Turning 30 was easy – birthday bash at my favourite pub in Warsaw, lots of friends, champagne, good grub and a party that shifted to Ground Zero (the then happening discotheque) for dancing followed by breakfast at the Warsaw Central Station. Since my birthday that year fell around the Easter Holidays, many friends were out of town but the celebrations continued for a month as friends took me out on their return claiming it was Birthday Month.
There were big tick marks on my Bucket List – enter 30s in style, have true friends and party like it is going out of style.
Turning 31 was a contrast. I looked at my Bucket List and realized that there were items on my To Do List which would never happen – I would not become the lead singer of a heavy metal band, I had not trained to participate in a desert rally, join a Biker Gang and ride a Harley Davidson through Scandinavia; I had not done a lot of things that I had wanted to do. The question in front of me was what had I achieved in Life? My inner child resurfaced and I felt stressed.
I give thanks to God that He created parents. A frantic phone call to my parents got me back on track. What they said to me changed my life completely.
My parents were proud of me. They felt I had done more in my 30 years than many did in a lifetime. They said all the things that only parents can say to motivate and reassure children – and the child will believe them.
I heard the life changing dialogue –
“You are looking at your Bucket List and focusing on what you did not do. Are these items really that important to you? There are items in there since you were 13 which don’t seem to fit your leanings anymore. What about what you did do? What about your achievements and milestones? Make yourself a cup of coffee, think about it and call us back. We’ll wait for your call.”
Now that is family considering that the phone call was between 2 countries with a 2 hour time difference and it was way past their bedtime. I am grateful to this day. My Bucket List is important to me but so is keeping track of achievements that I want to feature in my obituary – my Milestone Statement.
By the time I made my next call, I had clarity.
- Bucket Lists are not carved in stone, they change as we mature. Accept that some items are no longer important and move onto those that have value for you.
- Bucket Lists are meant to inspire us, not turn into To Do Lists which create stress.
- It is perfectly okay to review your Bucket List from time to time deleting items that are redundant and adding those that are more meaningful at the point of Life where you are presently.
- Looking to the future is a great motivator but do not forget that your past is full of achievements too. Acknowledge them and your journey through Life.
- Keep a Milestone Statement to record your achievements and celebrate the fact that you are unique, one of a kind and there will NEVER be anyone like you.
If your Bucket List is creating stress, take a long hard look at it. Something is not working for you. Ask yourself, if you really have a good a Bucket List. Maybe a Vision Statement supported by goals is a better option?
A Vision Statement is a good option if on a scale of 1 to 10 you really want to do something and are willing to invest the time, effort and commitment to achieve the goals that go into fulfilling the Vision Statement.
Its good to have a Bucket List but it is even better to have a Milestone List which has items added to it using your Vision Statement.
Look again at the picture with this blog post, the beautiful white sheet of paper on the wood and ask yourself, what goes there, things that you really want to do, things that you wanted to do years ago that no longer figure in your life and get you down or list the milestones and achievements that make You the person you are.
My tip, celebrate your achievements as evidence of your uniqueness and then create a vision of yourself to motivate you to become even better!
Your turn now. Do Bucket Lists work for you? Or are you better off using Milestone Lists and Vision Statements? I’d love to read your views in the comments box below.
Written By: Vatsala Shukla
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