I have one and I suspect you do as well. Whether or not you’ve written them down, chances are you have a “bucket list”, a list of things you want to do before you die. Strange as it might seem, this term didn’t join our lexicon until 2007 when a film “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was released. It’s the tale of two terminally ill patients who set off together to do the things they always dreamed of doing.
A bucket list though needn't be so morbid. It’s simply a wish list of things you want to do, goals you want to accomplish, and experiences that will give you pleasure and satisfaction. A few of the things on my list are spending a month in Ireland with my wife, seeing the Northern Lights, singing backup on a popular album, seeing my wife’s and my brand, Marvelous Moosey Adventures hit $1 million in sales, spending quality time with my family, and having the means to donate substantial amounts of money to the groups we feel passionate about.
Whatever your bucket list includes, the key is to write them down. Putting them in writing so you can see and review them regularly represents a commitment and something to work towards versus simply hopeful wishing. And make the list a compilation of things you know you can achieve within a reasonable time and also items you’re not sure you can ever achieve, but have a desire to achieve.
Remember though, this isn’t a list of goals in the typical sense. So what shouldn’t be on your bucket list? That you want to lose 10 lbs., get a new job (unless it’s becoming a dive master in New Zealand), buy a new car (except of course a Maserati or Rolls Royce) or get a new roof (the exception being a new roof on your 20,ooo sq. ft. mansion on Fiji).
Here then are five things I’ve learned to help make your bucket list awesome, fun and attainable:
Money is no object: None of us know what our financial circumstances will be a year from now, much less 10 or 20 years in the future. Pretend money is no object when putting together your list. If you want to travel around the world in first class comfort, put it down. Have the desire to own a 20,000 square foot home at the ocean or a popular ski resort, why not? Always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail or stay in an ice hotel in Sweden? Make it happen. What may seem totally out of reach financially right now might be a layup in five years.
Include things outside your comfort zone: Some people are naturally risk takers while for others, driving to the grocery store is the biggest risk they want to take. Have you ever wanted to scuba dive, fly an airplane, ride in a hot air balloon, skydive (both of my sons do this every weekend!), climb a mountain, or drive a Formula One car? If so, put it on your list. How about an African safari, flying into space, taking a submarine down to the site of the Titanic, chasing a tornado, or bungee jumping off Victoria Falls. Why not? Honestly, driving to the grocery store may be more risky than riding in a hot air balloon given how reports show most car accidents happen within 25 miles of home. Be sure to include some of those really off the wall dreams you have like ziplining through the Redwoods, swimming with sharks, parasailing over a glacier, wing walking, flying in a helicopter, or running with the bulls in Pamplona.
Make sure to include creative passions: Have you ever wanted to learn a foreign language, write a book, pen a song, act in a movie or play, learn how to play an instrument, paint, or become a master bartender? Many people don’t believe they have a creative bone in their body and so never even try to pursue those things they long to do. Your bucket list is the place to put these passions because they can help relight the spark of creativity that lies within all of us. And the law of attraction says as soon as you decide you want something and focus on it, the universe will start finding ways to make it happen. Isn’t that cool?
No holds barred: This list is not the place to be bashful so add all those things that have percolated in your mind. Want to have sex with your partner or spouse on a golf course at midnight, in the backseat of your car, or on the beach? Write it down. Want to meet your favorite movie star, singer, band, or author? Add it to the list. Perhaps you’ve always admired people who participate in triathlons or “mudders” and thought, “I can’t do that.” Why not? Of course it will take training, persistence and determination, but there’s no reason you can’t or shouldn’t at least try. Think outside the lines and dig d,eep to uncover the things you’ve always thought would be fun, challenging or even life changing and add them to your list.
Be Bold: Put the impossible on there because nothing is impossible unless you make it so. Actress Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m Possible.” While you might not ever climb Mt., Everest, how about taking a plane ride over the world’s tallest peak to see what the view is like? Want to walk on the Great Wall of China, go to Mars with Elon Musk (be careful, it might be a one-way trip at this point), take a zero-gravity flight on a 747, or walk a high wire in the circus? You may not ever make these happen, but if you don’t put them on your list and assume they’re impossible, they will be impossible.
Make your list at least 100 items and while that in itself may seem impossible, you’ve got a lifetime to achieve these. If you end up only completing 20, that’s still 20 awesome experiences you’ll never forget.
I always love irony and Morgan Freeman once said he hoped to one day work with Jack Nicholson. How ironic is it then that his wish became true when they were teamed up together on “The Bucket List”?
Go ahead, make your life an adventure by creating an awesome list of bold, creative, no holds barred things you want to achieve. Then start working to make them come true and know that no matter how many you complete, your life will be amazingly better as a result.