Have you ever turned on the TV only to see some animal documentary about lions or manatees or some sort of creature you never thought you found interesting, until you started watching the show?
Have you ever been at a party or a restaurant and accidentally tasted some food you thought you never would have liked, but you did?
Have you ever made a bucket list â a list of things you want to do before you kicked the bucket?
Well, I donât think anyone can ever make a proper bucket list, until he or she has kicked the bucketâ¦ listâ¦ to another levelâ¦
Life is a series of decisions we make. Some based on choice, some based on chance, many based on too little information.
For instance, after high school, we often (aim to) decide what we want to do with our lives. Which university? Which major? Which life path?
We make this decision based on one or more of the following: desire, instinct, pressure, experience, or fear.
You want to become a doctor. You feel you are an artist. You need to please somebody. Youâve done this before, and want to keep doing it. Or you are afraid what will happen if you donât choose this.
So how can we make the right decisions without enough information? How do we know what we want to achieve in our lives if we live small? Trapped between what we know and what we donât know.
To do this, start by living bigger.
One year ago, I came fractions of a second away from death. A lady in an SUV ran a red light and hit me in my car (rest in peace) as I, law abidingly, went through a green.
For some people, a traumatic event helps them to live bigger. Perhaps you start doing things youâve always wanted to do, but never did. You may set new goals, change your path, like I did. But, this isnât even big enough.
A realization I never fully came to, until yesterday.
A friend invited me to a âBucket Listâ event at the seriously swanky Cosmopolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto. An event presented by Samba Days, which tempts you to seize the moment in memorable ways.
On the docket for the day? Spin and mix with a professional DJ, be a barista, sip like a sommelier, and open your mind to endless possibilities, such as magic, beekeeping, hang gliding, becoming a rock star, running away with the circus, and much more.
And what did I think of all this when presented with the invite?
Well, no, not boring, butâ¦ A-M-B-I-V-A-L-E-N-T. I mean, I donât even drink espresso, why would I care to make it?
Then I got there, and it reminded me of the first time I saw that mind-blowing show on manatees (the cutest ugly animal Iâve ever seen).
It was as if I was on a field trip exploring possibilities that Iâve always mistakenly ignored or discounted.
Who knew learning to make espresso foam art would be so interesting? Who knew it is actually fun to - wikiwikiwiki - scratch like a DJ? Who knew I have pretty good rhythm? (Though, I still canât jump.)
And who knew I would enjoy pampering myself in the luxurious Shizen Spa? Well, I always knew that, but itâs just nice to allow yourself to do it once in a while â especially if itâs at the only five-star spa in the city.
Then I sat down with Alex, the man who created Samba Days, after quitting the same job that I quit years ago (marketing for Aeroplan). And, like me, he decided to quit to try something new.
In turn, he is helping many people try something new with exciting experiences in the form of memorable gifts that enlighten, endure, and expand â your bucket list. (By the way, from now on, if you invite me to your wedding, you can be sure you will get a gift like no other.)
Ever wanted to learn how to cook like a gourmet? How to sky dive? How to do air combat?
Ever wanted to be a rockstar? A novelist? A talk show host?
You may not know what youâve got, until you lose it. But you may not know what you want, until you try it.
I may not want to be a barista; nonetheless, Iâm happy I learned some barista tricks, and how to know when one who works at Starbucks is doing it wrong.
You know, itâs a shame that once we finish high school there isnât a tour of experiences presented to us buffet-style like this. (Hint, hint, Samba Days. You're welcome.) If there were, perhaps many more of us would be excited to wake up every day and go to work. Or maybe more excited to come home from work to try something new.
Because bucket lists should not be things we want to cross off before we die, they should be things we want to experience to actually live our lives.