11. Go horseback riding
Horseback riding began in the 14th century, where it was used as a functional activity to transport materials and people. Today, it has transformed into both a hobby and a competitive sport. Horseback riding in itself can be a good sport to relax and unwind from the busy life. Unlike typical sports where you are alone or with other peopple, in horseback riding, you work together with an animal — the horse — and often times build an emotional bond with it.
12. Do an extreme sport
I don’t consider myself an extreme-sports person, but I do like to experiment in life. When I was in Cape Town in April 2013, my host and reader Lizette invited me to go paragliding as she has friends who are licensed tandem paragliding pilots. I took up the offer, and went paragliding not once, but twice!!!
Me paragliding in Cape Town on April 18, 2013. Check out THAT view!!! We were literally floating in the air for a good minute or two. One of the MOST surreal moments in my life!!
The experience was immense and one that I’ll never forget. I do recommend everyone to try at least one extreme sport in our lifetimes! (Of course, make sure *all* safety precautions are in place and you are with professional and licensed instructors.) While the experience may only last a couple of minutes, those few minutes will be some of the most memorable ones in your life.
13. Climb a mountain
Why risk your life to climb a mountain when the journey is fraught with rocky terrains and with ever-changing weather conditions? For some, mountain climbing is an external conquest; some find enjoyment in the sport; others see it as a step in their personal growth journey. Whatever it is, mountain climbing is a feat that takes physical endurance and mental tenacity to accomplish, and is definitely a bucket-list worthy item. I haven’t climbed a mountain yet but I plan to do that sometime in the future!
14. Learn a strategy game
Strategy games like chess, checkers, chinese chess, Reversi (also known as Otello), Mindsweeper (part of Windows bundle) are great ways to train your mind. As a child, my brother and I played chinese chess together very often; I also enjoy playing mind sports like chess and Reversi a lot and would do so with my friends and against the computer). I don’t know if playing such games helped me to be smarter, but I know it certainly taught me to think quickly, to develop plan of actions in anticipation of future issues, and to think before I act!
15. Connect with past teachers
Some of us may think of teachers in a bad light. After all, teachers are often remembered for giving us endless assignments and tests and generally making our lives miserable while in school!
Yet, our teachers are also crucial educators who impart importanted knowledge — and life skills — to us during our early ages when we were the most impressionable. They ensured that we would be on the right path as we entered preadolescence, adolescence, and subsequently adulthood. While teachers don’t always get everything right, their intentions come from a good place and they want to see us win.
Think about your past teachers in junior school, high school, and tertiary education. Find ways to get back in touch with them. (Calling your alma mater is always a good start.) Let them know how they have touched your life.
16. Let someone know how much he/she means to you
In our life’s journey, we are constantly touched and supported by people around us, be it friends, family, or acquaintances. Can you identify someone who has made a difference in your life? Write a letter to the person today and let him/her know how much he/she means to you. You can do this as many times as you want, for as many people as you like.
17. Give a heartfelt surprise to someone
When’s the last time you gave someone a surprise? It’s always heartwarming to come home to a nicely cooked dinner, to have a bouquet of flowers sent to you at work, or to even receive a simple text message from a loved one. Who is someone you would like to touch today? What surprise can you give to him/her?
18. Perform a kind deed without expecting anything in return
Many of us are often waiting to receive rather than to give. Yet for any relationship to work, there has to be both giving and receiving. If you often find yourself wondering why no one is giving you what you want, how about practicing giving to others first? The rest will follow.
19. Make a difference in someone’s life
Making a difference is more than doing a kind deed, though it can come as a result of a kind deed. When you make a difference in someone’s life, you change the person’s life for the better… permanently. What is the difference YOU want to make in others’ lives? How can you make that happen?
20. Be a mentor to someone
Teaching is one of the most rewarding things we can do. No matter how old you are, even if you are in your teens, you are always in the position to mentor someone else — perhaps someone who is more junior than you or someone who is older but can benefit from a particular expertise you have. Mentoring others is also a great way for you to develop yourself too.
Many communities are always looking for volunteer mentors, so check with your local community programs for such opportunities. At the same time, is there anyone you know who can benefit from being mentored by you? Extend your hand to help — who knows, it may well be what he/she needs at this moment!