I recently used the Wayback machine to peep through my old website and found some interesting things:

Despite the odd introduction, I feel like I left little gifts for the future Elliot to find. One of those was this Impossible List:

My Impossible List

The following is a list of things I want to accomplish in order to become someone who lives, eats, breathes, and shits awesome. A huge bit of credit and a thank you should go to Thomas Frank who introduced me to the concept of an Impossible List and Joel Runyon, the creator of The Impossible List. Each of these items is a deliverable, an actionable task. I must provide some sort of proof that these tasks are completed as I cross them off. This illustrates my journey to be an awesome machine.

Literacy
R̶e̶a̶d̶ ̶1̶0̶0̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶k̶s̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶1̶2̶/̶1̶7̶/̶2̶0̶1̶4̶
R̶e̶a̶d̶ ̶5̶0̶0̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶k̶s̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶1̶2̶/̶1̶7̶/̶2̶0̶1̶4̶
R̶e̶a̶d̶ ̶1̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶k̶s̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶1̶2̶/̶1̶7̶/̶2̶0̶1̶4̶
Read 2,500 books starting 12/17/2014
Read 5,000 books starting 12/17/2014
Read 10,000 books starting 12/17/2014
Get a poem published
G̶e̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶a̶r̶t̶i̶c̶l̶e̶ ̶p̶u̶b̶l̶i̶s̶h̶e̶d̶
Get an op-ed piece published
Get a short story published
W̶r̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶k̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶d̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶c̶o̶l̶l̶e̶g̶e̶
C̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶p̶o̶e̶t̶r̶y̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶p̶b̶o̶o̶k̶
Create a short story compilation
W̶r̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶1̶0̶0̶ ̶b̶l̶o̶g̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶t̶s̶
W̶r̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶2̶5̶0̶ ̶b̶l̶o̶g̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶t̶s̶
Write 500 blog posts
Write 1000 blog posts

Finances
Break even on all my projects — definitely not
S̶p̶e̶n̶d̶ ̶x̶ ̶<̶ ̶$̶1̶4̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶r̶ ̶M̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶x̶ ̶>̶ ̶$̶2̶0̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶r̶
Create a passive income stream
P̶u̶t̶ ̶$̶1̶0̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶a̶n̶k̶
Put $100,000 in the bank
Put $1,000,000 in the bank
M̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶$̶2̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶t̶h̶
M̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶$̶5̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶t̶h̶
Make $10,000 in one month
M̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶e̶y̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶c̶k̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶k̶e̶t̶
C̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶e̶m̶e̶r̶g̶e̶n̶c̶y̶ ̶d̶i̶s̶a̶s̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶f̶u̶n̶d̶
Create a fund for my future children
B̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶a̶n̶c̶i̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶d̶e̶p̶e̶n̶d̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶d̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶s̶c̶h̶o̶o̶l̶i̶n̶g̶
P̶a̶y̶ ̶o̶f̶f̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶d̶e̶b̶t̶s̶
Create a budget
Start a student venture capital group

Experiences
Attend Burning Man
A̶t̶t̶e̶n̶d̶ ̶B̶o̶n̶a̶r̶r̶o̶o̶
Visit every continent (N̶o̶r̶t̶h̶ ̶A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶,̶ ̶S̶o̶u̶t̶h̶ ̶A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶,̶ ̶E̶u̶r̶o̶p̶e̶, Africa, Asia, Australia, Antarctica)
Go swimming in every ocean (P̶a̶c̶i̶f̶i̶c̶,̶ ̶A̶t̶l̶a̶n̶t̶i̶c̶, Indian, Arctic, Southern/Antarctic)
Do a cross-country road trip and make a documentary (did it, no documentary)
Visit all 50 states (32/50)
Visit 20 | 50 | 100 | 150 | All countries (13)
Ride a wave while surfing
Go bungee jumping
Go skydiving
Use a flying squirrel suit
Go scuba diving
Go watersurfing
Go hang gliding
Running of the Bulls — (not sure about this anymore)
See the Northern | Southern lights
G̶o̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶S̶X̶S̶W̶
Go to Coachella
Mardi Gras
Carnival in Brazil

Health
Run a 5k
Run a 10k
Run a half-marathon
R̶u̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶a̶t̶h̶o̶n̶
Complete an obstacle half-marathon
Complete a triathlon
Complete the Ironman 70.3
H̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶A̶p̶p̶a̶l̶a̶c̶h̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶T̶r̶a̶i̶l̶
Climb the tallest mountain in Virginia
D̶o̶ ̶1̶0̶0̶ ̶p̶u̶s̶h̶-̶u̶p̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶i̶n̶g̶l̶e̶ ̶s̶e̶t̶
D̶o̶ ̶1̶0̶0̶ ̶s̶q̶u̶a̶t̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶i̶n̶g̶l̶e̶ ̶s̶e̶t̶
D̶o̶ ̶2̶0̶ ̶p̶u̶l̶l̶-̶u̶p̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶i̶n̶g̶l̶e̶ ̶s̶e̶t̶
Bench press 200
D̶e̶a̶d̶l̶i̶f̶t̶ ̶2̶0̶0̶
S̶q̶u̶a̶t̶ ̶2̶0̶0̶
Learn parkour and make a kickass montage video
E̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶v̶e̶g̶e̶t̶a̶r̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶d̶i̶e̶t̶
Live minimally, produce no garbage waste

