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Category: Personal Growth Bucket List

Learn about actions and things that need to have on your Personal Growth Bucket List that will improve your life.

These blog posts with share with you Things To Improve my life that you too can do.  Everyone talks about losing weight, learning a new language, or reading a great book but sometimes you need to just stop talking about it and go out and do it!  Hopefully the posts below will inspire you to take action and start working on your own Personal Growth Bucket List. Let us help you discover unique activities you need to experience and participate that will contribute to your personal growth and improve your life before you die.

To Read my Personal Growth Bucket List CLICK HERE or enjoy the post below.

To Walk and Pray

To Walk and Pray

the walkA pilgrimage is when a traveler, typically on foot, journeys to a holy place of special significance, usually to a particular religious belief.  As they walk to this church, shrine, or location of importance, the pilgrim will often find that the route in itself becomes a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth.

So, where does the 490 mile walk of the Camino de Santiago take a pilgrim?  What shrine or location of importance is found through this experience?  Does the pilgrim have to pray and to whom?

The answer is found in the name of the actual Camino de Santiago de Compostela.  Santiago which translatedsaint-james-the-greater from Spanish to English is Saint James.  He is the patron saint of Spain.  But who is he?

James, son of Zebedee (died 44 AD) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was a son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of John the Apostle.  Often, he was known as James the Greater because there was another younger apostle named James, son of Alphaeus (aka: James the Lesser).  According to the Gospels of Mark 3: 17, James and his brother John were given the nickname Boanerges, which means “Sons of Thunder” by Jesus.  In the Gospel of Luke 9: 51-56, the two brothers showed their fiery temperament as they called down fire from heaven to destroy a village which had refused them hospitality.  Also, James was one of only three apostles whom Jesus selected to bear witness to his Transfiguration. (The Transfiguration is when Jesus became radiant in glory upon a mount as he met with Moses and Elijah.)

So, how does one of Jesus’ Apostles become the patron saint of Spain and the focus of an entire pilgrimage across the northern part of the country?

Well according to legends, post-resurrection of Jesus, St. James preached the gospel in Iberia as well as in the Holy Land.  The Virgin Mary appeared to James on the bank of the Ebro River at Caesaraugusta, while he was preaching the Gospel in Iberia. She appeared upon a pillar, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, and that pillar is conserved and venerated within the present Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, in Zaragoza, Spain. Following that apparition, St. James returned to Judea, where he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I in the year 44.

stjamesmartyrdom

St. James’ remains were then supposedly carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried on what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.  In one story, after James’s death, his disciples shipped his body to the Iberian Peninsula to be buried in what is now Santiago. Off the coast of Spain, a heavy storm hit the ship, and the body was lost to the ocean. After some time, however, it washed ashore undamaged, covered in scallops.  This lead to the symbol of the Camino de Santiago, the scallop shell.  St. James’ feast day is now celebrated in Santiago de Compostela on July 25.

So with this history of the Apostle James the Greater attached to the Camino, does this mean I will have to pray while walking?

If you were walking a pilgrimage like the Camino de Santiago, do you feel like you should pray? Click To Tweet

I will try.  In the past few years, though I consider myself a Catholic, I have become tired.  I don’t reject Catholicism, however I seem to look elsewhere for God rather than in his physical “house.”  Therefore, I have been lazy and at times purposeful, about not attending mass or praying.  With this said, the Camino de Santiago (aka The Way of St. James) is largely considered to be a spiritual event, among other things.  Therefore, I have decided to commit a portion of my daily activity to prayer while walking The Camino.  With this commitment, I have chosen to do a Novena to the Apostle St. James and ask for his intercession.  A novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days, usually as a prayer of petition, but sometimes as a prayer of thanksgiving.

saint-james

My hope is this will help to renew my faith and spirituality.  So starting on July 1, 2016, each day for 9 days straight, my goal will be to open my Novena, focus on my personal intentions of that day, focus on the intentions of another, pray the novena for both our intentions, and then walk in reflection of that daily prayer and intentions of the day.  After the first 9 days, I will then take one day off before I begin the Novena again.  This cycle, (9 days of prayer with 1 day off) will be repeated a third time so that each my 30 days of walking will be filled with prayer.

