Top 40 challenge. Living an extraordinary life to improve innergame, self esteem and conversation.

Every week people ask me about how to have interesting conversations and how to live interesting lives. I like to road test ideas before I report on them, however this one is a work in progress. If you want to have great conversations with girls, or anyone in fact, then you need to change what you are doing. It is really hard to generate interesting conversations and connections with people if you are stuck behind a computer reading pick up theory. You have to go out and interact with the world.

The whole idea of a top 40 challenge started back in January of this year, a couple of months before I turned 30. I made a list with the help of some other people (in a pub) of things to do before I hit the 12th anniversary of my 18th birthday. Of course the suggestions were absolutely crazy and unachievable, everything from walking round the rim of a volcano through to swimming with dolphins. Of course I made no attempt to carry out any of the challenges proposed by the well meaning, but very drunk, people had helped me to compose.

I made myself one promise when I turned 30, to stop drinking completely for 3 months. I like drinking, I am good at it, so setting myself a challenge to stop altogether for 3 months seemed to be a crazy idea. To my surprise I actually managed to pull it off, and it was actually much easier than I thought. I began thinking to myself, if I am able to stop drinking for 3 months then surely I can do loads of other things as well?

Three books have had a major influence on my life and have resulted in me devising this top 40 challenge. Those books are; The Dice Man, Yes Man and The Luck Factor. Strangely enough I have never even read The Dice Man but I have been told about it so much from other people and I really like the idea of it. I loved the whole premise of Yes Man and The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman is one of the best books ever written about positive psychology. 

All three books involve to some degree the removal of free will and choice and letting fate decide your actions. All three also will radically alter your life, give you amazing experiences and stretch your comfort zone to new limits. Although I have done some crazy and stupid things in my life on adultfrinendfinder I am also a responsible person and if I am going to undertake a life altering journey I still need to turn up for work, not seriously harm myself or other people and set myself challenges I can actually do.

So here is the plan. I write down 40 things I have always wanted to do. All the tasks are within my financial means and can be completed relative ease. I write down the numbers 1 – 40 on identical pieces of paper and randomly choose one. I then must complete whatever task it relates to off the list before I move onto the next. I must provide some sort of evidence of task completion. Each task must be completed as soon as possible.

Below are my 40 challenges and an explanation to why I have chosen each one.

1. Have fish massage 

I remember a long time ago watching documentary about fish that eat away dead skin. These fish lived in some far flung land in special pools and all attempts to move them resulted in the fish dying. I always wanted to visit these pools and have a “fish massage”. Recently having fish nibble at your feet is becoming somewhat of a phenomenon right here in the UK. Now you can sit and relax while a team of hungry little fish nibble and chomp away at the dead skin on your feet.

2. Buy a made to measure suit/high end blazer and jeans

I like my fashion and always wear blazers and well fitting clothes. Something that I have always wanted is a made to measure suit. I would also be just as happy with a high end blazer and jeans, as I suspect that I would not actually get much use out of a full suit. Either way I am going to be spending a lot of money and looking good!

3. Go on London Eye

I have lived in London for 2 ½ years and in all that time I have never been on the London Eye (or whatever it is called, it seems to change its name every week). This is something I have wanted to do for years but have never gotten round to.

4. Go in a floatation tank

A floatation tank is a small capsule like construction filled with a few inches of high concentration salt water. The idea is that you float in the tank and it helps you to unwind and relax. My love of hypnosis and the mind has always made me curious about such an experience and after seeing them on an episode of “The Simpsons” I have always wanted to go in one.

5. Go to a candle lit pop up dinner

I love one off nights that happen around London. One that has really caught my eye is the type that set up a restaurant filled with candles with no electric lighting. You have to register online and you do not know the location until just a couple of hours before. I spoke to a client who attended a bootcamp recently who was raving about them and it convinced me that I need to go.

6. Go to an observatory

I find space absolutely fascinating. I enjoy nothing more than gazing up to the stars hoping to see a UFO. Yes I am that sad! I have always wanted to visit an observatory and see the stars and planets through a massive telescope.    

7. Hot air balloon ride

I grew up in the countryside in North Yorkshire where it seems that hot air balloon is a regular form of transport. Having spent my youth watching them, I never actually got the chance to have a ride in one. Recently I met up with an old friend of mine who had been for a “flight” and it reignited my passion to sit in a wicker basket underneath a massive bottle of gas and naked flame blowing into a silk balloon. What could possibly go wrong?   

8. Build a model plane

I will be the first to admit that I have no patience and I am useless at most practical skills. Building a model aeroplane is something that I would have a lot of trouble with, as it takes patience, dedication and attention to detail. I hope that at the end of it I will feel a sense of achievement and not go crazy half way through. 

9. Go on a massage course

I am fascinated with the mind/body connection when it comes to relaxation. I also believe that touch is an incredibly powerful and gratifying thing. I want to learn at least the basics in massage and understand better how the muscles are composed.

10. Go on a cookery course

One thing that I promise to do every year is to cook more often. I am OK at cooking, saying that I eat the vast majority of my meals out. I enjoy cooking but I have a limited range of what I can prepare. I have always wanted to attend a cooking course where you get to make totally different food and gain a greater understanding of cooking itself. Cooking is a dying art form and it is so central to our daily lives. I want to be able to cook more often for family and friends without having to rely on a lot of premade dishes. 

11. Give away a free therapy/coaching session

I am going to give away half a day of my time to help someone to improve their innergame.

