Tuesday, March 17, 2009


One rainy afternoon an inspired 15-year-old boy named John Goddard sat down at his kitchen table in Los Angeles and wrote three words at the top of a yellow pad, "My Life List." Under that heading he wrote down 127 goals. Since then he has completed 108 of those goals. Look at the list of Goddard's goals which appears below. These are not simple or easy goals. They include climbing the world's major mountains, exploring vast waterways, running a mile in five minutes, reading the complete works of Shakespeare and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.

1. Nile River
2. Amazon River
3. Congo River
4. Colorado River
5. Yangtze River, China
6. Niger River
7. Orinoco River, Venezuela
8. Rio Coco, Nicaragua

Study Primitive Cultures In:
9. The Congo
10. New Guinea
11. Brazil
12. Borneo
13. The Sudan (John was nearly buried alive in a sandstorm)
14. Australia
15. Kenya
16. The Philippines
17. Tanganyika (now Tanzania)
18. Ethiopia
19. Nigeria
20. Alaska

21. Mount Everest
22. Mount Aconcagua, Argentina
23. Mount McKinley
24. Mount Huascaran, Peru
25. Mount Kilimanjaro
26. Mount Ararat, Turkey
27. Mount Kenya
28. Mount Cook, New Zealand
29. Mount Popocatepetl, Mexico
30. The Matterhorn
31. Mount Rainer
32. Mount Fuji
33. Mount Vesuvius
34. Mount Bromo, Java
35. Grand Tetons
36. Mount Baldy, California

37. Carry out careers in medicine and exploration (Studied pre-med and treats illnesses among primitive tribes)
38. Visit every country in the world ( just 30 more to go)
39. Study Navaho and Hopi Indians
40. Learn to fly a plane
41. Ride horse in Rose Parade

42. Iguacu Falls, Brazil
43. Victoria Falls, Rhodesia (Chased by a warthog in the process)
44. Sutherland Falls, New Zealand
45. Yosemite Falls
46. Niagara Falls
47. Retrace travels of Marco Polo and Alexander the Great

Explore Underwater:
48. Coral reefs of Florida
49. Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Photographed a 300-pound clam)
50. Red Sea
51. Fiji Islands
52. The Bahamas
53. Explore Okefenokee Swamp and the Everglades

54. North and South Poles
55. Great Wall of China
56. Panama and Suez Canals
57. Easter Island
58. The Galapagos Islands
59. Vatican City (Saw the pope)
60. The Taj Mahal
61. The Eiffel Tower
62. The Blue Grotto
63. The Tower of London
64. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
65. The Sacred Well of Chichen-Itza, Mexico
66. Climb Ayers Rock in Australia
67. Follow River Jordan from Sea of Galilee to Dead Sea

Swim In:
68. Lake Victoria
69. Lake Superior
70. Lake Tanganyika
71. Lake Titicaca, South America
72. Lake Nicaragua

73. Become an Eagle Scout
74. Dive in a submarine
75. Land on and take off from an aircraft carrier
76. Fly in a blimp, hot air balloon and glider
77. Ride an elephant, camel, ostrich and bronco
78. Skin dive to 40 feet and hold breath two and a half minutes underwater
79. Catch a ten-pound lobster and a ten-inch abalone
80. Play flute and violin
81. Type 50 words a minute
82. Take a parachute jump
83. Learn water and snow skiing
84. Go on a church mission
85. Follow the John Muir Trail
86. Study native medicines and bring back useful ones
87. Bag camera trophies of elephant, lion, rhino, cheetah, cape buffalo and whale
88. Learn to fence
89. Learn jujitsu
90. Teach a college course
91. Watch a cremation ceremony in Bali
92. Explore depths of the sea
93. Appear in a Tarzan movie (He now considers this an irrelevant boyhood dream :P)
94. Own a horse, chimpanzee, cheetah, ocelot and coyote (Yet to own a chimp or cheetah)
95. Become a ham radio operator
96. Build own telescope
97. Write a book (On Nile trip)
98. Publish an article in National Geographic Magazine
99. High jump five feet
100. Broad jump 15 feet
101. Run a mile in five minutes
102. Weigh 175 pounds stripped (and he still does)
103. Perform 200 sit-ups and 20 pull-ups
104. Learn French, Spanish and Arabic
105. Study dragon lizards on Komodo Island (Boat broke down within 20 miles of island)
106. Visit birthplace of Grandfather Sorenson in Denmark
107. Visit birthplace of Grandfather Goddard in England
108. Ship aboard a freighter as a seaman
109. Read the entire Encyclopedia Britannia (Has read extensive parts in each volume)
110. Read the Bible from cover to cover
111. Read the works of Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle, Dickens, Thoreau, Poe, Rousseau, Bacon, Hemingway, Twain, Burroughs, Conrad, Talmage, Tolstoi, Longfellow, Keats, Whittier and Emerson (Not every work of each)
112. Become familiar with the compositions of Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Ibert, Mendelssohn, Lalo, Rimski-Korsakov, Respighi, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Toch, Tschaikovsky, Verdi
113. Become proficient in the use of a plane, motorcycle, tractor, surfboard, rifle, pistol, canoe, microscope, football basketball, bow and arrow, lariat and boomerang
114. Compose music
115. Play Clair de Lune on the piano
116. Watch fire-walking ceremony (In Bali and Surinam)
117. Milk a poisonous snake (Bitten by a diamond back during a photo session)
118. Light a match with a 22 rifle
119. Visit a movie studio
120. Climb Cheops' pyramid
121. Become a member of the Explorers' Club and the Adventurers' Club
122. Learn to play polo
123. Travel through the Grand Canyon on foot and by boat
124. Circumnavigate the globe (four times)
125. Visit the moon ("Some day if God wills")
126. Marry and have children (Has five children)
127. Live to see the 21st Century (He will be 75

This inspired me so much that I have drawn up my own list of things to do before I die & I promise to blog on completion of each activity :P ...deja vu Dasvidaniya anyone? What a satisfied feeling Goddard will have on his death bed...How many of us can truly claim to have done most of what we wanted to do as children? Think about it and maybe you should draw up your own list!

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