How to Write Your Bucket List

Two months after graduating from college, I came across a bucket list I had started when I was ten. I spent years and years adding to it but I never really felt like I spent that much time trying to cross anything off of it.
I read through some of the things I wrote:

  • Go skydiving
  • Go overseas with a friend
  • Go to college and major in something I love
  • Find a favorite beer and favorite wine
  • Fall in love
  • Make Dean’s List at least twice

I realized after putting away my long list that I had done every single one of those things during my undergrad career. It’s totally fair to say that I completely forgot about this list and crossing things off of it. But it’s also fair to say that this list secretly drove me to do everything I actually ended up doing.
Some of my bucketlist items were designed to drive me through success. I wanted to go to college and learn about things I cared about. I wanted to get good grades and get a letter from my college’s Dean telling me I had accomplished my goal.
But more than 75% of these items were some sort of adventurous pursuit. I wanted to do crazy things like jump out of a plane or hold hands with a boy (!!!).
What I really think it comes down to is this: Make yourself a bucket list that would help you write one hell of an autobiography.
If your list is full of data and deliverables, you’re going to be thoroughly disappointed when you’re 86 and telling your grandkids the best stories of your life.
Write goals and dreams that challenge your spirit. Do things that scare you. Swim to that point in the ocean where it terrifies you. And then, swim a little bit more.

Of course the concrete goals are important too. Hell, I made it a vow to get good grades for the rest of my life when I was only 10 years old. But don’t stop there. Throw yourself out of your comfort zone even if it hurts.
Go to a country where the food makes you feel sick, put yourself around the type of people you are sure drive you crazy, ask someone you like to go for a drive to the lakefront, and try your hardest at everything you do.
Even if it feels miserable, you’ll look back fondly at these experiences because they’ll change you. You’ll laugh at who you were before and be thankful for who you are now.
Go write that bucket list. And remember — one day a book will be published that’s only about you. So make sure someone will want to read it.

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