72 Things I Don’t Want To Regret On My Deathbed

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”
Kurt Vonnegut


It is all too easy to forget our dreams and get caught up in the routine of non-life. The habit I want to look at today is that of ‘drifting through life’. This life has been given to me to love; to nurture; to care for; to challenge; to grow and to enjoy. If I were a plant, I would be dead by now.


So what do I want?
I want to live. I don’t mean survive, I mean really live. Embrace this wonderful gift of life I have been given and feel completely alive. Be amazed at things in the world. Re-awaken that awe and wonder I had as a child. Do things I thought I could never do. Be inspired and allow that inspiration to change me.

I want to inspire people. Why? Because I have done it in the past and it makes me feel alive. That is the feeling I want every day! To feel so much gratitude for life and for the people in it that I could cry tears of joy. Am I asking too much? I used to think so and tell myself, ‘Be sensible now’, ‘You need security’, ‘What about the future?’ and I would talk myself out of it. F&%# the future. It doesn’t exist. There is only today, and as cliché as it is, I could be dead tomorrow.


What is a bucket list?
Is it a list of wishful thinking? Is it something to do when you are bored and then lock away in a drawer? Or is it a list to inspire you to live?

My Bucket List is not a checklist to impress other people. Nothing on it is because that is the thing to do or because someone else said so. I have actually thought about everything on my list and asked myself, “Is this really what I want to do? Will my life be improved in some way by this experience?


Leaving a Legacy
I want to show my kids how to live, how not to be afraid. To show them through how I live that things are possible. I can’t do that just by talking to them. I can’t do that playing safe all the time. Yes, don’t be reckless. I need to use my brain AND my heart, but never just one. It is important to set goals, research, plan, but not to accept that this is all there is.


Make life happen.
I have achieved certain things in life after I decided to do it and I made it happen. The thing is it isn’t a habit yet. I still have that struggle where I am constrained by fears and self-imposed restrictions. I know I am capable but I haven’t let myself free. I have allowed time to pass. I have wasted it watching TV. The heavy TV schedule is gone and I have a plan (albeit vague).


My Bucket List
(In no particular order – in fact I deliberately messed up the order)

1. Reach one of the top ranks in Toastmasters
2. Earn €50,000 in one year from public speaking
3. Share a Shamanic journey with a Peruvian Shaman
4. Walk the Inca trail and see Machu Picchu
5. Skydive
6. Write a book
7. Have a book published
8. Get a degree
9. Speak in front of 500+ people about a subject I am passionate about
10. Develop an online business that earns over €4000/month in passive income
11. Build a blog with 5,000+ subscribers
12. Achieve 100% debt freedom
13. Take my kids for a camel ride in the Sahara desert
14. Sell 100 copies of my album
15. Become a Life Coach
16. Become an NLP Coach
17. Take my daughter to Alcatraz
18. Leave a legacy
19. Grow old satisfied, content and happy with my wife
20. Take my son to Japan (He is fascinated by all things Japanese)
21. Write and publish 52 blog posts
22. Write 52 guest blog posts and have them published
23. Walk my daughter down the aisle (if she wants to get married , of course)
24. Go on my son’s stag night and make it to the wedding (as above)
25. Have enough skills to be able to make money in lots of different ways doing things I enjoy
26. Achieve fluency in Spanish
27. Achieve fluency in Chinese
28. Para-glide
29. Raise a dog
30. Watch Liverpool play at Anfield
31. Take my son to Anfield
32. Organise and do a 2 week UK Tour with my band
33. Finish and release my album: composed, performed, recorded and produced by myself
34. Meet on-line friends from around the globe in person
35. Become a Yoga instructor
36. Teach my grandchildren a value that improves their lives that they never forget
37. Teach my kids a value that improves their lives that they never forget
38. Make my grandchildren laugh
39. Create unforgettable memories with my kids (although I can add to this)
40. Start a blog
41. Quit Smoking

