What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?

So far, no one has ever lived forever. Death comes for us all. When you are on your death bed, what do you want to have done before you die?

These things can fit into a few broad categories.

First, there are specific activities that you would do. Perhaps you want to experience the thrill that comes from jumping out of a plane. Or running a marathon.

Some people call this a “bucket list” — that is, things you want to do before kicking the bucket. Do you have such a list? What is on it? How long a list is it?

You have direct control over this list, of course, both what items get added as well as which tasks get performed.

A second category are things you would experience, but not necessarily do yourself. You might hope to see a child get married. Or have your favorite sports team win a championship. Or experience the first human on Mars.

Obviously, you have much less control over these events. The main thing you can do is probably to live long enough to increase the odds that these things will happen before you die.

Another category includes generalities. Perhaps you hope to leave a lasting legacy to future generations. Or be remembered fondly by your friends and family. You might want to embody a particular trait, like generosity or punctuality.

You have some control over these outcomes. However, your desires and reality may not always agree. Maybe you want to be generous, but you simply don’t have the means to do so.

Have you given any thought to how you want the rest of your finite time to play out? What do you want to do before you die? What are you doing to make these hopes come to pass?

Related questions: How do you define success? How do you set priorities? Why are people afraid of death? What is your favorite experience? What book do you mean to read but haven’t?

1 thought on “What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?”

  1. These days I’m more into the tracking of good habits as a way to help me accomplish some of the goals I’ve set in my life. For instance, I use intermittent fasting to lose and maintain my weight. Also, I try to meditate and express gratitude daily as a means to reduce my struggle with Anxiety. Good habits sustained over time almost always lead to great results. So this is where I’m going to devote most of my future-planning energy.

    Still, I can see the fun of bucket lists. For instance, it feels snazzy to imagine being at the several places I’d like to vacation in the future (e.g. Lisbon; Venice; Rome; The Alhambra in Grenada, Spain; other Greek islands than where I have already been; Budapest, Tokyo, New Zealand, and many, many more countries, cities, and sites around the world). Also, I really want to write a novel entitled “Elohim.” The book imagines the Big Bang as an expulsion of gods from far-too-comfortable community they created. In the novel I will follow how a god landing near and looking down at Earth tries to communicate with humans, but something always ends up getting misinterpreted or used by someone in power leading to disastrous results.

    To answer this question some more, I decided to look back at my journals. I found a bucket list from 2001. Some things on that list I’ve already accomplished. I had a goal of running a marathon; I’ve since run seven. I wanted to parachute from an airplane; done that! I also wanted to acquire no new debt. Our household now only has to finish paying off our mortgage in a handful of years. And then we’ll be (fingers crossed) debt-free.

    Some items remain good goals. I want(ed) to write my “Position Papers” on a number of items as if I were running for office with integrity; seems like something that would be helpful simply to detail the rationale for the beliefs I have. I want(ed) to compile a personal cookbook, and then cook more often; great item for a bucket list, I think.

    Other items on my 2001 bucket list are just hogwash. I listed “Stop drinking coffee,” and “ No more chocolate.” What! These items have since been proven as healthy and yummy at the same time.

    There are other items on 2001 bucket list, but most aren’t that exciting. So I’ll stop there.

    I would love to read what others have on their lists.

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