How many of you have a “bucket list”? You know, that tally of life goals you’d love to achieve before you kick the bucket, as the popular saying goes. Does it occasionally seem like a mere catalog of wishful thinking, or have you set your list in motion but need a little help to finish it?
In this month’s installment of “Tell Me About It,” I asked authors, bloggers and speakers Jerrod Murr and Ryan Eller – two men who are the best kind of dreamers and doers, i.e., GIVERS – to talk about a cool project they call “Live Your List” – and why they’ve set out to help people just like you.
* * * * *
LW: Jerrod, your website describes you as “not your average, shoot for the stars dreamer…Murr is a dreamer of dreamers.” Okay, that caught my attention…just what does that mean?
JM: I find it difficult to describe yourself, so Ryan wrote this sentence for me. This is his description in his own words:
“When Jerrod and I were in college, one of our classmates described Jerrod as a dreamer of dreams, and it always stuck with me. I try to surround myself with dreamers, and most people limit themselves to the preconceived notions of those around them. Jerrod has no limitations on his dreams. If he told me he was going to be the next person on the moon, I would believe him.”
LW: Ryan, on your website, Jerrod says: “Ryan gives hope to the dreamers and challenges leaders to step up and live a life of intention.” Have you always felt it was your mission to lead and encourage others?
RE: I come from a family of leaders. I didn’t come from a wealthy family, a prestigious family, or even a well-educated family, but I came from a family of strong leaders. Hard workers who have spent decades investing in other people without seeking fame or fortune. I have been fortunate to be in an “iron-sharpens-iron” world from my youth.
LW: Jerrod, you started your public speaking career at 14. What were you talking about at that age?
JM: At 14, I gave a speech to a huge crowd in Wainwright, OK, town of 300 people. I was the Valedictorian of my 8th grade class. I had three major points: 1. Thank you, Mom. 2. I believe in God. 3. Thank you, Mom.
LW: Now I’ll be honest – I hadn’t heard of you gentlemen before coming across a mention of your bucket list project in a Facebook group – but I was immediately intrigued by this crazy thing you’re spearheading called “Live Your List.” How did it start?
JM & RE: “Live Your List” is the mantra we have adopted for our lives, business, and presentations. It’s a short way to describe living a life of intention. We believe everyone should be proactive in how we live, dream big, set goals, play, love people, do more than you feel capable. We, as a race, are incredibly strong and tend to underestimate ourselves. Most of us just need a little encouragement. The LiveYourList project is our way of practicing what we preach. We are all about bucket lists and use that as a key concept in our life strategy. With that in mind, the project helps people check off “buckets” and reach their dreams!
LW: And speaking of bucket lists…that term is familiar to almost everyone now, thanks primarily to the eponymous 2007 movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman – but do you think we’re more a nation of dreamers rather than doers these days?
JM & RE: It completely depends on how you define dreaming. We discussed this on a recent Live Your List podcast. We are a nation of many daydreamers, wishers perhaps. People who simply wish things were better or different. The lottery winner mentality of dreaming. But dreaming and doing go hand-in-hand. Dreaming, for us, is more akin to vision. You must have a vision for your life, then pursue that vision with reckless abandon.
LW: Millions of people in this country, millions of dreams…how do you choose whom to help?
JM & RE: Great question. First, we can only help dreams we hear. So go to LiveYourList.org to share your story or nominate a story. We have a team that helps us decide which dreams to pursue. From there, it’s a matter of resources. We are putting up personal funds, as well as teaming up with incredible people who have offered talents and resources for the projects. For instance, we have pilots who have volunteered to take people in the air, cosmologists who do makeovers, and farmers who let people milk cows.
LW: Obviously the concept of giving is enormously important to you. You are also both men of faith. How does that drive what you do?
JM: I wrote a book a few years ago called 30 Days to Give. Shameless plug, would much appreciate you checking it out on Kindle or Nook. Proceeds help the #LiveYourList project. This book is an in-depth answer. The short answer is that our faith affects us deeply. We believe we are called to be givers. Case closed. So give. And we try our best.
LW: Where do you see the Live Your List project heading in the future?
JM & RE: Definitely Antarctica, because we want to go there! But truly, the response has been incredible, and we are very grateful. In only two months we were completing an overseas trip for someone, setting someone up to barrel race in a rodeo, sending an amazing teen to a professional basketball game, and more (secrets yet to be revealed). We have literally hundreds of applicants and supporters, so even the sky is not the limit! Actually, space. Our answer is space. That’s where LiveYourList is heading in the future!
* * * * *
Hmmm…sounds like Jerrod just may be the next person on the moon, as Ryan hinted. How about you? What kind of dreams and goals have you put on your bucket list? What have you done to achieve them so far? What would it take to bring them to fruition? Would you be willing to help someone else cross an item off their list? I’d love to hear from you.
To learn more about Jerrod and Ryan and the great work they’re doing (hint: it’s not just about bucket lists), visit them at http://ryaneller.com/ and http://jerrodmurr.com/ or follow them on Twitter at @Ryan_Eller and @jerrodmurr. Thanks for your time, guys!
Next week is Book Review Monday…and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the latest offering from a man I consider a national treasure, John Robbins, author of the bestseller Diet for a New America – and what he has to say about “The New Good Life” in a time of economic and environmental upheaval. Hope to see you then!