“Bucket List Guy” and TEDx speaker Trav Bell helps the Change Work Life podcast celebrate its first birthday by explaining how you can define and achieve a happy fulfilling life by writing a bucket list.
Trav Bell of The Bucket List Guy
Website: The Bucket List Guy
Facebook: Trav Bell – The Bucket List Guy
LinkedIn: Trav Bell – The Bucket List Guy
YouTube: The Bucket List Guy
Do you have a bucket list? If so, is it written down? We’re not talking about a list of the things you “need” to do before you die, but the things you can start to do now to live a happy and fulfilling life. If you haven’t written a bucket list yet, this episode is here to persuade you why you should.
Trav Bell is The Bucket List Guy… The World’s #1 Bucket List Expert.
As a self-appointed ʻBucket Listologistʼ, Trav helps people live their Bucket List before it’s too late! His unique life-engagement message really wakes you up, stops ground-hog days, and helps you to experience more fulfillment.
He says, “A Bucket List is a tangible Life Plan…where our Business Plan or Career Plan should fit into our Life Plan and not be the other way around.”
No-one practices what they preach more than Trav. His ‘crazy’ globe-trotting adventures are contagious, hilarious, and always fresh. He is the author of the best-selling book The M.Y.B.U.C.K.E.T.L.I.S.T. Blueprint, a TEDx Thought Leader, a Certified Speaking Professional, and is also the Founder CEO of Bucket List Coaches who are now on a mission to help 10 million BucketListers (#tickitB4Ukickit).
Before Trav became ʻThe Bucket List Guyʼ, he founded and franchised a chain of personal training studios across Australia. Starting with 1 client, he and his team went on to do over 2 million personal training sessions and motivated tens of thousands of clients.
Trav is now regarded as one of the world’s most in-demand motivational speakers.
He explains what living truly means for him outside of the confines of the to-do list and why he teaches people to begin and commit to their goals.
Listen in to learn the importance of not thinking about the “how” and “when” in your goal-accomplishing journey. You’ll also learn how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the mindsets of many into choosing their passion and happiness.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- [2:03] Trav explains how he became ‘The Bucket List Guy’ who inspires others and lives by design.
- [5:27] Getting curious about why you’re in the situation you are in.
- [7:21] How Trav defines a bucket list – experiencing more meaning, more purpose, and more fulfillment in your life.
- [11:53] Why entrepreneurs are more exposed to external learning and getting help than intrapreneurs.
- [15:31] How to identify the what, the why, and not to worry about the how when writing down your goals/bucket list.
- [19:34] Why you should stop playing small, live a regret-free life, and die “empty”.
- [22:11] How to find your passion with a few surface-level questions.
- [24:04] How to start accomplishing your goal list with the one you can commit to now.
- [25:28] The power of having an accountability partner as you work towards starting and accomplishing your goals.
- [27:40] Why you need to be internally motivated to do something and how to separate your daily to-do list from your bucket list.
- [31:04] Learning to choose happiness and the things you want and making time for them.
- [35:35] How COVID-19 is helping people to recognise that they need to live by design.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase. This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.
To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.
Episode 56: Why you need a bucket list and how to go about writing one - with Trav Bell of the Bucket List Guy
Jeremy Cline 0:00
Do you have a bucket list? Have you written down your bucket list? If you don't have a bucket list, is it something you should think about having and should think about writing down? That's what we cover in this episode. And by the way, did anyone bring a cake? I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.
Jeremy Cline 0:33
Hello, and welcome to the Change Work Life podcast, where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. And welcome to a very special first anniversary edition. Yes, it is a year ago that I started my podcast, and wow I can't believe it's been a year already. So we've got a really really special episode lined up. If you've read the About page on my website, you'll know that one of the reasons why I started this podcast in the first place was because my mum died early. She died from cancer at the age of 57. And I'd never got the impression that she'd seemed particularly happy at work, particularly in later years. I just got the impression that she was marking time to retirement, and she never made it. And I just didn't want to be in the same place as that. I've got quite a few more years until retirement and I just don't want to be in a position where I'm just marking time. So fast forward a few years, and I watched a TEDx talk given by Trav Bell, who also goes under the name of The Bucket List Guy. I'll link to the talk in the show notes, but his message basically sums up why I started this podcast, although he explains it a heck of a lot more eloquently than I do. Trav, welcome to the podcast.
Trav Bell 1:45
Jeremy that is honestly mate one of the best introductions I think I've ever had and very, very personal, very meaningful, and it's my absolute pleasure to join you on your anniversary mate.
