Archive for the ‘ TTDBYD ’ Category

TTDBYD #8 – Get a Tattoo

Whether you are a huge fan of tattoos or not, there is something in your life that you love. And im not talking the embarassing kind of love that middle school boys had for Britney Spears back in the day. Im talking about something that you deeply care about and you know you will love for the rest of your life.


And thats what you should get a tattoo of before you die.

OR, you could just show off your sense of humor…

TTDBYD #7 – Enjoy Mother Nature in All of Her Splendor

With all of the technology of today, you’re never far disconnected from everything. Whether it be world news, sports, friends – you’re always connected. But have you ever taken some time just for you? Get away from all of the technology, if only for a short while, and enjoy mother nature.

You could just lay in the park and enjoy the sun, go to a lake or ocean beach, to the north woods, watch a sunset, or even just go to a backyard. It doesn’t matter where you go, but finding some beauty in this world could really make a difference in your life. Make it count.

TTDBYD #6 – Conquer Your Fears (Or Atleast Try)

Everyone in the world has fears, so you’re not alone. But the only problem is that people can go thru their whole life with these handicapping fears. Fears are something to be recognized and solved. Conquer your fears and try to get over it. You will be a better person in the end if you can succeed.

There are 2 types of fears; rational fears and irrational fears.

The latter is easier to conquer because there is no basis for being afraid of pickles. What did they ever do to you?

Click this picture to see an irrational fear.

A rational fear is much more common. Rational fears would be; public speaking, heights, clowns,  spiders, etc.

I have a friend who is afraid of clowns. This seems typical, right? yes, except for why he is afraid of clowns. When he was younger, he went to a circus with his family. While enjoying the show, a clown thought he would be funny and pop a balloon. The problem was that balloon belonged to my friend. The clown walked up to him, popped his balloon, laughed in his face and walked away. It seems to me that people would more likely hate clowns than be afraid of them. Anyways, the point is we attempt to draw this fear out of him occasionally. Clown birthday cards. Clown Halloween costumes. Even wearing that clown mask while peeking at him through his window late at night. He has not yet gotten over this fear.

My fear of heights had recently surfaced. I went with a friend to Cedar Point and the unexpected happened. And i know what you’re thinking, ‘Why go to a theme park if you’re afraid of heights??” Well the truth is i love rollercoasters. I love the rush as you take that first drop, those corkscrews and loops. But I hate that first climb. You know that part where the rollercoaster is dragged up 300 feet (click-click-click) before you hit that first drop. So we get into the park and the first ride we go to is Millennium Force, my friends favorite ride ever. It kind of reminded me of Raging Bull at my Chicagoland Six Flags. So after patiently waiting in line for an hour, we finally hopped in the train to enjoy our ride. I put on my seatbelt, click-click my waistbar down, get safety checked and off we go. As we click-click-clicked our way up to the top my anxiety steadily increased. click-click-click. click-click-click. click-click-sputter. Wait what? After climbing roughly 275 feet up this incline, the coaster stopped. I start freaking out to my friend; “Whats going on?!” “Its okay, don’t worry.” “WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO STOP HERE!” But stop there we did – for 30 minutes. We discovered that someone had messed with their seatbelt, and had let it come undone. So it was required that the operators stop the machine and fix the persons seatbelt. They fixed it and we were off. One of the scariest moments of my life, but I got through it. The rest of the day, I was not nearly as afraid of heights, I just wished that the coasters wouldn’t break down with me on them.

So, if you have any fears, face them. You never know what life could be like when you’re not deathly afraid of something.

Where we got stuck for 30 minutes...

TTDBYD #5 – Costume Up On A Day Other Than Halloween

Most everyone would agree that Halloween is the ultimate “holiday.” Kids love it because they get to dress up as their favorite Disney characters and get to frisk their neighbors for candy. Teens love it because they usually throw together some articles of clothing from home in hopes of being something simple, like a doctor or a chef, while trying to conceal their identities so they can destroy pumpkins in the street. College students love it because it gives the females the excuse to wear as little clothes as possible to a house party. Parents love it because they “get to feel like kids again,” whatever that means. So if everyone loves dressing up this much, how come we only do it once a year?! We need to remedy this with a TTDBYD.

