Creating a Bucket List: What Would You Attempt to Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

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A bucket list doesn’t just happen. It evolves.

A bucket list is more than things to see and do in this life. It is an exciting way to set goals and an important method for deciding what you want to achieve in your life, for motivating yourself, and for building your self-confidence.

When compiling a bucket list, keep in mind that personal goals should not be tied to anyone else’s existence. One major misunderstanding about the nature of life is to look for external sources for happiness and a sense of fulfillment rather than anchoring happiness and meaning from within. Happiness and self-worth should not depend on the status quo, on peers or the media. Instead, these goals should further your sense of self and individual happiness. After all, how can you successfully contribute to your community or to a relationship if you have not proven that you can contribute to your own growth?

It is important to take a step back and look at the overall picture of who you want to be and how you want to live your life. It is about realizing that the present day is already filled with much goodness, excitement, simple joys, and beauty. Otherwise, you may feel a sense of emptiness despite your ambition or having achieved some goals already. While the satisfaction gained from new and successful experiences can strengthen your self-image, overall health, and quality of life, these goals are best seen as secondary to your higher purpose in life: To be the highest version of you.

A person’s mindset sets the stage for setting goals. In 1988, Dr. Dweck first presented a research-based model to show the impact of mindsets. She found that people’s perception of themselves had a significant impact on their motivation, effort, and approach to challenges. Those who believe their abilities are flexible are more likely to embrace challenges and persist despite failure. This model of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset demonstrates how cognitive, affective, and behavioral features are linked to one’s beliefs about the malleability of their abilities, which, in turn, influence goals.

Growth is perpetually infinite. Although there is simply no way to do everything, that should not stop you from trying. Pick yourself back up and try again whenever you fall short. Remember: You are inherently worthwhile and are enough as you are. Get in touch with your soul through life experience. Be lost in the flow of doing the things you love.

Reference: Dweck, C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), 256-273.


Image: Skydive Andes Chile on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0

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