By Tim Denning
“Everyday we are slowly dying”
My buddy Joel Brown said this quote to a group of us a few weeks ago. I felt a wave of emotion come over me. I’ve always known life is short, but somehow I unconsciously seemed to have thought I might live forever.
This quote reminded me that we need to spend each day doing things that we’ve always wanted to do because we are slowly dying. Death doesn’t hit us on some random day; death is slowly occurring right now.
There’s no need to be afraid of this undeniable truth about our human existence. What I don’t want you to have, though, is regret because you didn’t experience to the fullest the following feelings: love, empathy, forgiveness, sympathy, kindness and compassion.
Make this life count. Change the world.
1. Instill belief in someone else
Not just anyone. Someone who has lost their way and needs help finding themselves again. Show them all that is great about the person whom they’ve become. Help them take the focus off everything that’s going wrong.
Then, assist them to cast a vision for their life that will make them wake up each day with a passion for life. This process will be as positive for the person you’re helping, as it will be for you. You’ll see that your dream is mostly achieved through others.
2. Create a human life
You’ve been given a gift of life by your parents. Pay it forward through having your own child. Instill beliefs in that child, which can make a difference and carry on all of your best traits.
My older, successful friends all tell me that not to have children is one of life’s biggest regrets. Unfortunately, you probably won’t realize this for yourself until it’s too late. Don’t let it be too late.
3. Pay for a stranger’s coffee and don’t tell them
Go to a popular coffee shop and look for a table with someone on their own. While ordering your coffee, ask the cashier if you can pay for the coffee of that stranger too. Why do this? It will show the table of people that nice things can happen for no reason. It will show them that strangers care.
What will happen next? They’ll feel compelled to pay the gift forward. Imagine if we all did this. Such a small act can create more good and help to overshadow all the evil that exists. You can start that change.
4. Bring flowers to the hospital for a cancer patient
This idea came from a story I heard about the iconic Olivia Newton-John. She’s known for her work that she does with cancer patients and the hospital wing here in Australia that is named after her.
As the story goes, she regularly visits this cancer ward in Australia and goes around to every room to see the patients.
By the end of it she is an emotional mess, but she does it because she’s deeply compelled to. So before you die, bring flowers to the hospital for a cancer patient you’ve never met. Spend some time with them and tell them a story which takes their mind of their cancer fight.
Through seeing people that are dying, it makes me appreciate my own health so much more. It makes me realize why I need to look after my body and it will do the same for you.
5. Start a small business that serves the greater good and has purpose
At some point, I’m going to start a small business again on the side. Unlike my other business ventures, this one is going to serve the greater good and have an empowering purpose. The energy that we need to live a happy life is found in doing something that matters.
Profit is awesome, but after a while, it just becomes numbers on a screen. Take those numbers and do something that makes a difference.
6. Read a book a day for a month
There are so many books I want to read and never seem to have time to complete. For one single month, I’m going to find the thirty most life-changing books and read one per day. Ideally, I’m going to read those books in some remote paradise, in a country I have never been to before.
Reading has so many positive benefits and once you’ve done it on mass for an entire month, you’ll realize it’s value even more and hopefully spend more time indulging in its wonderfulness.
7. Buy a homeless person some brand new runners
Sounds a bit weird, but I’ve always loved a brand new pair of runners. There’s something about how a new pair of runners make you feel. Before I die, I want a homeless person who’s going through a tough time to experience that same feeling.
It’s these seemingly small feelings that can cause someone to interrupt the pattern of their life. It’s my hope that maybe something as simple as a pair of runners can change someone’s life entirely. At worst, a new pair of runners can help someone in need break their cycle for a few brief moments.
8. Leave a legacy
I’ve left this one wide open for interpretation. A legacy, for me, is something that leaves me with a sense that I have inspired millions of people. I’m not interested in small dreams and I completely understand that this way of being is not for everyone.
