❼ 9 Things I’d Like to Do Before Turning 81

My grandfather started asking us to pray for him to die around when he was 80.

Every year, on his birthday, in the middle of family prayer time, he would ask to pass away.

Baba (that’s what we called him) was truly something else. His money was always new and crispy. He brushed his teeth after every single meal and wouldn’t quit politics even after someone broke his head over it.

At 80, he was still making my brother and I complete math tests during our summer holidays. I used to flunk mine because I would always write down my calculations. Even if the final answer was correct, he would deduct points if he found any scratch work. As far as he was concerned, I should have been able to do long division in my head.

Baba was amazing. I’m pretty sure he has something to do with my endless obsession with math and chemistry today.

There’s a pretty good chance that I’ll ask my kids to pray for me to go if I’m lucky enough to live as long as Baba did. But for now, these are the things I really want to do before my knees giveway:

  1. Help orphans all over the world. This is my heartbeat. The thing I want to do the most. I’ll wake up to this every single day of my life.
  2. Buy my mom a new house with cash
  3. Visit every (safe) country in Africa
  4. Write a book
  5. Go skydiving
  6. Run my business on an international scale
  7. Invest a reasonable stake in the stock market (as in, the NYSE should tremble when I trade)
  8. Live in Paris for 3 months and improve my French to native fluency
  9. Embrace my secret middle name

Just a few years ago, this list would have been much longer. I have been incredibly blessed to be able to cross off many things. I’ve been able to:

  1. Pay off roughly $10,000 in personal debt. Let me tell you, it feels good to be FREE
  2. Fully, absolutely, and completely love my body from split end to stiletto. Uh oh. Watch out now
  3. Find the perfect car and home for me
  4. Live in Africa as an adult
  5. Flee Move to the U.S.
  6. Grow Beta Motivation significantly
  7. Encourage others to live fearlessly
  8. Overcome my fear of being recorded on video
  9. Travel to Dubai (and many other places)

I’m grateful to God for how far I’ve come. There have been many occasions that He was literally the only thing I had going for me. No shoulder to lean on. No money to rely on. No friend to call on. Just me and my God. When it mattered the most, He came through for me and gave me exactly what I needed.

It would take a special kind of crazy for me to hide the fact that God is the source of my confidence. tweet this

I don’t know what the future holds. But while we wait for it to unfold, I have a question for you. What are the things that you really want to do before you’re 81? Forget about being rational or realistic. Dream BIG.

Let’s talk about it on Twitter. That way, I can follow you back.

2 thoughts on “❼ 9 Things I’d Like to Do Before Turning 81

  1. Kola….can I just say that I absolutely look forward to the emails I get from you. And this one was particularly meaningful to me. My mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May. She is 82. We have had several conversations lately about life and things she wished she had done….and things she wished she hadn’t done! LOL. Most importantly what I have realized is that the things she regrets most are not what she has done…good or bad…but more the things she didn’t do. I am going to do my best to not make that mistake.
    Thanks again for the encouraging words and positive vibes you are putting out there!
    Tammy Oakley

    1. Tammy, thank you so so much for your comment. you absolutely just made my entire day! i’m sorry to hear about your mother’s passing and i hope you have lots of friends and family around to share this time with.

      it’s really humbling for me to hear about the difference my little stories and emails can make. really appreciate your comment. please keep me posted on what all you’re up to : )


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