Artistry
Make my own chair
Make my own workbench
Make my own shelf
Make my own instrument
C̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶o̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶e̶
C̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶e̶
Create a video game
Create an app
M̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶s̶o̶n̶a̶l̶ ̶t̶y̶p̶e̶f̶a̶c̶e̶
Be commissioned to make a piece of artwork/design
Create prints to be sold online (x10)
Create a Kinect live-painting program
C̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶3̶D̶ ̶d̶r̶a̶w̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶s̶ ̶3̶D̶ ̶p̶r̶i̶n̶t̶e̶d̶
Create a 3D drawing that gets manufactured
Create a 3D animation
Do light-painting photography
Do time-lapse photography
Expose photos in a darkroom using analog techniques
Create a Youtube video channel (at least 10 videos)
Get 5,000 views
Get 50,000 views
Get 500,000 views
Get 1,000 subscribers
Get 10,000 subscribers
D̶o̶ ̶a̶ ̶d̶r̶i̶n̶k̶-̶n̶-̶d̶r̶a̶w̶
Sketch portraits of my family
Paint portraits of my family
Sketch recognizable portraits of people in x < 1 min
Draw a representative self-portrait
Draw a futuristic scenario
Paint more landscape oil paintings than my Grandpa (x20?)
Make enough art to cover a wall in my room
Paint a Realist painting
Paint a Impressionist painting
Paint a Modern painting
Paint a Post-Modern painting
Record a song
Record a LP (3 songs)
Record an EP (6 songs)
Record an album (10 songs)
Write a symphony
Write a play
Write a musical
Make a molecular gastronomy dish
Give a complex origami present to someone

Stupidity
E̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶g̶h̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶p̶e̶p̶p̶e̶r̶
G̶e̶t̶ ̶t̶a̶z̶e̶d̶
Get maced
P̶o̶l̶a̶r̶ ̶b̶e̶a̶r̶ ̶p̶l̶u̶n̶g̶e̶
Do a beer mile
Do a standing back flip
Do a standing front flip
Set a world record
Cinnamon challenge
Wasabi challenge
Diet Coke and Mentos challenge
Saltine Challenge
Gallon Challenge
Pickle Challenge
Oreo Challenge
Denny’s Endless Pancakes Challenge

Miscellaneous
S̶o̶l̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶r̶u̶b̶i̶x̶ ̶c̶u̶b̶e̶

Reminders for Myself
Make everything you work on stand out with personality
Never lose energy
Be annoyingly positive
Don’t be afraid to say no
Constantly learn and adapt as a leader
Be integral in the development of another awesome machine
Do it for free
“How can I help you?”
Move unknown unknowns into known unknowns then into known knowns
Don’t do unnecessary or wasteful things
Live minimally
Be humble
Get some sun each and every day
Wear sunscreen
Eat right
Perform random acts of kindness
Be prepared
Be early
Plan
Don’t get caught up in the details, but pay more attention to them
Rely on people. They’ll surprise you.
Make everything you do honest and transparent
Do the things that scare you
Practice makes permanent
Respect. Everyone wants something, know it. Everyone has a story, learn it.
Make art
Be patient. It’s okay to be bored for short periods of time.
Stop obsessing over the wrong things.
Take moments to appreciate the little things
Turn fiction into reality

— — — — — — —

To be honest, I like his recommendations and some of his ideas of what to-do on the impossible list. I’m slightly saddened to think that I haven’t checked off more.

Here’s a map of all the locations around LA that I’d like to visit:

A bit daunting to check off the 400+ locations just in my backyard, let alone the other places in the world that I’d love to see.

To me, 2020 was a year of possibility, of potential. Rather than being the year of adventure and travel that I so desperately dreamed of, I think it was far better to take a step back and to reconsider my life, my choices. I realized what truly mattered and planted roots. I leaned in to better habits and long-term thinking. Next year is when I have my 10,000th day on Earth. It’s when I get to plan my next expedition to a far-off place to help people. It’s when I get to start checking more things off this list. It’s when I get to create communities of practice that are more than the sum of their parts.

So here’s my call-to-action to anyone out there listening: if you see something on this list that you want to do, that you want to participate in, please let me know and we’ll make it happen.

Founder @spirainc - creating photosynthetic tech to tackle global challenges, starting with local production of industrial chemicals. @thatmre

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