The Impossible List™

by 439 Comments

The impossible list™ is NOT a bucket list. Not too long ago, I used to settle for the possible things in life. The sure thing. It was “realistic”, “safe” and boring as hell. I decided I needed a challenge.

The impossible list is that challenge. This list of impossible things contains all the things I ever thought I couldn’t do because it was “impossible.” The sort of things that I assumed the cool guys on TV only ever got to do. The things I never thought that I would be able to do.

This is my list of impossible things. I’m constantly crossing things off it as I accomplish them and adding to it when needed and I’ll be making regular updates about my journey on the blog. Maybe you’re bored of a bucket list, maybe you’re tired of simply attempting what’s considered “possible”, maybe you just want to try something different. This blog is for you.

Feel free to follow my journey and Subscribe via email or start your own impossible list and send me an email to let me know.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible” – Walt Disney

The Impossible List™


  • Change 1 Person’s Life For The Better
  • Help 100 Entrepreneurs Better Their Lives Through Micro-Loans at [255/100] [October 2012]
  • Raise $25,000 to Help Build A Freaking School In Guatemala with Pencils of Promise [December 25, 2012] (DONE. BOOM).



  • Visit Every Continent (North America, South America, Europe, AsiaAustralia, AfricaAntarctica (and do something ridiculous here).
  • Go Swimming in Every Ocean (Pacific, Atlantic, IndianArctic, Southern/Antarctic)
  • Travel For 1 Year Straight
  • Get a 2nd U.S. Passport
  • Obtain dual citizenship with another country.
  • Own a small flat in 4 different countries.
  • Live on the beach in some tropical country for 3 months.
  • Do A Cross Country Road Trip And Make a Film About It
  • Do A Round-The-World Trip And Make A Film About It
  • Visit Iguazu Falls
  • Visit All 50 States [49/50]
  • Visit 20 Countries | 50 Countries | 100 Countries | 150 Countries | All The Countries
  • Start Impossible Island


  • Go without internet for a month [July 2009]
  • Go without a car for a month [February 2012 +]
  • Count & document all my crap [February 2014]
  • Own less than 300 things [February 5th, 2014] See My 97 Things Here
  • Create a “Getaway” Backpack [I’m really excited about this]

Adrenaline Rushes


  • Be an Extra in a Movie [November 12, 2010]
  • Go to the airport and buy a ticket without knowing where I’m going.
  • Get something named after me.

Events To Attend

  • Visit Burning Man And Document It
  • Participate in Tomatina
  • Running of the Bulls
  • See The Northern Lights & Make A Time Lapse Film Of It
  • Coachella
  • Bonarroo [June 2013]
  • SxSw [March 2012, 2013]
  • Lollapalooza
  • Mardi Gras
  • Carnival (Brazil)

Renaissance Man

  • Learn To DJ
  • Learn to Fly A Plane
  • Learn To Breakdance
  • Create a video that gets international coverage
  • Get To Space

Become Fluent In 4 Languages

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • French
  • Italian
  • Esperanto


What’s On Your Impossible List?

*If you, your business or brand are interested in helping me make one or any of these impossible things a reality, get in touch.

Grow Stronger, Do The Impossible

Get weekly emails on how to build a stronger mind, a stronger body and stronger life and do the impossible.

No Spam. Ever.


  1. says

    Joel, I just ran across your website from a link on The Art of Audacity. I love your list. I have a similar list of my own and I’m inspired to post it on my blog. Right now I’m saving up to quit my job and travel the world for at least a year, leaving (hopefully) January 2012. Good luck on the upcoming marathon. I’ve run five of them, but nothing feels better than crossing the finish line of your first.

  2. says

    That’s a great list Joel. I have made a list of 101 goals before, but that was too many. I plan to narrow it down to some really killer “impossible” goals you have here.

    • says

      Thanks Caleb! I love having a lot of goals to shoot for. There’s always something. If I’m ever bored I can just take a look at my list and say “what about that one?”

  3. says

    crazy list… but I have one of my own, haha. I might take on a few of yours for myself

    My favorite is- Change 1 Person’s Life For The Better

    but I think you’re selling yourself short. With the skills, I’ve observed, you have from reading this blog, you can make a positive impact on an entire community.

      • Jenny says

        It’s interesting that you don’t think you have done this yet. How many people have taken action based on this website? If all these people striving for the impossible, having adventures, learning and living isn’t changing a person’s life for the better, or helping all those KIVA entrepreneurs isn’t doing it for you I think you might need some success indicators here.

        You could save someone’s life just by smiling at them and saying good morning as you pass them in the street.

  4. says

    great list! what movie were you an extra in? what did they make you do? i used to be an actor and started off as an extra for the first year and a half. i have kind of an old-fashioned face so i used to work on a lot of period pieces and i got to dance a bunch. also got to be the “make-out” couple a lot with my then boyfriend. 😉

    • says

      Blue Like Jazz – I’ll be posting more about it sometime soon. I was an extra in a church scene. Bascially sat in a pew & stood up & sat down a bunch of times. :(. Not as cool as being a make-out couple, but still fun :).

  5. Tom says

    I really enjoyed just about everything on this website. The Renaissance Man was really inspiring. My 7th grade english teacher said, “Everyone should know a little bit about everything.” That has really stuck with me. I go to a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, and I think that really helps to bring out the Renaissance Man in me. I feel like I could do just about anything I want (even the impossible).

    I do a good bit of reading on how to be successful in life/do great (impossible) things. The problem I’m having is I don’t know what I want to put on my list of goals. I want to put things on their that I will still be passionate about in a few years. Do you have any advice for me? At 21 years old, I am just a little early to get going (I graduate in May).

    This turned out to be way longer than I expected. I shared this link with a few friends already. Great work!

    Best regards,


    • says

      A good impossible list has a good mix of goals you can finish relatively soon as well as a few goals that you can finish a few years down the road. If you’re not sure what you want to do 10 years from now, ask yourself, What are you passionate about right now? Do that. A lot of times you won’t know what you’re passionate about until you try a few different things. If you find out you really don’t enjoy it that much, move on to something else. Make sense?

