One rainy afternoon in 1940, an inspired 15-year old boy named John Goddard sat down at his kitchen table in Los Angeles and wrote three words at the top of a yellow pad, "My Life List." Under that heading he made a list of everything he wanted to achieve.
There were 127 goals in all. These were not simple or easy goals. They included climbing the world's major mountains, milking a poisonous snake, exploring from source to mouth the longest rivers of the world, piloting the world's fastest aircraft, running a mile in five minutes and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
The list is here; it really is worth a look.
Some goals were bundled together. Number 113, for example, reads: "Become proficient in the use of a plane, motorcycle, tractor, surfboard, rifle, pistol, canoe, microscope, football, basketball, bow and arrow, lariat and boomerang." There is a tick beside this one, marking it as done, as there is beside 109 of those original goals. And along the way, John logged an impressive list of records in achieving them. In subsequent years, John would set himself many more goals, writing them down as a form of commitment.
Read more about John's life here:
John Goddard's "Life List", is one of the inspirations cited by people who have created what are now more usually called bucket lists.
The term “bucket list” brings out a wide array of reactions from cringes to high fives. Either way, there is little doubt that when you define the things that are truly important to you, you are able to create a plan that not only looks good on paper, but aligns your financial choices with the great life you want and spurs you on to follow through and make it happen.
I’ve had this type of discussion with thousands of people and continue to be inspired by the ambitions they share with me, like:
One of the best approaches for figuring out what you'd like to be doing with your time is to make something called a List of 100 Dreams. It could include:
It’s a fun, but sometimes challenging, task. It can be pretty hard to get all the way to 100.
Next, go through and start knocking off a few that only take a few dollars or a few hours. For instance, on my list was to do a CPR class. $50 bucks and 3 hours later, I have a lifesaving skill and the confidence to use it.
Why should you do this?
Well besides getting to do the stuff you really want to do, I think it's a great productivity tool. As you start putting things into your life that you really enjoy, you'll naturally be more focused and energised. You'll have a compelling personal life that will make you want to leave the office on time. And when you list your professional goals in black and white, you spend more time on these important things at work -- and less time mucking about.
What would go on your List of 100 Dreams? What do you want to do with your kids? What do you want to do with your spouse or partner? Ask yourself that and set some goals. See if you can’t start throwing some money in that direction.
Yes, we must pay the bills. But we also want to make sure we’re doing things that matter, things that make us feel alive, things that we can be proud of, things that we will never forget. And I think most budgets can allow that, if you really want it enough.
So if you haven’t taken the time to consider what you really want to do and experience in life – don’t wait any longer.
Make your list now.
Put it somewhere you can see it.
Tick something off every year.
Life’s too short not to.
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