The EO "Bucket Wish" Experience

Article by:

Jonathan Slain
EO Cleveland
Jonathan Slain - EO Cleveland

I’ve always heard that EO can help you excel beyond just business, and during our chapter’s “All-Member Meeting” in July, I discovered that to be true. Our Learning Chair, Jason Fordu, introduced a new idea called the “EO Bucket Wish,” wherein one lucky member was given a chance to cross an item off of his or her bucket list via a drawing. I won! My wife, Katherine, and I had recently completed our bucket list, which included drive a Lamborghini (too easy), write a book (too hard), go on an African safari (too far), scuba dive with sharks (too scary) and catch lobsters in the ocean (just right). I eventually settled on “the lobster thing.” Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a lobster-fishing license, so we decided that scuba-diving with sharks would have to be a suitable substitute.

The adventure certainly lived up to our expectations! As we descended on our first guided dive at a site called “Treasure Wreck,” we found a family of Caribbean Reef sharks waiting below. After we grew used to our new finned friends, we did a second dive at “Shark Arena.” On this dive, the guide waited for us to get to the ocean floor, and then followed us with a box of bait—think raw fish heads—to feed the sharks. Katherine and I sat 50 feet below the surface while two dozen sharks materialized out of nowhere to wait (very impatiently) for a free meal. There’s more to our adventure I’d love to share, but I’ll be remiss if I didn’t point out that we never would have traveled so far from home were it not for the “EO Bucket Wish” opportunity.

Admittedly, Katherine and I had both resigned ourselves to working hard at our careers and raising our young girls this year, with no plans to travel abroad. This trip couldn’t have come at a better time in our lives. We had gotten into the bad habit of planning to cross items off of our bucket list later in life, when the time would be “right.” We assured ourselves that we would do these things when we have more money, more free time, when our girls are older, and so on. Thanks to EO and this trip, we were reminded how important it is to live in the present. Since returning from this journey, we’ve resolved to no longer make excuses. We’re going to cross stuff off of our bucket list every year, no matter what! As we recently discovered, all you need is plenty of support, planning and the will to make it happen.

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