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My Bucket List: The Top 10 Things I Want to Accomplish by the Time I’m 40

My Bucket List: The Top 10 Things I Want to Accomplish by the Time I’m 40

By Pat Flynn on

We just hit a HUGE milestone in the Flynn family this month:

Both of our kids are old enough to be attending school.

Our daughter is now in preschool and our boy is now a first-grader! But even though my wife and I are happy and proud that they’re excited about it, and are excited ourselves about the extra time that opens up for us to get things done, we’re also both quite sad.

You see, we’ve been blessed to be able to live a life that allowed us to stay at home while our children were growing up. Except for the occasional business trip for a speaking gig here and there, we were always together. Now that they are in school, it’s an eye-opening reminder of just how fast time flies, and how quickly the kids are growing up.

Soon they’ll be asking for keys to the car, and don’t get me started on dating! I’m not quite ready for that!

Also, in case you missed it, check out Session #225 of the SPI Podcast for an interview with my entire family, which was super fun. Both kids and my wife got in on the fun.

My Bucket List Items

Marty McFly shouting

As I get older and I see myself changing, it makes me think hard about what’s coming next in my life. I have lots of goals related to my business, and I have family-related goals too, but beyond that there are certain things that I personally wish to accomplish by the time I’m forty, which is the next big age milestone of my life.

I wanted to share those things with you today.

These kinds of posts are some of my favorite to read on other blogs because they always reveal a lot about the person behind the brand, and I hope to do the same for you here. More than that, I’m also excited to put a timestamp on these thoughts and come back to them years down the road to see if I actually followed through.

Some of them may be of no surprise to you, while others you may be wondering, “Where did that come from!?”

Either way, here’s a list of the top ten personal achievements that I’d like to have under my belt by December 6, 2022:

1. Host My Own Multi-Day Conference

A conference of my own has always been something I’ve wanted to create. I attend a lot of conferences, both as a speaker and an attendee, and I always come out of those events thinking about what I’d do to level up the experience for people.

I’ve hosted single day events before alongside Chris Ducker for 1-Day Business Breakthrough, but a multi-day event would be an amazing dream come true. I know it can happen. It’s just a matter of putting it all together and making it incredibly valuable and worth people’s time and money. But there’s no rush on this one.

The question is, do I want it to be like Michael Hyatt’s Platform Conference, a smaller (about 150-200 people), more intimate and hands-on event? Or, do we go big and try to get thousands of people in there?

I’m not sure yet! But I do have seven years to plan this, right? 😉

2. Write a Fiction Novel

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to publish a book. Back then I think what I meant was a fiction novel of some kind. I’ve already published nonfiction, but I still have that desire to make up my own story and share it with the world.

Adventure, mystery, and science are genres that intrigue me the most, and I have a booklet of plot ideas that I could potentially choose from.

The ultimate dream would be to write a novel that is optioned for a motion picture, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. Let’s start with the book first.

3. Visit Europe

I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before, but I still have yet to visit Europe.

I’ve been invited at least a dozen times for various events, but I just haven’t had the chance to make it happen.

It’s been on my bucket list ever since I started studying architecture in college, and now that the kids are getting older, it’s definitely something I see happening sooner rather than later.

In particular, I’d like to visit London, Florence, Rome, and Dublin, to start. When it happens (especially if it’s related to a particular event I’ll be speaking at), I’ll definitely let you know.

4. Start a Non-Profit Related to Business Education for Kids

One of my big goals within the next five years is to start a non-profit organization in the education space, specifically geared toward entrepreneurial and business education for kids. With my own kids in their early days of schooling, this is extremely important to me right now.

The kind of things you learn as an entrepreneur are absolutely life-changing. I didn’t know anything about this world until after I was laid off in 2008, but just imagine if kids were equipped with this kind of business knowledge from an early age, and just how much of a difference that could make not only in their own lives, but also for the entire world.

I’m still shaping the idea of exactly what this organization would do, but it’s a big reason why I’m happy to be on the board of advisors for Pencils of Promise with access to a ton of other smart minds who set philanthropy, non-profit ideals, and changing the world as a top priority.

More on this later, obviously.

5. Dunk a Basketball

Every year I have a fitness goal that I work toward because it keeps me motivated each day to keep pushing myself, and I have something to track my progress against.

In 2014 it was a half marathon. In 2015 it was a triathlon. And in 2016 it’s dunking a ball. Because I have small hands, dunking a regulation-sized basketball is difficult for me, so I want to focus on any kind of ball I can grip. Eventually, if I can do that, I will see if I can dunk with a basketball!

Why the odd goal?

Well, I’ve been short my entire life. No one has even given me a chance on the basketball court, which is why I always stayed away from it (and why soccer was my primary sport), but recently, after putting our son into basketball, I became obsessed, and I started playing myself.

If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ll know that I play basketball at 5 a.m. in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I’m lucky enough to have found a group of guys that live near me who are also crazy enough to play that early. We play five-on-five often with a few substitutes.

