If you’ve lived long enough in this world, you’ve probably created your own bucket list. For some, it could be a mental list of grandiose things they want to accomplish in life. For others, it could be an actual to-do list neatly written in a five-year diary – tucked under their bed, and kept for their eyes only.
Derived from the English idiom “kicking the bucket,” which practically means, “to die,” a bucket list is simply known to most of us as a list of things to do before we die. As morbid as it sounds, it doesn’t revolve around this concept at all. The idea is to cross off as many items as you can.
Grow your list and get inspired with these general suggestions that might help you start living a much more exciting, goal-oriented, and ultimately rewarding existence.
Learn a new language.
It’s not a completely new idea, as learning a new language is on almost everyone’s bucket list. You can start by investing some money on language learning software like Rosetta Stone or a mobile app like Duolingo. If you’re a bit stingy, be friends with someone who is fluent in Russian, Italian, Korean, or whatever language appeals to you. Pay them back by teaching them a language you know or by sharing any other skill that might be of use to them.
Do charity work.
Volunteer to teach kids in remote areas. Donate blood to the Red Cross regularly. Open up a soup kitchen in your garage and partner with your neighbors or key organizations within your community. Take a year off and spend it to feed the hungry in a third-world country. The opportunities to help out and extend a hand are endless, and the chance to make life better for others is always within arm’s reach. Don’t worry about extending help that isn’t monetary; for such great causes, your time and energy may be doubly valuable.
Start your own business.
Whether it’s a vegan food delivery service or a graphic shirt ecommerce site, starting a small business should definitely be on your list of things to do before you die. Don’t wait for another Mark Zuckerberg or another Steve Jobs to “steal” your big idea and get down to working right away. All you have to do is work on a business plan, create an informative website, build your social media pages, get the paperwork in order, and cull all the supplies your need for the biz. Easy peasy!
In the 2007 movie, “The Bucket List,” one of the things included in the lead character’s list is skydiving. It’s classic bucket-list fodder. It would be difficult to forget that moment you leap out of the plane, that instant where you open your arms wide and soar like a bird, and that moment when the parachute opens as you prepare for your final descent. Not even Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman’s characters vivid narration of the rush they felt during the exercise can compare to experiencing it yourself.
Perform something before an audience.
Some people had a difficult early life and may have developed the fear of speaking or performing in front of a crowd. If you’re one of them, why not put it on your bucket list and cross it off at one point? Complete it by joining gatherings that foster confident public speaking (i.e., Toastmasters) or by signing up for a speech or rhetorical class. Or better yet, join a flash mob or sing at an open mic night at your friendly neighborhood karaoke joint!
Compete in a tournament.
It could be as simple as a 10k fun run or as tasking as the Ironman 70.3 triathlon. Engage in competitive sports or participate in a wellness-related event that will push you to the limit. If you’re into the hardcore stuff, you can also aim to swim across the English Channel and be included in the roster of the few people who were able to accomplish the feat. Sports website Bleacher Report lists down 30 Dream Sports Experiences which you can use as a reference when formulating your own list.
You see, life may seem otherwise plain and boring on certain occasions, but when you’re always finding new ways to live it up by crossing off items from your bucket list and consistently adding fresh, doable goals to complete, you’ll easily discover how personal experiences can enrich and inspire you to lead a much fuller life.