I don’t believe in bucket lists. What a junket for the ego! Bucket lists are a set up for self-sabotage. Much has been written about why they might be a good idea, but I refuse to subscribe to bucket lists for the following reasons:
- Bucket lists are based on your ability to preoccupy yourself full tilt to your deathbed without regrets, which means they are fear based. Bucket lists are based on the idea that you should avoid dying with regrets. So you spend the rest of your life crossing off stuff on your list to avoid feeling bad. You only ever need to feel good when you feel bad. You only ever need to feel bad when you feel good if it’s your habit to self-sabotage. If you feel bad, or you tend to self-sabotage, then personal development will cure it.
- Bucket lists keep you distracted. They stop you from examining the validity of, and the congruence between, your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Why not improve your self-esteem if you feel bad, instead of setting yourself up for failure?
- Unless you know when you are going to die, you simply cannot know how much time you have to do all the things on your list.
- Disappointment occurs when expectations are too high. It is harder to accept the things you cannot change when you avoid self-examination. It is not easy to find the courage to change the things you can without self-examination. It takes self-examination to develop the wisdom to know the difference.
- What happens if you get too ill to do everything on your list? What happens if you die before you do everything on your list? What if you are too late? What do you do then? Do you wrestle with your unchecked list on your sickbed? Agonise about it on your deathbed? Why would you put yourself under that sort of pressure for the rest of your life?
What a miserable way to live. And what a miserable way to die, regretting that you failed to live your life with no regrets. I would rather set meaningful, achievable goals. I prefer to accept whatever I can’t change. The minute I do, then I am free to leave it, change it or change my attitude about it. This helps me to find the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom I’ve needed to know the difference.