A friend of mine asked if a trip I recently booked was on my bucket list as I called it “number seven”. It was not a bucket list item but a goal of sorts. I think the two do not have to be the same while in some ways they have similarities. So I thought I would take a moment to explore the differences between my goals versus a simple bucket list and I found them to be equal so I decided to put out some current goals. First, I am reminded of Shakespeare and what Hamlet said to Horatio: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Second, I am reminded of a simple quote from a very interesting man, ”We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have – for their usefulness.” Thomas Merton. These two thoughts are my starting point.
These guiding principles help me to think about and define the things are that are the most important for me to accomplish before I die, “Kick the Bucket”
- Go to Mt. Everest and achieve basecamp from Nepal or Tibet – Next Year
- Hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro -Next Year
- Finish up stepping on (literally) and doing some level of exploration on all seven continents with Antarctica (That is what started this post) – January
- Of course that leaves to Madagascar and the Seychelles Islands as they are not designated as part of the seven (I believe-more research is needed) – Future
- Paint the perfect self-portrait – No idea if I will ever do this but I will not stop trying
- Build an airplane – Yup
- Learn to dive and explore the ocean – Soon
- Learn to speak Spanish, Italian and Latin – Ongoing
- Play the piano well at one of my Christmas parties
- Spend a few million that I have yet to make over the next 50 years
- Help others and continue my education – Ongoing
I think people get too focused on hoarding or spending and owning things, cash or people, to ever enjoy just being. So my focus is to value myself as a person versus stuff, this explains the last item on my list. I also must add that I did not discuss my professional life and education but those are not bucket list items. From a professional perspective I would add:
- The best accessibility resources free and open source that will solve the issues of education and tools that remain in the space today. – Working on it
- Finish three different books that I am working – Working on it
- Make dynamic and flexible Quality Assurance Tools – ConPraxis Baby (Working on it)
- Educate engineers and technical advocates on the true power of simplicity – Every day
- Help others achieve their professional goals – Everyday
- Contribute to organizations that support my professional beliefs and goals- Ongoing
Spiritually speaking, I will continue to strive to have a better personal understanding of and participation in my faith and to live my beliefs to the best of my ability. This includes Charitable giving to organizations in the form of participation, money, and time. I also fully believe that the accomplishment of any of the things any of my lists has to be done on my own without causing anyone any harm and the same is true on the professional side with regards to good business ethics. E.g. Bernie Madoff probably did some amazing things, donated to charities, gave people raises and was genorous but he did it by theft and fraud and who needs that darkness on their soul!
The ######### represents the things that I do not know of that will change my list dramatically. I would argue that many things I have done in my life never would have been on my list, either. So that is why I believe in lists. If you want to do something you need to write it down, a pencil is fine (with a good eraser). I find that if we do this we are more likely to start something. Without the written list, we are not likely to start. I think we can all also agree that if we do not start something it is a sure thing that we will not complete it. I also add check back in 10 years and I will have a new list, or better put 10 minutes.
Oh wait: I did not get to fly a plane over the Serengeti/Africa in General, this is definitely on my list for my next time in Africa! I would also add that my friends and family fall in all of the categories.
And Wait: So goals are basically a bucket list to me, some long and some short term, especially the ones that I write down!