Jeremy Cline 1:57
Thank you very much Trav. So first of all, You're known as the Bucket List Guy. What do you actually do? Can you tell us a bit about that?
Trav Bell 2:03
Great question. I'll try. I'm still trying to figure that out to be honest, I been running around the world as the Bucket List Guy for about 10 years. Someone actually called me the Bucket List Guy. We'll go with a quick backstory. So my previous business, I was in the personal fitness training industry. I did that for 20 years. I founded and franchised a chain of personal training studios. One of my highest values is helping others and I was helping people in their health and fitness, nearly 2 million personal training sessions - not all me, me and my team - and 10s of thousands of clients across Australia. I grew it into a monster. We had a chain of gyms around Australia, I grew it into a monster. I became someone that I didn't like. I fell into a state of depression. There was a few other things obviously going on at that stage and also, I had my own little version of break down, you know, before breakthrough. There's a lot of us coaches and speakers out there who've had a break down before breakthrough moment. I'm sure some of your listeners kind of get that. And I found myself instead of going on heavy antidepressants and sleepwalking zombie-like through my through my existence, I found myself going headfirst into personal development seminars, life coaching courses, learning about positive psychology, neurolinguistic programming, Ikigai principle, all these sort of things. If they put on a course I bought it, and did it, walked on fire, hugged it out and high fived it with strangers on weekends. And it was actually in one of the seminars a friend of mine said, Hey, why don't you teach this stuff? And I was relatively shy and not in a good place compared to obviously now. So for me, and around that time I saw speakers on stage and I thought if I could do that, that would be like the big domino for me to really break through a lot of the stuff that I wanted to break through. So I summed up the courage, I put on a talk, I invited, nearly hassled, nearly had to pay the 40 people that came to my first seminar and I packaged in all the stuff that I'd been learning and my entrepreneurial history as well and put on a seminar. And it was crap compared to what I do now. I started sharing my list to do before I die. I'd always had one written down since I was 18. This is about 10 years ago. I started sharing it with the group and inspired the group and someone at the end of it called me, and said - Jo was one of the clients there at the time - she said how's all this list to do before you die stuff? No-one knew this about you. It's like a bucket list... you're like The Bucket List Guy! Light bulb moment! I went home and registered the domain name thebucketlistguy.com and I've been doing that ever since as a speaker running around the world, doing keynote presentations at conferences. That's allowed me to do my bucket list and allowed me to inspire others and stop living by default and living by design. You know, one of the catch cries is people are dying at 40 and being buried at 80. There's a lot of people sleepwalking through their life, just like the movie. And you know, this very, very close example - I want to wake people up before they get given a use by date - there's my mission man.
Jeremy Cline 2:45
When you were in this dark place, and you started rather than going into the medication route going into the personal development and going to seminars, how were you kind of aware that all this existed and that it was something that might help you?
Trav Bell 5:28
Because I had a comparison. I knew other people going through depression. Now my depression was relatively mild compared to other people's, and I'd done too much health and fitness with clients to realise after so many years that heavy antidepressant drugs... it was a band aid, you know. It certainly wasn't getting to the cause. So I figured I'm going to get to the cause of this - why am I on this kind of roundabout? I've been an entrepreneur my whole life and I've been exposed to business seminars and coaches and books and courses. So I've always kind of invested in that, but more on the business coaching side of things. I've always been curious about knowledge. My real learning happened outside of university, outside of school. That's when I started getting coaches. And I decided to invest quite heavily in personal development. So that's why I went down that route to, like I said, get to the cause, rather than mask it with the band aid kind of effect in terms of medication.
Jeremy Cline 6:43
So let's talk about this concept of a bucket list, because it's one that many people will be familiar with. And I guess when I think about it, I kind of think of it being - pick a number - the six things you do before you die. So I'm going to run a marathon, I'm going to - I'm not gonna say climb Everest - but yes, skydive, all that sort of thing. So is that what you mean? Picking these sort of relatively short, transitory experiences where it's just, you know, I do that and then I go back to normal life and I do that and then I go back to normal life? Are you talking about something deeper, more fundamental, more long lasting?