  6. Northern says

    Biking across America is a popular theme! Which of those goals really ring with you?

    One of my own goals is to ride from North East England to the tip of Italy via the Piaggio factory on my Vespa.

      • says

        Great list, My wife and I just started a discussion on our own lists, it will be fun when we go to implement them. On mine is also to bike across america (I have been a cyclist my whole life-when I last totaled my life “miles on the bike” I was at 120,000 or so). My thoughts were to do the ride across america and combine it with earning money for charity to make it a dual purpose goal.

        • says

          Bike across Antarctica would be tough! How about Bike Across Substitute Antarctica?

          Antarctica is 1.4 times the size of the US in square miles.

          Juts get a map of US-Canada-Mexico or Europe-Asia and then superimpose a map of Antarctica on top of the first map. Then choose a route where you can bicycle roughly around the perimeter of Antarctica but on a different continent or continents.

          It would become Bike Around An Area the Size of Antarctica!



  7. says


    You have an awesome bucket list. It’s very inspiring to see you going out there and doing extraordinary things every day. Thank you for being such a great mentor.

    My own legendary quest was created as somewhat of an impossible list. There are some net trends I could care less about, but this bucket list one is pretty great.

    Finally, want to race to 100 pushups? I still probably can only do about 40 so at 90 or so you have quite a bit of a head start. Up for it?

  8. says

    I always has my list in my head,but this make me wish to put it on the paper-looks as it start to be more realistic…strange and funny! Thx :)
    P.S. I think first and last you can also meke it as: done.
    For all readers you give it suport and help them to go on! So,that means you reach the goal-succes!

  9. says

    I came across your list on StumbleUpon. I signed up right away for your rss feed. I can’t wait until the marathon gets crossed off the list. I did my first last year.

    If you’re like me, once you’ve finished the marathon, nothing will be impossible again.

  10. Andrea says

    YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION!!!!!!! Wow, hope to someday have the time and guts to keep track of all that life has waiting for me……….keep it up..the world needs more people like YOU :)

  11. Stephanie says

    Joel! Love this! I see you are skydiving on June 3! I just went for the first time on May 7…the most incredible experience I have ever had! Not one second of fear but lots of adrenaline! Enjoy every second of it and if you can, get it on video! It’s amazing what you forget you did when you jumped out of the plane!

    Best part….FREE FALL!

    Have a blast!

  12. Wesley Ward says

    This is really cool, I’m not going to lie. My only question is what are you defining as a successful blog? I just StumbledUpon this, which means that you could be getting more traffic.
    It’s great to see you’ve gone from 5k to Half-Marathon. As a dedicated high school athlete I appreciate people starting in our sport. Once I’m done with competitive track, I hope to be in the triathlons as well.
    Keep It Up!
    Wes Ward

    • says

      I have a few different metrics for that, but it’s such a arbitrary word, that it’s hard to define. I feel like this blog has been very successful in terms of helping me do what I want and inspiring others. I’m very happy with it :).

      Triathlons are a lot of fun as well. You should definitely give them a shot when you’re done with track!

  13. joe pantaleo says

    Loved this man! i’ve done a few of these and have these on mine too… im stealing some of the other ones i didnt think of =p

  14. Harrisp says

    Hey man this list is truly amazing! I’m only sixteen but this list is already one of the most inspirational things i have seen. I just have one question, how do you fund all this, i presume you must have worked hard and earned some cash before you started this but for how many years, and will you’re supply not start to run out? Unless you have kept your job on-going whilst you complete this list… :)

  15. Lucky says

    This is just about awesome….hope you don’t mind, but I’m gonna copy/paste and modify this into something in my own little slot of existence.

    • says

      Just about? It’s not fully awesome? :)

      Feel free to copy/paste what you will. If you get the chance to put it up somewhere, shoot me the link! I’d love to see it!

  16. Matthew Kendall says

    I’m inspired! I’m making my own list now and stealing heavily! Thanks for all the great ideas! I notice you’re training for your Half-Ironman in October and you’ll have your Ironman down the road. You may want to add biking a “century” to your list, if you haven’t done it yet as you gear up. Good luck!

  17. Saulius Grybas says

    This is amazing. You should be proud of the things you have already accomplished i will now start to make my own list. ps the internet one is definitely going on my list

  18. abby says

    Hey Joel, I also have a list similar to yours, and I can honestly say that you have inspired me to dream big. But do you ever feel like you could never finish the things on your list? I feel like my whole life I’ve been told “you can’t do it” and naturally I wanted to prove them wrong. But to be honest it’s easy to get discouraged; any advise for someone seeking to finish their impossible list?

    • says

      Finish it? Mine’s never gonna be finished. I keep adding to the experiences and adventures that I want to have. I want to accomplish tons of things on my list, but I hope I never get to a point in my life where I have exhausted my sense of wonder to the point that I have nothing left on it!

      Knowing there are some things you might not accomplish is part of the fun. Sure you might not be able to do 100% of the things on your list, but if you do 80% of them, you’ll have done way more than you would have without it :). Shoot me an email if you have any questions!

  19. Ruben says

    wow, this is amazing, this is something I’ve been trying to do for quite some time now. I’m 16 and I realized that I wasn’t doing anything with my life, so i decided i wanted a change, but I haven’t done anything yet, I don’t know why, maybe its just my laziness, but I’m working on it, and now, watching all of this, makes me want to start, I know it must feel good every time you cross a thing in the list, must be awesome,so I’ll start my list and the change in my life.Thank you

    I hope you accomplish everything on your list.
    Greetings from Mexico

    • says

      Good luck on your list Ruben! Shoot me an email when you start working on it. I’d love to take a look at it. At 16, you’ve got a head start on a lot of people. Good luck!

