Let me start this one with a question?
Do you have a Bucket List ?
You know what a Bucket List is right? A list of things that you hoped to have accomplished before you die. Is it a formalized list, or is it some loose ideas? What is it ? Can you name some of the things on it? Are they places you hoped to have seen ? Or are they things you hoped to have accomplished?
I’ve been working on my list for a while, both creating and checking things off. Initially I thought the list should be all the places that I want to see. And I’ve been able to see some amazing places. I almost take it for granted, all the places I’ve seen. I’ve been so exceptionally fortunate to have spent a number of birthdays in some pretty wonderful places. For example I’ve been to Perth Australia, San Francisco, Kauai Hawaii, I’ve seen the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, to name just a couple. And these are just for my birthday, there are a number of others. I’ve been on the Bullet Train in Japan, I’ve been to the Great Wall of China, I’ve been to the Grand Canyon, I’ve been to the Sydney Opera House, and in fact seen a performance inside of it. Yes, I’ve been places which most dream of, and I think that I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to have done so. There are factors that have taken me thus far, One is our friend Denis (mentioned in the Fantastic Memories post), another is the chance encounter of my friend Rick and the story of his father-in-law (Go More, See More), and yet these would be nothing without the willingness/desire to be able to see what’s around you and accept it, and wanting to experience it.
I find that the more I go, the more I want to see. The more I want to experience. A few years back, I started to figure out that its not just the places you go, its the experiences you gain along the way. For example, something as simple as having a laugh with a family in Tokyo, over their little girl getting her shoe stuck between the platform and the train. We didn’t need language to find the commonality of humour. I think, its small experiences along the way, that add up to the greater adventure.
I’m starting to realize that it’s the adventures that I seek along with the destinations. Going to an exotic destination, just because its on your list is great, don’t get me wrong. But combined with an experience or an adventure, then that becomes something that you carry with you, a memory that you don’t/won’t forget, ever! Sometimes you can plan for some of the experiences, but other times those experiences just happen. And they only happen because you decided they would happen. You made them happen. You go out and have a drive to make it happen.
So if you don’t have a Bucket List, get one, get started on one, NOW. I don’t care what it looks like, just figure out what you need to do… and please don’t tell me that you will wait until you’re retired. You need to get out there and start, once you get started you may come to the realization as I have, that the list is far too long for you to complete once you retire. If you have one, make plans to get those places/experiences checked off, Carpe Diem.
So to quote from one of my favourite movies, “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”. I know what I’m choosing, I hope that you choose the same…