Drake famously said, "You only live once," and he's right. You've only got a couple of decades to do everything you've ever wanted to do in this lifetime. After that, you have to end your story for good. So then, what are you going to do with the time you have left? Here's what some people from around the world have suggested:
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#1 Travel The World
Visit another country. One of my favorite moments when I went abroad was in a cafe in Germany. I was chilling there, drinking my espresso and people watching while conversations were happening all around me. Yet, I couldn’t understand any of it. It was the most peaceful part of my whole trip.
#2 A Sky Full Of Stars
I truly believe that humans have robbed themselves of one of Earth's greatest shows: our night sky. Anyone who has been far in the country or desert etc will tell you how breathtaking it is. It helps puts things in perspective, were part of something bigger!
#3 Be A Good Listener
Listen to someone’s life story and learn about who they really are and why. It makes them feel heard and appreciated and makes you learn about something you didn’t know while drawing attention away from yourself. It's also an excellent way to work better with an unpleasant coworker. When you hear a person's story, it helps you to understand how they are the way they are. You can learn how they're motivated just by listening.
#4 Admit Your Wrongs
Everyone should be proven wrong about something they believed in their whole lives. It's a life-altering feeling to have to change your mind about something near and dear.
#5 Clear Your Mind
Have a nighttime adventure where you just go out in your car and get ice cream or go to Walmart or something at like, 2 a.m. I did this a lot in my 20s. I made a route out of the local interstates where I’d cruise late at night and listen to music and think. It often helped me clear my head when life was just too much.
#6 Practice Selflessness
Help someone without expecting or hoping for something in return. At the same time, while it can be somewhat cynical and self-indulgent, I don't actually care if people are helping others for selfish reasons because they're still helping other people. Likewise, bragging about it can, to some extent, spread awareness and normalize it too.
#7 Soul Searching
Travel by yourself. I was 25 the first time I got on an airplane, and I flew 11 hours to a foreign country. I was meeting people there, but something about being brave enough to leave the country and travel as a single woman was so liberating.
#8 Free Fall Into The Unknown
Skydive. It's cliche I know, but after my first tandem jump, I enjoyed it enough to drop a good sum of money to become licensed. That is what really got me into the sport. There is something about being able to fly freely that is like none other.
#9 See The Sequoias
Visit the Sequoia National Forest in California, and experience the Giant Redwoods. I stayed there for two days. You can appreciate the universe is some absurd number large, but you truly realize it when you see a freaking tree taller than a building. We are tiny and insignificant.
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#10 Mental Health Days
Call in and pretend to be sick from work. Mental health days are important. I did this yesterday. I still feel guilty about it, but it was so needed. I'm dealing with depression and the day before was really, really bad. I didn't have any meetings yesterday so I decided to give my body and mind the rest they needed. Still sucks.
#11 Find Your Inner Artist
Attempt a form of art: drawing, painting, photography, music, cooking, sculpting, woodwork, knitting or crochet, dancing, writing... There is so much more, but you get the idea. Accessing the creative part of your brain is so relaxing. Even if you’re horrible at it, you should still give it a shot. It could become your new favorite hobby and who knows, you may surprise yourself!
#12 Declare Your Love
Tell the one you love that you love them. Don't wait until you don't have the chance to say it anymore. I promise that it's better than having it tear you up inside for years to come. This works on relatives too. Don't wait till they're six feet under to tell them how much you appreciate them.
#13 Gaining Bitter Confidence
Work in customer service. It has made me more kind to other service workers, yet simultaneously unable to put up with people's nonsense in general. the amount of bitter confidence I've gained is unreal. It has taught me to not only be kind towards others in the service industry but to also pick and choose my conflicts when it comes to this industry. Most of the time, it's how you communicate that's more important than anything.
#14 A Bird's Eye View
Fly an airplane! In my experience, most flight schools will offer a 1-hour introductory lesson to anyone for about $200. You can either do some of the flyings yourself or just sit back and let the instructor do everything while you look out the window. I was amazed by how clearly I could see things on the ground. You know the difference between looking at a photo of an object, and actually looking at the real thing? Look at Google Maps aerial photos; and then when you're riding in a plane, that's looking at the real thing.
