Let us start with a quote, often misattributed to Goethe:
“Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
– William Hutchinson Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951)
If you want a lesson in boldness, and to cross things off of your bucket list, there is no better teacher than Ben Nemtin.
His story, and that of the entire Buried Life team, is amazing.
It started with a list of 100 things and a planned two-week roadtrip. Along the way, Ben has somehow managed to play basketball with Obama, throw the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game, delivery a baby (not his), make the biggest roulette spin in Vegas’ history, and much more.
Most recently, they crossed off #19: Write a bestselling book. Their debut, What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?, just hit #1 on The New York Times, which will be announced officially April 15th. To celebrate? They’re sending a copy of the book into space.
It all seems unbelievable, which is exactly why I love this guest post from Ben.
This original content covers his 6 steps for crossing anything off of your personal bucket list. There is a method. Everyone needs a kick in the ass sometimes, and this did it for me.
If there’s one thing I’m proud of, it’s being able to tell good stories.
Not because I’m a particularly good storyteller, but because I’ve been able to accumulate some amazing experiences in the last 5 and a half years.
It was 2006 when I first hit the road with my next-door neighbor, his younger brother, and a kid I knew from high school to accomplish a list we had created of 100 things to do before we died. We made a promise that for every item we crossed off, we’d help a total stranger do something they wanted to do before they died. To date, we’ve accomplished 81 items on our list and helped over 81 people.
In addition to those Tim mentioned in the intro, and among others, I’ve made a TV show, crashed the Playboy Mansion, streaked a stadium, been on Oprah, reunited a father and son after 17 years, made a $300,000 donation to charity, helped a girl find her mother’s grave for the first time, and am trying to help a college freshman find a new kidney (Need your help on this one: info here)…
Remember: 5 and a half years ago, I couldn’t tell any of these stories.
Our mission was supposed to be a two-week road trip. The four of us never expected it to be much more, and we certainly didn’t expect to be living it five years later. In the beginning, we didn’t tell our friends what we were doing because we didn’t know how to explain it. What we shared was really just a feeling: we were fed up and wanted something different. We decided to move forward without a real plan. A mechanic told us that the RV we’d borrowed wasn’t going to make it home; I had fabricated a wedding to get time off of work; and we pretended we owned a production company to raise money for a camera and gas for the RV. The only thing we knew for sure was that we would be taking two weeks off before going back to college. The plan: to try and accomplish as many items on our list as possible and help some people. We didn’t have a name for the project until Jonnie was assigned a poem in English 102 called “The Buried Life.” It was written 150 years ago but spoke to the same feeling we were having at the time: the desire to unbury our lives and do the things that were important to us, not what was expected of us. There were four lines that stood out from the rest:
But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
When I think back to this time now, I remember sitting on the curb beside our RV the night before we were supposed to leave. We were arguing about whether or not to cancel the trip, because if the camper broke down, we didn’t have enough money to tow it home. Five years later, I guess it’s safe to say we’ve gotten pretty good at accomplishing our dreams. I’d like to say that there’s something unique about us that makes us able to do these things, but the truth is the opposite. There is a formula and it’s simple.
The more items we cross off our list, the more we become convinced that anyone can do anything. The formula comes down to these six steps:
#1. Stop and think about it. Really think about it.
What is it that you really want to do with your life? Start a business? Reconnect with an old friend? Dive to the bottom of the ocean? Smoke a cigar with Castro? Forget what you think you should do, what excites you? What feels impossible? Be honest with yourself. Your answers don’t need to make an impression on anyone but you.
For many people, the four members of The Buried Life included, the impetus to make a life change only comes with crisis. The summer before we started The Buried Life, I was struggling with depression; Dave was struggling with his weight; Duncan had recently lost a close friend; and Jonnie was just plain angry and disillusioned with our generation (“No one protests anymore,” he used to say). The four of us were so beaten down that we had no choice but to reevaluate what was important to us. Our project grew out of that frustration. Sometimes it takes a debilitating low or a crushing loss to snap you back to reality, but don’t wait for it. Ferris Bueller put it well: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
#2. Write it down.
Simply put, it’s not real until you write it down. And by that I mean, take your dream and turn it into a project. Dreams have a funny way of staying dreams. But a project is something that needs to be done. Approach it as you would any other item on your daily or weekly to-do list. When you have a deadline— a presentation, a grocery list, a birthday gift you need to buy for someone–you find a way to get it done. Treat your dreams the same way. Add it to your list. You need to buy toilet paper. You need to spend the weekend in Paris with someone you love. When you write it down, you’ve taken the first step.
When we first started the project, we put things on the list almost as a joke. We didn’t think about whether they could actually happen; we just pretended that anything was possible. “#53: Make a TV Show” was a dream we’d shared since we were young. We had no filmmaking background and no connections in the business. And we lived on an island in Canada. We decided MTV in the States would be the place to have a show because it was the biggest and best platform we knew of for reaching people like us. So we wrote it down. And then we started filming it, because that was just the next logical step. Every step led to the next. Four years later, we were executive producers and creators of our own show on MTV.
