In today’s me, me, look at me society, is the “bucket list” just another way to show off on Facebook? I’m sure for some people it is, however, don’t get caught up in besmirching a potentially life affirming list. The key is to think of a bucket list as a way to gather meaningful experiences, not “things” throughout your life and not just right before it ends either.
A bucket list is really a flippant way to say before I die, or “kick the bucket”. The term relates to a bucket someone stands upon that is kicked away during a hanging. Pretty morbid, but almost everyone gets the point immediately. Bucket lists really derive from a very positive concept, a “life list” created by famous adventurer, John Goddard. He wrote his when he was fifteen years old when he heard a friend of his father’s reflect that there were things in life he regretted never doing.
Writing them down and not just stating what you want to do is important. By writing them down, you make a commitment to yourself. Just like making a grocery list. If an item is left off the list, the likelihood of purchasing it at the store diminishes. Same with a bucket list or life list, aspirations/goals must be written down. Writing something down is the same as making a commitment.
Do it for the Right Reasons
Most bucket lists are created when someone learns they have a terminal illness and they only have a set time left to live. This make sense since our mortality is seldom contemplated until we are faced with it. However, why not make a bucket list or life list before you are faced with a time limit?
Be mindful of what you select for the list. Make sure it isn’t just rampant consumerism. Don’t put sky-diving if you are mortally afraid of heights just because you think you should. Reflect why you have the urge to do so. Is it because it is one of the most crazy/popular things to put on a life list or do you really have a need to face the fear of heights?
There are no right and wrong bucket lists. However, shoot for a meaningful bucket list, one that will provide an opportunity to connect with others or discover something about yourself.
Select Things You Actually Like
Be honest about what makes you happy, don’t just put it on your list because it something everybody does! You do not have to step outside your comfort zone in order to have a new, meaningful experience. Once in awhile it’s healthy to have sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach, but not for every single situation.
I always love planning a vacation. The possibilities seem endless and exciting. Even once the tickets are books and the rooms are reserved, I relish the days leading up to my departure date. Don’t lose sight of that anticipation; savoy it. In other words, don’t rush through your list cramming experiences together just to be able to check them off.
Be Present in the Now
Don’t spend too spend so much time rushing ahead. Make sure to take it all in! Some bucket list items can be extremely costly, so make sure not to waste any of it by letting it slip by and become a blur. Stop, take a moment and let it sink all the way into your senses. One thing I have tried to do throughout my life to to make sure I appreciate what is happening to me right now. After all, the present it really anyone one of us has any control over!
Take Time to Reflect
Once you have completed a bucket list item, put some effort into looking at where you’ve been and reflecting on what it all has meant. There really is no reason to put something on your bucket list, plan it, do it and then just file it away in your subconscious never to be visited upon again. Make sure you learn something from the things on your bucket list even if it is simple like “sunsets are really pretty over the open water”.
My Bucket List
Galapagos was a Bucket List adventure for me and it’s finally checked off! After watching Darwin’s amazing animal discoveries in the Galapagos on TV (Animal Planet and Discovery), I have always wanted to go back in history and visit this amazing place.
I got tired of waiting to go with someone, so I went solo — and loved every minute of it! The people on the ship were delightful; most were families of 3 generations. We got to see up close and personal wildlife like sea turtles, giant land tortoises, marine iguanas, land iguanas, a dozen different bird species, sea lions, sharks, and spectacular fish.
My favorite day happened while snorkeling in a deserted cove. A sea lion jumped off a rock and landed right next to me! I think my heart jumped out of my body! This wild sea lion spend the next 15 minutes playing with me, darting between my legs and allowing me to touch it. He was so playful and I will always remember that moment.
Most people talk about their Bucket List…and their dreams stay in the bucket. Life is too short to wait until the right time!
Larry Lipman Utilizes His Life Experiences to Provide Powerful Team Building
Larry of Fun Team Building leads personal development seminars and specializes in team building events. There’s a reason Larry’s approach to team building is so well-received: He has had diverse life experiences that allow him to see the world from a number of perspectives. Call Larry today at 770-333-3303 for your free 15-minute consultation.