Will this actually happen? Only time will tell.  But I hope so and with your help I think I can add prayer to this pilgrimage.  So with that said, I am asking for 2 things from each of my readers.  1) Please Pray for me on this pilgrimage!  Not only for me to physically finish but to be spiritually present. 2) I need 27 intentions.  Please contact me with your intention.  It can be for you, your family, or anything weighing on you.  This intention can be asking for help or perhaps thanking God for recent Blessings.

You can get your intentions to me in several ways:  You can leave a comment on this article below, you can leave a comment for me on Facebook by Clicking Here, you can email be from my Facebook page, or for those who personally know me call, text, or email me personally.

Obviously, I would love 27 different people with intentions but I will happily take them from anyone who wants to give them.  They of course will be private if you want.  Just send them as soon as possible.  As I receive them, I will write them in my private Camino notebook that will be travelling with me.  I will also reply with the date, that I will pray for  your intention, so you can join me on that day in prayer if you wish.

Buen Camino!

 

 

My Hopes & Goals of 2016

My Hopes & Goals of 2016

Benjamin Franklin

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

~Benjamin Franklin

Ok So I realize that it is already mid May and that 1/3rd of 2016 is already over but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t plan it out!  I just didn’t share it yet!   In fact, every January, I tend to sit down post Christmas and start Bucketlistlusting (is that a word?) from my Old Notebook.  Then I literally create a year graph and draw out how I think I can manage it.  Then I place it by my notebook in a place where I and anyone can see it to always remind me of my commitment to my dreams, hopes, and goals of the year!

My Mad Plan to Take Over the World?!?!
My Mad Plan to Take Over the World?!?!

But if you read my Welcome Page, I stated that I needed to always post it online for 3 Main Reasons:

1) I need Everyone’s help…keep me accountable, help me find ways to accomplish my goals, or just cheer me on!!

2) I want to help others with their own Bucket List Items.  #103 on my list is to Help anyone Complete an Item on their Bucket List within 1 year of them Helping me Completing one of mine!!

3) I want to Inspire People to Dream & then to GO OUT & COMPLETE THEIR BUCKET LIST!  If I can do this, then ANYONE CAN!  Too many people, my Friends & Family included, just go through life living a mediocre existence!

Therefore, I am here now to post up my 2016 goals for The Bucket List Project & perhaps some insights on how I am going to pursue these items this year.

Now 2016 is a Special year for me in that on February 25th, I actually took my 40th lap around the Sun!  So I decided to go after a couple of big ticket items. So Below, I will list what I had written on my Graph and add or tell you what I have already changed.  Let me know in the comments below if there is anything that is on your list this year or is there anything else that I should add or subtract.  Also, let me know if you want to join me on any of these adventures or projects!

February

  • #199) Raise a Minimum of $2,500 for a Charity I Care for Angel’s Place in New Orleans
  • #200) Explore my home state of Louisiana
    • c)  See the Preservation Hall Show Live

March

  • #202) Ride in a Submersive Underwater Bubble (S.U.B.) in the Bahamas

April

  • #118) Geocache in 4 Cities (#1 New Orleans)
  • #200) Explore my home state of Louisiana
    • b)Visit Tabasco on Avery Island
    • g) Boudin & Beer at Fred’s Lounge in Mamou
    • h) Zydeco Brunch at Café Des Amis in Breaux Bridge
    • s) Drive the Bayou Teche Byway

May

  • #78) Experience the Kentucky Derby
  • #104) Finish Reading the 5 Major “Arts” Books
  • #203) Start Reading my 11 Classic Adventure Books
  • #77) Experience the Indy 500

June

  • #188) See the Synchronous Fireflies in Elkmont, Tennessee
  • #5) See my 6 Pack Abs

The Next 3 were added to June/July 

  • #109) Walk the Camino de Santiago from France to Santiago, Espana
  • #185) Visit and Stay with 3 Different Friends who live in Foreign Countries so that I can Reconnect with Old Friends & See that Country through Local Eyes (My Family in Leon, Espana while I am Hiking the Camino)
  • #153) Drink Port Wine in Portugal

