Goal: Send a message in a bottle
Date: April 25, 2013
A week ago today I decided it was time to make a message in a bottle. After many consecutive days of raining, Southeastern Wisconsin was under a flood warning and the Milwaukee River was flowing at a rapid pace. The timing was perfect.
The bottle I chose was of the plastic 20oz. Mountain Dew variety. After writing a personalized note with my email as a form of contact, I rolled up the piece of paper, put a rubber-band around it and placed it the bottle. The final step, which was hotly contested by "environmentalists", was to put the bottle in a plastic bag to increase its buoyancy.
On a warmish spring night, April 18th, the bottle was thrown gracefully into the Milwaukee River at Lime Kiln Park in Grafton. As it quickly sailed away on its maiden voyage it was exciting to think about the next human who would come into contact with it.
One week later.... Meet Mike!!
Only seven days after the launch of the bottle it was found by this gentleman approximately 4.7 miles from where it was placed in the river. After adding a quick note about where and when he found it, he threw the bottle back into the river where it could continue its journey.
Thanks Mike for being one of those cool guys who would help me knock off this bucket list item.
Never Stop Dreaming
This is the most important step of all. People ask me all the time whether or not I think that I am going to knock off every single item on my bucket list. Each and every time I respond by saying that is not the point. Maybe a long time ago when my list stood at only 20 items it could have realistically been achievable. 180+ items later however, I see that my bucket list is not simply the end all be all of my dreams.
Because my dreams never stop. Almost every day I add new items to my list. Merely because the world is so beautiful and so alive that I can’t stop thinking about all the really cool things I want to see and do. My bucket list is going to continue to grow. Most likely one day it will be over a thousand items. Sure, they may never be feasible goals for me to accomplish. But if someone else reads my list and attempts to reach that goal for themselves, then the dream lives on.
Dreams don’t die. They just get passed on. So therefore do not ever stop dreaming. Not just for yourself, but for everyone who comes after you.
That being said, GO DO IT!!!
Success is arbitrary. When you succeed you know it. It feels good. It makes you feel great about yourself. You feel on top of the world. It is an emotional high that is very hard to beat.
So naturally when you succeed and accomplish one of your goals in life take time to celebrate. Revel in what you just did! Reflect upon the experience. Share with your friends and family what you did. Heck, you could even start a blog to share your exploits with millions of people around the world.
No matter how you go about it, it is important to take time to celebrate. But when you are done celebrating, get ready because step five is right around the corner.
If you fail, try again.
I think the greatest goals in life are not the ones that come easily. For example, if your dream is to travel around the world consider the enormous amount of planning and preparations that would be necessary to pull it off. If your goal is to get married, consider the time and effort that you would have to put into getting to know a person and allowing yourself to fall in love.
Despite the difficulty of achieving these goals, there is a reason why so many people chance these dreams with everything they have.
The best dreams take effort. This is simply because there is no greater feeling then crossing something off of your bucket list that you know full well you poured your heart and soul into. The satisfaction of knowing that you not only did what you set out to do, but that you came away successful is a wonderfully enriching experience.
But you won’t always find success. You will fail. Perhaps more often than not. Does that mean this goal is a waste of time or even futile? Absolutely not. Consider the even greater feeling of gratification that you will receive when you understand that although you failed once, that goal did not get the best of you the second time.
Set Time Aside for your Goals
The most frequent excuse used when someone explains why they failed to reach their dreams in life: “I did not have time.” Although time is something that is always fleeting, this is not an insurmountable problem.
If you want to have the time to do what you want in life, make the time. It might come with sacrifices. For me personally, I sacrifice my sleep to pursue the things I want in life. For others it may be turning off the television, logging off of Facebook, or even turning off the cell phone. Everyone has responsibilities, but at the same time I believe that everyone can cut things out of their life if they are truly passionate about trying something new.
Setting time aside for your goals cannot just be done on a whim. You must make a conscious effort and when you set your mind to do something you must carry it out with everything you have.
This is where step 3 comes into play.
Write Down Your Goals
Yes, write them down. ALL OF THEM
. Can you write down too many goals
? No you cannot. Just think how many times every day that you think to yourself about something you want to do in the future. If you don’t write those things down, chances are you will forget them. Maybe not all of them, but who wants to live a life in which you not only fail to accomplish their goals
, but you forget about them entirely. Goals
are exciting. Goals
are fun. Goals
give a purpose to wake up in the morning. Goals
give reasons to try new things, explore the world, and push yourself farther than you ever thought possible.
There is no art form to writing down goals
. If there is something you want to do, write it down!
Write down short-term goals
. Little goals
that you can knock off in a day to give yourself the motivation you need to reach for the bigger ones. No goal
is too insignificant to make the list.
But write down long-term goals
too. Few things are as satisfying as knocking off one of your goals
that has been staring you in the face for years.
