101 Things To Do Before You Die (3/10)

101 Things To Do Before You Die (3/10)

21. Pursue your passion


Honestly, life is too short to be spent doing something you don’t love. This was why I quit my day job in September 2008 (right start at the start of the financial crisis no less) to pursue my passion to help others grow. I have never looked back ever since — for the past five years, I’ve been writing at Personal Excellence and helping people to grow. It has been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done and I plan to do this for the rest of my life.

What is your passion? Is it to be an artist? To sing and perform? To be a life coach? To travel? To help other people to grow (same as my passion)? To be the best that you can be? How can you start pursuing it?

If you don’t know what your passion is, this exercise will help you to discover it: Discover Your Purpose in the Next 30 Minutes

Some people pursue their passion part time while some make it their careers (or even turn their passion into a business). I personally think that if something is your passion, then you should turn it into your life’s work, because that’s the most synergistic and rewarding path you can pursue. Contrary to common belief that pursuing your passion is at odds with being rich, you can pursue your passion and be financially abundant. I’m an example of this. 

22. Start your business


Entrepreneurship is fraught with uncertainty but it certainly is fun and rewarding! I started my personal development business in 2008 without knowledge of professional blogging or coaching and started earning more than my last corporate pay within my third year. By being smart, diligent, and persistent in your endeavor, there’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t succeed.

23. Fly in a hot-air balloon

Hot air balloon

The view of the world as you float away in a hot-air balloon… spectacular. Once, I got to fly in a hot-air balloon while I was in Orange County in 2012… though that was just a stationary balloon ride that went up for a minute before coming back down. My next goal is to have a real hot-air balloon ride.

24. Sing to an audience

If you love singing, don’t keep your passion to yourself! The next time there is an event, offer to sing as one of the performance items. Singing shouldn’t be limited to when you are showering in the bathroom. 

25. Do volunteer work

Barefoot on sand

Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to the world. As I mentioned in Day 4: Sign Up for Volunteer Work of the Kindness Challenge,

Volunteer work is one of the best ways to expose yourself to a new medium of helping other people. There are tons of volunteer work out there, from assisting the elderly at the old folks’ home, working with delinquent kids, being a mentor to kids at orphanages, helping out at animal shelters, beach cleanups, and so on.

Volunteer work doesn’t have to be some grandiose act. As long as you are offering a part of yourself pro bono to the world (be it in terms of skills, knowledge, time, effort, or money), you are in fact volunteering.


26. Befriend a stranger

New Friends

Who says that there needs to be a reason to start a friendship? A connection can start anytime, anywhere, in any way. I have many great friendships that started off from the most random of situations.

Perhaps the most random one is with a near-stranger, whom I met once in college and did not speak to him for the next nine years (except once when we bumped into each other on the streets). One day, he was sorting through his phone contacts list, saw my name, and decided to message me. Fast forward today, and he is now my fiance. 

Not saying that the next stranger you contact is going to be your romantic partner, but rather, that a great friendship can start in any way. 🙂 

27. Get a drink for a stranger

Two cups of coffee

The next time you’re in Starbucks or a coffee place, don’t just get a drink for yourself — buy one for someone else. Once I was in Starbucks working on my laptop, and a stranger bought me an iced latte just to thank me for sharing a power point with him (which isn’t even my property to begin with). He left the cafe right after giving me the drink and left me with a very good feeling in my heart.

28. Walk barefoot in the rain

Playing barefoot in the rain

We are all used to following a “proper” conduct: to be clothed when we are out, to always wear shoes when we are outside the house, and to always use an umbrella when it’s raining (with good reason of course, so that we don’t catch a cold).

While all these make sense, how about breaking the “rules” for a change… and just walk barefoot the next time it rains? Feel the pavement, feel the earth, and feel the wet surface against your feet. Better yet, find someone to do this with you. Perhaps it will make you feel like a child again. 

29. Run barefoot

Barefoot on sand

It’s funny putting this as a bucket-list item, because I see barefoot running as a lifestyle activity — I’ve been running barefoot since 2010! Do you know that barefoot running improves your landing, gives you better posture, and creates less stress on your knees/feet/joints as compared to running with shoes? Don’t just take my word for it — try it for yourself.

30. Experience a sunrise/sunset

Sunset at Holland, Noordwijk

Sunset at Holland, Holland, Noordwijk. I was there on 21 June 2011 for a speech, and incidentally it was the Summer Solstice, the longest day in the year, then. The sunset lasted for a good few hours!

Sunrises and sunsets are some of the most beautiful gifts from mother nature. And the best thing? We get them free every day.