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Before I die, I want to…

10 March 2011

This morning I ran across an article on entitled “TED 2011: What do you want to do before you die?” I am a casual TED Talks fan. I subscribe to the audio and video podcasts, but I pick and choose based on topics or speakers I am intrigued by. This one had me intrigued.

I’d suggest you click over and read the article, but here are the Cliff’s Notes. An artist in New Orleans rode past an abandoned, boarded up building. Growing weary of boarded up buildings and the advertisements that are typically plastered over them, she decided to take action. She and a group of friends painted the entire wall in chalkboard paint and repeatedly stenciled “Before I die I want to_______________.” She left behind some chalk and watched to see what would happen.

The story got me thinking. What do I want to do before I die? If I had to give just one answer, what would that one thing be? I couldn’t come up with a great option. Everything I came up with either seemed too cliché, or too small to be the one thing I should want to accomplish before I die, or centered around the wrong ideals. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and I’ve come up with a list. If you only want to accomplish one thing, you’re not aiming high enough.

1. I want to launch my business – REALLY launch it. I want it to go huge.
2. I want to use that business as a launching point for an even bigger idea.
3. I want to marry the girl of my dreams.
4. I want to watch my friends who are starting businesses or chasing other dreams to be massively successful, and I will do anything I can to help them realize those dreams.
5. I want to continue to travel and learn more about the world, and I’d love to do some of that travel on my own terms.
6. I want to go on big adventures, and I want someone to share them with (preferably the girl mentioned in #3)
7. I want to write a book and sell it.
8. I want to ride my bike across the country, preferably north to south, on a mountain bike, on the continental divide. West to east on a road bike would work, too – in a pinch.
9. I want to keep learning – learn how to do new things, understand new things, and know the history of things.

Two things about this list: First, #10 is blank. My list is incomplete. It is ever growing. I’ll always be adding to my list of things I want to do before I die. Second, this list is in no particular order.

What’s on your list? What do you want to do before you die?

Fill in the blank: Before I die, I want to ____________________________________________.

One Comment
  1. I want to spend a vacation somewhere beautiful.
    I want to graduate college.
    I want to be a wife and mother.
    I want to have a rewarding and fulfilling career.
    I want to own a John Deere tractor (full-size, not a figurine!)

    Great post, Jon. Please ride your bike across the country! That’d be amazing to hear about!

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