Lots of people tell me they wish they could do what I am doing. Most people have distant goals, a bucket list of crazy things they want to do in their lifetime. It’s time to stop being a thinker and start being a doer (my Dad’s going to love that line).
If you want to have an extraordinary, epic, exciting life – a life worth writing about – here are the steps to achieve it.
1. Decide you want to live a crazy, fun, thrilling life. Pretend that the world really is going to end in December 2012. If that happens, are you going to look back and be happy about how you spent your time? You need to make a conscious decision about the kind of life you want to live. You decide. It’s your choice. Say it out loud to reinforce it: “I want to live an extraordinary life.”
2. Become debt free. Get rid of your anchors and start leading a simple life with less stuff.
3. Write a list of all the things you want to do before you die. Really, writing it down makes a difference, don’t hold it in your head. You can make it a crazy list – I’m not going to hold you to completing it all before December 2012! Be outrageous. List all the places you want to go; list the things you want to learn how to do; list the experiences you want to have. Jump out of a plane, go on a safari, learn another language — all that stuff.
4. Calculate how many years you think you have left to live. Look at your list and think about which things you can do when you are older and perhaps less able physically. If you have “run a triathlon” on your list you may want to put that up front whereas “try frog legs” might go at the end.
5. Now, pick something off your list that is remotely feasible to accomplish by December 2012. Remember if you are 40 years old and you have 40 things on your list, you better get going on one of those things right now.
6. Baby steps. Just do one thing today that gets you a tiny bit closer to that goal. Want to go on a safari? Go read up about the different safaris that are out there. At least twice a week you need to take a baby step. Find out how much it will cost, refine exactly what and where it is and how you’re going to get there.
7. Start ruling out all those excuses that just popped into your head. In fact, write them down, that will make putting a line through them really fulfilling. Don’t have any money for your safari? Then start saving for airfare while you research volunteer opportunities. Is all your time already allotted for this year? Then you better pick “jump out of a plane” off your list because you can probably do that in a weekend. There’s something on that list you can do this year.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers or anything. I’m just sharing what I went through before I realized that I had better do something outrageous before my butt got stuck in my lazyboy. Now at least when the end of the world comes in December 2012 I will have accomplished one of my big, crazy, thrilling, adventurous goals.
In case it isn’t obvious, I picked “become a full-time travelling photographer” off my list. I’m not worried about making money at it right now. I’m just living the life because it’s extraordinary and thrilling and I’ll never regret that.
I don’t want to disappoint anyone who comes here for daily photography inspiration … so here is today’s photo from Everglades National Park in Florida (a photo that wouldn’t be in my collection without that crazy list.)
A baby alligator at Pine Glades Lake. Please click the image to view a larger version.