#15 Find Your Own Way
Stand up for yourself. Do what you want to do. I know it's obvious for most people but not me. I was bullied in primary school and I have a very uncomfortable relationship with my parents. To this day, I can't say no to them or anyone else really. I'm still young, 19, but other people run my life and by not saying anything I'm letting them. I don't remember the last time I did something I actually wanted to do. To be honest, I can't think of anything I want to do. I guess I gave up somewhere along the way.
#16 Conquer Your Fears
Don't be afraid to live. Everyone seems to be dying to get to the next level in their life and one day you'll be there but I hope when we get there we can look back without regrets because we lived life. Live! Don't waste it. Remember: Experiences trump physical items 100% of the time. Go do things that appeal to you and some things that don't. You never know.
#17 A Lucky Cat
Adopt a beautiful pet that "speaks to you" when you look into its longing face. Give him or her a loving home. We did this last month! We came home with a cat that the shelter got as a stray. She had been wounded and she wound up having her entire left front limb amputated. She hates other cats. She has “boring” markings with lots of black, and she’s around two and a half years old. Plus, she was really shy in the shelter. Everyone at the shelter was stunned that even after “meeting her” we insisted that we wanted her and adored her.
#18 Fall In Love
Fall in love. I know it might sound cheesy, but of everything I've had the opportunity to do in my life so far, meeting and falling in love with my wife is truly the best thing I've ever experienced. Having her support makes everything I do exponentially better than when I was single. It's well worth the wait.
#19 Basically Retirement
The sleep-wake thing. This is #1 on my bucket list and I plan to do it once my kids move out. A day goes like this: wake up without an alarm clock; just whenever your body feels it's time. Eat what you want when you're hungry. Do whatever else you want to do for the day, whether it's hiking, shopping, video games, whatever. Lay on the couch or in bed watching a movie of your choice. Dose off when you want and then wake up when you want with no alarm clock. Do and eat what you want. Repeat this for 2 to 7 days. This is absolutely the thing I look most forward to.
#20 Roadtrip Across America
If you’re in the US, I’d say visit the Grand Canyon, (and other national parks) and, if possible, drive there. I was given the awesome opportunity to drive across the United States with a friend and honestly, it was one of the best trips of my life to date.
#21 Eat, Love, Pray
Live abroad (and not in a resort or in the west if you’re from the west) for more than a month. Try local foods in different countries. Fall in love (with a person, animal, place, career). Do something good for the world or another person. Do something kind even if you doesn’t get recognition.
#22 Chex Chemistry
Make a homemade Chex mix. I'm not kidding. I don't know the exact recipes that are the best, but I remember me and my dad making it and it tasted amazing. It wasn't just Chex mixed with pretzels and stuff, we made it in the oven somehow and it was fantastic.
#23 An Unmatched Thrill
Push yourself to the point of fear and discomfort and then sustain it. The solo-skiing, climbing, backcountry and kayaking in my 20s did more to erase the thought of my limits than anything else. I suppose those in the military gain similar confidence. Nowadays, I live at the point of fear and discomfort every day... But I love it. There's a thrill that's simply unmatched.
#24 Give Back To The Elderly
Volunteer at a nursing home. Even if you tend to not like the elderly, you will leave happy after seeing how much it brightens up some of their days just seeing you come in to talk. The best perspective on my values and desired future came from working with the elderly (in the community and in nursing homes). Watching people hit 65 and then just watch daytime TV until they kick the bucket is emotionally devastating.
#25 Your Own Adventure
Travel alone. I never realized how many decisions I make during the day depends on other people—what they think, how they feel, what they expect. Sometimes, we have to live our lives that way. But in a country across the world, all on my own, it was an incredibly uplifting feeling to have each choice I made free from the influence of others. Gelato for breakfast? Okay. Spend 10 minutes in that popular museum because I’m bored? Okay. Spend four hours in that other niche, tiny museum because I’m enthralled? No one is waiting for me. You have to rely on yourself to navigate. You have to seek out social encounters. Your time is 100% owned by you. The whole thing is an experience everyone should have.
