Vacationing in Italy.
Viewing the cosmos from the southern hemisphere.
Visiting the Great Pyramid.
Completing a marathon.
Hiking down the Grand Canyon.
Fill In The Blank…
Bucket lists are pretty common. Lots of people I know have them and use them as things to look forward to. Things to work for. Things to plan for, to check off, to consider a life’s achievement when done.
But just how good are bucket lists for us? It’s great to have goals, but when we spend our time focusing on the future and planning for something down the road (and that we may not ever accomplish), we miss a lot of the now. Bucket lists also become another type of to-do list, and can make you feel as if you’re missing out if you don’t check it off your list. And don’t we have enough to do in our lives already? Don’t many of us already concentrate too hard on the things we need to do next, along with the deadlines that come with them?
In case you haven’t noticed, bucket lists have deadlines, too. Which adds even more pressure to the “to do” list we have inside our heads.
Yes, it’s true we only live once. But, in my mind, that’s an excuse to find happiness in things or places or situations that are outside of the here and now. And that are external to us.
So what if you let go of your bucket list and simply focused on what you’ve got right now? What if you gave up on the idea of a vacation that’s in some faraway place, and instead spent your time being mindful of where you are at this very moment? The beauty that nature has to offer right in your own backyard or the nearest park or beach? The liveliness we share with the people around us, and those we love and embrace as part of the richness of our lives? The silence and peace that comes with letting go, of not thinking about a checklist for our life to feel complete?
Think about it. Instead of focusing on your next “real vacation” or your next “exciting activity” or your next “real moment” that takes you out of your everyday life, focus on pursuing what’s meaningful to you.
And if you don’t know what’s meaningful to you, then isn’t that what you should pursue instead of a bucket list anyway?
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