July

August

  • #55) Return to Fenway Baseball Park to See the Red Sox Play the Yankees
  • #54) Go to a Summer Olympics
  • #124) Travel to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • #185) Visit and Stay with 3 Different Friends who live in Foreign Countries so that I can Reconnect with Old Friends & See that Country through Local Eyes (My Brazilian Friends I met in 2012)

September

  • #187) Travel to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada
  • #108) Do 4+ OutDoor Adventure “Mud Races” (4th & Final is the Spartan near Banff, Alberta, CA)

October

  • #167) Celebrate Dia De Muertos in Mexico
  • #185) Visit and Stay with 3 Different Friends who live in Foreign Countries so that I can Reconnect with Old Friends & See that Country through Local Eyes (Stay or Visit with Mike Poissenot for Dia De Muertos in Mexico)

November

  • #70) Climb the Statue of Liberty
  • #79) See the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Person in NYC
  • #89) Travel to the Niagra Falls

December

  • PREPARE FOR THE ADVENTURE OF MY LIFE!!!!!

 

It is Better to Live 1 Day as a Lion than 1,000 Days as a Lamb!

 

 

2014 Year in Revew & 2015 State of the Union!

2014 Year in Revew & 2015 State of the Union!

(Originally published on 03/02/15)

Wait….What Year is IT??? How Did I miss 2014 already?  Wait, how old am I?  I turned 39 Last Wednesday??  Holy Crap!!!!  Where did those days go?

These are all statements people say all the time when you ask them what they did last year or what they did during the past year of their life on their birthdays.  I know its what people keep asking me.  So what did Eric Gamble, Mr. Bucket List, Mr. World Traveler, Mr. Crazy Adventurer, Mr. Insane Free Living Spirit do last year??  Then they ask, well what is NEXT?  So First, Let me give you my 2014 Year in Review and then Give you a taste of the State of the Bucket List Union for 2015!

 2014 Was a unique year in that it started with me returning to decade of the 80’s!  I got to go to WrestleMania & See Guns N Roses Live in Las Vegas!  The little punk kid in me was totally geeking out for both!

Then the Summer time I got to give back!  I was able to help my mother see Alaska, help honor a long time friend by showing him what I saw in Him and his friendship (A Holy Cross Man), help another friend recover his lost high School Ring, and set another friend on his own insane Adventure to skydive!

I did some unique traveling to different parts of the US but the highlight of my travels was backpacking through Peru to witness Machu Picchu and Lake Titticaca!

 So Everyone ALWAYS wants to know what I am doing next!  I think its sometimes crazy especially when I get home from doing some crazy adventure, that within a few days, they are like, “That Was Awesome, so What are you going to do Now?”  My thoughts are usually like, “What am I going to do now?  I don’t know, like 2 weeks of Laundry?!?!”  But to be honest, I love the question, cause it means that people see me as someone who is Living A Life of Adventure, Travel, and Experiences…Living As A Lion!

So Here is a Little Taste of the Ideas of What the Year 2015, my Last Year in my 30’s, is going to hold!  Here is my 2015 State of the Union!

1) I am starting this year by helping 2 people complete their Bucket List Items, One will go Skydiving and my cousin will do a Color Run as a Catalyst to get healthy

2) 2015 Will be the YEAR OF FINISHING!  I plan on Finishing several Bucket List Items that have been a work in progress like reading all 15 Wizard of Oz Books, Doing my Last Mud Run of the 4 that were my Goal ( Last One? I AM SPARTAN!), Finally cut this last bit of Body Fat to see my 6 pack! and a couple of others!

3) I have been missing one of my more important sections Making Amends.  Therefore, I am going to actively try to work on 2 of them and hopefully do one other bucket list gift for one other person this year!

SO WHAT ABOUT TRAVEL?

4) Geez, fine…I will be travelling to hopefully 3 international sites and 4 new US sites that I have never been to…Think I am going to search for the Aurora Borealis, do Indy 500, Possibly go to China and do the Most Dangerous Climb to a Temple, visit the Galapagos and Ecuador for an EcoTravel, or perhaps go to Thailand.  These are just some of the ideas popping in my mind right now but who knows where I will end up however I will go see the world, eat strange foods, and learn by traveling!  I do know this, it will be crazy, it will be wonderful, and it will be epic!

