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What’s Something You’ve Done that Few Other People Have?

It’s a simple question: what have you done that few other people have? Think about it.

Naturally you might start to list your accomplishments or achievements. Some of those might make the list, but many would fit in a different category. A lot of things you accomplish are things that other people have done as well. In addition, perhaps you’ve done something that isn’t quite an accomplishment per se, but it’s rare to meet someone else who’s had the same experience.

That’s what should go on this list.

For my list (below) I focused on things I’ve done that are mostly positive, or at least aren’t overwhelmingly negative. When I was eleven I burned down a house, for example, but thankfully no one was hurt. All’s well that ends well! If it turned out differently, I don’t think I’d remember it so fondly.

So for better or worse, here are a few things I’ve done that few other people have, at least relatively speaking.

My List (Abridged)

  • Met a president
  • Burned down a house (age 11, no one harmed)
  • Visited every country in the world
  • Visited every U.S. state and territory, every province in Canada, and of course many other places
  • Successfully avoided real employment from age 19 onwards (20+ years and counting)
  • Rejected by Harvard, then guest lectured at Harvard (x3)
  • Dropped out of high school but went to college and then grad school
  • Started a conference
  • Maintained a daily podcast streak (new episode every day) for 1,600+ days
  • Maintained an exercise streak (closing all Apple Watch circles) for 800+ days
  • Showered on a plane (x4, all thanks to using points on Emirates Airlines)
  • Got deported from a country (Eritrea) in the middle of the night
  • Rode a bus for 32 hours from Kampala, Uganda to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

I could add a lot more for travel and juvenile delinquency, but at a certain point it would get repetitive.

Forward Motion

If you’re thinking about life goals, you tend to picture things that a lot of other people have done. This makes sense, because how could you imagine something that doesn’t exist?

But actually, those things that few other people have done might be more interesting. When you’re looking back at the movie of your life, might the highlight reel include something you did that was unusual?

It was fun to make my list, but ultimately I’m more interested in thinking about what’s next. Avoid too much reflection about the past!

What’s on your list—and what are you working on right now?


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