Trav Bell 7:22
You already know I am mate! I really encourage - this is sarcasm - I really encourage everyone to be like a full on extreme Red Bull athlete. So this is how you live a bucket list lifestyle, you've got to BASE jump, you've got to climb Everest, you've got to do a marathon - no, an ultramarathon - you've got to do skydiving. You got to do all that in a weekend, and then we'll qualify you as a bucket lister. No, it's not about any of that. At the end of the day, it's a lot of people's misconceptions is about what bucket list is. I mean, we were using death as a motivator here, let's be honest, but it's not just about the travel, the extreme stuff. For a lot of people, that's why people don't embark on this process. It's a lot of the little things that make up the big things. And it's those little things that give you that snowball effect. It gives you the momentum and motivation to smash through the bigger ones. But here's my problem. I say a bucket list is a tangible life plan where our career plan or our business plan should fit into our life plan and not be the other way around. If you go out there and survey bunches of people about their why - why do they get up in the morning? Unfortunately, you know, in Australia, somewhat like Britain, it'll be pay off the house, put the kids through school, do a bit of travel when I'm older. Is that it? You know, we want to have a more expansive why. A more expansive series of end steps, but it's not just about ticking a whole bunch of cool stuff off before you kick the bucket. It's really about how a person reverse engineers every aspect of their life in order to make this stuff come to fruition and it's the growth of the person on the journey towards these destinations. More importantly, it's about the person that exists on the other side. And that's the person that we don't know yet. That's the person that you and I don't know yet, that's called our potential. And for me being a coach, I want to help people experience more of their own potential before their time is up. That's the human experience if you ask me. We do it through the lens of bucket list, through the filter of bucket list. But at the end of the day, I want to help people be happier. You know, the foundation of what I've been teaching all these years is really based on positive psychology, which is the Science of Happiness. That's how to help people experience more meaning, more purpose and more fulfilment in their life. That's what it's all about. We put it again through the filter of bucket list, but I did a TED talk a few years ago, which you're aware of, and I went through a 12 letter acronym, a 12 step blueprint called the My Bucket List Blueprint. It's a 12-stepper. It sounds like AA, you might need a drink afterwards! But I designed it to help people go sort of north south east west in their own brain and to extract and then articulate this personally meaningful and holistic bucket list. And you've seen the TED talk - and we'll put the link in the show notes - but at the end of the day it helps people go beyond these extreme kind of climbing mountains and driving fast cars and whatever else that people's perceptions of what bucket list is. At the end of the day, it's not just six things. I've got 350 things on my bucket list. You reckon I don't get pulled out of bed in the morning? Of course I do. When people have a really tangible why for why they go to work every day, why they earn money, what they want to do before their time is up and when they've got a lot of these things out there, it really does provide a source of inspiration that a lot of people never thought they even had.
Jeremy Cline 11:08
There's an awful lot of really, really big concepts there, you know, all very valuable, all very meaningful, but I can feel myself - starting from all these massive concepts - starting to feel, frankly a little bit overwhelmed. It's like oh my goodness, I am in this position. I am sleepwalking, I am dying at 40 before I get buried at 80. Oh my goodness, what am I supposed to do with this? I mean, where do you start? What's your first action, your framework - starting with defining your thing and also finding the something that is personal to you and realistic to you so you don't get distracted by the 'Oh yeah, I should be running a marathon and climbing Everest' and all that.
Trav Bell 11:54
It is a really interesting thing. You know, I've been self employed - I've never had a job in my life. I've always been self employed. Now, me being self employed, always learning. I've got an insatiable curiosity for learning. I've always had coaches, gone to seminars, read books, had mentors, done a lot of these, because that's what you do when you're an entrepreneur. Because there's no one else to kind of help you along. So entrepreneurs, I dare say, are more exposed to external learning like that and getting help, than intrapreneurs. That's someone that works for someone else, but reckon they can do a better job. When you work for a big corporate, it's quite interesting. Now, case in point - I can go and do a keynote to say a bank, you know, at their annual conference, or a mortgage broker or the government or a school or a bunch of employees at their annual conference or an event. And I can go out there and say the most basic of personal development principles, unfortunately, and it would be like I've I've discovered fire, you know, oh my god. 'Be, do and have - I've never heard of that concept before!' Now I'm being a bit tongue in cheek here, but that really surprised me, because when I started speaking, I was doing more public events, but when I started doing corporate speaking, the basics of personal development weren't being learned. Case in point - if I speak to say 1000 people in an auditorium at an event, and I say, Okay, guys, who in the room here has a bucket list? And I'll get close to 1000 people put up their hand. Then I'll say, okay, who has got one actually written down - don't BS yourself, who's got one actually written down? It'll be like, 20% of the audience. But that half of that 20%, the 10% - now you guys who've got your hand like that, you really haven't got it written down, have you? You're showing off aren't you. Mate I've been doing this for 10 years, and so about 10% of the audience actually have written something like this down. And I'll back it up with who actually writes their goals down? Goals, again - about 10%. Here's the thing - the simplest of simple things is writing down your goals. And let's call a bucket list a bunch of goals for the time being. If you actually write your goals down, you've got a 42% more likelihood of them actually manifesting, believe it or not. 42%. So you're halfway there. But yet people still don't even do it. So the first step is actually writing some stuff down. Literally getting it out of your head and putting it onto paper. That is an absolute revelation for most people.