So those are my Goals. I like to announce them and share them!  It holds me accountable!  You guys hound me and I like and need that.  What if 2015 is our last year of life?  What if we don’t get to see our next Birthday?  Well, then we need to Live now!

What are your goals this year?  Share them with my by clicking on the comments link below!!  Cant wait to see what you are thinking!

I am over 1 year Clean!!

I am over 1 year Clean!!

(Originally published on 03/23/14)

So back on March of 2013, I went cold turkey but it wasn’t drugs, alcohol or my cigars that I quit!  If you know me at all, you know that I will never quit smoking cigars.  No, Back in March, It was credit cards.

In 1994, when I entered college, I had become a credit card user, instructed by my parents that I was only to use it for emergencies.  But that never holds true and thus began my typical American abuse of credit cards.  I would use them for anything and everything and most often nothing of importance.  However, I didn’t see anything wrong with it cause everyone was doing it!  Apparently, everyone was brain washed by Wimpy of the Popeye Cartoons and felt that it was ok to rack up tabs that would never be paid off!

So if this is the American way, why was I deciding to buck the system?  Well for several reasons:

First, I had met two self made men.  These men had come from poverty to become financially quite successful in their own ways.  But what did these two men have in common?  Well, they took advantage situations that came to them to help them get ahead; they both worked hard to get ahead; and they both had little or no debt at all!  It was always amazing when I would go out to dinner with them and their families and they would pay the entire bill with cash.  One even refused to get a debit card cause he said that he didnt want to develop a habit of relying on plastic. These were two self made men who worked for themselves.

There is a thing that Andrew Jackson once said that I think is relevant here: When you get in debt, you become a slave. Therefore I say to you never involve yourself in debt, and become no man’s surety.   These 2 men I had met refused to be slaves to debt.

Second, I would get paid on a Friday and by Saturday most of my paycheck would be gone to the credit card companies but the debt never went down!  Can you believe it?  I mean, I would dump $600 in payments to the various cards and my overall debt would only go down $100.  Ok so that may be a fake example but it definitely felt like that every month and it wasn’t that far off from the truth.

Thirdly, I stopped using 2 of my 4 credit cards entirely in 2006 but didn’t finish paying them off til 2012?  WHAT THE HELL WAS I PAYING EACH MONTH FOR 6 YEARS????  I have no idea?  Can you imagine paying off dinner at PF Changs for 6 years?  Man they make good food but it isn’t that good!  It was like I was being punished for 6 years for a crime!  I didn’t like paying those bills every month at all.

So when I created my Bucket list, I decided that I need to get rid of these pieces of plastic that enslave me to years of debt.  It took a lot of focus & a little bit of sacrifice, but in March of 2013, I paid off my last two credit cards once and for all.  Then I closed all cards but one card that is locked away somewhere and committed myself to be 100% Cash & Carry only!

Getting Rid of All my Credit Card Debt is Definitely on my Bucket List! #Debtfree #NoCreditCards Click To Tweet

Now it’s 1 year later and how has it gone?  Am I living like a poor person only eating Ramen Noodles and smoking 1 Swisher Sweet cigar a month?  Is my credit Score in the dump?  Am I living alone in a cave somewhere never hanging out with my friends and never visiting the world?

HELL NO!  I would never EVER Smoke a Swisher Sweet ever, no matter how desperate..haha, but seriously.  Any of you that knows me and my adventures of last year, know I live life to the fullest!  Since March of 2013, I have taken 2 international trips for nearly 14 days each, Ate like a King, hung out socially with my best of friends and family, taken some crazy active adventures around the US, and smoked some of the best Cigars available on the market today!  Plus according to Credit Kharma, my Fico Score has gone up!  And I do all of this with Cash Only!  Not a single thing has been bought with a credit and I am not deprived!

So why am I sharing this, to prove that it can be done.  I am no financial expert at all…but if I can do it, anyone can!  That is the whole reason for my bucket list, not only to inspire myself to live each day as much as possible, but also to help others be inspired!  I truly believe that if I can do something, then anyone and everyone can!

So join me in taking your freedom back from debt!

~Eric