Introducing The Bucket List Project

Introducing The Bucket List Project

I am a big believer in positive psychology, and as Christopher Peterson writes in this Psychology Today article, having a bucket list can aide in making your life more memorable as it both gives you a sense of direction and helps you in keeping track of your most treasured experiences in life. You’ve got to have a game plan for life and that includes setting clear (and not so clear) goals for yourself.

I use keeping a bucket list as a tool to keep myself accountable for the life goals I set for myself the same way that I use a calendar to keep myself accountable for keeping up with my daily schedule and making sure I remember to make appropriate plans when it comes to my career, family,  friends, diet, exercise etc. My calendar is a good tool for remembering to water my plants every other week as well as for remembering events, professionally and personally, but beyond that I need a  way to make sure that I have a sense of direction in my life  – a steady course if you will. My growing bucket list does just that. I also use it to challenge myself as much as possible in my continuous personal development and growth as a human being.

These two aspects of keeping a bucket list, the steady course and challenging yourself, may seem to pull in different directions, but I don’t look at “a steady course”as something rigid, and neither do I view “challenging yourself” as something completely random and idiosyncratic. There is a spiderweb of connections  between the many seemingly incidental things you do in life, for example, swimming with sharks may not seem to have anything in common with holding a speech in front of audience of a thousand people, but they both deal with facing fears, which is a skill that can be developed and honed through many different ways and means. You can take a lesson learned in one area and apply it to another. So while my bucket list mainly serves a rather mundane purpose (to enjoy the hell out of life!) it also reinforces and supports my larger goals in life.

Keeping a bucket list can be a very internal exercise: it is by its very nature a dialogue you have with yourself about what you have accomplished and what you set forth to do with your remaining time on earth. But you can also externalize the journey by publishing and curating  your bucket list on your website as I am doing here. As of writing this the slate is rather blank; it is still just very much an internal dialogue. But, with time, I expect by bucket list to be a breeding place for dialogues with other bloggers and whoever else who stumble upon my little corner of the web here on The Measured Life.

For example, I put the fact that I have visited North Korea out there because I bet my experiences might be of interest to someone out there. They might even have a point of view to add that that I did not consider myself. When it comes to my experiences in North Korea I have drawn very few conclusions so far. On one hand the whole experience felt very orchestrated; on the other hand some of the people we met there seemed to genuinely live a happy life under the circumstances, especially compared to that of some of those I encountered when I visited South Korea, where the suicide rate is very high. Note that I am not in any way supporting the current government of north Korea, I am just proposing that things are not always as black and white as we want them to be. But maybe you have been there and have a different experience from mine? So in the end, this very public way of keeping a bucket list turns the process into a mutually beneficial dialogue about developing and challenging yourself between me and you.

My bucket list is still in its infancy, that is I have only just put it together. There are many things I have experienced in life that are still not on the list and there are also many goals that I am not sure are warranted to be on it. In time it will be more fleshed out.

For the latest updated version of the list go here.

Jakob Scheel

Jakob Scheel

Adventurer at The Measured Life
Hi, my name is Jakob, when I'm not managing digital projects in Copenhagen, Denmark I travel, climb & photograph things and do self experimentation. I also write on The Measured Life as The Gonzo Anthropologist.
Jakob Scheel

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