#26 A Purposeful All-Nighter
Stay up for at least 24 hours, preferably longer, and then go to sleep with no alarm. Never been happier than when my head hit the pillow after 36 hours of gaming. Maybe include some physical activity. You'll probably get even better sleep.
#27 Explore At Home
Go to a different part of your nation then you've visited before. My wife and I live in Oregon and while we have been around the west a lot, last month we took ten days, flew to Atlanta, rented a car, and spent 10 days driving around nine southern states. We had a fantastic time. Too much to list here, but wow, there is a lot to see, and breakfast at a Waffle House is not to be missed!
#28 The Best Meal Ever
Try going and spending the money on a really nice dinner. It doesn't necessarily have to be the most expensive place you can find. But don't be afraid to spend the money if it is expensive. Get something simple. Tapas, appetizer, antipasto, whatever. And determine if you want to drop the coin on the full experience. My girlfriend and I were visiting some family in Benicia, California and drive over to Napa Valley. We both set aside like $500 and went to The French Laundry and it was worth every penny. We'll never forget that meal.
#29 Forgiveness Is A Virtue
Forgive someone that has wronged you. You don’t have to let them back into your life but forgive them. The weight of wronging someone is carried very heavily, the what-ifs and whys can torment a person. Forgiveness can help someone that acted like a bum learn and grow. On the flip side of that coin: SAY YOU ARE SORRY IF YOU WERE A JERK. It goes a long way.
#30 Hunting For Perspective
If you eat meat, go hunting. Generally, I say start small, and maybe get after some squirrel, but if you don't want to buy all the gear and what not just tag along on a hunt with someone you know. Keep going until they get something, then at least skin and quarter it yourself, if not butcher the whole thing. It's tough work that takes some skill and experience, but there's plenty of online resources. Really changes your perspective on food.
#31 Seeking Adrenaline
Do something adventurous. Last year, I went on a zip line—I was spooked on the build up but finally, when I released, it was smooth and fun. Now I plan on going on the slingshot when the opportunity arises. Oh yeah, I’ll try to skydive too.
#32 Under The Sea
Scuba dive. It's fairly easy to get registered, and once you do you're registered for life. It's an easy way to explore a part of the world that humans are not designed to exist in. My wife and I were certified a few years ago and it’s by far our favorite thing to do together. It’s an adventure with something new every dive. But to do it even just once is practically life changing. One of the most interesting experiences of my life and I highly recommend it.
#33 Combat Sports For Character
Participate in a combat sport. It teaches us who we really are under pressure, shows us that we can fight through anything and simultaneously builds confidence and humbles us. It’s healthy to take an bum-whooping once in a while, and it feels really good to hand one out too.
#34 Push Your Limits
It is a crime to grow old before seeing the strength and beauty of which your body is capable. It's not easy, but getting healthy and strong is perhaps the best thing you will EVER do for yourself.
#35 Watch A Solar Eclipse
Go see a total eclipse of the sun. After waiting 38 years (since I was 9 in 1979) I dragged my family to Wyoming last summer and it was worth it. One of the most amazing one minute and 54 seconds of my life. My family loved it too and we made a memory to last a lifetime. So, add to this topic, take your kids on an adventure they will never forget.
#36 Night Fishing
Go to a place that’s not a city; a more open rural area without much light pollution at all and just go outside at night lay on your back and look up at the stars. I worked at a beach the past three summers and I liked to go out there at night with my fishing rod. I'd surf fish at night, cast a line out, let it sit, sit down in a beach chair and just look up. It’s absolutely beautiful and really astonishes me on how little we are on this floating rock in the cosmos. The only time I would stop looking up is when I hook up on a fish.
See all the stars in the night sky. Open yourself up to someone, completely and honestly. Do some yard work while listening to Coloring Book by Chance. Find a personal trainer and see where your physical limits are. Tell your pet you love them every day. Tell the people you love that you love them, every day. Don't waste time on the people who take you for granted, don't respect you, or don't care if they hurt you. Always be curious. I've found all of these things are liberating, refreshing, and humbling. Sometimes the small things give you purpose.
