Tag Archives: Bucket List

Your Bucket List for 2014

Volume 3, Issue 44

Why have bucket lists for the rest of your life without having one for the upcoming year? Forming a strong intention to do something in 2014 that you’ve always wanted to do is so much more concrete and action-oriented than simply hoping you’ll get around to doing it someday. The probability of actually having that wish come true goes up when you put a time frame around it.

There is a solid benefit to just making a bucket list and then assigning one or more items on that list to 2014. That benefit is self-knowledge. Anything that helps you contemplate yourself from a new perspective is going to provide serendipitous actionable insights.

What if you find that you have outgrown your bucket list? The connotation of a “bucket list” is fun stuff you would like to do once. Perhaps when you contemplate such amusements in the context of your life and/or the next year, you discover that instead of caring about such idle pleasures, what you really would like to focus on making happen is something much more important, like making a transition to the kind of work you’ve always wanted to do. If not your vocation then an avocation that you’ve always desired but never made time for. Surely 2014 is the time to make a substantive move in resurrecting that dream. What’s more important?

A writing partner and lifelong friend of mine is now following his dream. Somehow he has kept the wolves at bay monetarily and has managed to concentrate on writing and researching his scripts every day of his life. It was not always like that.

Like most people he felt he was going to get around to that someday but first he had to put himself on a solid economic footing. The quest for that stability seemed never ending. His confidence in ever getting around to his real work was gradually shrinking, a little bit every day, without him at first noticing what was happening until it was almost too late. One day he woke up and realized he was no longer sure he could do it anymore.

Has that ever happened to you?

Trying to inspire him out of that state of mind, Socrates being one of my heroes, I asked him lots of questions. Let’s call him James. James had been a character actor in big box-office movies and quality television shows, and a singer/songwriter as well. He gradually began to realize he had a gift for writing, which attracted him more than performing. He wrote a script that was a page-turner. He had one project that he really wanted to make happen right away and even had an idea about how to market it. It started with seeing an actor he knew who was in a position to help him: Robert Duvall.

It hit me that we all have dreams we want to make come true and ideas about how to break into some field — maybe someone we know who is highly placed can help us. Often we hesitate and maybe never make that phone call or send that email or letter. It depends on how far our confidence has slipped, how much we have become resigned to our fate of the economic survival treadmill being the only reality.

To motivate him — and myself — I coined a phrase. I told him that every day he must remember to “Do his Duvalls” — meaning to actually do the things that would advance his real lifelong aspirations. Today he is doing his Duvalls and finally so am I.

Wishing you a 2014 in which you wake up each morning, remembering to do your Duvalls, and actually doing them.

Best to all and happy New Year!


Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at  Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

Mr. P was given six months to live

Volume 2, Issue 27

When he heard this, his mind immediately accelerated. In the space of a breath before saying anything to the doctor, he experienced:

  1. A seemingly irrelevant thought about his rival at work;
  2. Realization that he no longer cared a whit about that rivalry, in light of his new fate;
  3. Insight that the rivalry was always at least equally his own fault for placing too much ego-driven emphasis on petty things;
  4. Insight that he did not want to be petty, and yet had let himself be petty at least several times daily over such concerns as rivalries, feuds, fears, envies, saving face, and the panoply of vanities;
  5. Realization that it was this new perspective on Time that had geared up his inner concentration to a level he had never experienced before, which instantly made ego things easily dispensed with.

The good news was that he would be strong right up until the last few weeks. That meant he could accomplish whatever he had always wanted to do in the last months of his life, or, as he laughed wryly to himself, “Die tryin’.”

He was alone in his car driving back from the doctor. He marveled at how fast and clearly his mind seemed to be working. So many trivial things that seemed important before had dropped away without an argument. His mind was sharply focused on his highest priorities. Realizing this, he thanked the Upper Light for doing it this way to him. He had lived a fun life up to now and if it was his time to be taken, he felt strongly there would be an afterlife and life eternal. He flashed on how seeing the way he faced death would help his family and those who knew him to open their minds about death.

He saw that it would not be compassionate to spend his last days doing a bucket list, or anything selfish like that. What should he do — what did he want to do — with his last days?

What he wound up doing was having a lot of one-on-one conversations and fun parties. The conversations would be the last so they never devolved into trivia. He said what he had always wanted to say to that person. After the tears, his family listened without boredom, first out of respect and then out of love and finally because they were getting good ideas for themselves from what he was saying, despite his occasional ramblings, from which he always brought himself back.

He envisioned the ways his industry could evolve in positive directions in the years ahead and he gave unsolicited advice to many of the leaders in the field. If it all came out the way he saw it, there would be more counterspecialization across competing companies in a major sector, which would lead to a consolidation of complementary entities later on.

He took up painting again and did other things compassionate to himself. When his wife found him and saw that he had passed away, he was sitting up, his eyes open, and a smile on his face as if seeing something awesome.

Best to all,