Do You Have Bucket List?
Have you achieved everything you had hoped you would by this time in your life? Many of you are still young with plenty of time to fill your buckets. I envy you. Others, like myself, are just past the halfway point and the realization is hitting home that the bucket isn’t nearly as full as it used be. And, of course, there are those who have successfully reached goals and found their bucket, filled to the brim, at the end of their own personal rainbow as full as can be.
Did you get everything you wanted?
How can we assure that our lives turn out as we had hoped, as we had anticipated? That dreams are lived out, that personal satisfaction is found, and that we have discovered meaning in our work and continuing desire in our love? A former mentor, having no children himself, used to tell me that he just hoped his life would have meaning, for someone, for a group of someones, for those he employed, for those in his family. He hoped that he simply made a difference.
Is someone else accountable for YOUR life?
I think in order for a life to have true meaning, it needs to come down to the one holding the life, the one living it – that is who is responsible or accountable. I want to know that I have done all I can do to have lived the best possible life, doing as much as possible and that “means” something to me. When I am happy with me, then I can more readily share that happiness and meaning with others. Otherwise, it is just a big cover-up. Jobs come and go, goals are achieved or not, children and those over whom we have influence move on in their own lives. We have to live with ourselves.
Finding your purpose isn’t as easy as saying, “I want to have made a difference, I want to have meant something.” Don’t we all, ultimately, want that? Of course, not all of us will make the varsity team or a corner office in the C-suite. But there is ample opportunity to fill our buckets the way we would like. When I finally finished school, check. When I finally wrote 1000 blogs, check. When I batted .800 (seriously) back in 1988, pre six knee surgeries, check. When I bought my first car on my own, check. When I moved away from my home town and made it on my own, check.
Real life meaning
I wish the answer was easy. Truth is – it’s different for everyone. I like to think that somewhere along the line, we each figure it out – in our own way. I guess we either do or we don’t – figure it out. We can’t all have three visitors before midnight that will open our hearts to what the meaning of our lives has been thus far. We can’t all have the “wish I’d never been born” epiphany. It just isn’t that profound, nor that simple. The meaning comes from within first, and when that happens, the without will take care of itself.