A legacy is different for each of us, but I worry that so many people I meet are not creating one that is meaningful to them.
We somehow fall into the trap of thinking that it’s hard work or we’ll think about it when we are older. We then become that older person and realize we have been lying to ourselves this whole time.
“Don’t let your legacy be clouded by all the noise in this mixed up place we call Earth”
9. Meet my hero in person
A must have for me is to meet my hero. My hero is Tony Robbins. I had the pleasure of shaking his hand at an event here in Melbourne a few weeks ago. Before I die, I want to meet him properly. I want to ask him what caused him to live this incredible life of serving others.
I know what his answer will be and I plan to go deeper. He lived as a child, often with no food. What I want to find out is what caused that and how he thought at the time. I want to hear the stories that were running through his head when he was a janitor and how he changed them.
We all should get to meet our hero at least once. Think about what you would ask them.
10. Mentor someone who eventually outgrows me
I have no desire to be the smartest or coolest person in the room. I feel I’ve achieved a lot and what would make me feel so happy would me to share my life experience with someone who eventually outgrows me. I want to be the giant whose shoulders can be made available for someone to stand on and reach the top of the mountain. That’s what life is about.
11. Speak on stage in front of a thousand plus people
I reckon that would be terrifying. The good news is that even though I would be full of fear, my passion for inspiring others would outshine any negative feelings.
“There’s something about changing people’s lives that overshadows everything else in this world”
We all have something that has the power to inspire others. I believe we all should speak in front of a thousand plus people to experience what it would be like to share a message of hope before we die.
12. Give one month’s income to a cause I care about
Imagine how you would need to think to give up an entire months salary. Seems like a difficult thing to do unless you tie that idea to a cause you care about. When you give your resources away, you teach your brain that you already live in an abundant place.
That feeling is something you have to experience before you die.
13. Send a letter to all of my mentors with a heartfelt message
So many people have given me a chance throughout my life. These mentors have given something so valuable to me without ever expecting anything back. If it weren’t for these mentors, I would have never of achieved half the things I’ve done in my life.
Sending a letter to these mentors with a heartfelt message is a way for me to say thank you for all they’ve done. This letter has the potential to encourage them to do that same good deed again for someone else.
You’ve had people give you a chance as well. Before you die, make sure you let these mentors know.
14. Create passive income
A goal I am in the middle of achieving right now. Being paid while you sleep allows you to gain new resources that can then be funneled back into the vision for your life. Passive income gives you time back in your day so that you don’t have to be so focused on working to pay the bills.
15. Dance in the rain
I attended a festival at Albert Park Lake a few years ago and Moby (a famous musician) was playing on the main stage. It started raining and everyone was dancing in the rain. The sight was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
I didn’t dance in the rain and just observed. Next time, I’m going to dance like I have never danced before. Dancing in the rain is such a freeing and rebellious experience.
How dare we challenge nature haha. I want all of you to dance in the rain before you die.
16. Spread love in an impoverished village
I want to go to a third world country and spread love in a village that needs more of it. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of material possessions or money. Your presence is enough to make a difference. Show the people of the village that strangers care.
17. Participate in a love mob event
Preston Smiles started this modern day phenomenon. I want to join one of his random acts of love in a public place. I once was on a tram when a group of university students got on and sang a song about love. The whole tram was singing and it was a magical experience. I want to initiate the next one.
18. Write something that changes the world
A book, a blog post or even a letter. A piece of writing that shapes the future. Words that say something that inspires. We all have to do that before we die.
19. Forgive someone who deserves it
We all make mistakes. Taking grudges with you to your grave is a waste of time and headspace.
20. Live happily ever after
Get married to the partner of my dreams and live happily ever after. Share an incredible life with someone who inspires me.
For those who still haven’t found that dream partner, they’re hiding somewhere for you — you just have to go find them. Think of it like a treasure hunt. Then, once you find them, don’t forget to do the living happily ever after part.