Jeremy Cline 15:06
Can I just pause there and say, okay, so if you write down your goals, you stand a 42% better chance of achieving them. But you've still got to identify what those are. And that is probably an even harder bit. What are my goals? What do I want? You know, your middle class lifestyle, you've got the mortgage, the spouse, the kids the job. What are my life goals? I mean, how do you even start to ask that question?
Trav Bell 15:32
Real simple. Okay, let's start with the bucket list. Watch the TED Talk. Go through the My Bucket List Blueprint, something will come out. I can guarantee. Some probably weird stuff will come out too, so be aware. But here's the thing - when you're writing down your goals, the most important thing is to write down the what, identify the why and not worry about the how. The what, the why and don't worry about the how. People don't write down goals Jeremy because they overthink the how.
Jeremy Cline 16:01
What about the when? Is that something that people should write down?
Trav Bell 16:04
Nah. Don't worry about it. Just do the basics. See the when will create inertia between where you are and that goal. Just worry about the what and the why. What we're doing is that we're actually punching into Google - being our brain - and deploying the reticular activating system. The reticular activating system is how we sort and generalise information and it plays a part in neuroplasticity, it helps us really focus in on the things that matter. Because we've got 2 million bits of information that hit us every second believe it or not. So we've got this RAS that helps us decipher information, helps us filter. At the moment, people aren't punching into Google. And what I mean by that is actually writing stuff down. That's punching it into Google, and deploying the search engine called the reticular activating system on what your goals actually are. So just write down - don't think about the when, don't think about the how. Just list out all the stuff you want to do before you die. Straight up. Don't overthink it. Don't overthink it. Hang on, and don't overthink it. Straight up. Because the reticular activating system will do this weird thing where you'll be like, hang on, I wrote that down on my bucket list board. I put down marathon, why are all these marathoners and people running... How come on I'm in this Facebook group, and I'm looking at this online and I'm looking at these documentaries and what's happening here, the universe is suddenly conspiring to make the how come to fruition. The steps are starting to appear because you've punched it into your reticular activating system. That's how it works. Honestly, it's crazy how it works.
Jeremy Cline 16:38
This is linked in with the how, where do you kind of draw the bounds of what's realistic? And I know that's quite dangerous because it starts getting into limiting beliefs and what you perceive to be realistic. But is there a cut off where you just accept that some things aren't realistic? Let's pick an outlandish example. You know, I'm going to go to Mars, for example. And you know, at the moment, no one's got to Mars.
Trav Bell 18:29
That could happen. So you never know on that one. Let's say you and I playing NBA for the Lakers.
Jeremy Cline 18:41
I'm five foot five! Now I know that that doesn't mean, that is impossible, but... that one's not gonna happen. But you can see how you kind of start to get a bit closer and closer. So yeah, you know, I enjoyed playing in amateur wind bands, orchestras, that sort of thing. I've discovered jazz in the past few years. Now what about if my ambition was playing jazz at know Ronnie Scott's in London - a really well known jazz club where the best play. Now that's that's something which I'm kind of seeing as...
Trav Bell 18:42
Have you written that down?
Jeremy Cline 19:14
No but that's because it literally just occurred to me.
Trav Bell 19:17
Well write it down man.
Jeremy Cline 19:18
If I write it down is that a commitment?
Trav Bell 19:21
Is it? This is where I go into coach mode and I go why don't you write it down?
Jeremy Cline 19:27
But when does the thing that you write down with the goals become a commitment or something which you kind of put down but you might not achieve?
Trav Bell 19:34
What gives you the right to not commit to that?
Jeremy Cline 19:37
That is a very interesting question.
Trav Bell 19:38
Do not do yourself - and this is not just us here, this is everyone listening - do not do yourself disservice of playing small. You would not wish that upon your kids. Be a leader. You know this Jeremy is about putting your own oxygen mask on first before you can help others. This is a self leadership exercise here. It's okay to be selfish. You know better than anyone that life is way too freakin short. Right? Now, why can't you live fully and die empty? Why can't you go for everything that you truly want to? And leave no stone unturned? Why can't you live a full on and I will not swear - regret free life. Why can't you? Who's to say that you can't? What the government? Your friends, family? The number one thing the number one regret that people have is, quote, I wish I lived a life true to myself not what others expected of me. That's from Bronnie Ware's, The Five Regrets of the Dying. What gives you the right to play small?
Jeremy Cline 20:54
Can I just deal with one point and this comes out from the comments I sometimes see on discussion boards, particularly around passions and stuff, where people will say, I have no passion, there's nothing that interests me - that sort of thing. Is it basically the case that everyone does have something you've just got to scratch around to find it? And if that is the case, what's the first thing you can do to get the creative juices going and start writing your list if you're starting in that position?
Trav Bell 21:27
The passion, meaningful, what's going to give you fulfilment - a little bit different to a bucket list. It depends if you want to monetize it or not as well. So I believe personal passions are all caught up in our bucket list items as well. You know, I go through that 12 step acronym, the blueprint. If you think about it that really uncovers a lot of passions within people. But if you want to do it, if you want to monetize it, then that's a different thing. If you want your vocation to be an extension of that passion, then that's a whole other. You've got to be commercially smart as well.
Jeremy Cline 22:02
Okay, leaving aside whether you want to monetize your passion, just people who might be convinced that they're going to try and write down some goals, and aren't going to think of anything.
Trav Bell 22:13
I hate to say, but I answer a question with a question. I can't help myself, I am a coach. What are you passionate about?
Jeremy Cline 22:18
And if someone turns around and says to you, nothing, then what do you do? Ask the question again?
Trav Bell 22:25
What do you love to do?
Jeremy Cline 22:26
And so if you keep on asking the question, eventually something will come out, even if it's maybe someone says, Oh, you know, like watching TV in the evening or something, then that can lead to something?
Trav Bell 22:35
Yeah. What do you like to watch? What sort of movies do you like? It'll come. You've already seen in the conversation that we've already had, you already play an instrument. Yeah, what instrument do you like? You do that because you're passionate about it. You love doing it. So there must be something there. There's signposts in our life. So if you go through a person's, you know, tabs, what their tabs on on Google Chrome or that you have a look at what they're subscribed to - if you have a look at their bookshelf, if you have a look at their habits, what they do and who they hang around with, what sort of conversations they have. What sort of conversation they have with their mates and what are the ones that really light them up. There's indicators everywhere. So you really like dog walking? You really like a woodwind instrument. Fantastic. You love writing. It only takes a few questions to scratch the surface. And then you see if we found it, and if I was face to face with you, like I do with a lot of clients, and then I'd see your whole face change, your whole persona. If we started talking about dog walking, you just go 'Oh yeah! Oh I love it.' There it is.
Jeremy Cline 23:45
We've now got a list. We've written the the goals, and we've ignored the when and the how, and we're focusing on the what and the why. I suspect that we could probably go on for days talking about this, but maybe we can talk about the first steps to turning that into a reality.
Trav Bell 24:05
Okay, I look down at that list and go, which one are you going to do now?
Jeremy Cline 24:09
And is that something where you would pick the one which appeals the most, which you think is easiest, or which is most important to you? Or is it you just choose something?
Trav Bell 24:20
Which one can you commit to now? I'm doing five things at the moment. Some take a long time. Some take very little time. One is a six year work in progress right now. Some take a lot of resources, time and money. Some just take a phone call or a public commitment, or entering something, or paying a deposit on something and then it's done. What are the immediate first steps on the things on your list? People will be able to identify. An immediate first step is not a Google search. An immediate first step is actually taking action. So what does that look like? It's publicly declaring it like I said, paying a deposit. It's lining up a meeting. It's launching something. It's a real commitment.
Jeremy Cline 25:13
And how do you identify what the first step is? I mean, if you talk about, you know, your thing, which you're saying it's a six year commitment, so that must be broken down into a series of steps. How do you identify what is the first step to take and then the next step to take?
Trav Bell 25:31
Give me an example? What's something on your bucket list? You've seen my TED talk? What's something on your bucket list?
Jeremy Cline 25:37
I saw the TED talk, but I didn't put together a bucket list afterwards!
Trav Bell 25:40
Oh my God, oh, mate! Alright, well, what's the first step? Let's say we'll go with the marathon example. What's the first step in doing a marathon?
Jeremy Cline 25:49
See, my brain has immediately come up with three different answers. One is applying for it. So the commitment part. So you're kind of like, right, I'm doing a marathon and I might have never run before, but I'm applying for it.
Trav Bell 26:01
What does apply mean? Does that mean enter?
Jeremy Cline 26:04
Trav Bell 26:05
Like you've paid money?
Jeremy Cline 26:07
Yeah, yes. So go for the London Marathon or the New York Marathon or Boston Marathon or Melbourne marathon or whatever it is and just enter. So that's that's one step you could do. Another step if you've never been running before is go and buy some running shoes. Actually, if it was me it would probably be first go on to Google, which you said, That's not how you start! But go on to Google to research running shoes and then buy some running shoes, or it would be okay, well, I'm going to try and run around the block, you know, for half a mile. So there's three potential first steps.
Trav Bell 26:38
What would be wrong with doing all those three right now? Nothing. But the real commitment is actually entering. When there's some hurt money down. But my other thing is getting a bucket list buddy involved - an accountability partner. So hook up a friend, dob in a friend, get some commitment, get some social pressure and do it together. If that falls through, just do it anyway. You know, the funny thing about it is - and being in the weight loss industry of personal training industry for over 20 years - you know, the best thing to for to help a person lose weight is actually tell everyone on Facebook, that you're going to do it. Then you have a lot of social pressure and people will die for recognition. Unfortunately, that's just how we're built. A lot of people are built that way. Sorry. Not everyone, but a lot of people are.
Jeremy Cline 27:26
How do people get themselves to the position where they're going to do that because I can see there's going to be a lot of reluctance to telling lots of people and that reluctance is going to stem from a fear of failure I'd imagine, and the fear of having to face up to people. So you've kind of got to get to the position where you're brave enough.
Trav Bell 27:42
With every goal, everyone's different, right? It would be presumptuous to overlay my map of the world and my goals onto you and vice versa and pass on to someone else. When the why is strong enough the how will work itself out. When someone wants to do something really bad, they will find a way. And here's the thing, man. I've got years and years and years of people, unbelieving the story that they've led themselves to believe about themselves. They've gone against the grain. I've had people, 'I'm not a runner, I've never been a runner, I was the fat kid in school,' to then doing ultra marathons. Because something happened, where they've just flipped the script. When the why is strong enough in a person, the how will work itself out. That person has to be internally motivated, internally inspired in order to do something. It's not about you and me trying to externally motivate them to do something. People will do things for different reasons. Ultra marathon - no. It's always been on their list to do before before they die for years and years. And we don't know really the backstory but you know, people really get out of their comfort zone when we're talking about bucket list. The most common thing that myself and we've got now bucket list coaches in 21 countries around the world, the most common thing that we'll hear is, thank you for giving me permission to dream again. It's really weird. It's like we're so busy being busy, that we're so busy on our to do list that we forget about our bucket list until it's too late. So when people do programmes, whether it be with one of our coaches or myself, or it's helping them take time out of their life to work on their life, it's about separating their daily to do lists from their bucket list, because I can guarantee that people will get busy on their to do list and it's not until something traumatic or dramatic happens to them or a loved one that they suddenly reprioritize in a heartbeat. And when they reprioritise, they reprioritize in a big, big way. I want people to reprioritise, or just prioritise the things that they truly want to do in their life. Over and above what they do for work, not just for them, but also for their family. And it's not just about the stuff that you want to do. It's the stuff that you want to do collectively, you know, with your family as well. So we've got a family bucket list - my partner and I, Tracy and I, we're going to couple's bucket list. And I've also got my personal one, and she's got her personal one.
Jeremy Cline 30:21
Just on to finish up on the question of kind of time, and I suppose, by time I kind of mean bandwidth, because everyone seems to be busier and busier and busier.
Trav Bell 30:32
Jeremy Cline 30:32
And I know that there are people who are listening to you are going to think Yes, he's absolutely right. I really should be doing this. But I've got so much going on in my head at the moment. I just can't think when to do it. So leaving aside the there's only so many times you could say 'yes, you should be doing this' - but what's maybe, I keep on trying to bring it back to quick wins, but just something that someone can do to make themselves realise that they do have time to take this step back and do this sort of thing?
