Emily Lund: 10 Things You Should Do Only Once in Your Life

1)  Get robbed in a European country:  If you get robbed in a European country, you will most likely live through the ordeal.  Gun and semi-automatic weapons are not running as rampant in the streets of Europe.  However, it will be scary, you will lose some money and you might be angry for a period of time.  At the end of the whole experience, you will be much more aware of your surroundings, who is following you, approaching you, how you carry your money, your handbags, or your expensive jewelry.  You will inevitably be a much more astute traveler and member of society.

2)  Call off an engagement: Committing to a single person for the rest of your life is a big deal.  Deciding it was the wrong decision, cancelling all the plans and potentially losing money, friends, or family members is a big deal too.  Once you’ve made the commitment, it’s a lot of pressure from all sides.  Deciding that the future matrimony will not be successful, will not make you happy, or is just plain wrong requires a lot of thought and bravery.  It will make you a more confident person, make you analyze your future relationships and truly find people that will make you happy.  After calling off an engagement, you know you’ll never want to do that again, so you’ll be 100% sure before you commit.

3)  Fire someone that deserves to be fired:  We’ve all worked places where someone should have been fired YEARS prior, but he just gets passed from department to department and nothing ever really happens.  He isn’t ever given much responsibility because he can’t actually accomplish much and he really is in the wrong position.  The whole process is miserable for everyone.  Do everyone a favor and fire that person.  It will be hard (unless you are a sociopath) and will not give you a warm fuzzy feeling, but if it is the right thing to do, you should do it.  Firing someone and getting fired help build character, allow you to deal with difficult decisions in a less emotional and more rational way, and help your department out by removing people that provide no value.

4)  Smack your father:  Of course this is never a good idea.  However, if you are a brat 14 year old who thinks that she doesn’t need rules or authority and that she can do whatever she wants because she’s 14, slapping your father is probably a great idea! Not surprisingly, I only smacked my father once; my dad slapped me back at an astoundingly greater force than my 14 year smack could offer.  After that, I did a better job of cleaning my room, following the rules and respecting my parents.  If anything, it “smacked” my inappropriate behavior right out of my head.

5)  Break a bone or tear connective tissue where it requires crutches: This will allow you to become very resourceful.  You won’t be able to carry things with your hands whilst crutching around.  You won’t be able to shower standing up, but somehow, you will figure it out.  You’ll engineer machines for carrying items on your head, hosing down in the backyard and you’ll become an expert on using that claw grabby thing.  After you are off crutches, you’ll be able to look at stairs and how to carry multiple items up those stairs in a whole different light.

6)  Play a sport competitively that you are terrible at: If you only play sports you excel at, you’ll never learn anything new and you won’t be humbled when you most likely need to be.  Also, activities within one sport can translate to other sports.  Surprisingly, playing tennis for 20+ years helped me when learning kick-boxing.  I’m terrible at kick-boxing, but it’s made me much better with my balance and staying on my toes (which has translated over to my tennis game).

7)  Talk during a movie in the theater:  None of your friends will ever want to go to the movies with you because no one likes a movie talker.  This will allow you to always pick the movie, not have to share the popcorn and surprisingly, going to the movies by yourself is a very liberating process.

8)  Give a random stranger $20.00 for car repairs:  It was a credible story of tragedy and automobile break-down at 7:00 AM on a Saturday in front of the crack house on my street.  He only needed $7.13, but all I had was a $20.00.  I gave him my $20 and he immediately crossed the street to the crack house.  Two things happened to me in that moment, I started to really analyze the details of his story and subsequently all stories from people who ask me for money.  It better prepared me to not be taken advantage of.  It also made me realize the value of my life and that even though it isn’t 100% amazing every day, it is 10,000 times more amazing than a crack addict, lying to get money at 7:00 AM on a Saturday.

9)  Lose someone else’s money:  Even if it wasn’t your fault, you’ll feel horrible.  Several things might happen because of this.  1) You might never borrow money again; which is a good practice in itself.  2) You will do everything in your power to get that money paid back as soon as possible; this will help you become a more frugal and disciplined person 3) You will pay closer attention to your money and how you spend it.  You mostly likely will never lose money so frivolously again.

10)  Buy a $300 pair of sunglasses:  This will save you money in the long run.  If you buy one pair at $300, you will 1) immediately lose or break them and then convert to $5 Target sunglasses for the rest of your life, or 2) you’ll be so paranoid and protective of your $300 purchase that you will make sure to always take extra good care of them and never lose them…thus, preventing you from spending money several times a year on $5 Target sunglasses for the rest of your life.

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