In the year 2007, a movie called The Bucket List premiered in theaters. Despite mixed reviews, it was a block buster hit. The movie consisted of two main characters played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. These characters met as complete strangers, yet became friends under the most undesirable circumstances – cancer. With a terminal diagnosis, they set out on an adventure with the intention of crossing items off their bucket list. In other words, they created a list of things they wanted to do before they died.
People around the world have been creating their own bucket lists for years. Some lists may consist of traveling to faraway places and owning a Ferrari. Others may include more reachable targets and adventures, such as enjoying a stroll in the rain and test driving that Ferrari instead of owning one. In the movie, they could be found flying over the North Pole, visiting the Taj Mahal, on a safari, and even sky diving. The list could go on with places to see and things to do. But, it became more personal for them. On that list, you would find something like “laugh until I cry” or “help a complete stranger for the good”, even “kiss the most beautiful girl in the world”.
It seems that almost everyone creates a little bucket list. It’s those things that you have stored in the back of your mind where you say, “I want to do that one day.” If you haven’t created your bucket list yet, hopefully these tips will help you develop one.
1.) Set your goals of varying levels and in different areas of your life. Create your list with your personal life in mind as well as your business life. What would you like to achieve in both? Set those goals that can be achieved sooner as well as those later in life. Include those that can be easy to achieve and those that will be more difficult.
2.) Include what you can do TODAY. Creating a list of future goals is one thing, but what can you do today? Maybe you want to write a letter to your favorite high school teacher thanking them for inspiring you to pursue a certain career path. Maybe you want to be involved in a Pay-It-Forward chain event. These are the little things that you can make happen now. Don’t hold off on those, make them happen yourself.
3.) The never ending list. The key to a bucket list is that it continues to grow. Once you start crossing things off your list, you’ll want to add more to it. It’s human nature to want to do things, to achieve goals. What we want to do changes over time. Maybe traveling to see the volcanoes in the Unites States isn’t as intriguing any more, but staying up to watch the magic of the Northern Lights is. Keep in mind the flexibility of the list. This is your list and it can change, and grow, and shrink however you would like it.
4.) Make it meaningful. One of the most important tips provided is to reflect on your personality and interests. Sure you can search the internet for other people’s bucket lists and ideas; however, it’s more important to think about what you are really interested in. It might be nice to take a trip to South America, but after studying your favorite ancient civilization, your real interest is in visiting Machu Picchu in Peru.
5.) Have fun. The idea of a bucket list is to enjoy life. If the list you created isn’t fun, then life isn’t being enjoyed the way it should be.
Although many believe creating a bucket list is associated with death, it actually becomes a list to help you live. These lists make you think about what you want to experience. It reminds you that life is short and you should live it to the fullest. The great Henry David Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
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