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Life Lists

January 30th, 2011

<WARNING: This post has absolutely nothing to do with Digital Strategy.>

Today is my birthday. Approaching my birthday, I started thinking about making a list of things I still want to do, but haven’t for whatever reason.

I came across several sites that had sample lists, but the one that really caught my eye was from Esquire from some time back. The post is called “75 Things Every Man Should Do” However, I think that most of them would equally apply to both sexes.

I strongly suggest reading the entire thing, but there were a few that stood out for me and are now on my list of things to do in the coming few years:

No. 6: Fast for three days.
Drink water. Not talking about a juice fast. Not an induction diet. Just a pure nothing-in-your-mouth fast.
No. 7: Drive the Great Ocean Road in southern Australia.
Or the Pacific Coast Highway. Or the Ring Road in Iceland. It doesn’t even matter if you stop. A two-day-long drive next to an open body of water is among the twentieth century’s most meditative gifts to travel.
No. 11: Do a flip off a diving board. Nail it.
No. 12: Leave yourself a letter in a library book.
Look for it twenty years later. Pick an obscure biography in a college library, since no one there wants to insult obscurity by decataloging a book, and the library will most likely always be there. One page. Be discreet. Type it on erasable bond, tuck it in the back, and hope that no one ever notices. As for content, skip the hopes and dreams. Mention the weather, tell yourself what you ate that morning, make a list of your friends, note how much you weigh and whether you feel fat, remind yourself of a secret you want to keep.
No. 22: Carry a totem in your pocket.
A watch, a badge, a medal, a poker chip, a silver certificate — for one year. Then give it away. My dad, whose brothers were tailors, carried a thimble on his key ring for forty years. In our house, where keys were constantly interchanged and lost, it marked the set as his. Several years ago, he gave the thimble to me. He’d had several strokes by then, and he was afraid he was going to lose it. I told him to put it away instead, to leave it on his dresser. He shrugged and asked me why. “I can’t remember anything,” he told me. “And you can. That’s the point of a thing like that.”
No. 26: Throw a real party.
Memorable for something other than cake, party favors, or strippers.
No. 28: Start something that scares you.
Deal with your most gnawing fears, the kind that have been present inside you so long that you deal with them mostly by avoiding them. Public speaking, that gut, the drinking thing, money. Make a plan.
No. 54: Give a panhandler all of your money.
Most of us spend the early years of our adult lives walking straight by the people standing on street corners or at freeway exits asking for money. Probably with good reason. There’s a cautionary tale for every moment of real charity. Now clean out your pockets. Do it when you have some money on you. Empty the wallet. Pick it clean. Just give it. Make no demands. Expect nothing. Not even a thank-you. Then you’ll understand that you may not even deserve that much.
Hopefully you’ll find one or two that you want to try. Onwards to the next phase of my life!
Categories: Strategy
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