#3. Talk about it.
Everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone.
After you’ve come up with your list and written it down, start talking. Tell everyone you know. Tell your parents’ friends. Tell new people you meet. Talk to your cabdriver. Talk to your boss. You never know whose uncle’s wife may be able to help you. And don’t just talk about it, but talk about it passionately. Enthusiasm is infectious, and people want to help when given the chance. Help can show up in the most unusual places, oftentimes the least expected ones.
We didn’t come from money. We had an idea, we talked about it, and people showed up in incredible ways help us. Our first lawyer was our parent’s friend who had heard about what we were doing and offered to lend a hand; our first manager was my godmother; I met my first Hollywood contact while traveling in Mexico; we cold-called local companies in our hometown to raise money for our first tour. Help often came in strange places. In 2007 we were able to finagle a five-minute meeting with Jann Wenner, legendary founder of Rolling Stone magazine, in order to discuss what it would take to cross #15 off our list, “Get on the Cover of Rolling Stone.” The five-minute meeting turned into a 45-minute meeting (after Jann threatened to kick us out and asked his assistant for a knife), during which time we talked about everything from protests to Bob Dylan to the difference between our two generations. We told him about some of our most ambitious dreams, including “#19: Write a Bestselling Book.” Jann was later instrumental in helping us get our book published—introducing us to a company where we met the smartest, most talented, best-looking book editor alive (hi Lia), who eventually offered us a deal.
#4. Be persistent.
Most people give up just before they reach their goal. We all hear “No,” a lot, but we’ve come to realize that “No” usually just means “Not now.” Be creative in your persistence. Don’t piss people off by nagging them—think of innovative and clever ways to grab their attention. Be different, and never say die.
Last year, we broke into the Playboy Mansion. We rented a giant stripper cake and decorated it like it was for the Willy Wonka–themed party. Two of us dressed up like Oompa-Loompas and hid in the bottom of the cake, which was then delivered to the back door of the Playboy Mansion in a rented delivery truck. Security saw our homemade Playboy logo on the cake and allowed it to pass through the gates. After waiting inside the cake for six long hours (peeing in bottles and filming in night-vision), we hatched out unnoticed and partied at the Mansion all night with free rein. Security assumed we were just very rowdy employees.
Playboy had no idea we had been in and out, or that we had filmed our first episode. But when we went back a month later to ask for permission to air, they said, “If you air the episode, we’ll sue you and have you charged with breaking and entering.” We got ahold of the company’s vice president, and he echoed that sentiment. MTV told us to move on and film another episode. Our production company said there was nothing we could do. In a last ditch effort we decided to send Hugh Hefner a handwritten letter along with the rough cut of the episode. A week later, we received this response from Mr. Hefner himself: “You can air the episode. Just know I’m not very pleased with you boys.” I always thought that crashing the Playboy Mansion was my dream, but getting scolded by Hugh Hefner was way better.
#5. Be ballsy.
The majority of people don’t go after their wildest dreams because they think they’re unrealistic. Tim says it well: “Ninety-nine percent of people believe they can’t do great things, so they aim for mediocrity.” The level of competition is highest for realistic goals because most people don’t set high enough goals for themselves. But not only do you statistically have a better chance of achieving what may seem like an unrealistic goal, doing so fuels you. Once you feel the first high of accomplishing something major and seemingly unattainable, you want to go bigger and badder, and you force yourself to fulfill the need all the more. Even better, the technically smaller goals suddenly seem less daunting.
We put “#95: Play Ball with the President” on the list because it was literally the most unattainable goal we could think of. I remember Jonnie called me from his dorm room in Montreal in 2008 right after Barack Obama had been elected and Jonnie said, “We should add ‘Play Ball with Obama’ to the list.” I chuckled because it was so absurd and agreed. I found it humorous not only because the idea was so outrageous but also because I knew Jonnie was calling me from his “room,” a tiny space he was renting for $200 a month, which he shared with a washer and dryer. Of all people, we weren’t the best candidates for a pick up game with the leader of the Free World. Nonetheless, two years later we found ourselves shooting hoops with the President in the backyard of the White House. It’s a long, complicated story, and I don’t want to bore you with the details, but this is the kind of thing that the four of us chuckle about sometimes. It’s as if we have horseshoes up our butts, but it’s also happened too many times to be luck. When you dream big, you surprise yourself.