  20. Joey P says

    Coming across this list could have quite possibly just changed my life. I’ve been picking my own brain for a few months now to make an “Impossible” list and this finally got me to. Literally just sat down and filled an entire page of things to do. (Parkour, skydiving, surfing, and swimming all the oceans we on mine as well). So thanks for the inspiration and the positive influence you’re creating. Best of luck brotha,
    ~Joey P

  21. Silvia says

    Lately, I’ve been through a rought time, by luck I just found your post and let me tell you it has been really inspiring. Actually if I did a list it would be very alike to yours… so thank you for helping me remember a little bit of my true dreams and mainly, to remember there’s something bigger and better that worth’s being in this life for. Bests.

  22. Brigette says

    Great list! We have a lot in common with things that we want to achieve in the future. Good luck with completing it.

  23. says

    As long as you’re running marathons and visiting every continent, why not run a marathon on every continent? Not so impossible if you put your mind to it – take it from someone who’s done it!

  24. Dan says

    Hey Joel!

    Thanks for your inspiring words! I’ve just started my list of “impossible” things! Simply writing down my goals on this blank sheet of paper feels both exciting and liberating. The challenge now is to keep myself motivated and strive to accomplish them!

    Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil.

    • says

      Hey Dan!
      Shoot it over to me when you’re finished if you get the chance. I’d love to take a look. How’s Sao Paulo? I hear good things (now that i’m off the Brazil blacklist, maybe I’ll try to visit!)

      • Dan says

        I have just sent you my list by e-mail. I hope you have fun reading it!

        São Paulo is such a diverse and vibrant place! I love living here! Many cultural options and places to go, a melting pot, really.
        The only thing that gets on my nerves is that we have the world’s worst traffic jams! Allied with an overcrowded public transport, you can imagine it takes a loooong time for you to get anywhere.

        But now you’re off the “Brazil blacklist” (?? I’d love to hear that story!), you can visit São Paulo. I could show you around town if you want =D!

  25. Anna says

    Wow, I love your list because it is so similar to mine! I definitely called my list the bucket list, but it includes running up to a marathon and visiting all of the continents. I’m only 20 but I have traveled for 4 months and through two continents. Here’s a hint, if you stay in Hong Kong for a month, you’ll go without that car. :) You can also work on learning Cantonese instead of Mandarin while there. Good luck on your clearly, POSSIBLE, for you at least, list.

  26. says


    Hey man, I just ran across your blog! Way to go! I did my first triathlon in summer 2009. It was an extreme off-road triathlon put on by Xterra in La Grande, Oregon. Open lake swim, Mountain bike ride, trail run…it was awesome. I have been hooked since. This actually bridges to another cool connection we have…At that time, I had the idea pop into my head to bike across America. Joel, the cool thing is the idea had a few years to percolate…As of right now I have biked over 2700 miles and raised over $5000 dollars for impoverished children!!! [check out our blog at (and, Hey, I did my first marathon earlier this year too).
    Where are you these days still in my stomping grounds (Oregon)? because one of my goals is to meet you :)…I think we’ll have some great stories to share. Wha’d’ya think?

    Goal for 2012: Ironman Couer d’Alene

    • says

      I was in Oregon in June. Currently in Milwaukee.

      You might want to check out my buddies blog –> . Looks like you cross country travelers might have something in common. Ironman training huh? I’m planning on getting one in at the end of next year, crossing both fingers firmly and barring any injuries :). Congrats on the ride man. That’s huge.

  27. says

    Hi Joel,

    Just stumbled across your blog, and have to say well done. You have some great goals on here, and I wish you the best of luck with them.

    And if you ever want to start up a company in either the UK or Australia, let me know.

    All the best,

  28. Anna says

    I found your website sometime back and found it a huge inspiration. I have a goal list of my own, but I have actually removed some of the “impossible” things from it. Until I found your blog. Then I started toying with the idea of putting a marathon back on the list. And then I read the book Born to Run. Not only did it tell a wonderful story, remind me of why I loved running so much in high school and confirm my belief that running barefoot is the way we should all run, but re-inspired me to run. And it inspired me not only to run a marathon, but to run an ultra-marathon. If you enjoy reading, although I don’t know you well, I feel like you would love this book. I also feel like running an ultra (50+ miles but most commonly 100) would be a pretty epic thing on your list.

    • says

      I’ve looked into it, but haven’t read it all the way through. I’m contemplating the ultra…gotta check to see if it’s something I really want to do though..

  29. Lauren says

    Thanks! This is so inspiring. I am sitting here at work and feel like i am in this bubble of contentment. I love your list and am going to steal some of them to add to my list :)

  30. Lauren says

    I am learning how to surf so, if you are ever in LA you can have a couch to sleep on, a fellow surfing buddy and check another thing off your list. I actually swam with dolphins the other day in Malibu which was pretty rad.

  31. Diego says

    Joel, I’ve stumbled upon your blog in my own search for challenge. I recently suffered an accident that cost me a few broken bones and a lot of lost time. As a result I want to embark in a journey similar to yours (after recovery of course) and I would like your feedback via twitter.

  32. says

    I know I’m ignoring some of your post :) but I love your running goals and I’m glad to see that you have completed a lot of them. I have a bunch of running goals myself, but I never thought to write them down like a bucket list. I definitely want to run a marathon and do a bunch of triathlons.

    Great Post!

  33. says

    Love this list! I have done a few of these myself and give you nothing but encouragement and “YOU GO, GUY!” on this list! If you ever do get to the point where you participate in an IronMan,..I live in a condo in Kona (my goal to live on a tropical island achieved) and have a rental condo next door. Email me and you got it–with a mai tai!
    Really like the format for this blog..keep going!

  34. says

    I see that Australia is on your list to visit – I had a great 16 months in Australia, and I recommend the following:

    1- eat Morton Bay Bugs in Cairns Queensland (giant juicy prawn-like things)

    2- eat Jackfruit (this monster fruit smells disgusting when you open it up, but the white stuff inside is great)

    3- pull the tail of a crocodile (but make sure it’s behind bars in a croc farm (several great ones around Cairns) – and don’t get your hand stuck in the bars

    4- snorkle in the Great Barrier Reef (Cairns is a great launch point) – see sharks, moray eel, giant turtles, and manta rays. Be sure not to stray too far from the boat! And go on a clear sunny day, you need totally cloudless day for the best visibility and vivid colours underwater.

