I remember a few years back, a friend of mine posted a video of one of our unit Military Free Fall jumps on his social media. One of his friends commented, saying “Oh yeah, skydiving is totally on my bucket list!”. For some reason, my first thought was: “And? So, what? Do you expect some kind of praise for WANTING to do something without actually doing it?”. I know, that was an asshole thing to think, but let’s look at this.
The “Bucket list” has become this pie-in-the-sky wish list of regrets. It is a checklist of how to make a wasted life seem somehow less wasted. Dying with a “Bucket list” is like dying with money in the bank, it is a waste. You shouldn’t have a “Bucket list”, you should be living it. Granted, climbing Kilimanjaro might not be feasible from either a time or money perspective, but for the most part you should be DOING things, not making a list.
I am about to turn 53 years old, and if I died today (I plan on living to 104, so not an issue) I would have ZERO regrets on having missed out on anything. Are there still places I would like to travel to? Absolutely! Which is why I have concrete plans on travelling to those places and doing the activities I think would be enjoyable.
If you are sitting in a cubicle, writing down the things that would give you joy and praying for either a lottery win or a terminal disease to make them happen, you are wasting your life away!!
I hear some of you saying “But Mike, some of us have responsibilities, we can’t just take off to go scuba diving with great white sharks! My kids need braces! The balloon payment on the mortgage is coming up! I used all of my vacation days when my mother had her hip replacement!” Hey, I hear you, and I am not callous to those types of things.
All I am saying, is that you need to either be happy in the life you have, or be taking active measures to manifest the life you want. It IS that simple.
Honestly, if you are miserable in life, hate your job and barely tolerate your spouse, would riding a bull really make all that go away? Far too many people count the hours during the work week and then cherish every second of chasing a little white ball around a golf course, only to feel dread return to their gut every Sunday afternoon as the specter of Monday looms ahead. This is no way to live.
Bottom line, you should surround yourself with people who make you feel good and do things that make you happy. Of course, paying the bills is important, but could you be doing it in a way that makes you happier and less stressed?
I have noticed a lot of people have a “bucket list” that involves travel. If you are miserable in Cleveland Ohio, will standing at the base of the Eiffel tower really change anything? You will still be the same you, just geographically removed from your current location. Adding a green screen to misery won’t fix it.
And, as far as the “bucket list” is concerned, what is stopping you? Get out there and LIVE! Climb a mountain, enter an amateur boxing match, take a motorcycle trip to the Grand Canyon. Or, just do what you can to squeeze every ounce of joy out of every day life. Make love to your spouse. Plant a garden. Get up before the sun comes up and run five miles. Tell your kids you love them every single day and give them the wisdom that took you a lifetime to acquire.
The most disgusting phrase in the English language is “Someday, I’m going to (fill in the blank)”.
Leave nothing undone, nothing unsaid, and die with no regrets.