Trav Bell 31:06
Going to the quick win is just commit to something. This is about choosing happiness. It's about choosing the things that you want to do and making time for that. That's how we get the quick positive reinforcement, the quick win. I want people to be able to do that. Look, a lot of people listening to this might need a break down before a breakthrough moment, a confusion before clarity moment. Maybe they're not. They haven't drawn the line in the sand. It's, you know, it's very pious and trying to motivate people if they don't want to be motivated. But when I tour, and normally when I do keynote presentations and that sort of thing - my job is to wake them up and disrupt. I don't care. Life is way too short. I've got too many examples of cancer diagnosis of my best mate dying. You've got your own examples. I can guarantee every one has got an example where life's been cut way too short. How many examples do we need for us to actually wake up and reprioritize and if you need to be hit over the head 10 times with that message then so be it. Some people only need one, some people don't need any. But this is hey, this is everyone's life, not mine. And the heart of why I do what I do is not just about waking people up. Mate, depression is going up. Suicides are going up. Anxiety is going up. The over-prescription of antidepressants is going up, cancer is going up. We've got this thing now - Google it - called the loneliness epidemic. It's the effect of social media that's now come to fruition. It's called the loneliness epidemic. We know, through COVID-19, what a pandemic is - real clear on that. So an epidemic, not too far away. Loneliness epidemic. Now, with all that evidence, and it's getting worse and worse and worse, people are more disengaged at work. They're turning over jobs, careers, businesses like never before. Their attention spans are getting worse and worse and worse, their commitment, their loyalty getting worse and worse. So I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But these are actually all societal signs that we're not in a good place. Then you throw COVID on top of it - you know, the mental well being of the planet is not in a good place, not just because I'm doing it not because our coaches are out there doing this stuff as well and doing programmes with corporates and individuals and families. But I'd like to think that the 10 years of evidence of us actually out there doing this bucket lists work for people. This is arming people with real tools to help them reprioritize on that and go against the grain and get into a happier place. Positive Psychology is the Science of Happiness. And that's really what we're out there practising and getting people to engage in before they get given a use by date themselves. Go out there, live your bucket list before it's too late. It's real simple, live a regret free life rather than regretful life, choose happiness. You know, don't buy into the statistics, let alone don't be one. I've been through depression. People have had their own battles with this stuff. When is the time - when is going to be the time that you're actually in change? When is it? How many more signs, how w many more things have to happen in a person's life in our lives for us to get the frickin message. Seriously, if people hate me, so be it. But I'm not here to be a motivational speaker, man. It's just speaking reality. I've been doing this stuff for 10 years. It is in my bones. I want to help people live their life before it's too late. And not just them but for their families, their kids. Be the example for your kids to follow, for God's sake. If you don't do it for yourself, do it for your kids.
Jeremy Cline 35:12
You mentioned COVID - this episode comes out beginning of October, we're recording this end of July when lockdowns are hopefully coming to an end, but I mean, I think COVID is gonna be a wake up call for people. I mean, it might be their break down, sort of not like a break down break down necessarily, but it's going to be the moment I think when people start really to reassess what they want.
Trav Bell 35:37
Yeah people are recalibrating more than ever before. They're recalibrating on what is their true north on happiness. They're adapting, they're innovating. They're collaborating like never before and they are - we've been inundated with bucket list coach enquiries. We've got so many people who've been laid off and they're trying to find me - 'I'm not really that happy doing what I'm doing', and life is really short and we're getting nightly reminders of that on the news. It is a crazy moment in time. What do you do? Do you put your hands up and be at the mercy, be at the effect of what's going on? Or do you flip the script and stop living by default and live by design. Get at the cause of your own happiness.
Jeremy Cline 36:27
And start to recognise that there is the alternative, which I think people are now. They've been they've been forced to recognise that working from home is an option. Not doing the commute is an option. Doing something different is an option.
Trav Bell 36:42
You know, the big thing is we've all got control over how we think and how we interact with society and what we choose. You've got the power of choice. Maybe this is a reminder, draw the line in the sand, be a victor, not a victim.
Jeremy Cline 36:57
Fantastic, Travis. This has been absolutely awesome. Really, really absolutely fantastic stuff.
Trav Bell 37:03
I'm actually holding back on swearing, you know this because you told me I couldn't swear mate! I just got back from the gym. I'm all hot and angry now. I'm ready to go. You know, come on society! Come on COVID! Let's go!
Jeremy Cline 37:18
You mentioned one book - Five Regrets of the Dying. Are there any other books which you can recommend either people who want to find out more about this?