42. Perform on stage in front of at least 1,000 people
43. Live in an Ashram in India for at least 1 month
44. Live on a Greek island for 6 months
45. Hang-glide (anywhere)
46. Learn to Tango and Salsa to a proficient level
47. Go on a protest march for something I believe in
48. Be a guest on a prime time talk show
49. Perform at a stand-up comedy night
50. Live in a Spanish speaking country for 6 months
51. Take cold showers 100 days straight

Nice to have
52. See The Northern Lights
53. Visit Stonehenge
54. See the pyramids in Egypt
55. Visit Uluru (Ayers Rock)
56. See the Mona Lisa
57. Learn archery to a proficient level
58. Visit the Great Wall of China
59. Visit Athens
60. Visit either the North or the South Pole
61. Spend a night sleeping in the Amazon
62. Drive a left hand drive car
63. Read every Shakespeare play in one year (including the ones I have already read)
64. Live with monks for a month
65. Swim in the Infinity Pool in Singapore

66. Scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef
67. Ride a camel in the Sahara Desert
68. Appear in a Shakespearean play
69. Appear in a movie
70. Become a black belt in a martial art
71. Walk into the airport and randomly buy a ticket to somewhere I haven’t been
72. Get a 6-pack stomach (Just to have a photo proving I had one!)

As you can see I have crossed off some already. The plan now is to cross off more. I may add more or change some of the ones that are there. All that matters is that I am aiming at and experiencing more than what my day-to-day life will give me. I will update this at least once a year.


And here is a picture of me on tour with my band in 2010 (no. 32)


What things may you regret on your deathbed? Do you have a ‘bucket-list’? Is there anything listed above that you have already done? Leave a comment below to share.

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Band Picture by Jane Hoskyn

Top Photo Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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14 Responses to 72 Things I Don’t Want To Regret On My Deathbed

  1. Izzy says:

    Straight up bad ass man.

    I love the picture of you on tour with your band.

    Having a list is insanely powerful if you regularly look at it, and take daily action toward it. I know that it has come up multiple times in conversations between you and I so I am going to assume you look at it a lot.

    I know it sounds all weird and esoteric but I do believe there is a power in our unconscious minds to rifle through these things to make them happen when we make sure to keep them on the forefront of our minds. I think that is why 1) writing it down and 2) looking at them is so darn powerful.


    • Keith says:

      Cheers Izzy!

      I know exactly what you mean, so not weird at all! Synchronicity. There is another post in there I have simmering :)


  2. Vishnu says:

    Wow, that’s quite a list Keith. I first thought to myself, I don’t even know if I want to do 72 things in my life. Actually, I’ve never put bucket list of sorts together – I wonder how many I would have – it would make life seem manageable:) sort of like a must do thing in life. I see quite a few things I’d also like to do – spanish fluency, yoga mastery:), guest post, book publication, wow. I think I’m going to have to get my list going.

    I like the fact that you’re doing this for yourself than for anyone else and having a set of goals to work towards. But love the fact that you’re also doing this to show your kids what they can do with their lives if they send their mind to it. Many positive lessons you’ll be passing onto them.

    Anyway, time to get my list going – posting it online is courageous as well:) Not sure if I’m ready for public accountability. lol


    • Keith says:

      Hey Vishnu,

      I would love to see your list :)

      You know what is the most weird about this list? Yes, the public accountability bit was daunting at first, but it has sort of moved away to a background noise. The reason is I actually have a real good sense of what I want out of life. For the first time ever. It is very liberating. I realise that I am the only one I ever need to be accountable to for this.

      I was talking to my kids about bucket lists this morning over breakfast, and they are going to do one too (never too young to start), and both of them want to skydive too, lol. Maybe a family jump :)

      And as Izzy pointed out in his comment, once the focus is there, things start to happen. For example, I just read the most amazing post on public speaking which is also on my list. Add that to a family jump and creating unforgettable memories with my kids and this could be a train you can’t stop. Maybe I am getting over excited, but feck it. I’m ‘gonna’ run with it.

      I can feel the buzz. Going public with this will help keep it alive! :)

      Cheers Vishnu


  3. I do shopping lists and daily do lists and lists to break down a job into into its component parts. But I’ve never done a bucket list.

