By Steve Moran

I write this knowing that one of the most problematic problems that human beings have, something that is baked into our DNA, is that we believe other people think the same way we do. It just simply isn’t so.

The Ultimate Bucket List … Maybe

Ben Nemtin and three friends sat down and created a 100-item bucket list (see this link for the entire list). Here is a sample:

  • Get a tattoo.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Shoot hoops with President Obama.
  • Go to Burning Man.
  • Help deliver a baby.
  • Make a million dollars.
  • Protest something.
  • Go into space.

They have completed or partially completed all but four of the 100 items. I counted how many of their list I could cross off, and the number is 37.

Their adventure turned into a bestselling book and an MTV show. One of the unique features of their quest was the commitment to help a stranger cross something off their bucket list for each thing the gang of four crossed off their list.

Not Everyone Has a List

I don’t have a list, but I have a number of things I want to accomplish in life and death. Here are a few:

  • Hike the entire John Muir Trail on a single trip (about 30 days for me).
  • Go to Israel.
  • Keynote a national senior living conference (Senior Living Executive Conference, LeadingAge National, AHCA/NCAL, NIC).
  • Deliver a Ted Talk.
  • Go into space.
  • Fly a P-51 Mustang.
  • Plant a church.
  • Have 10,000 people at my funeral because I had that big an impact on people’s lives. (Yes, I realize someone else will have to cross this one off the list for me.)

After talking to a bunch of people, I realize that many people don’t have a list and have no interest in creating one. One person I talked to said they have always just gone and done the things they wanted to do along the way. Another person said they are just living their life the way they want day to day and it makes them happy.


Ben spoke at the Senior Living Executive Conference this year. During the talk, all kinds of ideas floated through my head. Maybe one of them, or more than one of them, will inspire you.

  1. Have you ever asked yourself what you would like to do before you die?
  2. What would you like to accomplish as a leader before you die?
  3. What would you like to accomplish as a boss before you die?
  4. What would your residents like to do, like to accomplish, before they die?
  5. What would your team members like to accomplish?

What Is Possible?

He closed by asking what is possible in your life if you:

  1. Write a list of goals.
  2. Share that list with others.
  3. Decide to be unstoppable.
  4. Dream big.
  5. Give to others.

If you are willing, share a few things on your bucket list in the comments.