Where can you find such goals
? Well this website you are on is a great place to start! I have compiled my own list
of 200+ goals
which I hope to someday accomplish. But believe me that is only the tip of the iceberg. If you want to flesh out your list a little I recommend the following websites: http://bucketlist.org/http://www.squidoo.com/100thingshttp://www.bucketlist.net/http://www.43things.com/
Goal: Solve a Rubik's Cube
Date: March 24, 2013
Today I decided I was going to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube. Otherwise known as the World’s Greatest Selling Toy, this little puzzle has been my enigma for quite some time. Well today that came to an end. With the guidance of my sister, a former Rubik’s puzzler, the two of us sat down to tackle this little demon of a game. Roughly three hours later, and a sizable headache later, I had solved my first Rubik’s cube. For the record let me tell you there are very few things in life more satisfying that twisting that cube one final time and seeing all six faces covered by a distinct color.
Since this first solve I have been able to solve it three more times, each one taking roughly 10-15 minutes. I am by no means a master. If you would like to see a true Rubik’s champion, check out the YouTube video below. I’m going to keep practicing and perhaps one day I will be able to solve one without my detailed notes and algorithms.
Either way, it felt good to knock this one off of my bucket list.
If you are interested in learning how to solve a Rubik’s cube, but you don’t know someone who can tutor you, I highly recommend you check out this useful tutorial.
It’s true. One might think that when you are sitting alone in a nursing home and your kids have long since grown up, that you would be quite desperate for a friend. That may also be true. But that can never compare in value to your friends at the age of 19. When you are 19 years old you have the entire world in front of you. At times it seems that you can take it on all by yourself. Some try to do just that. Perhaps some even succeed. But what kind of life is that? Certainly not the kind of life I would want to live. Leaving high school I thought I was going to lose all my friends. College can do that. It can test the strongest of friendships. Everyone was spreading out to the four corners of the wind. The carefree, idyllic days of high school where we saw each other every day were over. It was never going to be the same way again. It was one of the scariest realizations of my life. 3/4ths of the way through my first year of college I realize now I had nothing to fear. True friends don’t do that. They don’t leave each other. No matter the distance. That was one of the happiest realizations of my life.
I am so blessed. I would not trade my friends for anything. They are the reason I am where I am today. They may not realize it, but looking back on my short 19 years they are the reason I am the person I have become. Chances are they will be the reason I will become the person I am to be. They have been the source of so many great memories, so many laughs, and I will truly cherish that until the day I die. They have been there during the best of times. They have been there at the worst of times. They have been there at three in the morning when I needed someone to talk to. They have been there when no one else has been.
They have been my firm foundation when I get out of control and pursue one of my crazy endeavors. They have been the source of reason when my conspiratorial mind has gotten the best of me. They have been my closest confidents and my greatest comrades. Together we have been through so much. I cannot begin to imagine what exciting things the future holds for us.
I used to think I could survive on my own. I have always been a very introverted, and sometimes I would even consider myself a loner. But I never want to lose the friends I have, and I hope I never do. They are going to continue to grow up and soon they will start their own families, but I am positive our friendships will remain intact.
Life lesson: hold on to your friends. Especially when you are 19. They might be your best friends for life.
Goal: Watch a movie while being served a meal at a theater
Date: October 20th, 2012
This was one of those things that I had always heard about but had never got around to doing. With my past 19th birthday approaching my friends left it up to me to decide the entire days plans. So I decided to knock a quick item off my list and accompanied me like the good friends they are to a local theater known as the Fox Bay Cinema Grill. After much uncertainty and trepidation of waiting around the bar area trying to determine where to order the food we made our way to the theater area and found menus at every single chair. The atmosphere was quaint and charming and the staff was very quiet and nice as they quickly scurried around taking orders and delivering food. The food itself wasn't the best, nor was the movie (we saw Taken 2), but it was a unique twist on the typical movie going experience. More importantly I can say I had the opportunity to spend time with my friends on my birthday which was the most important part of the day.
Break a World RecordStatus: Accomplished Date:
August 11, 2012 A wonderful volunteer effort known as Honor Flight, which began back in 2005, has granted many World War II veterans a chance to visit their memorial in Washington D.C. by flying them free of charge out of their home cities to the nation's capitol. To date they have flown over 80,000 veterans from over 117 hubs in 40 states. If you would like to read more about this wonderful effort you can read all about them or even donate here at their official website. As the popularity of this program grew nationwide it became a focus of many to document this extraordinary effort by way of film. So in the later part of the summer in 2012 a unique opportunity was brought to my hometown of Milwaukee Wisconsin. The finished documentary was unveiled at Miller Park to a record crowd of 28,442. The largest attendance ever recorded at a film screening.
The night was certainly one to remember. Speeches were given, stories were shared, and tears flowed freely before the documentary even began to play. Although I have never known someone personally who fought in World War II and is part of the greatest generation, I felt a sense of patriotism that I have never felt before. Truly this was an event that was so much more than breaking a world record. Official Guinness World Record DocumentationOfficial Film Trailer: "Honor Flight"