Lauren gives us one of the best (and most informative) interviews of the series yet.
Read on to find out how this woman is buzzing with ideas to enrich her life, and make the world a better place at the same time.
Her blog inspires us to start making attainable goals and stop with the complaining.
Who or what inspired you to create your Bucket List?
I suppose the bucket-lister in me truly rose because of Tony Robbins way back when I was about 14 years old. My parents had been pretty into Robbins, and I was able to go to one of his seminars, Unleash The Power Within, for free.
Imagine a 14 year old, barely teenage girl in a room of adults all there to make their lives what they know it can be, and a huge over-six-feet-tall man empowering and teaching the thousands in that room how to do that.
I realized there was something bigger to life right then and there, and how the present all plays out to create your future and past.
After that, I had a sense of urgency, and an overall excitement about the very act of DOING things with my life.
How many things are on your list?
I’d say there are probably 100 items on my list, but I don’t even think that’s enough! I could easily add more, and I probably should.
The more specific you are with the things you want to achieve in your life, the easier they are to achieve, and the more you get to cross off!
It’s all about small, measurable goals that add up to one larger vision (Click to Tweet)
Do you think you’ll be able to cross everything off?
Absolutely not. I don’t think my bucket list will ever be complete, and I never want it to be complete.
The day I can’t think of anything else to add to my list is the day that I’ve lost my desire to live and my joy for life. The day I stop adding to my bucket list, is the day complacency has taken over, and I’ll never let that happen.
How did you get the ideas for your list?
The first thing I did was I determined what my biggest priorities were in life.
Entrepreneurship & Passion Projects
Micro & Macro Adventures
Fitness & Health
Creating Positive Change
Passionately Curious Endeavors
From there, I went through each category and thought about my ultimate vision for each.
I asked myself
What kind of entrepreneur do I want to be? What’s my vision for being healthy on a holistic level? What causes can I support to the best of my ability in this world?
After that I just began listing it all out.
I closed my eyes and I thought about all the things I could do in each category, and from there, the saga continues!
What is the most memorable thing you’ve checked off your list?
I’d have to say when I organized the successful 50 Mile Walk for Tomorrow’s World Changers because it combined so many of my values.
I walked 50 miles in 2 days along the coastline of the Atlantic in the US to raise money for DonorsChoose.org, which helps teachers fund classroom projects. In the 48 hours of the walk I had the goal to raise $1,000 and by the end of it we raised $1,200.
This bucket list item was a micro-adventure in and of itself, it was organized through my blog, The Mad To Live, and how almost all of the donations came in, it made a positive impact on the world and helped people, and it was a test of my physical fitness.
I’m all about finding ways to fit all my values into one thing, and this amazing, rewarding and challenging experience did that for me.
What was the most disappointing thing you’ve completed?
I have on my bucket list to learn how to cook Thai curries. I LOVE Thai food!
I got all the stuff to make red curry, and spent a few hours slaving away in the kitchen to make it just right. Unfortunately, when it came time to eat it …it was disgusting.
Note To Self: Easy on the coconut milk!
What is one thing that you have achieved that you recommend others try?
I’ll recommend one from each of my 5 categories:
1. Fitness & Health
Spend 30 Days Cooking For Yourself & Eating RIGHT.
This means no going out for fast food, avoiding wheat, eating lots of veggies and meat, and yes, spending a lot of time in the kitchen
I personally primarily follow the Paleo diet and do my best to buy organic foods.
You will be amazed that just after a few days how much more energy you will have, how much more alert you are, and just how much happier you feel.
Mix this in with getting exercise a few times a week and it’ll be one of the most life-changing months of your life. You’ll be hooked.
Do the 1% Prototype Challenge.
Take one of your wild and crazy ideas, be it a product or a service, and make a basic prototype website for it.
When I first began consulting for travel companies, I had to start somewhere, right? So, I made a page on my website dedicated to talking about my knowledge in the area (and of course experience!) and saw what bites I could get. I landed my first gig soon after, and the rest is history.
If you start small, big things can come.
3. Travel & Adventure
Get Your Passport! Go abroad to a country with a culture different than your own.
I don’t care where you go or why you want to go there, just make it different.
