Living an authentic life message of Peninsula Behavioral Health gala speaker

Ben Nemtin

Ben Nemtin

PORT ANGELES — Ben Nemtin found a cure for depression that became his life’s work.

He’s helping people trust themselves enough to make the seemingly impossible possible and do what they actually want to do in life.

On Friday, Nemtin will speak about “radical possibility” and ask those gathered for the Peninsula Behavioral Health’s annual gala, “what do you want to do before you die?”

He will be the keynote speaker at the gala at 7 Cedars at 270756 U.S. Highway 101 in Blyn. The social hour will begin at 5 p.m., and dinner and the program will start at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $95 and can be purchased at or by calling 360-457-0431, ext. 159.

Nemtin once suffered such a deep depression he dropped out of college and became a shut-in at his parents’ home.

Slowly he realized that his depression wasn’t just a mood. It was a reaction to the circumstances he had put himself into: He was living up to what others expected of him instead of really living.

So he and three friends who also wanted something different borrowed an RV and went on the road in pursuit of experiencing every goal on their bucket list. They agreed that for each thing crossed of the list, they would help another person realize a dream.

They called their quest The Buried Life, keying off a poem by the same name that was written in 1852 by Matthew Arnold.

“But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,/But often, in the din of strife,/There rises an unspeakable desire/ After knowledge of our buried life.”

That was more than 10 years ago.

Since then, the four have produced an MTV series, created Four Peaks Media, written a No. 1 New York Times bestseller, “What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?” and kept their promise to help one stranger for every goal crossed off their bucket list.

They’ve played basketball with Barack Obama, been interviewed on the air by Oprah, done a sketch with Will Farrell, helped deliver a baby, ridden a bull and hosted a cooking show.

Now, Dave Lingwood is the founder and CEO of THEOS, a global production company. Jonnie Penn is a doctoral student at Cambridge and and AI expert. His brother, Duncan Penn, is a writer and motorcycle collector. And Nemtin is a speaker and mental fitness advocate.

The three have marked off all but nine of the goals on their bucket list. Nemtin is close to crossing off another one: getting married.

Their example has had an unexpected ripple effect, Nemtin said, in which others have written their own bucket lists and found a way to live a singular life.

His message is simple: All is possible. Live your dream, find out what you are capable of accomplishing.

To read more about Nemtin and The Buried Life, see


Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

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