[TIM: I prodded Ben for the details about Obama, and it’s anything but boring. Here’s how it happened. First off, Obama only plays when Reggie Love is on the court. Reggie Love is the President’s “body man” or, more formally, “special assistant and personal aide,” and this b-ball detail made Reggie the man to look for. The gents called everyone they could think of (senators, legislators, etc.) who could e-mail or otherwise contact Reggie. He ultimately liked the idea, but, when passed up the flagpole, it was vetoed by the White House press team. The Buried Life had to end the “Obama” episode on a disappointing “To Be Continued…” Then, the crazy part: The President is up late one night, flips on the TV and randomly sees the end of the episode. Soon thereafter, someone approached Reggie at the White House: “POTUS is pissed.” When Reggie asks POTUS what’s wrong, he replies: “Why haven’t I played basketball with The Buried Life guys?” Reggie explains that he ran it through the press team and they refused, to which Obama replies, “Let’s make it happen.” The next time the boys are in DC, Reggie invites them to check out the White House courts. While casually shooting around, the President strolls up and surprises all of them. After 20 minutes of hoops together, they ask the President, “What do you want to do before you die?” The answer? “Be an anchor on SportsCenter for a day.”]
#6. Help others.
We’ve crossed off more than 80 list items over the last six years, but the moments that stand out the most are the ones when we’ve been able to step into someone’s life and share something real with them. I’ve been surprised by how little it takes to impact someone’s life. Something as simple as asking the question, “What do you want to do before you die?” and taking the time to listen is often all it takes. If you’re feeling lost or depressed, you might find what you’re looking for in someone else. Into the Wild said it best: “Happiness is only real when it’s shared.”
The first person we ever helped was a guy named Brent. He wrote to us in broken English saying his biggest dream was to bring pizzas down to the nearby homeless shelter. Brent had himself spent three years living in that shelter and remembered fondly the days people brought in food because those were the times it felt like someone gave a damn. When we talked with Brent in person, we learned that what he really needed was a truck. He had pulled himself out of the shelter by starting a business that relied on his truck, but it had just broken down. We knew we needed to help him find a new vehicle, but we didn’t have the money ourselves. This is the very first video we ever made, trying to track down a truck for Brent.
#7. Your Turn.
Your dreams are closer than they appear. There’s nothing about us four guys that makes us more able than anyone else to accomplish our goals, other than the simple fact that we’ve decided to go after them. George Elliot said, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Don’t wait. Why not start now? Post one thing you want to do before you die in the comments below.
The Buried Life is a community of 1,286,399 people answering the question: “What do you want to do before you die?”
How will you answer it?
Odds and Ends:
Tim Ferris TED profile – “Smash Fear, Learn Anything” If you have fears holding you back, as I did with swimming and language learning, this might be just what the doctor ordered.
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
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492 Replies to “Playing B-Ball with Obama: 6 Steps to Crossing Anything Off Your Bucket List”
before i die, i’d love to change the way the world sees the world. One person at a time. AND I am going to pilot a cessna, own a Tesla, have dinner with 10 different fortune 500 CEOs and help 100 people get jobs they didnt think they qualified for. (im already five people in on that list. who’s next)
What do I want to do before I die?
Cosplay as my one of my favorite videogame characters: Phoenix Wright! and say “OBJECTION!”
I just say one thing, WOW!!!!
Surprise my first best friend from childhood, Gary, with the motorcycle and tour (and cover the cost of both of us being away) of all the United States that we said we would like to do together, (that was about forty years ago and we’re both still alive!)
I have just started reading 4-hour Work Week (2 days ago), feeling a little nervous at the prospect of having and doing everything Iv’e dreamed. Must be the past 40 years of W4W programming. Here goes, look out below. 🙂
This is me executing # 3:
I’m horseback riding across the United States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, to raise money for a facility I’m starting that uses rescued horses to help rehabilitate injured American soldiers. And I need some help with raising money for the actual trip. Anyone out there who can help? thanks!!
Very Inspirational! Lots on my list – one would be to as inspirational as Tim and Buried Life Team to pay it forward.
Honestly, I’d like to be able to hang out with you guys for a day or two.. You guys are so real and down to earth and seem like some of the coolest dudes. So one of the things I’d like to do before I die is hang out with The Buried Life guys
This is amazingly inspiring story. I see great accomplishments all over SE Asia and see more and more people pursuing their dream and checking off one thing at a time. I do the same. We live in a new era of entrepreneurship when everything is possible. Good job all. Aim big. It’s easier to hit a bigger target.
I’ve always wanted to be a runner, but have never run more than a mile. I read Chris McDougall’s “Born to Run” recently and I am going to run the Leadville 100.
Love this post! I have personally been hugely inspired by Tim Ferris’ 4HWW and have become a huge follower. My husband and I quit our jobs, sold our stuff and are now living in Costa Rica, then who knows. 🙂 I started a blog of my own and had to link this article because it’s such an inspiration. After reading this, my husband and I sat down right away and wrote our top 100 things to do, be, see, try. 🙂 You guys are an inspiration!
Tim- thank you for this post! I love love love The Buried Life guys! I love the show, I’m going to buy the book and I just love what they do!
