Simon Terry

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A Hole in The Bucket List

Plug the purposeful hole in your bucket list.

On the weekend, I made english muffins. I have now made four of my big five baking goals. After sourdough bread, bagels, pretzels, crumpets and now english muffins, I only have croissants to go.

Hang on a minute. Big five baking goals? That sounds like a bucket list.

What’s wrong with a bucket list?

Even if I put aside the morbid nature of a death checklist, the problem with bucket lists is that they have become part of our consumer society. Bucket list moments are experiences that you are meant to have. They are not who you are.

Because bucket lists are consumption driven, they always grow and there is no pressure to have a consistent logic for inclusion. (For example, croissants is the 6th member of my big five baking goals). Your bucket list can never be complete. More unique experiences are always being created. Bucket lists creep into every aspect of life. Bucket lists run on ‘keeping up with the Jones’ logic. If everyone else is running with the Bulls at Pamplona, then we should too. (Why didn’t I include doughnuts?)

All these experiences are an effort to fill a life that lacks the satisfaction of purpose. Bucket lists leak through the lack of purpose.

Plug the Purposeful Hole in the Bucket

A life lived with purpose is not about what you have. A life lived with purpose is about who you are. Purpose defines the reason you do what you do. Purpose is our chosen effect on others and the world.

Don’t chase a random list of experiences. There’s no chance it will make your life complete. Start by doing one purposeful act instead. One purposeful act might be all it takes.

I’m not looking to bake my way up culinary peaks. I’m just aiming for one joyous family meal at a time. Now about those croissants…


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