(7 minute read)
A ‘Bucket List’ is one of those things that everyone has thought about at least once in their life, but how many people actually start working on it?
If you’re anything like me, you might have thought ‘that sounds fun, I should try that’ and scribbled the idea down on your phones note app.
You might also be one of the few people who actually has a whole list written down but haven’t crossed a single item off.
Regardless of where you are in the bucket list journey, we will providing you three quick tips that can get you started on experiencing life TODAY.
Warning: Many people think that a bucket list is only relevant if you’re dying, can only be achieved if you’re rich, or require you to experience terrifying challenges. None of these are true. You don’t need millions of dollars or a terminal illness to experience life – you can get started TODAY.
For the past year, we’ve been helping to make bucket list dreams possible for cancer patients – in our case, we’ve come to consider a bucket list as something different than most people think of it as.
To us, a bucket list is a list that expresses what the author finds important in life.
That is: You shouldn’t be worried about how exciting or shareable or lavish your bucket list is. If you LOVE ice cream, why not add ‘lay in bed all day and eat 10 flavors of ice cream’? If life has been particularly hard recently, why not add ‘go on a walk’?
Your bucket list does not need to make sense to anyone BUT YOU. There is no time limit, no limitations.
I’ve been in the same boat as you: this sounds like a LOT of work. I understood a bucket list doesn’t seem that important butlet’s take a second to really think about what a bucket list does for us: it’s a list of what YOU find important in life.
The truth is: I can’t possibly begin to explain how magical it feels to cross an item off of your list. It might just seem like just a line, but crossing it off means that you just achieved something that actually brings value to your life. It’s not just being rich or famous: it’s valuable to you and only you. That’s special.
You can be the happiest you’ve ever been, or lost and depressed. It doesn’t matter – you can begin TODAY.
There’s two things that make a bucket list so important:
Defining what you find important in life (making the bucket list) and experiencing those moments (crossing items off).
So many people think that bucket lists are important because you can cross things off, but that’s the hard part. The easier part is to make the bucket list (and once you do that, you’re already halfway there).
In my opinion, it’s way more fulfilling. Sure, it is a different emotion, but the act of considering what is important to you and writing that down is extremely satisfying and eye opening.
Spoiler: You don’t need to add a specific number of items to get started – just one bucket list item is a good goal. Maybe you can add #1: Add 5 more items to my bucket list. Want to get started making your bucket list, you can upload/share yours on our website.
As an example: One of my personal bucket list items is to Make a Movie. On the outside, that might not seem too grand, but I came up with it on a date with my girlfriend. In short: I freakin’ love that girl. She smiled at me from across the table and it gave me goosebumps. I got thinking – how can I express how much I like her? Then it hit me – a movie would be a powerful way for me to express my feelings for her. Add it to the list! I haven’t made a full movie yet, so I haven’t had the satisfaction of crossing it off but (at risk of sounding cheesy), thinking about this gave me a better understand of my feelings within the relationship.
One of the biggest mistake people make is thinking “everything I write down I need to cross off”.
When people say things like that, I find it important to reiterate: adding things to your bucket list is just as important as crossing things off.
In additional to that, if a bucket list is a list of what YOU find important in life…DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF.
Your bucket list is a living, breathing document – it can be added to, changed, removed from, etc. The beautiful part about life is that it never stops…is there ever a time when you are done experiencing life? Why limit your bucket list to a specific number, or to items that are only accessible right now? Why exclude things that seem impossible to accomplish?
If something is important to you, or you’d like to experience it: add it to your list.
Again, don’t worry about making it fun or interesting or sexy or exciting: this is your list and no one else’s. It can be small and silly or giant and scary. Let if reflect who YOU are.
An example: Another item on my list is ‘Go To Space’. The truth is, that WON’T be happening in my life. I’m blind in one eye and not in the best shape…NASA will NOT be hiring me anytime soon. That being said, space is still a gorgeous, exotic thing that I dream about all of the time. I can still fantasize about how awesome it would be. Additionally, someone stumbling across my bucket list actually WORKED for SpaceX and I was able to go on a tour…I was lucky enough to touch a rocket that went into space. If I never added ‘Go To Space’, I would have missed out on that magical experience.
If I were to wage a bet, I’d say there are roughly 392 Trillion people that made a bucket list (or atleast thought of something they wanted to do) but never made a single inch of progress.
It’s okay to think small. It’s okay to add something silly just for the sake of being able to cross it off.
In fact, if you have read this far and haven’t considered a single bucket list item yet…congratulations #1 on your bucket list is ‘Think of a Bucket List item’. That’s not a joke. Write it down or upload it on our site.
Everything I’ve talked about so far comes down to one simple thing: Making progress.
If that progress is small or large, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you took one step to explaining what matters in your life.
One List One Life is the story of two friends, Clay and Dillon, doing everything they can to make bucket list dreams possible for people greatly affected by cancer. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s sad. Hell, sometimes Clay even dresses up as a Cheetah. We’ve seen the crazy things that happen when you spend just a little bit of effort to Live For Another and One List One Life is our attempt to document all the high’s and low’s of that journey.