The best piece of advice I got recently is to draft a bucket list, edit it and get it printed. In the rare event of an encounter with a genie while traveling through the wilderness of life, this list was to serve as a reference to valid wishes. Though I always thought I had a sort-of bucket list hung on the interiors of my head, they really were a list of “why-not?-sure!-i-will-do-this-too” stamped on the wishes and acts of someone else.
I needed a bucket list too. The specs were uncertain on how long can it be? As a rule: bucket lists, like resumes, shall not exceed a single side print on a standard paper. I like the number 11, the first prime two-digit number, which is now my limit for most pre-death wishes at a time. A smart way will be to fill in about 5 of those and then keep some open to suggestions or for when I recall something later. So, now all those why-not shall be reconsidered for the sake of economics.
The entries should be simple statements like–watching northern lights. There are no compound statements allowed which will broaden the list. Though details can be added to narrow the conditions, eg: watching ‘Aurora Borealis’ from Svalbard, Norway. Also, an entry needs to be specific like–scuba diving. A general statement like, ‘do an adventure sport’ isn’t a valid entry. Use details to specify the checking-off parameters. For example: ‘camping in the desert on a full moon’ has well-defined success criteria compared to ‘taking a trip’ which is highly ambiguous.
This month, I will have a real, hand-written, single-sided, working bucket-list. A bucket list is a present snapshot of past memories and future aspirations. It has a personal history and private reasonings behind every entry. Make sure if you are making one–keep it a mix of near goals, far ones, and the magical ones. Finish often, strike the entries, add new ones and the ones that stay the longer will drive you farthest.
In short, if you find yourself out of purpose as did one of my friend, give this a shot:
- Make a bucket list.
- Add 11 wishes in simple statements
- Carry it with you and find a way to get rid of these entries.
If you want one of my favorite stricken ones, ‘To spend more time looking into eyes than screens, for a week.’