Next to my desk I have my “Life List.” I’ve posted my list near my desk at every job that I have had since college. Seeing it every day reminds me that I have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to still get done.
The first draft of my list was very different than the one I see today. And that’s OK. One of the reasons many people have said kept them from making their own life list was the notion that they had to follow it…and couldn’t imagine how to start a list that literally could be a life-long endeavor. That’s not the case, however.
Before I continue, I feel the need to apologize to all the people who spent countless New Years Eves with me enduring my relentless urging that we share our goals. Even though most didn’t play along, reviewing my list, picking priorities for the coming year and even adding items has been a tradition every December 31st since the early 90’s.
Over the years, I’ve added items to my list and pulled items off. Curling is one example. I am not sure what was in my head when I thought that needed to be on my list. It’s gone now. Playing the harmonica is another one that bit the dust. At some point I longed to play like that guy in that Blues Traveler song. Then I actually bought a harmonica and realized it really wasn’t that much fun. On to the next item…
Riding into space is still on my list. I’ve thought about striking it a few times, but it’s truly the one “out of this world” item on my list that has survived since the list was first drafted. It is also possible that I will actually have the opportunity. If not the space shuttle, at least a pleasure craft built by Virgin Galactic or Space X may be within my reach. Is this a dream? Maybe not.
What is life, but a series of preludes culminating in a complete symphony? (Classical music lovers please pardon the reference.) While I am a proponent of living in the present, maintaining a life list allows me a small amount of orchestrating to ensure that I don’t dull. Keeping my mental and physical blade sharp requires new experiences—even those that scare me. Like ski jumping.
If you are maintaining a life list, my advice is to post it and share it. Here’s mine. https://tinyurl.com/y3cmdk8n. As you will see, it’s gone through several renditions. I would love to see your list too, if you are willing.
Giving others a sense of what drives you is like CBD oil for relationships. I’ve built many bridges with others by talking about our respective lists. And if you have not yet made a list, just try and see what happens.