The Power of the Bucket List


Visions are not just for mystics, presidents and evangelists. We can all have a vision of a better, brighter future for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s human nature to seek personal growth and improvement.

Sounds too deep? Well let’s look at it this way. Did you ever plan a vacation? Do you have a goal to buy a home or move to a larger place? Do you have a dream car you’ve always wanted to own? Places you would just love to see, things you’ve always wanted to experience? Skills you’ve always wanted to master? These are all parts of a vision for your future life. Some of these things can be achieved this year, some in the next five years. Some might take 20 years to come to fruition, and some might never happen. For any of our dreams to be realised though, we must develop actionable plans, otherwise a dream will be nothing more than a flight of fancy to while away another day.

Many of us capture our wish-lists for life in a ‘Bucket List’, whether that be a physical list, a pinboard of clippings or a mental slideshow we draw upon to lighten the burden of our workaday lives. However we capture it, that list of things we want to do, see or accomplish before we die has become a defining feature of the late Boomer / early Generation X crowd, probably largely due to the reality of mortality that hits as we age. The golden ‘Third Age’ is the Holy Grail – that time of financial and familial freedom to tour the world and see the sights. We have been sold this idea that our golden years are the reward for four decades of work, a time to fill the memory banks one last time before the ravages of age strip us of our body or our mind.

But Bucket Lists should not be the sole preserve of retirees, and maybe it is the origin of the phrase that has created this belief. The notion of ‘things to do before I die’ naturally carries this notion of impending demise. Younger people are still too busy living life to worry about what needs to be squeezed in before death. I like ‘Life List’ better – it is a much more inclusive phrase for this notion of our life vision. A Life List is a place to capture our dreams for the experiences, challenges, opportunities and desires we have at any stages of life. Anyone, at any age, can have a Life List.

I have firmly embraced the Life List philosophy. I believe Life is to be lived, experienced, tasted and consumed. My Life List includes goals around travel, experiences, personal achievement, skills attainment, relationship success and more. There are certainly more things I want to see, do, achieve or experience than I can reasonably expect to accomplish, and a few I might regret if I did actually ever fulfill them, but the starting point is to have the dreams in the first place, and capture them physically. Your Life List should excite you every time you review it. It should be like that  Ferrari parked at the roadside – it should thrill you and fill you with anticipation, even before you slip behind the wheel.

Next time on Best of You: Bringing your Life List into reality

2 thoughts on “The Power of the Bucket List

Add yours

  1. It seems Peculiar to me that as I age, I find very few things to put on a “life list”. That’s not to say I didn’t have a list or that the list was fulfilled. What it means is, I’ve become less materialistic and a less selfish human. Throughout my younger years I strived for success and wealth, I achieved a little of both but in the end I think it would have been beneficial to seek spiritual awareness. Once that was achieved then all “life list items would be attainable. The one thing that remains on my list you may ask? Peace, I want my spirit to find peace!


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