The problem with The Bucket List

The Bucket List

Don’t get me wrong. I am as interested in ticking off my Bucket List as the next person. Just today I scored a winner – I managed to get a telemarketer to hang up on me! Yes, my list is pleasingly shorter now.

I do enjoy my list and pursue opportunities to shorten it. However, when I think about it, the significant attention that this phenomenon is receiving simply adds it to the parcel of not very meaningful and sometimes dangerous distractions that we apparently find so seductive now - Cat videos on YouTube (yes I do watch them sometimes but …); photographing our food; texting while driving – there is a long list.

Like the short attention span epidemic and the current obsession with selfies, the Bucket List pursuit really does nothing for our long term health and welfare. It might be fun. It sounds like great entertainment. However, creating a list of achievements - things to do before I die - focussing on events such as eating my weight in lasagna or winning the lottery - distracts me from the more useful pursuit of considering who I want to be and how I want to add value to my life, and the lives of others, while I am alive.

This year my goal is to move the focus from events and achievements to how I choose to live my life. I have dodged a few bullets and consider myself a professional bullet dodger. My resolution, as 2018 enters stage right, is to choose to join the dots of my life events and make a meaningful journey of living my values. If I do this I think the buckets will fill themselves and I will have the greater joy of a sense of purpose.

(Photo credit: Linkedin, Creative Commons, Flickr)