Perhaps you’ve seen the movie The Bucket List. You may even be one of the many people who’ve created such a list.
If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, answer these questions:
Do you have some things that you really want to do before you die?
Have you written these things down?
If so, you have a bucket list.
The interesting thing about this idea is the process of crossing each item off can usually be accomplished during vacations and moments that come about throughout the year. But what about creating a list that goes beyond this? What about creating a lifestyle that you want to live?
A list that contains both the “once in a lifetime” type of activities as well as the “these are the things that bring meaning to my life” or “this it the lifestyle I want to live” type of things.
By meaning/lifestyle, I don’t mean making X amount of income so you can buy whatever you want. I’m talking about living according to your desire, not what society or anyone else teaches.
What I propose is this:
Take your Bucket List and write it down on a yellow pad. This list will include your dreams, experiences, accomplishments, etc.
On a separate sheet, begin to explore the things in this life that you find meaningful. This will be things like helping others, family, service, working towards social justice, giving your time, etc.
The best way to live a great life is to incorporate things that bring meaning to your life. This is often the area that goes unnoticed and unrecognized throughout life. For some people, discovering meaningful things will be easy, because you’re likely already living according them. For others, this will take some work.
Take some time this weekend and search your thoughts and life for the meaningful things. The way to tell the difference between Bucket List items and Life Meaning items … ask yourself what are you willing to die for. Life Meaning items are the things you would die for – Bucket List items are the things you want to do before you die.
If you’re looking for a little help in discovering your Life Meaning items, here’s a tool that will help get you started. The Personal Values Card Sort will help you uncover your core 3 – 5 values. The things that will bring you meaning in life will come from these values.
I’d love to hear what you discover. Share them in the comments.