Well, actually I don’t write them.
I help people write their own.
You wouldn’t want me to write yours for you, I’m sure.
It would include things like “Read the top 100 classic novels of all time” and “swim with whale sharks” and other things you’d probably find equally distasteful.
But what I do is help people focus in to create a list of the things that they truly want to experience in life.
Things that make their own heart sing, things that come from the core of their being.
What’s A Bucket List?
Just on the off chance that you don’t know what a bucket list is, here’s a quick definition.
A bucket list is simply a list of the things you MUST do before you die.
And while it’s not a great deal of fun to think about dying, there’s nothing like a little death to put focus on life.
Somehow, even though we know everyone around us is mortal, we all have a self-protective suspicion that we might not be.
While that’s helpful (we’d never leave our homes if we were confronted with our mortality constantly) it protects us too much – to the point that we live like there’s no urgency to do whatever it is we want to do.
It’s the stuff of country songs, I know, but living like you’re dying is pretty good advice.
Though I’d rather counsel people to live like they’re living – really living.
So if you were really living, what would you do?
To Hell With It!
You’d be less concerned with the consequences of things. If you’ve seen movies or read books on this subject, or even played it out in your own mind, you’d see that one major theme is that people decide, “To hell with it!” and choose instead of plodding along on their current path to instead push forward on long-forgotten dreams.
They decide to figure out whatever consequences they’ll endure later – if there is a later.
It’s much more important, paramount even, to satisfy that deep inner urge to do whatever is on their bucket lists.
While I’m not advocating a theatrical exit from your office today, I am questioning the practicality of spending years of your too-short life on something you don’t care about.
Since you likely have a “later”, you will have to weigh consequences – but don’t let them weigh so heavily that you end up with a life of only “should haves”.
Go With Your Gut
You would spend less time questioning your gut reaction. If you are living in full-color, you don’t have time for self-doubt, waffling, or being timid. You’re too busy letting it rip.
You would take yourself more seriously. Instead of giving your inner self a kindly pat on the head when it shares an innermost dream, you’d listen to it and plan accordingly.
Many of us hear that voice saying: “I’d really like to be/do/have/experience/give/learn/accomplish that” only to walk away from the dream without seriously considering it.
The consequence is that the voice goes quiet, and your life is dull and not yours. (Read: Where is That Inner Voice Thingy: How to Find and Stay Connected to YOU)
One fun exercise (if you like black humor) is to go ahead and write that bucket list.
What would be on it?
Just as importantly, what are you doing today that wouldn’t be on it. How do you think your life would be different if you were living in full color?
Use my Bucket List Template to make it easier.
I am (of course) extremely interested in what makes people tick, their hopes and dreams, and personal goals and missions. I’d love to hear yours. Please post any comments below. . .