Hollywood finally delivers a Bucket List

This photo is copyright (c) 2013 and made available under wikimedia commons license

Have you ever wondered what it is that inspires people to create a bucket list? Many thinks of these lists as somehow morbid, usually because it means you are thinking of your own mortality on some level. We all have dreams and things that we would like to accomplish in our lives and there is nothing morbid about that. You could say that having those dreams is as natural as dying, which isn’t really a pleasant thought when you think about it. Perhaps it’s the name that conjures up such negative images, as the “bucket” part of the name comes from the phrase “kicking the bucket,” which of course refers to dying. A bucket list doesn’t have to be something that has negative connotations attached, though, and nor should it. Maybe you should simply try to call it a wish list instead, yet still fill it with all of those adventures that you would love to go on in the future (top 10 most common bucket list items).

This photo is copyright (c) 2013 and made available under wikimedia commons licenseThe good folks in Hollywood didn’t really help the cause of the bucket list when they made a movie of the same name. The movie did well in the theater, but it may have had more to do with the 2 main stars (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) than the concept of the film. The two men play a pair of terminally ill hospital patients that are forced to share a room as they go through treatment for lung cancer. One of them makes a bucket list and discards it, only for the other to find it and convince him that they should complete the list together. It’s a cool story, but one that raises the obvious negativity connected with the bucket list scenario (pros and cons of composing a bucket list).

Too many people view bucket lists as something to start thinking about when you are given a limited amount of time to live. It’s perhaps a common notion since it’s usually then that you start to think about all of the things you wished you had done earlier in life. Think about a time when you might have discussed an exotic locale or some adventure and somehow brushed it off as being on your bucket list. What you are in effect saying is that it’s not something you plan on trying to do anytime soon, but rather saving for a date in some far distant future when your life is starting to wind down. My question is this, why wait?

That brings us to the next negative aspect of the bucket list, and another that was shown to be “true” in the movie. Nicholson’s character is a billionaire who has all sorts of money to throw around and do the things that he has on his list. Freeman’s character is a regular working stiff who only gets to experience these great things because he is travelling on Jack’s dime. Morgan Freeman’s character is definitely one that the vast majority of us can relate to in that we would never really be able to afford to do all the things we want, unless of course we somehow come into money. I believe it’s that more than anything else that really stops people from chasing the dreams they have had their entire life.

This photo is copyright (c) 2013 and made available under wikimedia commons license

Crossing items off your bucket list can truly make you feel as though you have accomplished something in your life, so why go out of your way to make the list so hard to complete, and why wait till it’s too late? My suggestion is to create a few different lists that you can work from. You can have one that has things that are easy or inexpensive to do, yet are still wholly fulfilling. You could then have another list for those big ticket items that you should really start thinking about now. Try to save some money every month towards the one that you really want to do, and perhaps even add saving a certain amount each year to your small list. Bucket lists needn’t be morbid and they needn’t be something that has to wait until you are on your last legs.

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Morgan is the founder and editor of REALITYPLEX. After suffering from a life-threatening accident, he realized that the way we perceive things around us is based on our beliefs, emotions and experiences. In an effort to draw the line between perception and reality, he launched REALITYPLEX in 2011. Get to know him better and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and G+