#38 Someone Else's Shoes
Be a minority, if only for a little while. Yes, for many people that's every day, but for some, it can be hard to put yourself in those shoes. Take an opportunity to visit Japan or China or Africa or Mexico or wherever isn't like where you live. It's a humbling feeling, one that I think would give some people a new perspective.
#39 Hawaiian Magic
Visit Maui. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal to those who have never made the effort to go there because, after all, sand, sun, sea, and beaches can be found in California and Florida, but I'm telling you IT IS DIFFERENT. IT'S MAGICAL and should be visited at least once by everyone.
#40 Choose Happiness
Quit a job you hate. I just did this—I quit my job at a restaurant next to a baseball stadium, three weeks before opening day, so my last day was right before the home opener. Funny thing is, they are happy that I got a slightly better job. It's funny how some people realize you won't work at a restaurant your whole life and are happy for you when you get a better job. I ended up landing a much better job. Fate has been good to me, and it will be to you to so long as you put happiness first.
#41 Experience Live Music
See your favorite artist or band live. I don't really have a favorite, but one of the top-ranking ones is Flogging Molly. My father was a lot older than me and an over the road truck driver, so there was a disconnect between us. Flogging Molly was one thing we could relate over. A few months after he passed away, they came to town on his birthday. It was the first big show I had ever been to, and they were amazing. I was right up against the stage, so I offered to buy a pint for any member of the band that came out to the pub next door. The whole band showed up and asked us to hang out with them. The best concert I ever attended hands down.
#42 A Healthy Break
Take a year off. I was transitioning careers and decided to do nothing about my next move for a year. I simply stopped thinking about work in any way and just did me stuff. I feel like a better human now because of it.
#43 Remain A Kid At Heart
Do childish things as an adult. You may find that those things you did as a child are still fun if you lose your sense of “that is too childish for me” and just have some fun.
#44 Peak Performance
. I climbed Mt. Elbert over the summer and the sense of pride and accomplishment afterward is a feeling everyone needs to have at least one.
#45 An Epic Story
“The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”
#46 Friendship Goals
People describe a friendship where you can call the other person at any moment. A person that won’t mind if you randomly show up at their place. A person you can share all your interests with. Someone who genuinely wants to hear what you have to say about anything you want to talk about. I guess that’s a best friend. It would be nice to have one I think. I’m working on it.
#47 Life's Storytellers
In my work in home health care, this is my favorite part of my job. Everyone has a story. I have been privileged to enjoy so many amazing experiences, from so many eras, I have been humbled for life. Sometimes, I am the last, or even the only person, who has shown a genuine interest in their stories. If you're ever free, just visit an old folks' home and listen to them speak. It's always interesting to hear what stories they have to share.
#48 Expand Your Tastes
Why stop at your favorite? Go to any affordable concert with music you like. If you think, "Hey, these guys sound interesting and I'm free tonight," just go. Go alone, whatever, you're here for the music and it's easier to find a good single seat. Go the extra mile to see your favorites. I put off making a detour in my usual holiday trips several years in a row, and now I won't ever see Linkin Park live. I could have seen them if I had moved my dates by a week or two...
#49 Lost In Japan
Go on a music tour in Japan. Most of the memorable experiences you'll have will be outside the concerts. The concerts will be amazing and unforgettable, but the friends you'll make and the places you'll go to with locals is something that you can't get with guided tours. Also, fans in Japan go all out when it's concert season. They organize all sorts of gatherings. Your schedule is practically packed for the duration of your trip. If you have a favorite Japanese artist, get in touch with a fan site, get the information on who's planning to go to a concert and what fan gatherings are planned, and don't look back. You won't regret it.
#50 The Thrill Of The Storm
Drive through Uganda, from Kampala to Kisoro. Our driver took us (a group of Americans and Ugandans) through a really dusty mountain road. Ugandans start opening all the windows, and I'm like, "Wait, what are you guys doing?" They say that the dust is going to come through the van's vents anyway, so the windows will let it out. A red clay dust storm swirled through the car. I left my tank top on and actually wrapped my blouse around my head to shield my nose and mouth. It was hard to breathe, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience. There was a thrill about being in that storm.