A Purposeful Wishlist

We live in a world of endless choices, nothing is a given, everything is a choice — your profession, what you want to buy, where you want to go. In a world offering limitless adventure and aspirations, a wishlist can be help simplify the act of choosing.

I never really liked lists, primarily because they give you an accurate picture, leaving no room for doubt. 5 things to-do mean at least those many and may be more things to do, but never less. But lists are also a great way to keep the most important things in focus by narrowing down your options.

Here are the top 5 things to consider if you’re trying to make your own wish list.

1. Know what kind of a person you are. That’s the first step to knowing how you want to be. This requires a lot of confrontation with the basest aspects of your character. You will learn to acknowledge things about yourself that you had earlier ignored.

2. Pursue experiences, not collectibles. Don’t leave out the essentials, but don’t pursue happiness through things. You can travel, learn music, language or a sport. Positive experiences, especially ones that involve learning something will improve you.

3. Keep at least one long term goal. There should be something that you work towards continuously. For instance you may want to start your own firm, or you may want to learn a craft and exhibit your work, or teach yoga. The importance of long term goals is that they give us something personal to work towards and help develop a discipline.

4. Keep your wishlist realistic. This means stop deceiving yourself. It’s all too exciting to imagine life-changing things happening to you. But where you are in life is a good enough indicator of where you can be.

5. Keep room to revise your list. Very often we don’t know if we will like something until we do it or unless we have a reliable reference. For instance, I can’t know if I will like bungee jumping until I try it, but if I don’t like it, then I can be quite sure that I will not enjoy cliff jumping very much. Similarly in life, sometimes you set out with certain goals, but over time the same goals lose relevance, or you find your self increasingly dissatisfied with the life you have created to fulfill those goals. Remember, they can be changed.

At the end, your wish list should reflect your aspirations, which can be difficult to figure out. As you grow you realize things that were important are no more so, and rediscover things that you had long forgotten. It is alright to to shift and realign, it’s your wishlist and life, allow yourself room for error and then revise.