    As I read your list yesterday, I was going “yep, done that, nah, never, oooh, that sounds good”…

    I think it’s great that you’ve put so much time and thought into being clear on the steering your life. It solidifies your intention and if you refer to it often enough, keeps you open to spot all the opportunities that come along.

    But the best part (to me) is that you’re updating it every year to take into account changing interests and personal growth.

    If I had one, I don’t think I could make it public!

    PS: What’s your band and give us some youtube links please! :)


    • Keith says:

      Hi Reeta,

      Good to see you again :)

      I had never done a bucket list before either. Not like this. Ooh, which ones have you done? Please share!

      What I found by doing this was that it really tapped into what I value from life, and asked some good questions. Questions I hadn’t thought to ask before. Questions that have inspired another post that I am writing as we speak :)

      Whether you go public or not, I seriously would recommend it to anyone though.

      Ok, the band, Ha Ha. Someone had to ask :) Here are some links:

      Band name is “Emotional Arsonist
      Live on Bandwagon TV (Video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tN_yYPuyT8
      Live at Harrison, Dundalk, Ireland (Video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeuju1olA7w
      Catalogue of demos (Audio) – http://www.reverbnation.com/emotionalarsonist

      That should keep you going :)


      • Hi Keith – just had a nice trawl through youtube – love Hunter in the Shadows, think that’s easily my favourite so far. So how long before your album’s ready then?


        • Keith says:

          Hey Reeta!

          Thanks for checking it out. Hunter in the Shadows seems to be one of the most popular. As for the album, I would like to say before the end of the year, but I have to do some prioritising on my list so at the moment I would say there is a 50/50 chance of it being available in 2012. Stranger things have happened so we will wait and see :)


  4. Keith: Your list rocks dude!

    If you even accomplished half the things you put on there then you would be in good shape! Man, I need to make my own checklist, but I might have to take a few things off your checklist.

    Did you already have this checklist or did you just recently make it up?


    • Keith says:

      Cheers, William!

      Glad you like the list. Even if you have to take all of them off I would recommend doing it. As long as it is “your” list and yours alone, it will mean something to you and possibly head your life in the direction you want to go. The size of it doesn’t matter and neither does what anyone else thinks. I wish I had done this when I was much younger. Thing is, it will change each year, but as you update it over time you will crystallise what is important to you by what stays on it.

      I had been thinking about it for a long time but never wrote anything down. I pulled it together recently which is what inspired the post.

      Great to see you again, William. You are always welcome.


  5. That’s one incredible list, Keith. Like Vishnu said, I appreciate the guts you have to make it public. I’m keen on your blogging and online business goals and wish you big success with them. But I’m also amazed by your goals to become a coach and be a public speaker.

    I’ve never put together a bucket list and, honestly, I have few ambitions anymore aside from looking inwardly and perfecting my own mind so that I can be of benefit to others. Also need to earn a living on the side.

    Thanks for this great inspiration!


    • Keith says:

      Thanks Sandra,

      What is weird is that when I look at that list I actually see links between most of the things on it. By taking steps to achieve one I will also be taking steps to achieve others, so it will constantly be evolving. I found that really interesting.

      The thing about a bucket list is that it doesn’t matter how many items are on it. It sounds like your goal to look inwards and perfect your own mind so you can benefit others is your overall goal (which is a superb goal btw), and if you actually wrote down all the things you wanted to do on the journey to achieve that goal then you would have your bucket list :) It is not about having a list of isolated things to do, just all of the steps to guide you towards where you would like to be. And it doesn’t hurt to throw in some fun ones along the way. What is life without a little fun, eh? ;)

      Glad it inspired you Sandra, and good luck with your goal.


  6. Fantastic list Keith! Deathbed regrets is a really great topic to think about, because given the awareness of other people’s regrets, we can choose to live life to the full. I’ve extended on that idea and written a sensitive response here: http://greenminimalism.com/2013/07/13/top-5-deathbed-regrets-and-why-they-dont-bother-me/


    • Keith says:


      Thanks for dropping by and for your comment. We do have the opportunity to avoid the regrets but we need to live on purpose, and be open to listening to the regrets of others. I read your post and really enjoyed it. Left a comment. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff – you are leading a very interesting life.


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