    5- Do a rainforest walk (several good ones north of Cairns)

      • Rhii says

        & as an Aussie I suggest you venture south of Cairns (& Queensland in fact).

        The surroundings are beautiful up there but it’s like a whole different country (although the further north you go the more people act like Aussie parodies in movies).

  35. Jill says

    Hey Joel,

    I just stumbled upon your blog, and I love your list! I see that you are into running. Why stop at 26.2 miles? You seem to have the motivation to go further, like an ultramarathon. I have a lot of similar goals on my list, but for travel goals I want to climb the highest mountain on each continent (It’s called the Seven Summits). Now I just need to graduate, get a job, raise some money and go!

  36. says

    I recently started reading essays and and somehow ended up here.
    It’s such a shock to me that I was already well on my way of becoming a minimalist, before I found out there was actually a name for it; “Minimalism.”
    And now I’m reading through your Impossible List, thinking what a great idea this is, getting super inspired and crossing things off your list in my head, while coming to the conclusion that I have a pretty amazing and blessed life.
    What an eye-opener! I feel so happy, I want to throw a party! (…adding that to the list…)

    Thank you for sharing Joel. I think you should cross off “write a successful blog”. This is very inspiring and I can’t wait to read more!

    Vicky, from Amsterdam

    • says

      Thanks Vicky :). Leo, Josh & Ryan are great. Glad you ended up this way because of them.

      Keep doing something impossible and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

  37. Kat says

    Hola Joel recién vi tu lista de “imposibles” en StumbleUpon y me pareció increíble. Es una inspiración ya que los imposibles se van haciendo posibles con el tiempo. Recién empece a correr y ya complete 10k. Igual inicie con deportes extremos como rappel y canoying y ne doy cuenta definitivamente necesito escribir mi lista.
    Tu lista me inspira a seguir adelante y a iniciar nuevos retos.
    Saludos desde Bogota Colombia

  38. Sofia says

    Hola! I’m from peru and wow i really liked your list man, i have one of my own too, it’s called the “things to do before dieing list” hahah but i have not as much and as original things as you have.. haha after reading your blog i felt like inspired, so im gonna take my pencil and my diary right now and update that list!

  39. Julien Tollie says

    Hi Joel !

    I discovered this page thanks to stumbleupon. I am really impress by the list that you planned to do and even more by what you already achieved ! It’s truly inspiring ! Congrats 😉 You might be interested by, You can present all your sports achievements like .

    Thanks for sharing !
    Julien from London

  40. Jackie says

    I absolutely love this! It gives me the inspiration to get in mental, physical, and spiritual shape. I’m 18, looking at colleges, and really thinking hard about the purpose and focus my life should take. This list inspired me to dive head-first into my number one on my impossible list: End World Hunger. Crazy, right? Crazy AWESOME! A group of high school students decided that they weren’t going to sit back and watch as people born in less developed countries starve. So, four years later, I’m on a team with some really amazing students who are doing the “impossible”, attempting to send our 1 millionth meal to third world countries, and ending world hunger. Check out to see what high school students across Illinois are doing for this great cause:)Thanks Joel!

  41. Steph says

    Hi Joel. I love love love these lists. I have been doing them since I was 14 years old. I do mine a little differently. Every January I make a list of 100 things I want to do before I die. I don’t look at the other lists until I have written my new one. This way overtime i cansee the things that arereally important to me, and i do things as i go along… I am 31 now and last year biked across Africa ( Cairo to Capetown) and when I got home I fell apron my list I wrote in 1994, it said, 10. Bike across Africa. My mom and I were floored, I hadn’t seen that listin over ten years… Amazing how when we write things down we actually seem to get them done. I love your blog, I think the first step to making a difference is helping people to see and understand that impossible is possible. It is just a frame of mind. Thank you.

  42. Ranjit Sreeram says

    HI, i found ur website on stumbleupon,, and have to say it’s awesome!!!! i admire what u r doing.. keep it going :)
    someday i’ll make a list too, and the top one would be get a six pack abs or maybe eight.. If i do something different in my regular life, i will mail u the details,, thanks for inspiring me

  43. Ray says

    Hey Joel,

    You’ve inspired me to bump up my goals. I’m excited about them cause they seem so crazy to me.

    I was wondering about other personal goals like:

    Get married
    Date a supermodel
    Have kids

    Did you chose to not publish them, or are they easily possible so they were not included?

    – Ray

    • says

      Haven’t really put them on the list.

      I think “getting married” is a weird goal because it’s sort of a two-person thing. I’d rather not get married then just marry someone because it was a “goal” of mine. if it happens, it happens, but I find that sort of a hard thing to put on, then cross off of a list.

  44. says

    Hey, Joel,

    Just got your book and I have to say it’s very affirming. Looking at your list above, I’m even more affirmed.

    I recently quit my US jobs, sold a bunch of crap, and moved to Indonesia with few prospects for making money – living the impossible. It’s amazing how quickly setting a goal and opening up my mind and heart to receive got me here. Within ten days I have a lead on an amazing job that will fulfill me and help me continue to live this impossible life.

    Let me know when you start working that trip to Asia – I’ve spent about ten months of the last year and a half here and have a lot of good resources and travel tips for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.

    I love the “Getaway Backpack” idea. Everyone should have one!

    Good luck – I look forward to seeing how you progress!

    -Heather Boylan

  45. Mathilde says

    Dude, you’re cheating. You did not become fluent in English, you already were… I’ll give you a tip : learn Indonesian (Bahasa) – it’s spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia (good scuba-diving, Asia, btw) and Singapore and it’s literally the easiest existing language.
    Keep up the good not-work.

