“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.” - T.S. Eliot
No matter how old we are, there’s one thing we consider at every age… what will we choose to do with our finite amount of time on this earth? At every age, our answers evolve, but they always reflect what we deem important in life at that moment. As we grow older, our answers are distilled down and become the essence of our purpose.
As you write down your bucket list, you might consider life goals you want to accomplish, or far away places you hope to see. If your list starts to get long, you might then start asking yourself: what really matters?
This quote by T.S. Eliot is an invitation to look at our “bucket list” in three categories: things to do, things to say, and things to contemplate. Is this how you would categorize your own bucket list? Are these to-do’s also important to you?
Here at BuDhaGirl, if we were to distill our own bucket lists, a great way to determine top priorities would be to consider what brings us the most joy. After all, when has anyone ever regretted living a joyful life?
Some defining questions might be, what entries on your list brings you the most joy? Does being with your family bring you joy? Does traveling bring you joy? Does a hobby bring you joy? Does sharing a certain message with others bring you joy? If there is something that fills you with more joy than anything else, it should definitely be emphasized on your list.
When we can reframe our lifelong to-do’s in terms of joy, we remove the regret factor of a bucket list and replace it with happiness and excitement for life. Once we are able to do this, our perspective as we experience these bucket list moment changes. Instead of treating the Eiffel Tower tour as a been-there-done-that-cross-it-off-my-list type of experience, maybe we would enjoy it more if we were truly present in that moment. This shift in perspective turns something you simply did into something you actually absorbed and appreciated.
Do you maintain a bucket list, BuDhaGirl? Tell us in the comments below how your list has changed over the years, and how you determine top priorities within it.