25 Things I'm Going to Do Before I Turn 26

25 Things I'm Going to Do Before I Turn 26

I turn 25 today. And a couple of weeks ago, I asked myself, 'What do I want my 25th birthday post to be about?'

The traditional 25 things I’ve learned over 25-years? Much like the 23-years-old post. Or 24.

The whole post could be me thinking about things to write.

And then it turns into some kind of meta-post.

At the cafe. There’s a small window I can see out and the sun reflecting off the truck. It's bright. It gave me an idea.

I could write 25 things I’m going to do before turning 26. Far out. I just scared myself a little.

There’s no point putting things that don’t scare me on the list. Or maybe it could be an anti-list. All of the things are mediocre.

‘A midnight marathon,’ the first thought. There’s number 1. Let’s figure out the rest.

What’s a good title for this post? ‘I just turned 25, here are 25 things I’m going to do before I turn 26.’ Clickbaity enough? The article is really only for me to look back and laugh at when I’m 43. 2036 is going to be a good year.

I could film a little piece of each and make a cool video this time next year. Good idea.

I wrote most of this between bus trips. I've included some of my favourite musings from the rides.

Let's get into it.

1. Run a marathon. At midnight.

This was the first thing that came to mind. 42km's starting at midnight. Straight into a cafe for breakfast.

2. Go skydiving.

I used to be afraid of heights as a kid. Not so much anymore. Time to test that sentiment.

You know what, I’m going to write two articles. One about things I’ve learned and the other (this one), things I’m going to do.

To make it interesting I could tell people, ‘Suggest things for me to do before 26’.

I'm got on the bus. It’s a good place to write. Sometimes the wrong letter goes down because the bus moves.

I had a discussion with myself last night about what these things should be. ‘What am I signing up for?’ I asked myself.

‘Will these things require too much time?’

The standard questions one asks themselves.

There are two youths talking behind me. ‘I went to Valley once,’ they’re talking about going out. Sounds like fun.

3. Publish a book.

I started writing a book in November 2017. 45,000 words in a month. The goal was 50,000. I haven’t touched it since.

It’ll come out before I’m 26.

22 more to go. Doing each of these in a year means they’ll get an average of 2 weeks each to complete. It could be a year of two-week projects.

4. Launch a nutrition education app with my brother.

Josh has been learning iOS development. I’ve been learning machine learning. We’ll combine our skills and publish an app to the App Store.

We’ve got thoughts around food recognition. Most of my health gains came from understanding food better.

‘I hated waiting to turn 18, I used my sister’s ID card,’ the young girl couldn’t wait to go out.

5. Sleep on top of a mountain.

Climb up during the day. Set up camp on top. Nothing more than a small patch of ground. Waking up with the sunrise will be nice.

6. Catch a train across America.

I’ll be in the US from September 12 to October 6 2018. I’ve flown from coast to coast before but missed out on everything below.

‘Screw him!’ The lady behind me said to one beside her. A car next to the bus tried to overtake.

7. Invest $10,000 in technology stocks.

When I played RuneScape my favourite skills were Ranged and Farming. Ranged because you got to use a bow and arrow and Farming because of the compound interest.

You’d plant a tree and have to wait 14 real-life hours for it to be finished growing. But when you harvested it the reward was big.

I loved that concept. Do an action, wait a little, get a reward.  It’s similar to why I love investing.

Why technology stocks?

Because it’s what I know best. And I figure, for humanity to go forward, technology has to go forward.

8. Stand up comedy.

'Her gums were flapping like a fish,' the same lady is talking about someone she works with.

Perhaps my act could consist of jokes I’ve crafted from things I overheard on the bus.

I have no problem being the centre of attention. I’m starting to think I’m more comfortable putting on a show in front of people rather than sitting down with them one on one.

Jokes are funny too. Everyone laughs in the same language. People love laughing.

9. Fast for 3-days.

Water only. No food. The longest I’ve gone is about 30-hours without eating. I was hungry at times but by the end, I was in a Jedi state where I didn’t feel like eating.

I’ve read the health benefits of fasting but I prefer first-hand knowledge. Plus, the thought of not eating for three days would’ve sounded absurd to me a couple of years ago. Hence why I’m going to do it.

‘The guy died didn’t he?’ we drove past a golf store where a garbage truck ran into. Rest In Peace.

10. Make a spoken word video.

I tried slam poetry at the start of last year. I was nervous but that’s when I feel most alive.

The bus is stopping. We’ll continue soon.

We’re back. It’s been about a week. There aren’t as many people on the bus this morning. I caught the 7:17.

Words are magical. Why do you think they call it spelling? A bunch of words about spells and wizards tied together turned J. K. Rowling into a billionaire.

I’m going to make a video about words.

11. Compliment a stranger every day for a month.

I reached out to some friends for ideas. Merlin suggested this one.

I can live off a compliment for a month. Especially one that’s not expected.

I’m sure others can too.

Thanks, Merlin.

12. Do a lap around New Zealand in a van.

New Zealand isn’t very big. But all the epic landscape scenes you see in movies are shot there.

We went there in 2009 for a rugby tour. Our team travelled around in a van. Doing it in 2019 would bring everything full circle.

I’d live out of the van. Drive around, park, get some food, write, sleep. Then do it a few more times. A week should be enough.

'I like the outside of that new bike store,' she said, 'it’s got good colours.' It did look like a good building but I’m not interested in buying a motorcycle anytime soon.

Someone once told me being scared uses the same hormones as being excited. All it takes is to flip a switch in your brain. Then instead of feeling scared, you become excited.

Since when was milk pink and green? The guy next to us had two milk cartons in the front of his car. One pink and one green. I wonder what colour they came out. Riding up high on the bus is the best. You can see what's going on.

