There are several thousands of ways in with people from different communities and walks of life rationalize death. Religions, philosophies, and questions of spirituality have always been trying to grapple with this question – what happens when we die? What is more important however, is what happens to the sum of our life when we die? No matter what one’s perspective might be towards death, what is certain is the finitude of our lives. And it is thus no wonder that a very common saying and advice given to everyone is to make every moment of life count. Of course, it is the brevity of life that makes it sweeter, but it is also unrealistic to expect that every moment of life can be lived equally well.
What can be ensured is that certain moments of life are lived fully, without the intruding thoughts of anything else. To that effect, bearing in mind that life passes by in the blink of an eye and must be lived sincerely, there are some things that everyone should aim to experience at least once before their end. Such experiences and occasions listed below feature very regular things that are easily accessible to anyone and might actually seem mundane, but are all important and must be tried at least once. For, having an experience of a lifetime does not mean living dangerously but doing everything that is necessary for a complete existence.
10. Live in a different city or country
This point cannot be over emphasized. It is crucial that everyone experience at least once leaving their hometown and settling in a new place. It is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things anyone can put themselves through. Making a strange new city one’s own is terribly difficult. Yet, there are few things better than slowly settling into a new place till it stays new no more – you are now aware of the best walks, the most convenient shortcuts, the best restaurants, and can use public transport effortlessly. It is also an immense boost to one’s sense of self and a matter of accomplishment.
9. Go backpacking
It really does not have to be to Europe. Backpacking is a must have experience because it gives you a great degree of freedom as you travel. It really lets you take in the local flavour. It allows you to have a flexible schedule and immerse yourself, rather than just tick off lists in your itinerary. You can stay at youth hostels and connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds instead of staying at hotels and getting only the tourist’s perspective of a new place.
8. Adopt a pet
This one is important because it might literally change your life. Having a different living being to take care of and bond with is beautiful and it also exposes you to a host of different feelings. You can adopt any animal or bird that you want; simply giving it a home is a feeling that humbles you. While cats and dogs are the most commonly chosen pets because of how receptive they are, several people also state that even having a fish or a lizard can really make you attached to them.
7. Learn something new
Challenge yourself. Do something you never would, conquer that irrational fear you have always had. This might include river rafting, going on a solo trip, going on a scary rollercoaster, or even just learning to ride a bike. There is nothing like the rush and the surge of confidence you will get after you accomplish something you have always dreaded to do. It is not just about the adrenaline rush – when you overcome a fear, learn something new, or push yourself outside your comfort zone, you are living most intensely.
6. Make amends
This is perhaps the most underrated item on this list. Making amends is one of the most important things in life so as to ensure that you are left without regrets, and it is most often neglected. There is no point in holding on to a grudge and nursing one’s ego beyond measure because it will only cause the person in question harm. A key component of making amends is forgiveness. This is a virtue that is most difficult to master. One has to be cautious because not every situation or wrong done warrants forgiveness, but it is also necessary to let go and reconcile instead of being egoistic.
5. Finish the important things
Read that book you always wanted, watch that movie everyone has been recommending, do not keep your paintings off for another day. One of life’s important lessons is to seize the day and not wait around for something grand to happen. Life consists in making the most of what you have, and unless you take the time out to do the things that matter to you, it will not magically happen. In today’s highly commercialized world, things like this may not be accorded any importance because of lack of time, but these are the things that matter.
Donate something every few months, or just maybe volunteer at a charity. Choose a cause and actively work for it. It is not easy being selfless, but it is the greatest feeling in the world. Just knowing that you are actually making a difference, doing your part for humanity and making the world a better place will give you a calmness and satisfaction that you must experience before you die.
3. Learn a different language
Learning foreign languages usually somehow always stays on top of everyone’s bucket lists, but very few actually follow through. Do not wait any longer, pick yourself a language and enroll yourself in a course as soon as possible. If you are waiting for the right time, then stop waiting and make it a priority. It will not only enrich your sensibility but also add to your list of skills. And it can always be of help if you decide to visit that country later.
This can be a very humbling activity. Once you look out into the great space and the skies, you will find your stresses melting away as your problems seem miniscule in comparison. It might be overwhelming to confront your own stature in the great scheme of things and realize how little things that happen to you actually matter, but it can also be liberating. You no longer have the pressure to do every single thing perfectly. Sleeping under the stars and having an intimate dinner outside can also be a very romantic date, or a chance to just reconnect with yourself.
1. Fulfill one dream
At the end, life is practical and made up of the mundane everyday stuff. And often in this rat race we turn away from the things we are truly passionate about just to make things work. While fulfilling your dreams when it comes to the big things – like your life’s secret ambition to be an artist – may not always happen, it does not mean you cannot do the easier ones. One is always asked to dream big, but that does not lessen the importance of small dreams. If there is something you have always wanted to do, such as participate in an open mic or take part in a major race, just do it. And do it well. Even fulfilling the small dreams can feel exhilarating.