They do it mainly for exercise, and I do it for that too, but it also energizes me and gets me back into my competitive nature, something I missed since having kids and not playing sports like soccer and softball.

As a 5’8” half-Filipino dude, many people think this goal is ridiculous, and nearly impossible, but I know it’s not. It’s not going to be easy though, and like with my other fitness goals, I’ve hired a coach to help me.

For the six months that I’ve been training, I’ve increased my vertical by about ten inches. As I write this post, I’m a little more than two inches away from touching the rim. I’m flying high, but these last two inches are going to test me.

If this happens, hopefully it’ll show everyone else that no matter how impossible something may seem, if you work hard at it, and believe, it can really happen.

6. Renew My Vows

Family is the most important thing to me, as many of you know, and one of the most foundational aspects of that is a great relationship with my wife. April is amazing and I wouldn’t be here doing what I do without her undying support. She’s worked a lot harder and put in many more hours of work than I have as a stay-at-home mom, and she does all of it without any recognition or credit relative to what I do.

On our ten-year anniversary, I’d love to celebrate by renewing our vows together. It’ll be a much smaller and more intimate celebration than our wedding back in 2009, but just as special. I want to make sure that she knows that I’ll always be here for her, and that I appreciate her and her love more than ever.

7. Expand the Tattoo I Have

You might not know this, but I have a tattoo.

I got inked in 2009 after our wedding. April and I initially wanted to get tattooed in Hawaii the traditional Pacific Islander way with wooden hand tools, but after researching that method, it seemed like it was going to cause a lot of unnecessary pain (LOL), so we decided to get them done at a San Diego tattoo parlor after we got back from our honeymoon.

Here’s a picture of my tat below, which sits on my upper back near my right shoulder blade:

Pat's tattoo

There’s a lot of symbolism in this tattoo, which is why I love it. First, the overall shape is a traditional Hawaiian hook, which symbolizes strength, prosperity, abundance, and a respect for the ocean. At the top, you’ll see a sun, which represents leadership and brilliance. Embedded within the tribal designs are other symbols, such as a shark, meaning “no fear,” and a sea turtle, which means endurance and long life.

I’d like to expand this tattoo to the rest of my shoulder in the back and around to the front to fill it out a little bit, and I want to include the two kids in there in a creative way too. I keep researching designs and expressing my interest to do it, but I really want to make it happen, especially before I turn forty.

Maybe after our ten-year renewal 🙂

8. Own at Least Five Rental Properties

Diversification is important when it comes to building wealth, and although I have my hand in several different kinds of businesses, expanding income generation into real estate is something I’ve always wanted to do.

Later this year we plan on purchasing our first rental property, a single-family home. By the time I’m forty, having five of these working for us would be ideal. They wouldn’t provide much in terms of additional monthly cash flow, but for a longer term investment, I’m excited to distribute some of my existing assets to this realm.

9. Go on a Fly Fishing Multi-State Tour

I love fishing. My dad and I used to go fishing almost every week back when I was younger, and ever since “becoming an adult” I haven’t had the chance to go fishing.

Now that my son is six, we’re definitely going to start fishing together, and hopefully get grandpa in there too for a three generation Flynn family fishing trip! But, beyond that, my biggest fishing wish would be to go on a multi-state fly fishing tour.

I’d love to hit up several great fishing spots all in one trip. I went fly fishing for the first time at the Platform Conference in 2015 in Colorado Springs, which was amazing, but I only had about four hours to fish. It was amazing being out in nature and catching beautiful rainbow trout. I can’t wait to get back on the water and hopefully do it in a big way like this.

And even better would be if the other Flynn fisherman were able to come along too. It would be the trip of a lifetime.

10. Meet Elon Musk

And finally, I’d love to meet the person who has been inspiring me most lately, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity.

I look up to Elon because of how limitless his brain is. He thinks BIG, and I need to think bigger in my life to achieve the things I want to achieve.

Every time I reach a new milestone or complete a goal, it’s always a surprise to me because when I first start out on the journey, I often don’t even think what I’m trying to do is possible. I get in my own way.

With Elon, he thinks big and lets nothing get in his way. After reading his biography by Ashlee Vance, and getting to know exactly how he sets his goals high to the moon (or better yet, Mars), he’s become a big inspiration to me, and a big reason why I support Tesla and own one of their vehicles. He’s making huge changes to the world, and I want to do the same in my own way, and I cannot let my own limiting beliefs get in the way if I really want to make that happen.

Now, I will say that Elon is not perfect and there were some things in the book I didn’t really resonate with, but still, I’d love to meet him someday soon.

And there you go!

Thanks for reading this post and learning more about what some of my aspirations and weird to-dos are here in the next seven years of my life. It’ll be interesting to come back to this later, but for those of you who follow along with my journey, please feel free to ask me about how these are progressing, because those constant reminders and knowing you’re there on the other end is super motivating for me.

Thank you!

And finally, since we’re playing this game, I’d love to learn about one or two of your own bucket list items that you’d like to achieve within the next five to seven years of your life. Leave a comment below, and let me know. Excited to get to know you as well 🙂


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