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Is Your Bucket List Meaningful or Empty?

By now, most people are familiar with the term “bucket list.” In short, the notion is the write out all of the things you would like to do or have, and as time move forward, check them off. It is said to be a way to improve the quality of your life.

Personally, I think it is an empty waste of energy. Allow me to explain.

Too many times, I have seen people scribble things that if really thought about, have barely superficial meaning. They are not life changing. They do not speak to the soul. They do not add value to their own life, their family’s lives or improve others’ lives. There is nothing wrong with them mind you. Owning a BMW or going to Thailand could be fun. But if you really want to do something, be sure it adds value to you or someone else’s life.

I have spoken about the notion of “hacking” many times. Hacking is when someone finds a short cut to doing something. They are so concerned about the end, that the journey — the section where the true gems are found — are to be either avoided or at least shortened. I have seen “hacks” about marathons, learning an instrument, dropping weight and more.

The value in running a marathon for example,  is the 26.2 miles and the prior 300 miles of training. You will learn more about yourself compared to 10 years of psychotherapy.

It is not the last 3 feet when you cross the finish line. That is just one small reward.  “Hacking” a marathon just to check it off the bucket list is a popular notion within certain sections. It is also one of the saddest methods I have ever come across.

Often the Bucket list is a means to throw items together, check them off and move on to something else. This is not the real purpose. This is “fast food living” with completions that are hollow and empty. The quick fix. The instant reward.

For many people, Thanksgiving or Christmas meals are the most enjoyable one(s) of the year. Why is this?

They are savored. They are appreciated. They have value. Each course is carefully prepared. Each bite is thoroughly enjoyed. It is a celebration of life. During the 1-2 hours, these meals represent the best of humanity — the celebration of abundance, of family, of being in a human body and so much more.

If you have a List, be sure it has meaning, not just something you check off and move on to the next. You are better off with 3 that will make your Soul dance and your heart sing, then 33 items of superficial value.

Life is meant to be experienced, shared and appreciated where one moment flows into the next. It is not meant to be reduced to numbers, to be checked off like a grocery list.

Life has no inherent meaning. It is us who bring meaning to it.

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