Have you ever wondered how many people have a bucket list and never do anything with it? It would be nearly impossible to investigate but the bucket list to me represents more things that I will probably “never” do. Because of that, I am doing my best to take the term out of my vocabulary. It just does not represent what I want out of life. The additions to the bucket list are typically places or things that you may not even be equipped financially or mentally to cross off your list.
I have decided to make a new list, one that is more attainable in the end, and offers me a drive or incentive to complete the task. My new list is simply called the “to do list”. The mere change of words conveys a completely different message. The mere mention of bucket list conveys its unlikeliest chance of ever completing. Why would you ever want to, even mentally, leave your self the impression of never fulfilling your dreams.
Make this list adventurous but realistic. No silly stuff like running with the bulls when you are a late 60s individual with arthritis or a hopeful leap off the Eiger with parachute in hand. Alternatively, maybe I will climb Mt. Everest even though my asthma keeps me inside on a nice sunny Tennessee day. Be smart but be a little daring for this list. For example, maybe you have often wondered if you could sunbathe in the buff at a nude beach. Make it a to-do list…and a tahdah (Not as scary as you think…or so I have heard?) Carnival in Rio? Sure, grab you a mask and go do it.
Put it on that short list that is attainable where the only question is how soon you will make that vision become a reality. Year after year, you may say the same reasons for not venturing into the world to see everything from a first-hand perspective. Yet, if I asked you why you have not done it, I would probably hear a couple dozen reasons, none of them good. Yet if you really looked into it, you would be surprised how simple of a reality it could become.
Let us face it. If you give humans enough time to think about things, our core reaction is to not do it. To search and create excuses instead of grasping the moment and simply saying, let’s do it. The time for hesitation in your life only offers lost opportunities. Almost all the trips our family has embarked on has come with the new list title attached to it. Our kids no longer feel that adventure is out of our grasp and realize that there is no better time than the present. They, like us, know that time is short, even when you are at that young age.
I cannot tell you how many things our kids have done only in the past year that would make adults jealous. Petting sharks, visiting Neuschwanstein, snorkeling the largest living reef in the world, climbing Mayan Ruins and the list goes on and on. This is not to brag or boast, only to motivate. This is to get you off your caboose and take action. We have learned that life is not to be taken for granted and rather than clutter our brains with things that simply are not going to happen to us or for us, we focus on more realistic goals.
The World is Big, Life is Short
Some realistic goals may be adventurous, but they will also be ones that can be achieved, albeit with some planning and resources. The primary reason few people travel up to their abilities is the fear of breaking free from complacency. Just with everything we encounter, nobody seems to be fans of change. Yet, the only thing consistent with life is its inconsistency. Our lives are not nearly as orderly as we perceive them to be. That is just how we justify it. Change is constant and rather than letting change control you, every now and again it’s nice to control it yourself, by taking life by the “blanks” and making it your own. Get a little wild, act a little stupid and maybe be just a bit immature. Complacent chaos will soon be back at your door so the chance to make dreams a reality is a short-lived one.
So if you are reading this and you are paying attention, lay out a list of three or more things that would truly make you feel alive and push your limits a bit. Then, get on your phone, tablet or computer and see just what it would take. Set aside those precious vacation days, as you may be surprised at how fast your list could be marked off. Soon, you will be making a new list. In addition, a new one. And hopefully a new one.
Life is meant to be relished in every facet so do not be a roadblock to your own dreams. Life ceases to amaze you when you allow it to.
“Live within your means, travel beyond them!”