Why You Don't Need a Bucket List
October 31, 2012 — 17:33 PM
By Michael Edmonson
Let’s face it. A bucket list is a to-do list. Since I do not use to-do lists, I therefore do not have a bucket list.
Are you living with intention and working with purpose, or just checking off items on
your list like you would while grocery shopping?
Below are five reasons to consider avoiding the bucket list approach to life:
1. It's limiting.
When you cross them off, what do you do then? To prevent this from happening some people have a bucket list of hundreds of items. Is that even realistic? Additionally, if you are unable to
cross off an item or two (or more), do you consider yourself a failure?
These are serious limitations to having a bucket list. Having too few or too many could place tremendous and unnecessary burden on even the most driven individual.
2. Many bucket items are the same – where is the originality?
Review any random set of 10 bucket lists and you will find similarities such as sky diving, climbing a mountain, learning a skill or traveling to a new country. The newest craze seems to be
racing through mud. Do you even want to do that or do you feel obligated to put that on your list because so many others are?
Creating a bucket list in and of itself lacks originality. Why exactly do you have a bucket list in the first place?
3. They're extreme.
Why do so many bucket lists have to involve extreme events such as sky diving, swimming with sharks or walking across a desert? Do you really need to climb a mountain? Why? In a previous
MindBodyGreen post I discussed the tremendous value of getting comfortable while uncomfortable.
We seldom grow inside our comfort zone. With this in mind, it is important to travel outside our
comfortable zone but how extreme does it have to be? More importantly, why does it have to be so extreme? And after you have completed the extreme task how do you readjust to going back to your normal life? Is your normal life simply unfulfilling?
4. You could miss out on new opportunities.
Do you focus on the list or do you keep your eyes open for new opportunities? If you solely focus on the list you might miss opportunities that develop along the way. You become a slave to the list. Also, how do you edit your list? Do you ever take items off the list that you have lost interest in over time? How often do you update the list and how much time does it require?
5. What about all of the things you do on a daily basis?
This is linked to the previous reason, but is a bit different. You accomplish amazing things each day. You encounter dozens of people along the way. And you have hundreds of opportunities to make yourself and the world a better place. Are any of those on your list?
Why not? If you need to create a list make of list of all of the people whose lives you touch on a daily or some regular basis. Make another list of people who impact your life on a regular basis.
Recognizing others would seem to be so important as to be on the top of everyone’s list; but it’s probably not even in the top ten.
As Philippe Petit, the only person to ever walk across the World Trade Center towers on a high wire, once said: "Life should be lived on the edge of life. You have to exercise rebellion: to refuse to tape yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge- and then you are going to live your life on a tightrope."
Ask yourself if you really need a bucket list to see every day or every idea as a true challenge. Without a list to follow you just might discover how to refuse your own success and live on the edge of life.
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is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers