I bet you have two bucket lists.
I used to.
They’re usually labeled, “It Could Happen,” and “Only if I Can Find Where My Dog was Burried in the Backyard On the First Try.” Otherwise known as, “Not On Your Life.”
In the “It Could Happen” bucket, you have things like,
Ride in a hot air balloon
Get a promotion
Live long enough to see Episode IV
Make out with someone by graduation
Read ten books this year
These are things well within our grasp. Well, my high school self had a hard time finding people to make out with, but chances are, if you’re not me, you can make it happen.
These are things most people around you have accomplished and, as long as you don’t mistake an active volcano for a swimming pool, you’ll live long enough to carry out as well.
Now let’s peel the lid off that second bucket, shall we? It’s much darker inside than the first bucket-bucket-bucket. It’s also emptier-emptier-emptier. (See what I’m doing there? With my awesome demonstrative skills, I’m illustrating with lyrically-placed echoes that this bucket is also much larger.)
You shine your phone around (because no one uses flashlights anymore, and if you do, you should add getting an iPhone to your first bucket list), and here’s what we find:
Publish your songs on iTunes
Write a bestseller
Start a blog and get 20,000 followers
Win a gold medal
Start a business
The difference between this list and the first is pretty obvious. It’s likely you don’t know anyone who’s accomplished anything in your “Not On Your Life” bucket. Which means you’re on your own.
Do you think that stopped Cam Newton from putting his dreams in one smaller, more manageable, public bucket?
Do you honestly think J.K. Rowling kept her biggest hopes isolated from her more ‘achievable’ goals?
Did Adele attempt to hide her much bigger bucket list from everyone she knew?
I doubt it, too.
Stop separating your bigger dreams from your smaller dreams (which are basically items on a to-to list). Because then you’re only focusing on what you think you can accomplish and those bigger dreams only get visited once in a purple moon. I’ve never seen a purple moon, so…
Don’t be ashamed of your dreams, either. There’s nothing wrong with having high hopes. Tell everyone you know. Who knows – they might be tremendous sources of encouragement. Or, they might ask you really difficult questions like my wife did when I told her I wanted to start my own publishing company.
In a way, that’s better than a blanket encourager. Her questions forced me to evaluate whether I can really do this or not.
So combine your to-do-list dreams with your larger dreams. Earning your airplane license should be in the same bucket as dying your hair blue.
No more secret goals. Make them real, make them public, make them happen.
Have you entered the Endever Writing Contest yet? Add that to your bucket list and win $150! Deadline is February 25th.