Why you should have a bucket list

Surely you’ve heard about people’s bucket lists, and all the incredible stuff you must do before you check out? Before you kick the bucket. Yeah, of course you have, but do you actually have one?

For a long time I treated this as something people around me just said, you know, figuratively speaking. They’d see something cool on youtube and go “Ohh, that’s something I have to put on my bucket list”. But of course they didn’t have an actual list, it was really just a saying of sorts.

A few years ago I met a guy at a house party who actually had a list. A proper list. He even showed it to me. There were sooo many awesome things on there, like meeting with celebrities, fly a helicopter inside Grand Canyon, make a million dollars, write a book, give a speach, and even learn a new language. All sorts of cool stuff.

But the thing that really blew my socks off was that several of those things had already been crossed out. Unable to control my curiousity I immediately asked him about it, with an almost childlike excitment in my voice.

Needless to say, it was a very interesting conversation, and this was clearly a man who had decided to squeeze as much as he could out of life. Yet, it didn’t seem like he was a desperate life junkie, trying to get a thrill out of every moment of every day. No. He just seemed curious and determined, and totally relaxed. And I was totally jealous.

Now, over the years I’ve thought about this a lot and even written my own list, and here is what I’ve gathered so far.

Very few people live their lives intent on doing extraordinary things. Some don’t seem to have spent even five minutes actively thinking about what would really and truly rock their world, let alone how to do it. Maybe they think it’s silly, maybe it’s just the grind of everyday life that simply makes them forget about it. But one thing is for certain; a bucket list would have helped them, no doubt.

Let me explain. A bucket list shouldn’t just consist of death defying stunts and acts of heroism, or being the first man in space wearing nothing but a jock strap, or becoming the president of a brand new republic on the planet of Zorgh.

If you treat it like it’s the Olympics for bad ideas, you might as well just write a laundry list of useless things starting with the letter “Z”, or a collection of history’s most badass country & western band names in alphabetical order, or anything else that is utter rubbish and waste of time.

Rather,  imagine things that would tickle you, and excite you in every way possible. It could be big and exciting stuff, but it can also be things that are more simple in nature and easier to achieve, but still powerful. Think of all the things you want to accomplish in life, and which experiences would make you grow and feel almost invincible. Give it a bit of time and thoughtful consideration. And honesty. If you do, something magical happens.

Once you pour your ideas on to a piece paper, they immediately become visible. You start to visualise them, and the mechanism that goes into planning these things gives you purpose and meaning, something to strive for. If you go through this process it’s a lot less likely that you’ll just forget about them.

So, now that your purpose levels are slightly revved up, you quickly realise that a bucket list will actually guide you and keep you focused on accomplishing amazing things, and give you a deeper understanding of how forceful and decisive you can actually be. And of course add some unforgettable memories that’ll forever put a smile on you face.

Just remember this. Have fun!! It’s a marathon, not a sprint. See it as something that could span over your entire life rather than something that must be done this year.

And even if you don’t get to cross out all the items on the list, just look at the ones you did and honestly ask yourself if you would have accomplished those things anyway. My guess is you wouldn’t.

So what are you waiting for, grab a pen and paper…


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