  46. Cat says

    I have been doing the Marathon Kids program with my daughter for part of her homeschool fitness time. I am beginning Couch to 5K this month. I am wondering what you’ll do after you do an Ironman (lol…one of my old boyfriends did it every year). Have you heard of the Tough Mudder run? I think you’d like that. If I had discovered it younger (I am now 50 with a wonky knee) it would have been on my list cus it looks like a hoot!

  47. Vila says

    I red your manifesto and agree with many of your ideas. Thank you for the work done!

    You are further ahead in your journey than I am or might be in the short run. I have an experiment to propose to you: could you choose a country which is not your own, possibly one that does not offer the liberty of choice and privilege that you (and I) enjoy, and push your limits there?

    My question is provocative without being judgemental or mean. It is the result of the cross-over of ideas from your project and this You may certainly see this as my “living vicariously” but I hope you will humour me with your thoughts on it and take it as an experiment and cross-fertilisation of ideas.

  48. Alejandro says

    Congrats. I myself have reached one or two fitness goals that seemed next to impossible at first, and your list is very inspiring to me. Good luck with Esperanto, it’s a great language to know and use.

  49. Anthony Kohlrus says

    This Impossible list is great. After looking over each sub category I would say you’re off to a great start with this list. I myself have begun to make a list of impossible things I wish to accomplish. A lot of what you have on your list could defiantly fit onto mine. This blog has certainly opened my eyes in a positive way. And I’m sure many of the people commenting would agree. Inspiration is something that everyone in the world needs. Whether it comes from yourself or someone else. Without inspiration your life will be dull, and boring. You can certainly back up that statement, because you once lived an everyday boring life. Yet you inspired yourself to make a list of impossible things and do them. On top of that you made a blog to inspire other people to do things they never thought they could do. That is something you should cross off. Your very fist life goal is to change someone’s life. This blog alone has probably opened so many people’s eyes to what they can accomplish if they just try. That alone is changing someone’s life. And for that I thank you.

  50. zeka says

    Start a successful blog??? I think you do have a successful blog already “BLOG OF IMPOSSIBLE THINGS”!!! WOW!!! I love your blog.

  51. Marissela says

    Hi Joel, I just finished reading the manifesto… I gotta say this came at the right time, right when i needed a change of perspective and a fresh start.. I’ll start working on many things now that Im fully aware of the story i wanna tell with my life.

  52. Brandalyn Watts says

    This is incredibly inspirational. There has always been things that I have wanted to do, and haven’t been able to do. I think I am going to have to make my own version of something like this. Thank you for putting this up for the world to see!

  53. titli says

    I am happy I stumbled upon your blog. It is one of the most inspiring one I have ever read. It has inspired me to take a relook at what I have so far considered impossible. Thanks and good luck.

  54. Maggie says

    Hey Joel! Ok so I ran across your site and it has inspired me so much. I really admire all of your goals. One day, I plan on doing just as much as you have written down. But I have one question: how is this all manageable? I love having goals, but sometimes I can’t find the motivation to work for them! Some tips on reaching goals in a busy lifestyle would be great.

    Best of luck with your goals!

  55. Fiona says

    I love it. I hit the same place about a year ago. Bored, tired, sick of everything. Then it hit me! I needed more challenge in my life. Since then, I wrote a novel, got a puppy, became a triathlete, started minimalising and simplifying my stuff, and travelled more. And having started meeting challenges, more keep coming to mind. Best of luck (as if you need it when you have motivation)!

  56. Nick Prescott says

    I just crossed off ‘Run a 5K’ from my list today and it feels awesome. And if knocking off an ‘impossible’ thing from my list wasn’t enough, I got to do it with thousands of other people and cancer survivors at the Sprint For Life in Houston. Seriously an inspiring experience. Your list (and blog) is quite awesome and really motivating. Keep it up!

  57. says

    Hi Joel,

    I just ran into your blog and found that it completely related to my own blog! I started my blog as a way to dream about 7 impossible things per blog post since I read it in some book as a characteristic of some highly successful people. I love what you have done with your blog and hopefully you can give me some tips for my own.

    Good luck on your impossible list! (I just signed up for a half marathon in July!)

  58. Andrea says

    Wow! This is awesome!
    I started making a list like this when I finished high school and my friends thought it was ridiculous. I’ve had some cool experiences but have barely put a dent in the list! Now that I’m almost done with college, I’m hoping to get through some of it this year. Hope you don’t mind me borrowing some of your goals!
    Good Luck!

  59. says

    I am currently working on lifting a million pounds of iron in 24 hours to challenge the world record by Shaun Jones. I have lifted 1,076,000 pounds this week. Now just to pack it into a one day work out. I never knew being 60 years old could be this much fun.

    • says

      This Wednesday and Thursday I lifted 1,158,000 pounds witnessed and timed. Now to do it in just one workout and I will have my “impossible” finished. Why?? I invented an endurance food for everyone who lives by their own daily manual labor. The weight lifting is a way to quantify what can be accomplished using my endurance food. Why the out-sized lifts? Because that is what it takes when a sudden avalanche blocks your route down K2 or a rock-slide in South America traps you or survival at sea requires mind-blowing amounts or strength. I want to give people the stuff that fuels my mad-crazing lifting schedule. Why? I want to show anyone who will look; to demonstrate what amazing things the human body was designed to do. Kathy

  60. says

    Sweet, man, sweet. So happy I stumbled onto this blog — now I’m off to review my bucket list and turn it into an impossible list! Keep on inspiring, the world needs people like you. :) And dude, you really need to come to Asia, maybe cross off that surfing task in your list?

  61. says

    Wow!! I came across this site from some other blog (copyblogger or problogger, I can’t tell). After going through the list I am inspired to dream big! I am already making a small list of my own, though not as impossible as these are.

  62. Parker says

    It’s funny, I made a list like this three days ago and I swear we have about 50% in common. I had the space one as well and I thought it a little extreme, but if the average human life expectancy increases to 400 years old in the next fifty years, then who knows? Keep it up dude I’ll be right there with you!

