Alternative to “bucket list”

Many of you will recognize Phil Keoghan.  He’s the host of The Amazing Race and the founder of the “No Opportunity Wasted” (or NOW) movement.  It started out as a TV show which aired on the Discovery Channel.  26 contestants were given 72 hours, 3 thousand dollars, and the opportunity to make a dream come true.  There were three versions of the series that took place in the US, New Zealand, and Canada.  After doing a bit of research, I discovered that Phil has recently unveiled a line of energy bars and does speaking engagements.  So in spite of the fact the book was published in 2004, the concepts remain relevant and people are still getting all fired up about it.


When I buy a book, I often tuck the receipt inside.  It comes in handy if I can’t find a bookmark.  So imagine my surprise when I look at the date on the receipt and realize that this book has been sitting on my shelf since 2008.  Apparently I felt it needed to marinate for over 5 years before I was ready to tackle what was waiting inside.


“No Opportunity Wasted” outlines ‘Eight Great Themes’.

1)       Face Your Fear

2)      Get Lost

3)      Test Your Limits

4)      Take a Leap of Faith

5)      Rediscover Your Childhood

6)      Shed Your Inhibitions/Express Yourself

7)      Break New Ground

8)      Aim for the Heart

The idea is to identify the 8 things that you can do to create a “N.O.W.” life.  To step outside your comfort zone, to push yourself beyond whatever fear is holding you back, to see where your imagination will take you.

I haven’t taken the time to make my list yet, but have been putting a lot of thought into it.  The book is full of examples (almost too many, to be honest) and I found it really inspiring.  But I should point out that my dreams will not be the same as yours, which aren’t the same as the next person, and so on.  So some of the examples and stories in the book may not appeal to you (such as participating in any activity where clothing is optional).  But that’s what makes this idea so great.  No two lists will be the same.

Having said that, my one complaint about the book has more to do with the layout than the content.  There are little bits inserted in grey boxes with no semblance of order that I am sure are meant to enhance the material, but to be honest I found them distracting.  I would have preferred them to be separate.  Perhaps at the end of a chapter or at least at the end of the discussion, rather than pasted in here and there with no concern for how it interrupts the flow.  Another bit of honesty… I found it so annoying that I started skipping them altogether.  I’m sure I missed some great material and am going to go back and read through all of them separately.  Having said that, not everyone is willing to go back and read things later.  Unfortunately, it really made it difficult to follow and I had to re-read a few things more than once to get the intended message.  Again, very annoying.  I can say with some degree of certainty that they lost a lot of readers due to this, which is a shame because overall it’s a great book.

No Opportunity Wasted

I am pretty fired up about the concept of making a “Life List”.  I may alter it slightly from the formula given above, because that’s what I do.  I make things my own.  Put my own stamp on it.  Incorporate aspects of my spiritual path and my personality.  Create something that I can identify with and know that I will follow through on.  The important thing is that I learned something new and am excited about it.

It took me over 5 years to read “No Opportunity Wasted”.  What is the longest period of time you’ve gone between buying a book and actually reading it?


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Filed under What Inspires Me

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