12. Go and see a big West End Musical.

I live in London yet I have seen surprisingly few shows. I have the world’s best shows literally on my doorstep yet I hardly been to any. I will select a few shows and pick one at random to go and see.

13. Go to see a random band in Camden

I used to be a band promoter in Manchester and so I got to see loads of live music. Since moving to London I haven’t really seen many live bands, especially ones that I don’t previously know. So a trip to Camden to see a band that has a name that attracts me.

14. Learn how to juggle 3 balls for at least a minute

Juggling is a skill that I have always wanted to acquire, especially after reading about the recent research that has gone into it. Juggling, it seems, can really help brain growth and develop a stronger connection between the brain’s hemispheres. I also think it looks cool.

15. Go for afternoon tea at a top London hotel

I have always liked the thought of having a super posh day out and having afternoon tea at a top London hotel. I want to have the little cakes on the special 3 tier stand. Good times!

16. Get 10 postcards from around the world sent to me

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved getting postcards from people on holiday. I have no idea why. I want to get 10 postcards from people who are either on holiday or who live abroad from as far away as possible.

17. By myself a decent watch

I have always loved watches but all of mine have been rather cheap in the past. I currently don’t wear one but I want to treat myself to a decent one. It isn’t going to be a Rolex, just something that looks decent and suits my style.

18. Be in a TV audience

When watching TV shows I have always wanted to be in the audience. I have checked this out before but I have never managed to get into a show.

19. Have strawberries and champagne on Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill is one of my favourite places in London. I also love champagne and strawberries. I am thinking that all three at the same time will be an amazing experience.

20. Go to the Comedy Store

I used to watch the TV show that was recorded at the Comedy Store when I was younger and I had always wanted to go there one day. I literally work across the road from it now yet I have never ventured inside.

21. Use the Abby Road crossing

I am a big Beatles fan and I know this is so cliché to do, but I just want to do it. I need to find the right crossing as apparently people get the wrong one a lot of the time.

22. Visit an ice bar

I know loads of people who have visited an ice bar and it sounds like a great experience.

23. Try laughing gas

This just sounds like a funny thing to do. I like laughing, good times!

24. Go to burlesque show

I find burlesque quite fascinating and it seems to be really popular here in London. It will certainly make a change from a normal night out.  

25. Visit a boutique cinema

I love going to the cinema but often the 3D, engulfing surround sound and other people can ruin the experience. I have been to the Phoenix in East Finchley which I love. I want to seek out other gems across London.     

26. Go to London Zoo

Another one of London’s most famous attractions that I have failed to visit. I have walked pasted it and seen it so many times without going in.

27. View an apartment I can’t afford

This is really just to be noisy and see how the other half live. I might even be inspired to work harder so I can afford it. Probably not, but it will be a fun day out.

28. Fast for 48 hours (water allowed)

I recently met a doctor who was telling me about the benefits of fasting for a couple of days to let the body have a rest. It interests me to see how I would feel after 2 days without food.  

29. Watch the first series of “The Wire”

I have heard so much about this TV Series but I have never seen it. I don’t have a TV and I am not in all that much anyway. I do like good TV programs so I am going to make myself watch the whole first series and see what all the fuss is about.  

30. Go to Dublin for a pint of Guinness

According to a lot of people I have met, Guinness tastes much better in Dublin. I need to investigate this and find out for myself. 

31. Visit a lighthouse

If I was going to build my dream house (Grand Designs style) then I would probably build or convert a lighthouse. The idea of having a room at the top with a 360 degree view I think is amazing. 

32. Go clay pigeon shooting

I have never fired a real gun and I don’t like the idea of shooting a real animal. This sounds like a great day out and no animals will be harmed in the process.  

33. Go to an imax film

For some reason I have never actually been to see a film at an Imax cinema. Just want to go to see what it is like.

34. Buy a really nice aftershave

I have run out of nice aftershave and need to restock. I will probably use this as an opener to get girls opinions on what I should buy. I am going to go for one I have never bought before based on girls recommendations.

35. Spend a day doing volunteer work

Not sure what doing as of yet. In the past I have done quite a bit of volunteer work and I have already really enjoyed it.

36. Go to Richmond for the day

Richmond is a place that I have wanted o go to for a long time. Other things have always come up and got in the way so I have never quite made it.

37. Listen to every Beatles album, one after the other in chronological order

I am a massive Beatles fan but I haven’t ever listened to all the albums, one after another. Friends I mine have done this and apparently has it given them a greater understanding of their music. Sounds like fun! 

38. Go for a 4 handed massage

Apparently having a 4 handed massage is rather trippy. As so many areas on your body are being stimulated at once it overloads the brain. Well worth experiencing in my opinion.

39. Watch “The Godfather” trilogy

I have never watched The Godfather. Enough said. I will watch all 3 then people will stop having a go at me about it.

40. Go for a cut throat razor shave

I have these this countless times in films and I think it looks like fun.

So there are my 40 challenges. Some are more complicated and costly than others, but all are quite achievable. I am going to write down the numbers 1-40 on identical cards and pick one at a time. I will update this blog with what happens along my journey, the people I meet and experiences that I have.

If you want to change your weekly routine, then why not come up with your own list of things to do? You can use some of my ideas to get you started or simply search on Google or ask other people. You have to make the challenges of interest to you and you have to stick to it. Why not try with just 3 to get you going and build up from there?

Although a lot of these tasks seem a bit pointless and daft, there are many psychological reasons why I am carrying out this challenge. I will explain all once I have completed all 40.

Let the adventures begin!