  63. says

    Great list Joel! I ran across your blog through your recently published article at Get Rich Slowly. You’ve got 2 countries on me, but I noticed you haven’t hit some of the world’s hot spots yet like Iraq or North Korea. :)

  64. says

    I have really been mulling this over since I heard about it two days ago. IMy list would probably be more of an improbable list than an impossible list which I think most of the others are as well

    But my list would consist of things like losing 40#, making up all the fabric that I have into hundreds of quilts – mostly for charity – with perhaps a few for family, getting into shape, and highest would be the meditation time. Becoming a master quilter and spinner

    Nothing really impossible, but highly unlikely unless I use these types of things as the challenges.

    Reading these comments, has made me realize that if these things are really important to me, then, I need to make much better use of my remaining years

  65. says

    Thank you Joel for this list. You do a wonderful job of inspiring others to do the same. I would like to make a list of things I want to do, probably not a list of impossibles, but (like another commenter said) a list of improbables. I only say that because I’m not a very productive person. I’d rather be lazy. I hate saying that about myself…enough to want to change. Things like clean and organize our extra bedroom, go through my clothes, read through the Bible in a year, stay off the internet for a month, walk and use public transportation for a month, save every penny I earn and help my husband save to quit his job so he can be a small business owner full time.


    Thanks again Joel!

  66. Nicholas Wasilewski says

    You say this aint a buckit list, but come on, how many people do you know have some of these things on the ifmous bucket list

  67. George says

    I have list as well – it contains only one thing:

    -Raise my kids to be upstanding members of humanity.

    Looking at how our species behave in general, that’s more than impossible enough for me :)

    Love your list, though – good luck, mate!

  68. Ruben T says

    Well, it’s me again, about two years ago I found this, I was inspired by it and even left a comment on it, but as usual, I didn’t do anything about it, I just imagined how awesome it’d be, but never did anything. Now two years later, I find it again, but this time its different, I’m again inspired by it, but now i’m doing,because I havent done anything in almost 5 years. So I thank you again, for the impact you’ve had in my life, best of lucks in your journey and I’ll later send you my version of this as you suggested two years ago.
    thanks again Joel and greeting from Mexico

  69. Josenivaldo Benito Jr. says

    Hi Joel,

    I read you completed a 10K run in 10/02/2010, my birthday and I am not a runner. My first impossible goal is: to run a 10K.

    Also popped from your list: scuba dive (I already do it and recommend for everyone) and Iguaçu Falls. Yes, you really need to be there.


  70. Nick says

    wow, that’s really surprise me, I am impressed by your list. I have to admit that I never see anyone like you who have been very positive in life. I’m gonna make my own list. Thanks for the inspiration Joel…~

  71. DYR says

    Congratulations so far. I am really looking forward to your Ironman. Can I ask a question? I am running my second half marathon end of September. How did you train yourself from half marathon fit to full marathon fit? Cheers!

  72. Hannah says

    Hey Joel, I recently found your website, and I think its really great. I think you’re onto a really awesome idea, and I have to admit, you’ve really inspired me (and now my boyfriend and my sister!).

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of a website called Its basically a website where people of all fitness levels can seek motivation, challenges, tips etc. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve created a “Tribe” (sort of like a forum group) that encourages people to check out your list and take from it what they will. You should check it out sometime :)

    Keep it up dude! (and I look forward to hearing about your experience with Tough Mudder!)

  73. Impossible Love says

    I admire all the people who accomplish the seemingly impossible things that they wanted to do. Be it acquiring material things, traveling, starting a business and making money from it, being healthy, etc.
    I only have one impossible jewel that I truly and deeply long for, more than any material things or wealth, far more than any thousands of miles traveled, or any business…one that I truly dreamed and long for..
    my ONE TRUE LOVE..

  74. Shelly says

    Hi Joel,

    I just wanted to say that this really, really encouraged me. As I got up the strength to plan out some things I want to do I Googled “confidence to do something impossible” and your site came up. Appreciate your positivity and drive! You reminded me than I CAN DO THIS.

  75. Peter D. says

    Oh, yeah. Without a doubt doing this. I’ve had all my fitness goals in my head since I started an active lifestyle a few months ago (ran my 5k just last week!), but this sort of thing is a much better way to keep track of all of them. I put down all my fitness goals first, with date ranges to complete them, but I’m not too sure what to do besides that. I guess I’ll just have to give it a shot.

  76. Kate P. says

    When I read this myself, I did not take the entire thing seriously, but as I reached the bottom of the post, I was inspired from the inside out, hungry for more posts and left with a desire to get a taste of those experiences. It is no wonder commenters have anything but encouragement to say. I am now going to start my own Impossible List, and although it may not have sky diving, it will include writing a children’s book. Hopefully others now understand, like I now do, just how important it is not to not just think we will have time to do something at some point in life; the time is now. So I am setting the alarm for my impossibilities and must say thanks Joel, for reminding everyone that just because we grow up doesn’t mean our dreams have to. You are changing “realistic, possible” lifestyles one post at a time.

  77. says

    Hey Joel,

    As with everyone else here – thanks for the inspiration man! Mainly for the thought that physically writing it out and putting it up online makes it so much more motivating and accountable. I’m enjoying the regular email updates and using you as my silent mentor. I’m currently quitting cigarettes but northern lights have been top of my list for too many years so I’m doing that next year with my all time number two goal of seeing a three toed sloth. I stole a couple of your ideas but I put a link in my blog to say thanks. When you cross off your travel goal of Australia 1. Travel the Great Ocean Road and 2. Hit me up if you need a place to crash in Sydney.

    Again, thanks man!

  78. says

    Amazing and perfect concept! I am so thankful that I have discovered this kind of approach from

    I already have my list and will do my best!

  79. says

    Not sure if someone already asked this but… how in the world did you go one month without Internet? What did you do? What was your process like? How can others do the same?