What to do before I die? My top 5 list:
1) Write a best selling novel
2) Travel to every province in Canada (my homeland! I only have 5 provinces left to go!)
3) Work with Habitat for Humanity on a “global” trip
4) Live in California for a year, just lovin’ life and havin’ fun!
5) Spend a week at the W hotel in Maldives
Thank you again for the post, thank you for your book and thanks to the TBL guys, you rock! 🙂
Just bought the book today! So dope and I’m definitely inspired to start my own epic quest and inspire others on the way. Thanks Tim and Buried Life Guys!
I need to refine my list more, but here are a few things I want to do:
Become profecient at surviving with nothing outdoors in all the major ecosystems.
Compete and take gold in the olympics.
Get a degree from an Ivy League college for free.
Become the most effecient martial artist possible.
Do a long distance swim in the ocean.
Help my family to be happier, wiser, and stronger.I would also like to help us ( everyone on earth ) find a way that we can all live and be happy and thrive without it being so zero sum.
Those are just a few. And my list doesn’t get any less grand. Thanks to all that commented. All the best in your endeavors.
Amor y Paz
Thru-hiked the AT last summer and just bought a one way ticket to Spain this summer!
What’s left on my list?
Go cow tipping
Be in a food fight
Great reading, keep up the good work!
Help as many people as I can.
Start traveling and speaking to help other anxious people.
Create an anxiety retreat on a tropical island to make getting better feel like paradise.
Most people can’t define what they really want in life – this is the first problem. Running on the system laid out by your family/friends may not be the best way for you!
Really digging deep and questioning what would make you happiest is crucial. Some may view this as selfish……so what! It’s your life and giving it up for someone Else’s dream is a tragedy.
Hi, I’m Josh.
Before I die, I want to travel across the united states in a camper, and win a pro poker tournament.
Glad to have read this article. I made a bucket list a while back – and then threw it to the side. This makes me want to revisit what I had written and add more. 1 on my list was get a novel published – have yet to do it. Probably time to start.
I want to become a pediatric plastic surgeon in the US
I want to unify the field of Psychology with one theory… and I don’t want to get anything for it
I just want to help make people’s lives happier
1 – Improve my timing.I tend to be late more often than not.
2 – Really help someone live a better life
This just gave me the confidence to add 10 more things to my bucket list!
That entire idea and what you guys are doing is beautiful.
What I want to do before I die… I want to change the world for the better, I want to do something that touches millions of peoples’ lives and changes their lives for the better. I don’t know if that’s one of the things on your list, but if not, you can add it and then cross it off, because you guys have already done that. Well done guys, beautiful.
To sing on the Grand Ole Opry.
To pay my mum a one-month stay in that famous French spa that has naturally 55 degrees centigrade water, where they actually do help people whose bodies ache.
What an inspiring discussion, and post, I’ve been especially moved by Karen’s accounts, I think they would make an exciting book. All in all, to read so many people taking about such wild plans is quite a break from the monotony observed in most urban environments.
Although the thing that I find somehow disquieting is that almost all aspirations listed are centered around the ‘me’ theme. I just watched The Muppets with my son, and, at the risk of sounding geeky, though I looked it up in Wikipedia, most of the comments sound a lot like Beaker’s (Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, the scientist, utterly luckless lab assistant) singing “Me, me, me, me, me…”
I might be looking at the wrong blog, and maybe the problem is me, so I repeat, I find this post and comments very inspiring; I don’t usually comment on blogs, but this discussion is amazing!
Of course I also have a wish-list that includes volcanoes in Iceland, fjords in New Zealand, Paris, novels to write, lectures, etc… but I feel we all have more important things to do and WAY more ambitious goals to accomplish.
So here is the kind of tall bucket list I wish everyone would be on board, for experiencing the most meaningful life can be!
1.- Before I kick the bucket I want to see manmade Apocalypse averted
For every decade I still have to live I commit to be instrumental in :
(These are the things for which I already have a plan which I’m open to share* with anyone wishing to pursue and epic journey for a life!):
2.- Sequestering one million tones of carbon (the first decade, 25 million the next, 250 million the next after that, and so on, until balance is restored: under 350ppm, if possible way under)(all other numbers herein are cumulative times ten per decade)
3.- Restoring the fertility of at least 10,000 hectares of land
4.- Restoring at least 10,000 cubic meters of bodies of water
5.- Lifting 100,000 people out of the destructive economy
6.- Help 1,000 people change the ‘me’ for ‘we’ while enriching their lives beyond their wildest dreams
7.- Inspire 1,000 people to awaken their will to address the critical challenges to our survival with acceptable levels of delight and dignity
Things that I have no idea as to how to accomplish but that are a must and I commit to campaign around these issues and see them come to fruition.
