Beyond Your "Bucket List"! What are Your Passions?

I was planning on covering this topic fairly soon anyway, but I’m guessing that the upcoming release of the movie “The Bucket List,” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman is about to create a lot of discussion in the “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” category, so I might as well raise this discussion now.

In the movie, the Nicholson and Freeman characters are terminally ill men who go on a final spree, trying to cross as many things as possible off of their respective lists of things they want to do before they “kick the bucket.”

Since I am very interested in the topic of what people want to do with the rest of their lives, I am of course interested in the movie’s treatment of this topic, but from what I’ve seen of the previews, it appears to be more of an “old guy escapade” movie than anything else. Actually, I hope I’m wrong.

In any event, I’ll bet you already have a “bucket list” floating around in your head, even if you never called it that. I know I do. I’ve just been calling it my “Things to do before I die list.” I know, I know. Not a very creative title. As an example, one item on my personal list is seeing Antarctica. Potential travel destinations are on a lot of our lists. Another one, that I was able to check off a few months ago was to crew on a boat delivery down the East Coast Inland Waterway.

The boat trip was glorious, exceeding all expectations. I would hardly call it a passion of mine. But its presence, and the presence of any of the items on your personal “bucket lists” might be INDICATIVE of a passion for travel or to experience nature or a broadened life experience. It’s that deeper level of passion that really interests me. That’s the list that I’m interested in helping YOU develop.

What’s the difference? “Bucket list” items are things I want to do before I die, but they are hardly goals or passions. Passions are those things in life that truly motivate me. Deep relational things, Strong inspirational things. Ways that I want to express myself (say through art or writing). Ways that I want my life to have made a difference. Even if on my deathbed, I haven’t checked “Antarctica trip” off my “bucket list,” I will still be able to die a happy man if those biggies are checked off.

In the first draft of my book-in-process, Platinum Living: Getting the Best out of the Rest of Your Life, I have written a section where I try to help the reader identify his or her life passions. I have three different exercises to help do this. The first is really just a list of generic suggestions to help prime the pump in the reader’s thought process. I thought I’d publish the list today to get your own creative juices flowing, and then follow up with the actual exercises later in the week.

As you read this list, PERSONALIZE it. Stick in peoples names. Name that talent you want to cultivate, the subject you want to teach about, the causes you believe in. Make it yours. And by the way, this is an early draft, so I am VERY open to the suggestion of other major categories if you have any…. Here’s the list:

Feeling Healthy and Physically Fit
Helping to Make the World a Better Place
Building Relationships with Family and Friends
Having Great Family Times that will be Remembered After I'm Gone
Cultivating that Talent that has been Dormant all these Years
Teaching Others What I Have Learned
Finding and Pursuing My Life's Passion
Seeing New Places and Trying New Things
Finding Peace and Contentment
Cultivating my Spirituality
Passing Along My Values to Future Generations
Leaving a Valuable Inheritance to My Children and Grandchildren
Tackling a Challenging New Project/Career/Business
Advancing The Causes I Believe In

Got more? Fill in a comment below… Thanks :-) Bob


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