13. Write a blog post every day.

All the above are easy compared to this one. This one scares me the most so far. I don’t know if I’ve done something every day for a year except wake up and piss.

What if I run out of ideas? Oh well. I can write 10 things about running out of ideas.

Some posts will be bad. Others will be good. A few will be great. It’s a numbers game.

If I want to improve my writing, I have to practice. And I want to improve my writing.

One post every day for a year. Starting September 1 2018. See mrdbourke.com/blog/ for more.

14. Take a drawing course.

'It’s not worth an A,' my art teacher continued, 'the lines are wrong. C-.'

I thought my ninja turtle looked great. It took me hours. I was proud of my work.

Getting a C was heartbreaking. I dropped out of art the next year. That was 12-years ago.

Now I want to draw again. Plus, some of my blog posts will need graphics to go with them. I’ll be able to make some of them myself.

14.5 - Draw a self-portrait.

Willkie suggested I paint a self-portrait. I’ll meet him halfway and draw one instead.

15. Dance classes.

Dancing is another language everyone speaks. My dancing is about the equivalent of a four-year-old’s speech. It’s there but not.

The bus is pulling in. Better hop off.

We’re back. The 7:17 again. I love the bus. It gives you time to think.

I’m always impressed by people who can dance. Deep down we’re all dancers. Our bodies just keep us rigid in fears of being ridiculed by the crowd. Let go of being rigid and you’re halfway there.

16. Sell something I’ve created.

I’ve never really sold something of my own. There have been items which I bought and later sold because I didn’t need them anymore — a jet ski, various technology items. But never something I’ve created.

I’m going to make something completely of my own and sell it. Likely a book. Or an app.

17. Learn to fight.

You’re walking through a dark alley. Someone calls out you, ‘Hey, you, stop!’

‘No,’ you reply.

The person isn’t happy with your reply and chases after you.

In this situation, I’d prefer to run. But in the case I can’t outrun said person in the dark alley, having the skill to defend myself would be great.

This scenario probably won’t happen. But I’ve been interested in learning a martial art for a while. It’s about time I started.

'I’d forgotten there would be a lot of people on the bus, I’m not used to this,' a lady got on the bus and nearly spilt her coffee everywhere. No food and drink allowed on the bus? She doesn’t care.

I’m noticing a theme with this list. Many of the things I’ve put down are things I’ve been saying to myself, ‘I’ll get around to them someday.’

1274 someday’s later and we’re here.

18. Go and see a movie alone.

I’ve gained a much higher respect for people who do things alone. Anyone who takes on a challenge or an adventure by themselves.

There have been things I’ve wanted to do but stopped because I couldn’t convince anyone to do them with me.

Having someone else can be a crutch. If something goes wrong, you share the failure.

Seeing a movie alone isn’t a grand adventure. But it could turn out to be.

19. Volunteer at a nursing home for a day.

If someone with a grey beard tells you something, believe it.

Old people have been there done that. They’re proof no matter what life throws at you, you’ll still end up somewhere.

I want to learn some of their wisdom.

20. Take my mum out for a nice dinner.

Mums are underrated.

I could never give her enough credit for what she does. But dinner can be a start.

On the 9:08 this morning. I was at the dentist. The dentist is a good place to reflect on the past 6-months. Whilst you're stuck in a chair someone poking around your mouth. My next appointment is March 7, 2019.

21. Do a triathlon.

I posted on Instagram asking for suggestions. We hold ourselves back so sometimes it’s good to ask other people what they think.

Jack said to do a triathlon.

‘Could I train for the swim without ever getting in a pool?’ I asked.

'You could swim in the open ocean,' he said.

I don’t do pools. I grew up in one as a kid. Our family ran a swim school. My skin smelt like chlorine for a decade.

No more pools.

I’ll train for the swim in the open water. The run and ride can be anywhere.

I’ll borrow Zenith’s bike, he has a good one.

Thanks, Jack.

22. Bungee Jump.

This one gets me a little more than skydiving. Skydiving is so high you can’t really see the ground. But bungee jumping you can really see the ground.

I could do this in New Zealand whilst touring around in a van. New Zealand has all kinds of scary fun activities.

Nair suggested this one on Instagram. Thanks, Nair.

The girl next to us is doing her makeup whilst in traffic. I hope she doesn't crash.

23.  Start a business.

A real one. One where we have paying customers. We started a business last year. But we didn’t have any customers. It wasn’t a real business.

It will be in the digital space. We’ll build apps, relating to health and fitness since that’s what we’re into. And we’ll create content related to showcase and promote what we make.

When I say ‘we’ I mean my brothers and I. We’re a team.

24. Do a 24-hour race/walk/run.

I’m staring out of the bus thinking how much this would suck. I didn’t want to put it down.

My feet are going to hurt.


That was the one rule of the list. If it scares me it goes down.

If a race comes up and it’s 24-hours long, I’ll sign up — maybe some kind of Spartan Race.

If a race doesn’t come up, I’ll go for one on my own. Or try and recruit someone to come along for a 24-hour walk with me. Google Maps says we should be able to cover about 100km.

Whilst we’re gone for 24-hours, I better have a post scheduled to publish so I don’t miss a day.

Edit: It's cool this one ended up as number 24.

25. Love myself.

I’ve cheated on this one. I’ve started to do it already.

Life’s easy when you love yourself. It’s hard when you don’t.

I put this one last because it’s the hardest. It’s not a two-week job.

Loving yourself is a daily practice. Ever since I read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

It's easy to be your own harshest critique. I want to be my own biggest fan.

That's it. 25 is looking like a  great year.

See you at 26. And every day until then.

PS. Kick my ass if I don’t do one of these, okay?