Over my lifetime I commit to:
8.- Stop the production of any persistent chemical that shows up in human breast milk
9.- Help at least 10 cities turn into ecocities (as defined by Richard Register)
10.- Help at least 10 regions turn over 50% of their agriculture systems to organic
These are the more pressing issues, again no plan only great concern:
11.- In the next 15 years, help declare at least 40% of the ocean ecological reserves
12.- Clamp down industrial fishing before it clamps our aspirations
13.- Reduce worldwide fish consumption. Time’s tickling, at current rates we are all going to stop eating fish anyway, sooner that anyone thinks, so better to give it a break, a world wide moratory on industrial fishing, avert collapse, then adjust to reality, not fiction.
Folks, I have to tell you all: unlike in the 1970’s and 1980’s when people lived their lives as if everyday were the last, due to the probability of someone pushing the button, today the bucket has been already kicked, it is flying in the air, it is up to us to try our darnest to catch it before it hits the floor, and we kiss all that is dear to us goodbye.
We can do better than ‘me’, we ought to, we should…
May we will,
*PS Any replies are also welcomed at etnoz (at) riseup (dot) net
1) Work with National Geographics and help 3rd world countries
2) Earn a steady $10,000 a month
3) Start my own IT Consultancy firm
4) Ride on a Harley all the way to Las Vegas
5) Get a driver license
6) Get a pilot license
7) Get a liesure craft license
8) Work on my abs to have a six pack
9) Able to read and write in Spanish
10) Go to outer space
11) Make teleportation a reality
Be ballsy is the secret. More often than not I find myself paralyzed by fear; fear that others will find my actions ridiculous or weird. But I have come to find solace in the words of the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus…
“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”
Great Post. These guys are inspirational!
indeed talk about it. someone will know someone who can help. but in the mean time, prepare yourself so when the opportunity comes to meeting that someone, you are ready
sing live in concert with coldplay or snow patrol
Before for I die, I would like to spend an entire weekend with Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith and his wife Rickie in a one to one setting.
I would only have 1 question:
How did they finance the project? At least at the beginning?
I needed this post. I am gearing up to meet some important people in my life. I am hesitating however.
I noticed when I was re reading The Success Principles By Jack Canfield, that one Tim Ferriss is in there a couple of times and that some parts of the message cross over, How did these two crazy cats meed? What was the meeting like. Who influenced who the most?
Before I die I’d like to host you guys in my amateur naked “raw cooking” show ^_^
Who told you that your story telling is not good.
In fact it is over than good, it is inspirational.
Since I read your book about 4 hour work week, I look forward to more and I got it now.
Thank you for the real advices and good article.
“What do you want to do before you die?”
Work for/with radio stations all across the globe. I want to help radio sations big and small as a radio production & operations contractor. From New Mexico to Seychelles!
I want to record a CD that will touch people’s hearts, minds and souls, and also it will go to the TOP of the Jazz Charts for many weeks as it needs to
so that I can perform all over the world for great paying concerts.
Thanks for asking! 🙂
Leave a legacy
I didn’t even finish reading this article and I had already purchased their book!
Wonderful article! Also went ahead and bought 4hr Work Week too.
Starting my list tonight!
You guys rock! 🙂
1.Take a trip around the world with my wife Paula.
2.Have beautiful kids with my wife
3.Be a an awesome father
4.Start a successful company
5.Meet and sing with Brian Mcknight
6.Meet and sing with Stevie Wonder
7.Fulfill my teenage dream-act in a large movie production
8.Live in the USA again
9.Own a property by the ocean in Brazil
10.Not be bald by 40
I was so inspired by this article! This, and many other things in my life lately have made me realize that I am tired of being mediocre. I feel like my brain has atrophied over 20+ years of boredom and apathy (I’m only 23), and all it has done is make me angry.
I will not spend one more minute in a cubicle. I quit my job two weeks ago, and have never been happier. Now all I have to do is build a secure stream of income so I will never have to go back.
I know I am made to do extraordinary things, so now is when I will finally start. If not, what is the point of any of this? I refuse to lead a mediocre life. Wish me courage!
I wish you courage and all the best. I have a son your age who feels much like you do. It is very important to love what you do for income because that will be how you spend much of your time. It takes work to be able to do that.. Do your best and you will get there.
To swim with a whale shark in the wild. (and pay my mom back)
I love that one. Did you already find a place where that is possible?
Go to Palawan Island in The Philippines. I swam with whale sharks there in 2007. It was so scary at first but once my nerves calmed down it was absolutely wonderful and unforgettable. I often recall that time in the ocean with those whale sharks and get scared and elated all over again. An experience I truly hope you seek out.
Thanks Matt! The elated recollections you now live with are exactly what I want and crave. I will definitely look into Palawan island.
I have enjoyed every book and product you’ve ever promoted. I have discovered flying monkeys, great wines, a scanner, chocolates etc. I’ve come to accept your endorsement as a stamp of quality and to believe that if something appears in your blog that it’s something special or else you wouldn’t bother writing about it.
