April 24, 2017

Why we need to Write our Bucket List Now.

We’ve all heard of a bucket list.

Perhaps you already have one. Perhaps you’ve taken time to write out the things you want to do, places you want to go, people you want to meet, and experiences you want to have throughout your life. Perhaps you’ve already ticked off a few boxes.

If you have—you might not need this. However, if you’re feeling stuck in your ability to make your list a priority, or you need some inspiration, please keep reading.

I’m writing this piece with the intention to gently coerce those who haven’t put time and energy into creating their bucket list—to get the f*ck on it.

What are you waiting for?

I think about the world a lot. I probably shouldn’t because it ends up causing me intense rumination and anxiety, but nonetheless, I can’t help it. Sometimes these thoughts are positive and they make me feel optimistic about the direction we, as a global society, are headed. Most of the time—they’re not.

Most of the time, I’m caught thinking about the superfluity of issues we’ve created on the earth and also how it seems that we’re never going to make any meaningful change toward betterment by doing what we’ve always done. I fear the opposite is true—we’re going to make things worse.

This is where the notion of the bucket list comes in.

With so many of us not having a bucket list—with so many of us being unaware of what we want to accomplish in our life—we’re just this mass of breathing beings carrying out our day-to-day lives in zombie-like fashion.

Think about it.

Think of five things that you would have on your bucket list. The sky is the limit. What are five things that, given no restrictions, you want to accomplish before you’re 10 feet underground?

Living as you are now, are you closer to making these dreams reality?

I’ll flip through my little notebook where my list is written (and constantly being added to), and randomly choose five:

>> Go real rock climbing (like cliff-face rock climbing)

>> Have no boss

>> Visit the 142 bus in Alaska

>> Have a photo published in the National Geographic

>> Backpack Iceland

Had I not written these down I might not be making it my mission to accomplish them before I take my last breath. Had I not written these down I might not feel the drive to cross them off. Had I not written these down, I might not be abandoning the mundane in pursuit of the mind-blowing.

I would still be going to work, coming home, eating dinner, watching a movie, and going to bed—only to wake up and do it all over again.

I would be doing the same old sh*t without a hope of experiencing the adrenaline I so innately crave. There would be no change.

I wrote down what I truly wanted to do in life and I started making changes that allow that vision to manifest.

So what am I proposing?

I’m proposing a shift in the way we think about our lives.

I’m proposing we stop waiting until we have the time, money, and means. I’m proposing we stop waiting until we’re ready.

Thing is—we’ll never be ready.

Waiting is the pre-emptive strategy of fear. We wait, and then we think, and then we wait longer, which gives us time to think more. All of a sudden, we’re idle.

We can’t grow by living idly. You, me, the world—will not grow by being idle in our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

Growth will only come from stepping outside of your comfort zone, being open to the unexpected, adapting when necessary, and making changes to your priorities.

Betterment can’t come from staying where we are. Betterment can only come from change. You want your life to get better? Embrace change. You want the world to get better? Embrace change. You want to move forward? Be prepared to take a step, to move from where you are now.

And this needs to start now. Not later, not after considering your options, weighing up the pros and cons, getting second opinions, and questioning yourself. This needs to start now, before it’s too late.

You can start making your bucket list right now.

Write down all that you want your life to be in a notebook, on your phone, on a napkin. Just start now. And don’t hold back because something seems too far-fetched, too grand, too far away, or inaccessible. Write it all down. In writing down the ostentatious, just seeing it there in front of you, your brain will begin to shift. It will stop laughing at the idea and instead start asking, “How can I move closer to it?”

You read, “Climb Everest,” and instead of thinking, “Pfffft, yeah right,” you realize you need to learn to climb. You start watching climbing documentaries, going to the local rock wall, researching and asking professionals questions. You start learning and you become closer to accomplishing that goal than you were before. It’s as simple as that.

I started my list in a bar in Banff, Canada. I was with my little sister. We felt a pang of inspiration, picked up notebooks, and began writing down anything and everything that triggered excitement.

I now carry this notebook everywhere with me. When I start to question the changes I’ve made in my life, I flip through the pages and remind myself that, without these changes, some things wouldn’t be crossed off. Without these changes, I’d have said no to so many things that scared me.

I read these jotted goals and I see adventure.

This notebook represents who I really am. When I wrote my list, I disregarded fear, hesitation, disbelief, and uncertainty. I befriended them and, in doing so, I took my life by the reins.

Yours will look different to mine—likely very different.

Your book will be representative of who you are. In writing your life goals down, you will inspire yourself to let go of idle living. And from that, betterment will blossom.

What are you waiting for?

Author: Robyn Phillips 
Image: Phil Leary/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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