 April 2011 / Boston, MA]
38. Give blood.
How to Write a Life List, by Chris Guillebeau
10 Tips for Creating a Useful Bucket List, by Sean Ogle.
How to Create and Manage Your “Bucket List” Before You Kick, from Stepcase Lifehack
What are your life goals?