This book, sadly, had me asking if you owed the boy’s publisher a favor. The book is a poorly written (when there is actual writing) and is for the most part a scrapbook of artwork expressing other people’s whims/dreams. The artwork is probably not even done by the guys. They are a bunch of silly, immature, inconsequential, uneducated brats with vapid dreams. Streaking? Beating each other up until their faces were bloody? I’m really bummed that I spent the money.
I’ve got the same sentiments with everyone on living a mediocre life!
This was such an inspiration to me that what I want to do before I die is exactly what the Buried Life is doing now.
Well 1 of my dreams/goal is to shake tim ferris’ hand, why? Thanks to him and the book the 4 hour body I’ve found out that I have gluten intolerance.
I want to make a documentary film of my family visiting Civil War sites as we gather data for educational projects.
LOVED this article. Spoke directly to my soul. Thanks!
Absolute inspiring story.
Just exchanged my 100k + consulting job for a travellers life in Mexico. I want to inspire people to experience something in their life and therefore want to collect the coolest activities to do in the world and make them available for everyone… currently i’m looking for the coolest things to do in Mexico … already could tick off learning to surf, fishing in the pacific and seeing a active volcano from my list.
There is more to come.
You know any experiences in Mexico I can’t miss? Let me know at ralf(at)wishbird.net
Thanks for the inspiration!
1. Act in my own tv show. Preferably an hour long drama
2. Go on a date with Tim. See where it leads.
Can anyone help?
Fall in love. Have a family… 🙂
1.) Sky-Dive with my son.
2.) Kiss Halle Berry.
3.) Not worry about money.
@BenNemtin I’m part of a group of programmers at MIT/Stanford who want to help with #SaveRichard. One member is working on a social kidney/organ donation circle finder Facebook app: rough alpha at http://lifechain.info
Would love to talk! @jacobCole4000 email@example.com
My dream is to have my art on exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum
of art in NYC; make my living souley with my art and to help those I meet
who are struggling so hard to help themselves. It is uplifting to see that
the Buried Life team is out there trying.
Oh you sound like someone I want to be friends with!!!
Nice information, good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need, thanks for providing such helpful information here.
On my 20th birthday I wrote my own “list of 100 things to do before I am 30” and never told anyone about my quest, not even my girlfriend.
I never heard of you guys, but really, you have some much energy and you make not only you but also other people happy. That’s what life is all about.!
I think I should tell people about my list, especially my girlfriend 🙂
N° 90 on my list: Do an epic practial joke.
Anyone want to team up? I can be reached at kcardin1 AT binghamton.edu
Amazing! I mean talk about life worth spent. Good job guys keep it going. God bless you for inspiring so many people around the world who simply cannot think outside the box and always have reasons not to go after their dreams.
Great guys…I am quite inspired.
I want to get admitted to the best rural management institute of our country and Later in mid of my life I want to establish my own NGO.
Hope I will achieve it.
To be in a loving relationship with someone who is as committed as I am to respect each other’s personhood and goals for life no matter how unrealistic they appear and to hear the man I love say “I love you.” back to me.
I would love to get my dad out here to Japan to see his mom who he hasn’t seen since he was five years old. To bring healing to his heart and her’s. I’ve experienced a lot in life but if this were to ever occur, it would top everything I’ve ever accomplished and dreamt of so far for my life.
I just finished up your book a few days ago and I loved it. I loved the fact that it was autographed even more. I have a pretty extensive Bucket List and am well on my way to slashing a few off. One thing that I still haven’t found the courage to do is to go crowd-surfing. I have grown up my whole life with an anxiety disorder and although I am doing my best to live despite of my fears I still haven’t been able to accomplish many of the things I wish for.
I want 300 sponsor kids; I want to send every kid from my Indian reservation in Canada to Thunder Teen Camp in California; and I want my artwork to be a mural posted on skyscrapers and I want to design album art for AFI. Also I want to learn the same things Carlos Castenada did from don Juan, and teach art classes around the world.
Drive a formula one race car
i would like to create music for big names and be a big fashion designer with my own boutiques around the world, to make women beautiful everywhere, ive struggled with anxiety for years and its put my dreams on hold…..I keep persevering, but its an insain task with anxiety like no other…
Be the lead actor in a timeless blockbuster movie & headline a stadium concert!
Truly amazing story guys! Proof that if you set your mind to it, it can be done!! Thanks for the inspiration!
The list is long, but the biggest ones for me are to headline The Paramount Theater in Seattle and Denver and have my own hour long Comedy Central Special.
I recently put in my two weeks at a job after being a graphic designer for 10 years and am now reading Tim’s book to figure how to generate income that will allow me to pursue my goal of comedy.
Reading this article and the ones of so many other successful people is incredibly inspiring!
Get paid to coach hockey. Go to Europe.
I want to have all factory farms on earth close down and to create peace on earth.
