The Bucket List Guy, aka Trav Bell, is funny and wise and taught me why to get my Bucket List, I shouldn’t just sit on top of a mountain saying Om and wait for a red Ferrari.
Trav’s early years:
Trav his own “To do Before I Die List” by the time he was 18. He studied human movement at Victoria University. When he left, he immediately set up his training studio, New Level Personal Training. Trav built it up doing 63 one-hour sessions of personal training every week and then creating a franchise across three different Australian states.
Sixteen years in, anyone on the outside would have thought him the ideal of success. The reality was that Trav had some business and relationship stuff going on. He became more and more unhappy, and, in 2009, he eventually sought help from Beyond Blue, the Australian non-profit that helps Australians living with anxiety or depression.
Trav says it was a personal hell, but that he was nowhere near as bad as many people. He chose to turn down anti-depressants and went on a life coaching course instead. That course led to several more personal development courses. One friend suggested that with his business experience as well, Trav would be ideal for helping others. Trav found the work therapeutic, helping him compartmentalize.
Public Speaking was the Domino
Trav had listened to the American Entrepreneur, Alan Weiss, speak at an event. Alan held the audience for an hour, no presentation, no props, but by the gift of storytelling alone, made them laugh and made them cry. Trav was blown away and thought if only he could do that.
Trav started speaking. At his first seminar, which petrified him, someone called him The Bucket List Guy. He went home and registered the name.
Public speaking is proven to scare more people than shark attacks. People would rather be in the box than give the eulogy. Trav did do training early on, but most of it he has learned along the way.
Trav has worked through his fear and developed a mindset of not giving a f*. He says that attitude is a muscle you have to take to the gym regularly.
By 2010, he was a Keynote Speaker and held his first bucket list event a year later. These days, Trav is one of the very few certified speaking professionals (CSP) in the world. Pushing through the terror of public speaking was a domino for Trav that knocked down fears of everything else.
Now, Trav travels the world, ticking things off his Bucket List, paid more than most people earn in a month for an hour’s work.
All the things Trav does on his Bucket List as a genuine part of his business are tax-deductible. He says his accountant regularly tells him that he isn’t as dumb as he looks.
Trav’s Bucket list with his Dad
After that first seminar, Trav told his Dad that he had always wanted them to go hiking together. Trav was adopted. His Dad had been a fitter mechanic and a keen member of the union, whereas Trav was very different, the entrepreneurial type. They didn’t speak the same language, and Trav desperately wanted to find a way to connect with him.
Trav, his Dad, and two of his Dad’s friends went to the South Coast Track hike in Tasmania. You are flown in by light aircraft and left to make your way back to civilization across mountains and through ancient rain forests. You have to carry everything you need, so your pack gets lighter as you go. It took nine days. It did indeed prove bonding and opened the doors to further hikes.
Six months later, Trav called his Dad and suggested they made the trail to Everest base camp in Tibet. His Dad went, “where the f* is Tibet? I have never been out of Australia!” But they did Everest base camp, then the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea and for Trav’s 40th, the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu.
Trav then suggested they did Kilimanjaro. It was nearly one step too far. At High Camp, Trav saw his Dad turn grey with altitude sickness and only just managed to wake him up. His Dad called time on the hiking and suggested rafting instead.
The Bucket List Business:
Trav had thought everyone had a list of things they wanted to do. When he discovered how far off that was, he decided to make it his life’s mission to wake as many people up to the concept as possible.
Three years ago, he spoke at an event for ActionCoach in South Africa for their top 300 coaches. Brad Sugars, the Australian founder, told Trav that he ought to roll out his teaching to a broader market, training other coaches to use his programs.
So in 2018, Trav founded the Certified Bucket List Coach® program. He trains and licenses others to become Bucket List Coaches so that they can help more people put their life plans together using the M.Y.B.U.C.K.E.T.L.I.S.T.Blueprint®. They now have coaches in 22 different countries. There is a book version of M.Y.B.U.C.K.E.T.L.I.S.T. Blueprint, and the program is available on-line.
Trav is now known as the world’s #1 Bucket List expert and thought leader on the subject.
A Bucket List method for you to use:
Trav explained to me that the sad reality is that people are too busy working on their to-do list, and not on life. This pattern often only changes when a disaster hits them or to someone close to them. Only at that point do they re-prioritize.
Sometimes, this might be that someone has just been given a one-year date, and they have to re-prioritize fast. That person then does find time to get more out of life, make connections, and do things other than work. Humans, Trav says, are petty stupid till they get a huge emotional slap in the face.
Trav says his job is to help people wake up before that and re-assess if they need to get off that hamster wheel. It is a line to tread carefully. As a coach, it is not his job to be presumptuous and tell people what they “should” or “must” do. He offers an alternative way of life. Some will take it; people only change if they want to change.
In 2014, Trav gave a TEDx talk, named “Life’s way too short not to live your Bucket List.” In it, Trav describes how many people are dying at 40 and buried at 80. He says now is always the time to wake up and re-calibrate, rather than leave it to a tipping point. People come up to him after he has spoken and tell him that he has given them back “permission to dream again.” Sadly, life gets in people’s way too often.
The method the coaching uses is a 12 step blueprint for looking at your life. The first step to make your dreams come true is to write them down. People assume a bucket list is about travel. It should be about all aspects of your life, overcoming fears, about learning, mastering new challenges, perhaps creating a legacy.
Once people write it down, they can always identify several things they can do immediately. Always take that step, do those small ones, because those small ones give you the confidence and belief to take the next steps. Creating a Bucket List Life is about breaking habits and started by being a tourist in your own home.
Figures show that 42% of things on a bucket list come true when they have been written down, without any further action. That focus and setting of intent take you halfway there.
People worry about the “how.” Trav says instead, worry about the “what” and the “why” because that will help you focus. People tell him that the universe delivers. He tells them to stop being a d*head, and the reality is that they focussed, took the first step, and typed what they wanted into Google.
You need to trust in the process and also take action. People question it when nothing shows us but sitting at the top of a mountain, saying Om is not going to deliver you a red Ferrari. He believes in the GOYA principle (get off your arse).
Trav advises his clients to write down what they want on one side of a piece of paper. Give it as much detail as possible: presupposing it is a relationship, describe that person, what they look like, what their habits are, their hobbies, every possible minute thing. If the cops find it, he jokes, they could take you for a stalker.
But then turn it over, and on the other side. Ask yourself, “who do I have to be for that person to turn up: What steps do I have to take to become that person.”
You can use that same process for every part of your life, not just relationships, but to all your goals and dreams. Slowly, you then develop a higher vibration when you live it, both consciously and unconsciously.
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