It was probably Tuesday or Wednesday night this week that I had a dawning realization. When my job ends, I can literally do anything I want. If I want to pick up and go to the beach for the week, I can. If I want to go hiking on a Wednesday morning, I can. It is amazing to have this much freedom.
I don’t think people really understand what they’re missing when they spend 50 hours per week in a cubicle and 10 more hours per week driving back and forth to that cubicle. It isn’t the work that is the problem; it is the format of how the work has to be done and the crazy restrictions placed on employees. Upon reflection, it seems completely archaic with today’s technology.
Now that I’ve realized all of the possibilities in front of me, I think it only makes sense to create a list of those things that I want to accomplish in life. I had previously been thinking about putting together a life list, or bucket list, like so many ‘lifestyle design’ bloggers have in the past. Without ever doing something like this before, it was quite daunting to try to list out the biggest things I want to accomplish in life. This next part sounds really stupid now that I’m writing it down: I didn’t want the list to limit what I could do in life. Really, Brad? Really?
Anyway, I finally got my head on straight when I read through a post at Advanced Riskology, where Tyler wrote a lengthy post about Writing Your Own Biography ahead of time. He basically breaks down life as if it is a project (which is a pretty cool analogy) and uses project management techniques to plan out what you hope to accomplish in the various stages. What I really loved was his constant reiteration throughout that the plan is flexible and can be changed at any time. Just because you planned it doesn’t mean you have to force it to happen if circumstances change.
So although I had thought about it previously, this was the post that got me to actually write a couple ideas down. My list is still a work in progress, with several of the items undefined, but I think I’ll post it on the site relatively soon (along with an About page…). Maybe just a little more polish and I’ll launch the beta version.
The other blog post that really helped me out with the planning was How to Make a Life List You’ll Actually Do, by David at Raptitude. He breaks down how to make your list realistic by making it a collection on intentions, not just wishes. Also some pearls of wisdom to check and see if you’re adding items for the right reasons. For example, he asks “would you still do it if you weren’t allowed to tell anyone? Climb Everest? Read War and Peace? Really?” Yeeaah…NO.
I think your life list has to come from your own motivations. If you don’t desperately want to complete an item, including all of the costs and sacrifices it may or may not require, then I don’t think it should be on your list. It is a major consideration that I need to weigh into each of my ideas.
For instance, I totally put the standard ‘go to all 50 states’ on there. However, what does a geographic border have to do with anything? Not that it isn’t a valuable and worthwhile goal if that is really want you want to spend your money and time on, but I think I’d rather pick 50 sweet things in the USA that I want to see/do and check those off rather than stepping foot in every political outline of the map!
Be on the lookout for my list in the next couple of weeks.