I accomplished 2 of my goals: Meet Tom Delonge (from Blink-182) [i did, twice!] and see Blink-182 front row ( did once) was amazing.
I want to open my own Daycare and make it one of the best daycares in the world, open a vegan/vegetarian fast food place, open a cupcake shop, meet Phillip Phillips, shut down all inhumane slaughterhouses/zoos/circuses that have animals in them/bull riding competitions And puppy mills. write a best-selling novel, stop oil use and make everyone drive electric cars, give birth to or adopt identical twin boys, find an amazing boyfriend and marry him, be able to afford and buy a big house as big as my old one and build a tree house like the one my dad built when we were little for my kids, get an early childhood education degree and an infant-toddler certificate, travel to canada with my best friend Sherri and meet the cast of degrassi & Michael Seater, get my mom to meet Johnny Depp & Paul McCartney, meet the boys from Good Charlotte, get me & my brother to meet Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker & having the best time of our lives meeting all these people, save the life of an abused child and help them rehabilitate, save the life of a preemie, deliver a baby, help a foster child feel loved, stop child abuse from ever happening again, give a poor or homeless person 100 dollars and help them use it wisely, be able to go on a plane, go to California and have my brother skateboard with Tom Delonge, help my uncle actually eat healthy and like healthy food so he gets better, help Sherron Gurepko become a member of a band and perform in front of a big crod and them love her.
crowd* oh and meet Jared and Jensen from Supernatural!
oh and help my brother quit smoking cigarettes for good.
As a travel blogger, I often read other’s bucket lists and I even have one of my own. It’s inspiring to see an individual manifest these into reality.
I want to be a back up dancer for somebody famous!
I turn 44 next month. I’ve lead a pretty interesting life so far. I’ve played in a rock band that did ok for a couple of years, allowing me to play a couple large festivals, open for INXS, and a few stadium shows. I’ve had some awesome relationships but never married. A few years back I decided that I wanted to concentrate on my photography so I threw what I needed into my SUV and for over 4 winter months I road tripped the back-roads of Canada from coast to coast on a shoestring budget. The following year I sold everything I owned and did the same through the Southwest States.
Now, as I sense my good friend (who is a couple of years older than I) is going through that restless feeling, we are looking at starting a similar but different project to Buried Life. More directed at people our age who may be feeling it’s too late to do what they dream of. The goal. To live, experience and inspire. I’ll keep you all posted. 🙂
Ultimately my #1 item is to show my kids and friends that they can accomplish their dreams.
I want to do this by finishing college, building three different kinds of robots, building a successful automation business, learning to fly (pilot’s license – not be a pilot as a career), traveling to select places in the world, all while spending time with them.
This is so incredible. I wanted to dissolve, to be part of exile. But now- now!- and, it took me 21-years to realize it- but I now know I need to create a community of dreamers, focused like lasers. Like Kerouac said, “I saw that my life was an empty glowing page and I could do whatever I wanted.”
Luck to all of you, be effortless, thank the one’s who need thanking, remember better times can be as close as a split second away, and capture every fleeting flash that skips across your mind.
I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m going to do, but I’m going to get there. I love the hell out of this post and I hope it never dissolves into the cobwebs of the internet.
Later and luck to you all.
PS- “With a wide open country in our hearts. And these romantic dreams in our heads,” – Springsteen.
The one thing I want to do before I die , is to travel the world and get paid for it.
I want, more than anything, to start an incredibly successful internet business, sell it, and then be able to have enough land to open an animal shelter for abused and neglected dogs.
1. go skydiving
2. swim with sharks
#77: kiss the queen of england
I’d like to go to college in Canada. (I live in Nebraska), and then proceed to travel around the world, possibly teaching English as a second language to third world countries. What ever I end up doing, I just want to know that I’m making a difference in someone’s life.
Bucket list : 1. Go on a date with Taylor lautner.
2. Be known for something extraordinary
How about mtn biking with GWB, 10 times more entertaining than bball with Obama.
I’ve accomplished several of my life goals: get married to the love of my life, get pregnant and have a child or children, life in a vacation community full-time, sing professionally, to name a few. I think that living and working abroad would be my current answer. Also, like you fellas, I’d like to be able to earn the credibility — trust and respect — to help people to see beyond the boundaries of their current reality to the possibility that exists for all people to make the world we live in a better place.
This may sound dumb, but throwing the first pitch at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
It is so great to read about all this. Congratulations on achieving so much…I know how it can feel :).
