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Home » Life’s Way Too Short Not to Live Your Bucket List: Travis Bell (Transcript)

Life’s Way Too Short Not to Live Your Bucket List: Travis Bell (Transcript)

Travis Bell at TEDxMelbourne

Full text of Travis Bell’s talk: Life’s way too short not to live your Bucket List at TEDxMelbourne conference.


In the spirit of adventurous minds, grab the zip at the front of your forehead right now. All right. And make the noise with me. Ready?….zzzzzz

Make the noise under your head. Whatever noise you feel is appropriate. Scoop out your brain. Look at your brain and just go… (make sound)

Nice. It’s got nothing to do with his talk whatsoever.

All right, close your head back up and zip it back up….

Now with that brain, because in there is your ‘to-do list’ swimming around with your bucket list, isn’t it? But guess which one takes priority on a day to day basis until something dramatic, traumatic happens to you or someone close to you.

Time to wake up. It’s time to live your bucket list before it’s way too late. So over the next whatever minutes, I’m going to help you separate you to do lists from your bucket list. Okay. And we’re going to shift priorities just for a second.

So let’s grab that Brain, you’re still got it. All right. And now you’re going to screw it. You’re going to crunch that little brain battle; Big brain. Good on you champ.

So we’re going to mush it down to a piece of chewy and we’ve got a pop it under a seat and hopefully the Melbourne convention center is cleaned up all the other brains.

We want to have an adventurous mind. See, a bucket list is a tangible life plan, where career plan or a business plan should fit into our life plan. Not be the other way around.

What is it: Work to live or live to work?

Sometimes. Get it confused, aren’t we? We’re so busy being busy. It’s like these weird badge of honor that we, “you know how I am! Busy as the one-armed drummer, you know me.”

What are you bragging or complaining? 

Who’s ever suffered from mondayitis?  Thanks for your honesty.

Who’s ever experienced hump day and not the hunt day that you wish it was.

Note to self: can’t believe, I just did that on a TED stage.

Who’s ever experienced or said, thank God it’s Friday, the Vivian franchise chain after. And who’s ever had that sinking feeling at about three or four in the afternoon on a Sunday?

Ouch. It’s all part of our urban vernacular, isn’t it? Part of the matrix, sign to reprogram these guys. And we’re going to give you a formula blueprint for how to write a personally meaningful bucket list.

[read more]

It’s a 12 step formula. Yes, it sounds a little bit like… You might need a couple of drinks afterwards, but let’s get into it.

The average age of death in Australia is 83 for you girls and 79 for us blokes. So right now we’re going to represent that by 80. 80 squares, that’s all we’ve got time for.

Now, once you mentally cross off the ones that you’ve been alive, each square represents a box from the top down and left to right. So if you’re 40 something like me, 43 year old man with a Mohawk. Thanks.

But half of them and a few more gone. How does it make you feel?

Wow. We bought the motivation speaker. Look, thanks took a day off for this chain, Thanks champ.

Serious question: How many people in here know people have been diagnosed or died from cancer? Show of hands. Thank you. Have a look around the room. Keep your hands up.

Alright now on your fingers, count how many people do you know have been diagnosed or died from cancer? You know, just like the movie, ‘The Bucket List’. Show of fingers, let’s see them nice and tall.

Now have a look around the room.

Thank you.

Now how many of them made their 80 squares. Life’s way too short not to live your bucket list. True.

So what we’re going to do is separate our to- do lists from our bucket list and start to maybe reprioritize the importance of why we’re all here. So your bucket list is a tangible life plan where our business plan or career plan needs to fit into it.

Like I said, but it’s also about the journey on the growth of you. On the journey of a ticking all this stuff off your bucket list. But more importantly, it’s about that you that exists on the other side that you that you don’t even know yet. And that’s our potential.

And when we see our potential, when we feel our potential, that brings a smile to our face. And the Dalai Lama said, ‘happiness is the meaning and purpose of life.

So let’s get into it. First of all, we’re going to write a reverse bucket list.

What is a reverse bucket list?

I invite you to think about a funeral. Wow, this gets better Trev. Who’s been to a funeral lately?

The funerals are pretty web 2.0 and it’s your highlights reel of your life. You know all the pictures, the videos, all to your favorite song and then see you later.

If that was to play right now, would you be stoked? Would you be happy or would you be, you know what, I could have done some more?

See my mission whether on a stage like this, or even one-on-one… My mission is to help people live a regret free life rather than a regretful life. Life’s way too short, isn’t it?

So reverse bucket list. So here’s how it works. You put stuff on your bucket list, you take it off, you put it on reverse bucket list. You put a nice little folder. Let everyone who’s close to you know where that folder is. When it’s funeral time, let’s drag out that folder and put your… and here’s my favorite song. So that’s what a reverse bucket list is.

Really the key is guys, it defines something cool. Something, you know, our businesses or our careers should spit out two things and two things only, and that’s to spit out the cash flow and also the time flow for you to do the things that you want to do in life, yeah.

Double bonus though, if you love what you do and you find flow in that, and it hits your internal rulebook your values, and that’s the Holy Grail, isn’t it?

There’s so many people out there right now that are just sleepwalking through their life. They’re living by default rather than design.

So I invite you to start designing, stop living by default. Stop buying into the matrix. And start building out this reverse bucket list because a reversed bucket list is basically a big gratitude list and it’s so good. I’ve worked and been through depression. This alone is a massive gratitude exercise.

When you can reflect on all the cool stuff that you’ve done in your life, it really seems to your heart. It really gives you that, that feeling of thankfulness.