  80. says

    Hi Joel,
    I just randomly came across your page, I can’t wait to spend more time checking it out! I have done so many things both travel, adventure, fitness and in life but to see them listed and crossed off is so awesome! I am going to do that! I have been to 6 continents and 50 countries so far so I would be happy to give you suggestions when you are ready to cross off a few more! Keep being awesome :)

  81. Aaron McCloud says

    Thankyou for this site. You don’t know how much I needed this inspiration. I’ve always longed to live my life richly and deeply, but lately I’ve been letting myself lose heart and focus.

    I’ll be buying a shirt, and keeping with the site, thanks!


  82. says

    All 5 star american hero like, what about a REAL IMPOSSIBLE challenge: go without sitting on a chair (or any kind of seat) for 30 days ?

  83. Rachelle says

    Awesome list Joel…love it…but I was wondering how you can buy a ticket without knowing where you’re going??

  84. says

    I love finding other people who stopped believing that “impossible” should be a red light.

    This year I’m traveling to 13 countries, supporting myself full-time as an artist, and training to make it to the next Olympic boxing trials.

    Keep inspiring the world, sweetheart!

    All the best,


  85. James says

    You should add: ‘learn to play an instrument’ to the list.
    Might take a couple of years, but you seem like the perseverant type

  86. says

    Hi Joel. I just subscribed your newsletter and I have to say that I really admire you for what you’ve already achieved and your next goals. I agree we should live not just for living and do something great in our lives, memorable. That is the attitude and is also my attitude.

    Despite I’ve already visited groundbreaking places and have been with amazing people I think I still have to do so many things. So, I accepted the challenge and started now doing my list.

    Well, wish me luck and good luck for you too.

    PS: Nice typing you’ve got for the blog’s headline. I also have that one. Impossible 😀

  87. says

    Great list Joel, I am just starting my own and your list has been an inspiration. How often do you look at your list and pick one of the things to specifically go after? Or even cleanse the list of goals you no longer wish to achieve?

  88. says

    Come to Oz. learn to surf and scuba dive here and perhaps cross a few more off your list.

    My list has- give a real TED talk
    Climb Kilimanjaro.

  89. Robert A says

    Awesome list!! Gonna make one of my own soon and probably take some of yours haha. My favorite is “learn parkour and make an awesome montage video” !!

  90. Zack says

    I’m curious about something. While I admire your passion for doing the impossible, how does someone without the time or namely, te money, pull something like that off? I don’t exactly have a job that would allow me to just up and visit Antarctica. Not only that, but I have my responsibilities as a husband and father, things I have no desire to start half-assing any time soon. (Besides, my wife and I are having some issues we’re trying to work through, so a trip out of country is pretty much not in the cards.)

    • says

      You set a goal & go after it. Step by step.

      I know exactly how you feel. 3 years ago I was broke and living in my parents list. However, when you make something a priority – it tends to get a lot easier to just figure things out.

  91. says

    Hello Joel,

    Your list is the first one that’s why old one too and you have accomplished several impossibilities as well. I liked it very much and I have created my impossible list as well. Now I’ll do impossible as well. I want to open school in my village as well.


  92. Tui says

    A few short days ago I began writing down my own list like this. Mine is also, not a bucket list, and I didn’t want to call it such. The name struck me out of nowhere, and described what it was perfectly. The Infinity List. In it’s full form it is all the things I want to see, do, experience, know, and is as such always evolving and changing, but in a more refined sense it seems incredibly similar to your Impossible List. I like it, and am super stoked I’ve found your blog. Cheers Joel!

  93. Alejandro Afanador says

    I just StumbleUpon your blog and thought it was amazing. I’ve always wanated to start a blog, do something impossible, but well I always thought it was impossible. You inspire me to realize that word has no true meaning. I am going to start my blog next week. Thank you very very much. I just have one question, you already crossed out buying a ticket to a random destination. How did you do it? Where did you end up?

  94. says

    Ohh Man, you inspired me to do the impossible thank you so much. You have become my inspiration and now I am going to make a list of imposibble things like you. I think I can’t make such large as you but I’ll try.
    Thank you so much again.

  95. says

    Great list with awesome progress! I just completed my list of 101 things in 1001 days, and it really made me more confident to work my way through the list. I did things like take a trapeze class, travel alone, and I went zorbing too. Now, I am feeling ready to take on bigger challenges. (I’m not sure what they are yet, but I know I will try to give a speech somewhere–my biggest fear–and raise money for a cause.)

  96. Justin says

    Can I suggest a small twist to one of your impossible items to make it even more impossible. “Complete an IronMan – and never tell anyone that you did it, ever” This is one you don’t get to cross out, because it would be telling someone you did it. If you want to build some mental toughness, running the IronMan is easy, telling absolutely no one that you accompished it, that’s impossible. (Telling your wife would be acceptable, are one flesh anyway, 2. it’d be hard to conceal and 3. she has to put up with the training). “Running a Marathon and telling absolutely no one … ever” is on my impossible list. And I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you if I’ve done it or not.

    By the way, I love your site. Impossibly Awesome.


  97. JJ Maritz says

    You know what you should add to your list is “Watch a Rugby test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the South African Springboks at either Loftus Stadium in Pretoria or Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg. You wont regret it.

  98. says

    This list is so bossy, like the best mission statement for life i’ve ever seen. Totally inspiring me to create one of my own. Thanks Joel:)

  99. says

    Namaste Joel!

    That’s really inspiring thing to make a list of impossible and make it possible. Thanks for sharing your list, it’s motivating. If we don’t try what we love and feel impossible, we can never know that it was actually possible if would give it a try. Many of us get discouraged by the negative comments by others and never know that we could live our dream. This list has inspired me too! :)

  100. Anne says

    I noticed how all of it concerns yourself.
    Is there any challenge that involves helping others ?
    I guess this is what we Westerners see as progress, focussing on our own ego.