I actually have a couple of things to do on my bucket list, and perhaps you can give me a hint on where to start. I am a poli sci major, but i come from a low income- one parent family. I just finished my undergraduate degree. Through the last 3 years of my college life I became vey envolved with an organization founded by a couple of my friends at the time that focuses in educating children and families of under privilaged communities in developing and under developed nations. The organization is called DRYVE: Distributing Resources to Youth through Volunteer Efforts (we have a facebook page, and we can be googled for more info). Any ways, we’ve been working towards turning it to an NGO, and things are progressing just fine. However, every year we struggle with coming up with a project and sponsors/supporters. We’ve done several projects done in the Dominican Republic in impoverish communities building schools, bringing school supplies, and holding workshops to name a few. But now we are looking to expand our project to go more international. Anyways, we are lacking contacts for fundrasing and planning projects in other nations as well. Even though I just graduated this spring, I want to help my old group fund a solit donors contact list. This would be a great thing for our organization. If anyone wants to be envolved, please email us to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and on how to become envolved.
My oe other important dream on my bucket list is to meet President Obama and talk to him abt ideas on how to help developing and underdevelop nations have a more stable society, etc. I studied International Affairs and Political Science, and he has been one of my biggest influence during my career choice :).
I’d like to set up a lunch with my dad and his hero, pro golfer Jack Nicklaus.
I want to be a Travel Journalist and be able to document my escapades.
I really want a DSLR to capture all the places I visit.
Lovely article, I have been crossing my bucketlists off for the last 3 years and some things I still want to do are: join the peacecorps, make friends with an eskimo, move to spain to teach esl, and honeymoon in iceland. 🙂
I have three goals:
-hang out with Zach Galafanakis
-meet The Buried Life guys
I’d like to do #100: go into space.
Some things I want to do before I die:
– run an ultramarathon
– deadlift 3 times my bodyweight
– go to Burning Man
– travel abroad at least once a year
– change someone’s life (through education)
– participate in a nudist colony
– publish a piece of creative writing
– work on a farm or vineyard (temporarily, through a program like WOOF)
What do I want to do before I die? That is a very powerful and great question. I may not have it all listed out yet but I think I’m off to a good start. I flew an airplane for the first time at 16, got my pilot’s license at 17, and am now working on my instrument rating to fly without seeing outside. I have also had the fantastic opportunity to preach God’s word to college students. In the end, I want be an astronaut and walk on the moon more than anything in the world. In between now and then, I believe that there are endless possibilities. But what I would really love to do before I die is to continue what you have started…..I want to do the same thing…
I would like to just sit down and talk to Jessica Szohr for like 10mins 🙂 or feature in a movie with her even if its just a 5minute scene!! 🙂 I’d also love to have a chat with Floyd Mayweather and Anderson silva!! But my main one is definitely just to chill with Szohr 🙂
Also to visit newyork, las vegas and los angeles…and to write a best seller too
Take my wife and kids around the world. We are land locked in Oklahoma and I want them to experience new and beautiful lands like I was able to in the military. There is no greater education in the world than immersing yourself in another culture!
My big goal right now is: to go to Brandenburg, Germany to (meet!) and visit my best and dearest friend and to learn about her culture by experience.
I am a musical, creative high school student. My parents are both students. I’m “legally blind” (blind in my left eye due to being born 15 weeks early). “Visually impaired” they say, I don’t se it as a “problem” but a challenge – it has enabled me to meet some pretty awesome people and to learn braille. What a blessing!
Madeline (my German friend) and I have been writing letters for many months now. She and I understand each other in a unique way because we think so much alike plus our stories are similar. I’m dying to meet her (though it feels like we’ve already known each other forever). We just write and write, Skype and Skype… hope for fast postmen, count days between letters, write ’till our hands ache, and dream of meeting.
I’ve been teaching voice lessons, writing, and will soon sing at weddings. Little by little the $$ are adding up… Small drops of water wear away big stones. I WILL go to Germany. Such an adventure!
WouLd like to be able to walk into any city in the world and see people wearing a shirt that I printed.
Great story Tim & TBL.
Keep up the great work. Just watched the roulette episode. It was the first thing I’ve seen. Very inspiring.
Hi guys, just started reading the “The 4-Hour Week” and i must say that it’s changed my life in a matter of days. Thanks Tim. What’s interesting is that a friend (new) and i were discussing our bucket lists last week way before i even knew that there was this amazing book and blog and i have been especially inspired by Ben’s story on helping someone else tick an item off their bucket list. My new friend is the most kind, gentle, genuine and goodhearted person i have met in a while, i have since dubbed him Sir Andy for his uncommon kindness and gentleness. To cut the long story short, one of the items on Sir Andy’s bucket list is to visit China more so, the place where Kungfu started. I need your help to make this a reality for him. I need your support on three fronts:
1. Information on where Kungfu started.
2. I need to raise enough money for his trip. Please let me know if you know of any online work opportunities. I am game for any work be it document review and editing, data analysis, presentations, business plans, etc. I am employed full time but i am willing to work evenings and/or over the weekend to save for my friend’s trip.
3. Any other ideas on how to make this the trip of his life.
Thanks guys and i look forward to receiving your thoughts/suggestions/ideas.
Love reading your stories. A great inspiration for me and many I am sure!