Bucket Lists: Good or Bad?

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ~Mae West

I do like this quote. However, I have to pose the question, who can say whether or not you live your own life the “right” way?

I believe that the only person who can decide is you. Are you happy with what you have done so far? Are you happy with where you at right now? Are you happy with what your future holds for you?

I believe if you can say yes to those three questions, then sure, maybe you can say that you lived your life the “right” way.

But the honest truth is, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to live your life. There is too much ambiguity. In the eyes of one, you can be living the absolute best life possible, making the best decisions. In the eyes of another, you can be living the absolute worst life possible, making the worst decisions.

Now, my point? My point is that a lot of people think living life “right” comes down to whether or not you did everything that you wanted to do before you die, AKA a “bucket list.”

Many different people have opposing views on bucket lists and today I am going to go through both those main pros and cons for you.


1. We have short-term/long-term goals.

Having a bucket list allows you to see all of your goals for what you want to do in life. Whether it is to learn a new language or become the CEO of your own company, these goals are now set in stone and are constant reminders of what you want to set out and do

2. We have hope and something to look forward to.

I like this one. If there is something to look forward to, it would probably keep us happy and keep us on a straight path when times get tough. Hope is always good to have inside of you when you feel like things are just not going your way.

3. It helps us know what is important.

Now, not everything on your list is necessarily important to you, but there will probably be many things on there that are. Knowing these things that you value most simply gives yourself a glimpse at who you are at the moment and who you want to be.

4. It gives us reasons to be active and not bored.

This one is pretty straight forward. If you have nothing to do, you will always have the items on your list.

5. We feel good when we complete the things on the list or the list itself.

Imagine that you there was something that you have always wanted to do and you have finally done it. You probably feel like you just conquered the world yes? Who would not love to feel that way?


1. It is better to just let experiences happen to us randomly rather than us planning everything that will happen in your life.

Spontaneity can be a good thing and can lead to some of the best experience that you will ever have in your live.

2. The list wouldn’t mean anything if we are just going around trying to check everything off rather than actually enjoy the experiences that are happening to us.

This is kind of like reason 1. However, this reason is saying that you will not enjoy the experiences that happen to you if you are just doing it to do it and not for the joy of it all. There is no reason in doing things on a bucket list if you are not going to enjoy completing them.

3. We are just writing a “fantasy list” that is not based upon immediate action.

In other words, you are most likely just writing things down that you are not going to end up doing. We do not always really have a huge personal desire / motivation to accomplish the bucket list. There is also no time limit to complete everything besides death. We will probably procrastinate.

To make the last less “fantasy” and more realistic is to rank things by “Must Do,” “Hope to Do,” and “It’d Be Nice to Get To.”

4. We can’t afford it.

Pretty simple. If someone wanted to travel the world and do things wherever he or she goes, it might get tough because things today are really expensive and unaffordable.

5. We are limiting ourselves to only the things that we put on our list.

Pretend you had two options and one of them is better than the other. But the option that is not as good is on your bucket list and you do not know if you will ever have the chance to complete it ever again. I would imagine you would be limited to choosing the option that is on your bucket list yes? I understand that people want to check ideas off of the list, but they also need to allow themselves things that are enjoyable and not on the list.

The Final Verdict:

In the end, I think that having a bucket list is up for you to decide.

Personally, I find it good to have a bucket list and I have one myself.

If you think it will be good for you to write down all of your hopes and dreams, then do it. If you do not think it will be good for you to write down all of your hopes and dreams, then don’t do it. There is no right or wrong decision.