There are many times other than Halloween that you can dress up and not look too foolish. Here are a few simple ideas to get you in a costume on a non-Halloween day.

Sporting events. That homecoming football game in high school if you have any school pride. And remember, at any professional sporting event you can get on national television, like those Raiders fans.

School Dances. And im not talking about Homecoming or Prom, that’s just dressy, not a costume. I’m talking about the Sadie Hawkins dance. When I was in high school the you had to dress like your date. There were plenty of movie references; Danny Zuko and Sandy, Han Solo and Leia or maybe even Mario and Princess Peach. Get Creative, have fun with it.

Costume Parties. Say you’re in college and you can no longer do the whole school dance thing. Find some friends with a big house that can hold a party and get a theme going. Pimps and Hoes. Jersey Shore. Shotgun Wedding. I’m On A Boat. Toga. Anything-But-Clothes. You get the idea.

Christmas. Of course there is the obvious, Santa. but if you want to have more fun than that, dress up as one of his helpers – pointy shoes and all. Spread some cheer, enjoy the mistletoe, and don’t forget the presents.

Movie Premieres. You know these people, the people who are so full of the movie they’re going to see that they completely embarrass themselves on purpose cause they think its fun. All of the Harry Potters, Frodo Baggins and Wolverines.

Or if you like the arts, participate in a play. To be… or not to be. Not only would you get to dress up as Romeo or Juliet, Alice in Wonderland, Cats, or even Alan Strang, but you really get to act the role.

So regardless of which path you take, you can have fun every day in costume. Except if you work for Liberty Tax.

TTDBYD #4 – Find Your Group Of Best Friends and Try Not To Lose Them Forever

Okay, so this may not exactly be a Thing To Do Before You Die, it is more of a life-long challenge. It’s so challenging because people change, people move, get married, die.

They say that the friends you make in college will be the friends that stay with you forever. But what about your high school friends?? Do they just get left behind when you head to college? For the most part, yes. Sadly. But if you’re like me, you try to stay close with your high school friends because they were your best friends for a reason. Dont ever forget that.

So regardless of who moved across the country or who is still living at home, get back into contact with one of your old best friends. Just because you’ve moved on with your life, doesn’t mean they have too.

TTDBYD #3 – Embarrass Yourself On Purpose

You may have read this title and thought, ‘Is he serious??’ Yes I am. Ever heard the phrase “If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?” You need to be able to laugh at yourself or you will be self-conscious about everything you do. If you live life without taking chances, then whats the point? Every person needs to go out and let people laugh at them. It grows you into a better person.

Maybe you and your friends are trying to toughen your shells so you all hit a Karaoke bar every week. You can embarrass yourself on a regular basis and always have a great story that accompanies it. Whether it be trying to hit Mariah Carey’s high notes, recreate Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk, or rap as fast as Twista, you can always laugh at yourself. 

Or say you go out to the bars with your pals and across the room you see a pretty girl you want to talk to. What do you do – talk to her or sit there and wish you’d talk to her? She is definitely hotter than you will ever be, but whats the worst that can happen. You figure you’ll take a shot in the dark and have some fun, either you’ll strike out like you expected or it may go somewhere. You leave your pals behind and strut your way across the bar. Finally you make it up to her and you lay down the best line you’ve got; “Did it hurt?” She looks at you like you’re crazy, “Did WHAT hurt?” In a Lando Calrissian smooth way you reply, “When you fell from heaven.” She pauses momentarily before standing up and turning to walk away while laughing. You got shot down, but its a great story, right?!

Remember that embarrassing yourself doesn’t have to be a phobia, it can be a great memory instead.

TTDBYD #2 – Sing Karaoke (Even If You Have No Idea What You’re Singing)

I plan on posting a new TTDBYD every Tuesday, but i just could not help myself. Here is another one!

