Friday, March 8, 2013

What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?

What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?

On a normal Thursday I am at work, but on Day 35 I had taken a half-day in order to prepare for a couple of midterms. Walking into the library, I noticed a poster advertising the cast of “The Buried Life” speaking on campus, that night. Not only did it give me a reason to stay at the library for another 8 hours but what an opportunity to learn about an incredible project.

For those of you not familiar with “The Buried Life”, it is in reference to four friends who set out to cross off 100 items on their bucket list, their life dreams. #53 on their list was “Make a TV show”, which they did. MTV followed Jonnie Penn, Ben Nemtin, Duncan Penn and Dave Lingwood around North America documenting their project, witnessing them accomplish their goals all while helping and inspiring others to do the same. The premise behind their journey is the question: “What do you want to do before you die?”

To learn more about their project visit (
A tweet sent to 182,000 followers with my card.

A Few Things I Took Away
  •     Great things often come as a result of trying times.
    • All four guys felt drawn to their project for different reasons, but it was clear that they all were looking for a positive change. Very similar to the terms on which I started my project. 
    •  All people are fighting some sort of battle, they stressed how “you are not alone”, which is a pillar of the National Stuttering Association and the words we close every support group with. Pretty cool.
  •   “Today is the youngest you will ever be”
    • Take action. Don’t wait. If there is something you want to do, do it. Pursue your dreams vigorously and never give up. Don’t look back 10, 15 or 30 years from now with regret.
  •  Help others.
    • For every thing they cross off their list, they help a different people cross off one of theirs. Take action to help others, pay it forward. 
  •  “Happiness is only real when shared.” 
    •   It was tremendous to see and hear what can happen and how many people’s lives can be changed, only as a result of a couple of guys taking action, showing courage and looking to help others. Fascinating stuff, I encourage you all to check out their story and new best-selling book.
After the presentation had ended, I was fortunate enough to have about a 30-second window to introduce myself to Jonnie, advertise, tell him a little about my project and what I what I was trying to do. Even though rushed and dysfluent, after speaking with Jonnie I felt accomplished. I know that 35 days ago I never would have attempted to do something like that. I had become far too comfortable in my routine interactions, afraid to step out of my comfort zone in fear that I would fail.  Finally taking action, taking chances and learning from people like the guys from “The Buried Life”, I'm beginning to realize that anything is possible. I’d like to thank them again for doing what they do and inspiring me to continue forward.

So, what do I want to do before I die?
  I want to make the world a better place for all people, especially those who stutter.



“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain


I challenge you to ask yourself what it is you want to do before you die? And do it.

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