A good friend of mine once told me that when you travel you live the life of ten human beings all at once. I couldn’t agree more.
If you want to grow in ways you can’t image, leave the comfort of your own backyard, step into a place you feel you don’t belong, and stay until you’re at home.
4. Contribute To The World
Volunteer Once A Week.
The fastest way to finding happiness is to stop letting your ego take over your day, and live to help someone else.
Figure out which causes you are most passionate about and truly stand for, and then set out to make a difference in that cause.
5. Passionately Curious Endeavors
Create something tangible with your own two hands.
I built my own desk - the place where I spend far too many hours (I’d rather be outside!), the place where my greatest ideas happen and the place I learn the lessons of my not so great ideas.
It’s where I think about life, where I plan out my future, where I drink my coffee and write in my notebooks.
Build something just for you.
What would you do if you only had 6 months left to live?
I’d break it up into 3 parts, a few months each. I’d spend each part traveling a different part of the world with different people whom I’ve loved.
2 months traveling Europe and eating all the cheese, wine and bread.
The next couple months would be spent testing mental and physical strength with outdoor adventures in New Zealand.
And the final months I’d probably go back to where I’m from, New Jersey, and spend it with the friends I grew up with who are still there.
Is there a destination on your list you would recommend?
China. Most people don’t have a very big interest in China, and I totally understand why.
I’ve been to the south of France, to the Brazilian Amazon, to the bays of Thailand. I know what beautiful places and countries are. But China will rock your world. You’ll see things there that you can’t even imagine.
What’s more though, is that China is going to continue playing a huge role on the economics of this world, and there’s no way to truly understand why China does what it does unless you’ve been there.
Hell, I still don’t understand the chinese way of doing things sometimes, but that’s why I love it. You can’t predict China.
What goal do you look forward to completing the most?
Probably my entrepreneurial goals. Quite possibly more than identify myself as a traveler, I identify myself as an entrepreneur. I love to create. I love to brainstorm. I love to see an idea that was once just a thought become an actual tangible product or service or experience.
I have HUGE plans for Outdoor Minded Magazine, and the day I can sip a cold beer and see a bulk of X’s next to my benchmarks of success for this endeavor will be one of the greatest days and tastiest beers of my life.
What destination are you most excited about visiting?
I want to SUP (Stand-Up Paddle) across Lake Tahoe. I’m not sure what it is about SUPing or about that lake as I’ve never even been there yet, but I know that I will love it.
I know that when I’m smack dab in the middle of that lake with another ten miles to go, that I’ll have the biggest smile on my face.
I’ll be tired as hell. I’ll probably be sunburnt. I’ll be thinking, “What the hell were you thinking trying to SUP across this damn thing?!”
But that’s what I live for. I love the end result after all the struggle and testing. Nothing is better than the feeling of reaching the finish line after hard, dedicated, ass-kicking work.
Do you think others should create their own bucket list?
YES! Anyone that doesn’t have a bucket list should make one.
Not only are the fun, but they become this fantastic framework for the overall vision of your life. Your bucket list is your chance to write down all the wild and crazy things you hope to do with the 100 or so years you’ll be on this earth.
Write it down, cross it off, add more, and do it all over again!
Do you have any bucket list blogs that you recommend readers check out?
I’d recommend making a list of your passions and finding blogs that relate to those specifically.
For instance, I love to run. So, I follow the blogs of several avid runners who are just mere enthusiasts. They inspire me, and their accomplishments such as doing a Goruck Challenge or running an Iron Man Tri go onto my bucket list.
What are you doing next?
Right now I’m training for a 10K, the next step in eventually doing a marathon.
I’m also getting to work on my first book, which I hope to self-publish come early fall.
And finally, the biggest thing I’m working on right now, which I need to add to my bucket list, is something that I’m not sure is truly tangible in that it can be written down in one bullet point: to practice keeping inner-peace within.
I’m very go-go-go, constantly thinking, constantly evaluating, constantly doing - and sometimes this gets the best of me. I want to learn to slow down, and to embrace the moment I’m in just as it is.
If you are a bucket lister, adventurer, traveller, or couchsurfer and would be liked to be interviewed like Lauren please get in touch.