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Tag fulfilment

Filling the bucket

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So there’s a bit of debate about bucket lists. You know, those lists of all the things you want to do before you kick the bucket. Some experts say they’re essential because they help you to focus on the things that make you happy. A great form of stress relief. And we all know how good that is for you. Giving you something to look forward to and getting the happy juices flowing. It’s about focussing on the things you want to do, rather than letting the things you feel you should do take over. It stimulates creativity, helps you dream bigger and opens possibilities you might never have discovered otherwise.

And of course the fantastic thing about actually writing your bucket list down, is how much easier it becomes to make these things happen. In writing them down those goals actually become tangible.  That’s one big step closer to making them real. It’s amazing how things can just take on a life of their own when you set your intention.

And how good do you feel when you actually get to tick them off? I’m all for good feelings. Keeps you healthier. Did I mention that learning new things actually wards off dementia? That’s another big tick for the bucket list.

But then there are other experts who are nothing short of critical of the bucket list. Labelling it as yet another list in a life already dominated by ‘to dos’. A superficial list devoid of true meaning and purpose. Hedonistic, competitive, trite. Striving for happiness outside of ourselves, rather than finding true happiness within. Living for future goals rather than living in the now.

You know, they might have a point.

But I reckon there’s a middle ground.

Because just like with any goal setting, a bucket list is your opportunity to get in touch with your values. Those things that are important to you. And while swimming with dolphins may be something you’d like to do at least once in your life, it may be that saving the reef is also important to you. And while the thrill of skydiving may be your thing, perhaps donating blood once a month is also something you value. Or maybe it’s to start a business that puts shoes on kids feet for free in the parts of the world you’ve discovered on your travels.

Rather than being purely hedonistic, a meaningful bucket list can actually be the means by which to connect with another human being at an even deeper level.

For some people their bucket list is about leaving a legacy.

Take this guy Patrick Soon-Shiong. Ever heard of him? Well just in case you haven’t he’s the world’s richest doctor. Doing all this fancy stuff with the human genome in an effort to eradicate the world of diseases like cancer. But on the side he shoots hoops at home and is a part owner in the Lakers. I often wonder if a bucket list with this sort of balance – passion, purpose and an outlet for just enjoying yourself – is actually the fuel by which you can create the very legacy you want to leave behind. Because when we take time out to just enjoy ourselves we refuel for the longer journey.

The thing is when we are living a life aligned with our true values we can reach a depth of feeling much greater than happiness. It’s called fulfilment. And while you might not achieve everything on your list I reckon you’re guaranteed to get more out of life than if you never did the list in the first place. And leave more behind.

So what’s on your bucket list?

What legacy will you leave behind?

 

Life is not a dress rehearsal – Paul Blackburn

The Fallacy of The Never Ending Story

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Your perceptions coupled with your mindset determine whether or not you achieve your goals. That is why it is in your interest to clear any hindrances that are not obvious especially the ones that lurk beneath your conscious mind; one such insidious game spoiler is The Story.

The Story is the wellworn narrative you tell yourself (and anyone who cares to listen) about why it is not possible for you to achieve your financial or health goals. Or why you will never find the partner of your dreams because you are convinced by the dreaded story about the lack of loving, dependable potential mates out there in the big bad world.

If left unchecked it morphs into The Burning Martyr Syndrome that looks to serve up the charred remains of what otherwise could have been a magnificent life of wealth, health and happiness.

How The Story got constructed may have been via some unpleasant/frightening experience where you felt threatened, vulnerable, diminished and certainly disempowered. It’s the feeling of helplessness, of not having the right of reply or being able to defend yourself that is likely to be at the root of The Never Ending Story.

I am not for a moment making light of past events where physical or emotional abuse, bullying or intimidation was inflicted upon you usually by an authority figure. Nor am I condoning the behavior of the person against whom you felt powerless.

But, running The Story is choosing to be the victim (still)

Essentially you are saying that unless the perpetrator apologizes, makes amends, shows remorse, acknowledges their mistake or is punished and now behaves in a manner that meets your approval, you cannot move on or be happy.

You are saying your sense of happiness is dependent on another person. Since when has another person been responsible for your happiness and fulfillment?

What if that person is dead? What then are your chances of getting closure?

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You have no control over that event; however, what you do have absolute control over is how you choose to think, behave and act from that point in time.

So why are we loathe to let go of the story?

1) Because it justifies our reluctance to move on, (moving on takes effort). It allows us to take the high moral ground and feel self righteous. All the while each precious second that otherwise could have been dedicated to achieving what we want is frittered away.

2) Because of the time, emotional energy already vested in keeping it alive. The Story thrives on this emotional charge it receives with each retelling and reliving and takes on a life of its own. In fact there is scientific evidence to suggest that neural pathways associated with the memory and feelings are strengthened with each repeating of the event.

When will you give up on telling The Story?

When you have a big enough reason to; it will happen when you decide that it’s time to let go. For me it was simple as making a choice after I attended Illuminations Bootcamp. I recall Paul saying that until we sort out our relationships with father, mother, self and Source it will be a case of one step forwards two steps back, snakes and ladders and any other metaphor that illustrates the self sabotage and treachery your story supports.

I let go when I decided I had bigger fish to fry i.e., I identified huge personal and social goals I wanted to accomplish. It was when I got clear about why I am here and what I am to do until the day I am laid to rest.

Besides, the axe grinding was starting to lose its lustre and frankly it was beginning to be tiresome replaying the same event over and over again.

Funnily enough I had thought that I could never let it go because of all the anger, pain, angst that I had nursed through decades. Nah, that’s over rated; it’s perpetuated by people who have yet to discover their raison d’etre, that’s all.

The ball is in your court. What choice will you make today?