Everyone knows that people generally make fools of themselves singing on stage, but not everyone knows that Karaoke came from Japan. Karaoke has become a sort of rite of passage for all bar-goers in the US. You don’t even have to know how to sing well to partake. Its kind of like being a meteorologist; you can mess up every time you perform, but no one makes a big deal of it because you’re expected to not be perfect. So why not participate?!

There are basically 3 ways that Karaoke can be performed;

1. Awful singing that can bring embarrassment.

I’ve participated in Karaoke twice in my life; once when I was little and therefore had no shame, and then again on a cruise with 3 new friends. There was one common denominator in these two performances… neither time I had any idea what I was singing. The first time, I recognized the name of the song; “Achy Breaky Heart” and thought I could perform it. Dead wrong. But I was little so it didn’t matter, I had fun anyways. But the last time I performed, my new friend Barry chose to perform a Mariah Carey song that I had never even heard of. The BEST part was that once I got on stage I realized my whole family was in the crowd watching. I basically read off of the screen while Barry belted out the chorus. What a sight.

2. Fantastic singing by people who really know how to sing.

This was my college roommate sophomore year. He was a part of our school’s Collegiate Chorale, the singers that wished to pursue music in some manner. They were one of the best groups of singers around. And so every Wednesday, when Karaoke night came around, they would all get together and hit that bar for some vocal performances. They were always fantastic. But there’s one problem with that… no one ever wanted to perform after them. They were so good that they basically drove non-singers away from Karaoke on Wednesday nights. You hate these people, but you wish you were them.

And lastly, 3. The surprisingly talented singers.

On Karaoke night on the aforementioned cruise, a younger girl round about 14 years old took the stage for a performance. The crowd went silent because we did not know what we expected to hear – “Barbie Girl” or Aretha Franklin. The music started playing and it was “Behind These Hazel Eyes” by Kelly Clarkson. This is a good start, I thought to myself, she picked a decent song. And then she began singing. I swear it was as if the world stopped. It was the most beautiful voice you had ever heard. I leaned to a friend and told her, “Shes singing that song better than Kelly Clarkson!” You closed your eyes and felt like you were in a private performance with the greatest singer that ever lived. As she completed the song, the entire room gave her a standing ovation. Wondrous.

So no matter which of the 3 groups you find yourself in, take a chance. Get up on that stage and belt out some lyrics.

Things To Do Before You Die (TTDBYD) #1 – Be Someones Inspiration

Among all of the other randomness that will accompany this blog, I hope to have a weekly post titled “Things To Do Before You Die.” It will include many things that I have done (and maybe even some things ive never done) that I believe every person should partake in. This is not going to be the typical list like: “Go skydiving,” or “Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower,” but simpler things that won’t cost an arm and a leg to achieve…

I believe that every person is put on this earth to make a difference. This does not necessarily mean that you have to do something completely over the top to get people’s attention (im looking at you David Blaine), but a gesture as small as helping a stranger can inspire. Have you seen those Liberty Mutual commercials where a stranger does a good deed for someone, and is overseen by another stranger? And the third person in turn does a good deed for another stranger? Well here is the link if you havent; [I claim no rights to this video]. Something as simple as picking up a toy for a baby can be inspiration.

I found inspiration when I was on a family vacation in Hawaii. We visited the week where it was nearly nothing but storms. There was the occasional cloudy day without rain which we were grateful for, but tried to enjoy the little things. My inspiration came from, as above, a complete stranger just living his life. As a rainstorm was blowing into land this resident got out his guitar, walked to the nearby rocky shoreline and just played his heart out to the ocean. It was raw. It was emotional. For him, it seemed to be a completely normal thing to do. I’m not exactly sure why this inspired ME; I don’t play any musical instruments, I don’t live on (or by) a beach, and I can’t sing for my life. But for this one moment, I was envious of him. It made me want to do something artful to inspire others, and proved the commercial was right; inspiration IS contagious. So I say to you – don’t be that angry driver on the road that everybody dislikes, spread joy and be someones inspiration.