Trav Bell 37:27
There's Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware, so that's a really good one. She was a palliative care nurse hanging out in old people's homes and her blog of interviewing them all became a best selling book and she's got the Five Regrets of the Dying. So one of them is I wish I let myself be happier. It's pretty crazy. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. I wish I made more time for my friends. And the other one that I've loved is Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar. This was basically given to me by a friend because I was a miserable prick there at one stage and she said, Hey Trav every time I catch up with you, you're just dumping on everyone. So here's a book on happiness. Tal Ben-Shahar, positive psychologist, worked under arguably the father of modern day positive psychology, Martin Seligman. In that book, he's got a process called the MPS process. Three intersecting circles in a Venn diagram, the MPS - what gives you meaning, what gives you pleasure and what are your strengths and in the middle is your calling. So I did that exercise and it said motivational speaker. I'm like, really? Is that my calling here? That was one of the signposts for why I do what I do. And it's a reflection of my values, of course, but that's a really good resource. Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar. And if people haven't seen my TED Talk, it's alled Life's Too Short by Trav Bell. And I want everyone who's listening Jeremy, to this podcast, I want them to send you their bucket lists. When they go through the blueprint, I want them to send you their bucket list and then you're gonna send them to me. That's what I want for everyone. There's got to be accountability here, folks. It's not just about learning stuff. It's about putting it into real action.
Jeremy Cline 39:29
And then where's the best place that people can find you and get in touch with you?
Trav Bell 39:33
Go to www.thebucketlistguy.com. That's my main website. Then we've got if you're interested in becoming a bucket list coach, it's bucketlistcoach.com, or you can find me on social media. Sadly, I do most of my books on Instagram these days! Or we've got LinkedIn and Facebook and LinkedIn and Facebook on Trav-thebucketlistguy and on Instagram I'm bucketlistguy.travbell, there you go.
Jeremy Cline 40:03
Fantastic. I will link to all those. Trav this has been awesome. Thank you so much for your time.
Trav Bell 40:09
My pleasure, Jeremy. Cheers, man.
Jeremy Cline 40:11
Wow, hope you enjoyed that interview with Trav Bell. My goodness, I could certainly feel the passion radiating off him. I mean, he is so into his topic. It's really quite something. I've kind of toyed with the idea of, you know, having like a sort of live coaching session on this podcast. So you know, having someone who kind of coaches me, having had that experience with Trav now, I'm not sure that it's put me off, but it has made me realise that it could be quite an uncomfortable experience because he really does delve into things and ask you questions, which you've really got to think about, and it's quite tough. I really do urge you to check out Trav's TEDx talk, where he goes into more about how you go about defining your own bucket list and his acronym for what The Bucket List stands for, it's definitely well worth a watch. And his point about writing things down as well, he said that if you write something down, you're 42% more likely to achieve it just with the act of writing it down. I don't know what that increases to when you go onto Facebook and tell all your friends that's what you're doing. But I'm guessing that the percentage increases radically again. So just small things which can really improve your chances of getting something done. There'll be a link in the show notes to Trav's TEDx talk, as well as the links to where you can get hold of him and the resources we talked about, and you will find all those at changeworklife.com/56 for Episode 56. So you heard Trav's call to action at the end there. You send me your bucket list, and I will send those on to him. So check out the TEDx talk for how to go about doing it and I look forward to receiving them. And also, if you found this useful, if you have found previous episodes of this podcast useful, it would be amazing if you would leave a review either on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from. Reviews really do help other people find the show. So please do go ahead and leave your review. So there you go. That's one year of the Change Work Life podcast already. I cannot believe that it has already been a year it really has gone incredibly quickly. I've absolutely loved interviewing the guests I've interviewed. I've met some amazing people. I've learned a huge amount myself, and I hope it's been helpful for you as well. It's been brilliant. I've certainly got no plans to bring it to an end anytime soon. And if you have any suggestions for guests or topics that you'd like me to cover in future episodes, then do drop me a line. You'll find there's a contact form on the website - changeworklife.com/contact. And I would love to hear from you. Here's to the next year. Well here's to next week where we've got another great interview and I can't wait to see you then. Cheers. Bye
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
Thank you for listening!
If you have any questions or comments, please fill out the form on the Contact page.
I would be so grateful if you’d:
- Leave a review on Apple Podcasts to help others find the show.
- Subscribe to the show.
- Join the Change Work Life Facebook group.
- Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Share this episode using the buttons below.