So I invite you to start building out your bucket list. And this is not just for you, this is for the people that around you. Pay it forward. Please pay these messages forward, but be a living, breathing example of what a leader, a Bucket Lister in our lives look like.

So I’m going to give you a blueprint, the my bucket list blueprint. Here we go. It’s a 12 step formula. As I said before, it’s a little like AI. Are you ready? All right.

Who has a bucket list by the way? By actually out of their head. Written down. Oh good. Alright, good. I’ve got something to do here. Alright, so here we go.

How do you write a personally meaningful and holistic bucket list?

Here we go:

M.Y. B.U.C.K.E.T. L.I.S.T

It’s an acronym. It’s a word. So every letter stands for something. Alright, are you ready? Here we go.

M stands for the people that you want to meet in your life. Meet a personal hero. Have you met Tim Ferriss and Sir Richard Branson and I’m sure I was on Sir Richard Branson’s bucket list too.

We’re trying to say, who do you want to meet in your life just because…

Y stands for your proud achievements. What do you want to look back on the timeline of your life and be really proud of: a level of education, an achievement at work; building a house, raising a family. What is it to you? Or it could be do a TED talk. Thank you.

B stands for buy that special something. Now I’m a minimalist. I don’t have a lot of stuff. This is the only materialistic part of this. Buy that special something, whether it be for you or for someone else.

What is that for U? U stands for ultimate challenges. ‘but I’m not a runner.’ Yeah, I know. That’s why you should do it. Break your personality. Because I know after being involved in the personal training industry for over 20 years, putting a challenge, an ultimate challenge, like my first five 5k run on a bucket list, I know the ripple effect of that. So once I complete that 5k run, I bet they’re sniffing around for that next 10k run.

The half iron man, the iron man, and who knows where it can go from there. But it’s not just achievement of that. It’s also about the leader you become, the growth of you and the ripple effect into every other area of your life.

Wouldn’t you start hanging around with a different social group? Wouldn’t you have more energy for your business or your career and doesn’t more energy reflect on our P&L’s if we’re in small business. People want to be around people that are more energetic, more enthusiastic. Enthusiasm sells, yes. You’ll also get laid more. Hello, 5k run.

CConquer a fear. Yes. I don’t know why I did this. Now, if you’re about to put this on your bucket list, little warning:

  1. Don’t do it during winter.
  2. Don’t do it in your local suburb where you get coffee every morning.
  3. Make sure you’re the only one there when they bought in the ad. The girl who was a younger, very nice looking girl, I wasn’t aware that she was going to be there too. We had to touch during it.

Now I’ve done a lot of neuro-linguistic programming, a lot of positive psychology, a lot of that sort of stuff and I had to use everything, everything to, let’s just say talk it down. And I also got paid 50 bucks. I kind of cheapened the experience, but what does that make me?

Conquer a fear. Is public speaking one of those things that if you conquered that fear, it would open up so many doors. That’s really what it’s all about. Again, on the other side, is it you that you don’t know yet?

KKind acts for others. Start small. What’s something in this world that really pisses you off? What’s something out there like a cause that that really strikes to you personally, but all that requires is maybe not your money but your attention and that’s our ultimate currency right now, isn’t it? Our attention. Kind acts for others.

E stands for express yourself. Hence this and the tattoo, the creative side of you. What is that for you?

People are dying at 40 and being buried at 80. We get to midlife, we’ve even called it a crisis, and we shelve the creative part of us unlike, you know what, we’ve got to go against the grain. We’ve got to awaken it, don’t we?

We’re going to get back to the thing that lights us up that give us, gives us that flow. The stuff that makes us happy. Fair enough.

T stands for take lessons. Yep, not all Machu Picchu and climbing Everest, are they? Take lessons.

Have you got a chip on your shoulder? Like you’re a child of the 80s and you really want to master this windmill thing…Just me. Okay, good.

A bucket list is so individual. It’s so individual. And is there a skill that you want to learn before your time is up? A Language. Guitar.

I stands for idiotic stuff. Life is way too short not to have fun, isn’t it?

S stands for satisfy a curiosity. What do you want to taste, touch, smell, experience, feel before your time is up. Get your mind out of the gutter. Satisfy curiosity.

TTravel adventures. These are a little bit harder to put together. When I started off as the bucket list guy and someone actually called me ‘the bucket list guy’ because I’d have a list to do before I died since I was 18.

That’s why I got on with setting up businesses really quickly. It was my reason why it pulled me out of bed in the morning and I had to get stuff done to spit out the time-flow and the cash flow. I just had this really sense of hurry up, get it done.

T stands for travel adventures, but instead of putting out these big Machu Picchu and base camp, be a tourist in your own town first. That’s actually what we’re paying attention to on a weekend. They can make all the difference.

Have I forgotten one now? I haven’t.

L stands for leave a legacy.

How are you going to remembered one year after your death? 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. How are you leaving a legacy time now to create that foundation?

I was invited to speak at the Reach Foundation who have raised money for. I love what they do. Set up by Jim Stynes who is ex-AFL footballer, who unfortunately is passed away from cancer. Raising money for… he said, “Oh, come and do a talk. I’ll be honored.”

So I went to their Collingwood headquarters. I gave a talk, very similar to what I’ve done with you guys today. And at the end of it, one of the young girls, because these were the leaders within Reach, right.

And to be a leader in Reach, you have to gone through the program, and most of them are from not so good upbringings.

I gave my talk, at the end of it, she got up, she was absolutely bawling. I said, “What’s wrong?”

And she said, if my little sister had been here to see your speech today, “she wouldn’t have killed herself two weeks ago.”

That young girl changed my life.

Life’s way too short not to live your bucket list. Please pay this forward.

Thank you.


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