When are you most alive? What are the most weird and most cooky things you’ve ever done?
Whilst this is one-way to look at Sebastian Terry’s book 100 Things it’s probably not the most useful frame.
Let’s try this instead…
What are the things that you’ve done in your life that made you feel most alive?
Stop and have a think about this. I think it’s a great life question.
For instance, have you been on a scary roller coaster ride that put you on the edge of your seat? Have you become a parent and watched with joy and admiration as your child stumbled, stood up and then shined? Or, consider the pride you felt at completing that special something that you didn’t think you could.
Feeling fully alive is a super powerful question that builds on what Todd Henry is talking about in Die Empty.
Ten Things by Sebastian Terry
If you want some suggestions as to some activities that would make you feel fully alive then consider this list of ten things:
- Marry a stranger in Las Vegas
- Deliver a baby – and not yours!
- Break a world record
- Get shot! Yes, deliberately set out to get shot.
- Perform a marriage ceremony. Yes, a legal marriage ceremony
- Walk across a country, eg France
- Get a tattoo
- Appear as a sports mascot
- Crash the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival
- Stay silent for an entire week
These ten outrageous things are all part of Sebastian Terry’s 100 Things list. It’s a bucket list of things to achieve. And, yes, there are 90 others amazing things on his list! His journey started at the crossroad between completing college and starting a job. Added to this was the sudden death of a close friend. It sparked a rethink of life for Seb.
He asked himself this question:
If I knew I was going to die, would I change anything?
Perhaps, right now is a good time to stop and reflect on this question. Are you ready to die?
My point is not death. It’s life. And Seb’s point is not doing crazy stuff. It’s life. In particular, it’s doing things that bring you to life. That brings you fully alive!
And, my interest in this is two-fold. I want to feel more fully alive. And, in writing about manifestos I have the tool to do it. A bucket list of 100 things is a form of manifesto. It’s a super simple way to express your intent in the world and make a public declaration about it. It says, ‘Here’s what I want accomplish in my life’.
The Power of Public Declarations
And, Sebastian Terry’s story is a fantastic example of what might happen if you go public with your declarations. As he started his adventure he shared it publicly by blogging about it. And, along the way he attracted a strong following that built a momentum of help and support. It reached a point where people were emailing him to help complete his list. And, this opened up a host of doorways to complete things that seemed impossible or unlikely otherwise. For Seb, sharing his list in public was akin to drinking Red Bull. It gave him wings!
My Top 10
Here’s my top ten…
- Grow a Forest – 100 acres planted with food and other native flora.
- Start a Research Centre
- Publish a Book – done that x 4, now aiming for 10 books
- Present at TED
- Receive an honorary Doctorate
- Speak French – at least have a reasonable conversation in French.
- Get married.
- Exhibit my art and create a sellout show.
- Earn a million dollars – if you knew my bank balance right now you’d be laughing at this thought!
- Spend a month in Paris painting and visiting the Musee Picasso – 2015!
What’s on your list?
One of Sebastian Terry’s 100 Things was to write a book. And, that’s what we’ve been talking about here. It’s an engaging story with short sharp chapters making it an easy read. I gobbled it up in two days. Inspiring stuff!
So, the obvious question is this…
What’s on your list? What are you the things that you could take on to inspire you to be fully alive?
Leave a public comment below to share some items from your list.