Why a Bucket List is so Important?

You just gotta get out there!

I’m 36 (and a half) years old and, lately, death has been all around me. My wife’s grandmother (for whom I loved more than you can imagine) died suddenly a month ago. Her grandfather, two years prior to that. I watched the video of my wedding from nine years ago and it was a mix of kids that are now adults, parents that are now elderly and people who are no longer able-bodied.

The point is life carries on whether we are paying attention or not. Whether we appreciate it or not. Regardless of your religious views, this gift called life is just a one-time deal and the gifts within are available to those who are willing to go out and get it.

That’s where a bucket list comes in. We all have those things we want to do. Those “one day I’m gonna’s”. Well, even at my young age, I watched a number of “one day I’m gonna’s” pass me by. However, I don’t want let any more slip from my grasps. In essence, that’s the biggest reason for me to create a bucket or life list. Here are a few others to consider:

Dreams and Goals- I’m a driven person; more now than ever. However, building a successful business and becoming a social media guru is not going to complete me or anyone for that matter. Having a ton of money doesn’t do it either. We all have those things that just fill us with joy or feeds a deep desire within us. Those are our dreams. The problem is dreams can get washed away quickly or shelved because they often don’t pay the bills. That’s why you have to stay aware of them. A bucket list gets them written down and in your periphery.

The Act of Writing it Down- By writing down a bucket list, you’ve created the first step in making these dreams realities. I have a billion things rattling around in my head but when I put one thing on paper, it begins to matter, at least on a small scale. If you make your list accessible to you (critical in this process) it will always be there to remind you of what you really want your life to be about.

Getting the Most Out of Life- I currently own a company that is an emerging kickball brand in Tampa, FL. I’ve been a published writer for the 14 years now. Both will be a mere footnote in my eulogy and a fleeting thought in my later years. A career is just small part of your legacy and for as much we charge towards career success right now, it won’t matter in 40 years. A sunrise over the Serengeti, your first marathon, your baby’s first steps, those things stick with you much more and become the fabric of who you are. Even more so, the smile on the face of someone you genuinely helped can replicate in your memory for the rest of your life.

Learn Who you are-  Because of the fleeting nature of work and money, defining yourself through them is a bad idea. By creating a life list and focusing strongly on what’s important to you in life, you start to get a feel for who you truly are. It actually can help you in business a great deal.

Cure Boredom- Let’s face it, while we secretly crave routine, there’s a point where life can become boring. The same route to work each day. Similar tasks.  Similar conversations, responsibilities, yearnings for Friday. Wash. Repeat.  A bucket list (and your pursuit of it) gives you something else. Something to think about and to push for. Something that fills you, but not necessarily makes you better at what you do for a living (although that is often a side effect.) Most importantly, a bucket or life list can make you better a person. As a matter of fact, I would mix in fun things with a pursuit of self improvement.

For me, two things I’m pursuing right now is logging in a 1,000 volunteer hours in a year and attending the 2013 Final Four in Atlanta. These two items speak to me right now.

What speaks to you? What is one bucket list item on your horizon?

Comments

  1. Great post. I’ve never kept a “bucket list” as I thought it was silly (I do however have a mental list of things I haven’t gotten to and never intend to, like skydiving!) But you make some good points about why writing down a bucket list is a great idea. It turns dreams into goals! Thanks, I may just give this a try.

  2. Hi Johnny: My bucket list is overflowing right now, as the research for my chocolate travel book will be taking me all over the world.

    But my #1 goal right now is to get my book finished — hopefully in time for Valentine’s Day. I fell off the wagon and got distracted for about a month, but I’m back in the saddle now and focused on the goal.

    Good luck with yours!

  3. I have an unwritten bucket list, and I’ve not eve started doing anything about it. What you wrote about your wedding and seeing all those kids grown up now, struck a chord in my heart. Indeed time is passing by so swiftly, and before I know it, it’s time to move out from this physical state.

    Two items in my bucket list are to tour Europe, and go skydiving. They seem like pipe dreams to me because in my present state, I could never fulfill them, but I have to find the will to make them come true. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Jena, flat out, don’t give up on your dreams or what you want to or think you can do. In the end, it’s really the individual that decides what they can and can’t do.

  4. Ah, the Bucket List. I do have one and actively update it in January and then check off the ones that aren’t important anymore or what I have accomplished. I do love your thoughts about it, especially the part about curing our dreams and curing boredom. :-)

    • Thank you Susan! That’s a great idea to check the list each January and do a little editing. If there is anywhere that people who make bucket lists mess up, it’s keeping up with the list. Unless you are actively looking at it and working on it, it’s no good to you.

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