What do we hope to achieve before our expiry on this planet? What kind of footprints do we hope to leave behind?
The bucket list is becoming less of a taboo these days, because more people are willing to reconcile with the certainty and/or unpredictability of death at some point, and the realization that life goals are meant to be achieved.
Lest we are confused, a bucket list is very different from a shopping list.
Just sometime recently, I overheard a radio host interviewing some people on what their bucket lists were. The radio host went on to talk about the bucket list like a shopping list, rambling on what kind of items the host hoped to own before long.
While the bucket list can have perhaps a couple of things we purchase with equity, it is not meant to be a shopping list.
A bucket list would make more sense if we are defining the life goals we plan to reach, and especially meaningful if the bucket list brings about a transformation or transfiguration of our beings every day we continue to breathe and walk.
Nobody can predict the future or when we draw our last breath. That is the beauty of Divine Will. Therefore, we take every moment as if it is our last, and question ourselves honestly, just what kind of tasks, goals, and dreams, do we hope to achieve, and then go about achieving them step by step.
For example, if we have never attempted extreme sports because of our inner fears, we can choose an extreme sport that challenges our fears. For some, an extreme sport can be paragliding off the cliff of a colossal mountain. For some others, like me, it could just mean learning to swim.
If we note on our bucket list that we intend to become an author, we can start writing today, through a blog, and work slowly and steadily towards refining our writing style. We may never reach the literary status of the giants like Ernest Hemingway, Arthur C Clarke, C. S. Lewis, George Orwell, or J. R. R. Tolkien, but if we commit to our bucket list item by penning consistently with improvements every step of the way, we may, before long, see a book in print, or on the tablets. Who knows, our little work may become a bestseller! The best authors today would not have imagined incredible successes, despite having slaved years of writing and editing. They just kept going with the conviction of writing the best work for themselves.
And if we write on our bucket list to travel around the world, we need tonotlabor our entire lives to save money to travel only towards the end of our lives. We can work hard, save some money, travel some places, and then work hard again. It may require us to take up jobs that pay less and offer more flexibility, and we may have to save more and spend less on frills and luxuries. Before long, over a period of decades, we may have traveled to many locations. And when we travel, make every trip an experience, and not merely a shopping experience and a cursory stop at tourist locations. Take our time and effort to find the nooks and corners of the places we travel to, talk to people, and document our journeys in images, video and writings.
So if we want to have a social angle on our bucket list (or more), start today. Look out for communities you care for, and start from there. We may have bigger dreams than we can fulfill today, but every little bit of volunteering with our hands, feet, minds and hearts, will mean something to people whose lives we come into contact with. Start small, but keep going. The best help is often the small baby steps that are consistently taken and the bonds with people are formed over a long haul.
Most of us are everyday people who work hard, and hope to play a little when we can. Most of us are not born with a silver spoon in a lap of luxury. Our bucket list may be short, or long, but whatever Divine Will has gifted us with, we make the best of it and give everything in our lives our best shot.
And then, over time, when our hairs turn gray or white, we may look back at our bucket list and realize that we have checked off many of the meaningful items that made our lives inspirational and memorable.
Seamus Phan has 32 years of professional experience. He is a professional speaker, marketing and branding consultant, book author, technologist, scientist, artist, and aviation enthusiast. Some articles are reproduced at McGallen & Bolden, where he is CTO and Head of Content. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2019. All rights reserved.