  101. Karen West says

    that’s a great list. Unfortunately all of the things on the list that you’ve crossed off are only self serving. It would be nice to see the things helping others being crossed off. That’s what life is all about giving to others. I think a lot of people miss that. also when we do help others or give something away, it is to be done anonymously, not published. life isn’t about walking around getting a pat on the back. Something to ponder

  102. Kylie says

    Reading this legit made me cry a little bit. The idea that you set these goals for yourself and achieved so many of them is so amazing and even though I don’t know you I’m so proud of and happy for you.

  103. says

    I randomnly came across this website and I have to say…It’s @#! awesome!

    I really like that you are making the impossible possible!

    I’m joining the e-maillist right now!

    Thanks for inspiring me, I’m going to keep going 😀

  104. says

    I found out about your list from Grant Baldwin’s podcast. I love the concept and although I never published one of these, I still keep one of these since high-school.
    Graduating engineering and medical schools were on my impossible list – but I managed to do them both in parallel. I have no idea how I managed in the end, but I had to do it because I never know when I’ll have another asthma attack, so I may never get a second chance.
    On my current impossible list lies writing a second book on comparative aging of the species. I started it in 2014 and it seems impossible to ever finish it, not to mention publish it.

  105. says

    Oh my god this is the first time I am seeing such a long list that too almost completed…. No words man.. No words…
    Just amazed by your accomplishments..
    Wish this will motivates millions….

  106. Marcos says

    Hi, my name is Marcos Hernández. I`m spanish (Canary Islands, such a paradise, right?) and I`m 18 years old. I really want to spend some time telling you that, in some meaningful way, I find this `Impossible List` idea (or project, whatever you want to call it) very interesting.
    Personally speaking, I think the best thing I can do now is to build up a plan, project, guide like this and put there all of the (im)possible cool amazing things that can happen in my life that only TV cool guys seems to be prepared for (as you mentioned in the beginning). I have been tremendous inspired by you and Thomas Frank in self-improvement and developing my skills. One good example of this is travelling to space (which seems to be possible in my life time) and giving a TedTalk which would be great of course.
    Finally, I want to ask you for a favor if you have time to answer this. I want to build a list just like and have some questions: 1. How is the best way to keep it with me in about 10 years from now (like being a blog for example); 2. Does the list have some requierements like “Shouldnt put this” or “things that..”.

    PD: Sorry for the possible mistakes you may found in my writing expressing. Im sure there are. Anyway, THANK YOU for inspire and maybe in some years you can delete the “Change 1 Person’s Life For The Better”.
    I really hope you answer this.


  1. […] to be at least passable in.” Inspired by similar lists made public by fellow bloggers Joel Runyon and Sean Ogle, it’s time to post mine. Joel, Sean and I all agree that telling other people […]

  2. […] Personal A big part of personal development will come from evaluating where you are in the present and determining if you are happy with that, or want to make a change. For some people, a slight tweak will be all that it takes. For others, a more radical change might be in store. Slight tweaks might involve trying something new, like pilates instead of yoga or deciding to save the money you normally spend on going out 2 nights a week. Radical changes might involve quitting your job to pursue another passion like Nina Yau or downsizing your life to only own 50 things like Colin Wright. Figure out what really motivates and excites you, and move in a direction towards experiencing those things. It might help to make a “Things I want to do” list (or, a bucket list). I have one of these on my Listomania page, and also check out Joel Runyon’s List of Impossible Things. […]

  3. […] I am compiling these Ignore the Experts posts as a means of inspiration, for those days when you just don’t think you know what to believe. The idea is that we hear from every angle how things ought to be, how things will be, and how things are. But the truth is we ought to ignore the advice. We should create and live with passion. We should become the experts and redefine what is possible. […]

  4. […] I succeed by failing (or try to, anyway). In other words, I set ridiculous goals. Here’s an example. I was interested in film production a few years ago. So, I bought about ten books from Amazon and set out to read them. Why ten books? I bought ten because, if I bought only one book, I might not read it. But I’d feel really dumb if I bought ten books and didn’t read a single one, right? And that’s why I did buy ten books. Even if I failed to read all of them, I’d be sure to read some of them. As it turned out, I read about five or six of the books right away. Sure, it would have been cheaper to buy one book, and less shameful to not read it. That’s why I bought ten. Incidentally, one of the film books that I read was an autobiography by Robert Rodriguez, a movie director. In it, he says something like, “I figured I’d have to make about ten bad movies before I’d make a good one. So, I just got to work with the idea of getting those ten bad movies out of the way so that I could start making good ones.” It’s another example of succeeding by failing. For people wanting to change their life, I’d recommend setting some ridiculous goals. […]

  5. […] It took me by surprise.  So it’s with this new vision that I read Joel’s Manifesto, and his Impossible List, and decided to make one of my own.  Joel will tell you that an Impossible List isn’t a Bucket […]

  6. […] bucket-list but…not. I got this idea from Thomas Frank ( who got this idea from Joel Runyon). This is my super-amazing list of “Impossible things”. It’s small now but I plan […]

  7. […] I am writing this first blog post to hold myself accountable. You can call me out to! What do I want to be held accountable for? I want to achieve the impossible. I am currently writing a list of impossible things that I will achieve in my life time. I actually got the idea from a guy who I really look up to. His name is Joel Runyon and you can see his impossible list that he pioneered at […]

  8. […] The Impossible List is a list of things you might have always wanted to do, but may have seemed impossible at one point in time.  My list is going to be pretty ordinary compared to most, and quite mundane in some ways.  Only because I have really never left the town I grew up in, never left my comfort zone.  But anyways, here goes. […]

  9. […] I can easily come up with a to-do list but accomplishing what’s listed is always a pain. How much more when you come up with an Impossible List. It’s a list that’s impossible. Not a bucket list but something that pushes you to challenge yourself to do the impossible. Like this one. […]

  10. […] This is my list of impossible things. I’m constantly crossing things off it as I accomplish them and adding to it when needed and I’ll be making regular updates about my journey on the blog. Maybe you’re bored of a bucket list, maybe you’re tired of simply attempting what’s considered “possible”, maybe you just want to try something different. This blog is for you.” – Joel Runyon, ImpossibleHQ […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *