Since Jack and Morgan did it, everyone seems to have a list of things to do before they kick the proverbial.
Whether it’s hiking the Inca Trail, base jumping off the Petronas Towers or participating in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, “that’s one for the bucket list”, has become a common refrain.
Typical bucket list items include travelling to exotic or remote locations, engaging in extreme sports or adrenaline-charged activities or appearing in a reality TV show.
Curiously, while the protagonists in the movie were older men staring down the barrel of terminal illness, most of the enthusiastic bucket listers these days are young people with long lives ahead of them.
Well, here are my top 10 reasons to throw away that bucket list:
1. Life is not a series of boxes to be ticked off, but a journey to be savoured and lived.
2. Bucket lists are ego-driven. We need to let go of ego to truly understand the world around us.
3. Our priorities and wishes will change. Why focus on a list of things when we can explore life as it unfolds?
4. It’s quality that counts. It’s not how many countries we’ve visited and instagrammed but how well we actually saw those countries. It’s not how many extreme activities we tried and tweeted, but how well we mastered a single skill.
5. Our life has more purpose than ticking boxes. Of course there are things we’ll want to do and achieve, but we’d be better off letting them happen naturally and enjoy the wonder.
6. If you were to die tomorrow would you be relieved that you visited 45 countries and jumped out of a plane or would there be other priorities? Maybe some regrets?
7. Bucket lists can be destructive. How much time, energy, resources and money are thrown at achieving a single item on a list while other, arguably more important, parts of life are being ignored? Would those people whose bucket lists include killing endangered wild animals or conquering Himalayan mountains do it again if it wasn’t for the vanity trophy? Do they ever consider the cost beyond their own pocket?
8. Sometimes the most magical moments in life simply can’t be listed.
9. The revolution will not be instagrammed.
10. Life is our greatest adventure. There should only be one item on the list: to live, and live thoroughly.
Sure there are a lot of things we’d like to see, do and achieve in this life, but let’s set them as milestones and pursue them mindfully as part of a single journey.
The really important things in life can’t be crossed off a list.
How many people have on their bucket lists: to be a good parent, to love and be loved unconditionally,‘to appreciate nature every single day, to make sure my great-grandchildren have a planet worth inheriting?
These are the things that will make lasting memories and build a legacy. They are not ego-centered, they cannot be quantified, but they will be how we are remembered.
There is only one destination in life, and it’s how we get there, not when, that ultimately defines how we’ve lived.
Live mindfully, love completely and enjoy unfolding realities instead of chasing transient targets.
Author: Robin Tennant Wood
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Philip Leara/ Flickr