My forever Work-in-Progress Bucket List

I was in process of updating my profile on LinkedIn. I was bit confused where do I want to go next in my career. Should I sound like a senior, mature person with the risk of being looked upon as somebody who can’t speak the hashtag language or be hip with the risk of trying to appear something that is never coming back ? BTW — I was referring to my youth and not the knowledge and experience. Obviously I was thinking too much about approval from others but that’s an old habit which I have overcome but creeps in randomly. It is also a different topic of discussion.

So back to updating the profile on LinkedIn — Finally after much research, trial-and-error I found what I want to do next. Part of the process was to research profiles that are similar to me. While doing that, I noticed some people showcased their personal side showing things the aspire in life in general. I thought it will be a good idea to add to my profile. Like many of you, I had a list of Things To Do but that was not well defined. Hence, I decided to write it down.

Then suddenly a thought came to my mind that there is no such things as only Things To Do or a bucket list.

Life is a one way flow and we try to achieve as many things throughout the life — written or not written.

So, I made one list with two sections. I started jotting down list of things “Done” first with thought that the Done section will give me an account of past and in the process might make me feel good. Here are both the lists -

Done

(In absolutely random sequence)

  • Produced and Directed a short film
  • Won a award for film in International Film Festival
  • Wrote an Amazon Single and published
  • Created and released Ringtones, Music in iTunes, Amazon and worldwide
  • Wrote my first article on Medium. This is that article. Other two before this are just recipes :)
  • Wrote Blogs — Personal, Technical.
  • Built habit of regular exercise, eating right.
  • Taught music to kids and to the adults who missed the opportunity when they were kids.
  • Directed a Stage Drama
  • Pushed my son to follow his dreams from beginning. He is on his path to follow his dream of career in dance and choreography.
  • put habit to wake up daily at 5 am. Sleep no later than 10:30 pm
  • Built Digital Home Recording Studio
  • Supported (and still do) education for 2 under privileged kids in India.
  • Work for Charity — US and India
  • Conceptualized 10 solid product ideas irrespective of whether they will ever be reality.
  • Created useful Mobile Apps and release in iOS and Android
  • Severely curbed time spent on Social Media and News

Things to Do

  • Get rid of Diabetes. Modify lifestyle in such a way that I am not dependent on medication. Already more than half way there hence this on top of the list.
  • Make living off of my passion — Film and Music Making. No millionaire dream — Just make good films/music and living off of it is good enough.
  • Help as many underprivileged kids in US to shape their future. Yes, there are a ton here right in US. It’s not just Africa and Asia where you can find them.
  • Get rid of things that drag down — Material things, events, people, stuff … I am not sure whether this item will ever be marked as Done but what the heck?
  • For some time, maybe period of 1–3 months, live in self chosen poverty — This doesn’t mean I will become dumpster diver but idea is to plan in such a way as if I have very less money. Scarcity invites creativity. I want to experience that rush.
  • Visit Greenland, New Zealand, Alaska, Himalaya, Mansarovar!
  • Space Travel — If it comes within reach (Are you listening Sir Richard Branson?)
  • Learn one foreign and Indian language each.
  • Coast-to-Coast road trip of USA. Preferably in RV. Video shoot whole journey and blog each day about it.
  • Get to know my own state — New Jersey. Yes there is a lot which I have not explored right in my neighborhood.
  • For one day in a quarter practice — No Talking, Watching, Reading. And mainly a total Screen Fasting. This is a tall order but that’s where the challenge and fun is, right?
  • … … …

Writing this down has achieved few things.

  • I had forgotten about the volume, learning, and effort went into Done things. Constantly looking at things to achieve had created a feeling of incompleteness. That is now gone. Suddenly, its looking like a well spent life!
  • It gave a third person view about myself.
  • It gave me few reasons to live rest of the life without anxiety and at the same time have gratitude and satisfaction about past and today (for being alive)
  • Finally, I was able to pick few attributes that define me and add to my profile.

Huray !!

However, I didn’t imagine that, just writing down what I have done, was the key for final version of the Things To Do list. In hindsight, I’m happy with the Done List but many items were not planned, well thought. I just went with life as it came. No regrets, but I could have done a lot more. Hence, from now onwards, I have decided that I will drive my future list, guard it, plan and track it regularly. Because if I don’t — like my past life — somebody else will do it for me. I imagined what my Done list would have been if I was able to figure out this earlier and take control of it! But, let’s not waste energy on time travelling and thinking about could-should-would have — shall we?. Remember, life is one-way-flow?

Phew. It took me so many years to figure it out. However,it wasn’t by accident and wasn’t an easy exercise as well. I’ll write very soon about it. But meanwhile, may be you can start finding for yourself! If you have done already, I’m more than happy to learn from it.

Image Credit — http://badgeofawesome.com/