The Adventure List: What it is and Why You Need One

By now, you have almost certainly heard of the Bucket List. That’s a list of things you hope to experience before you pass away or “kick the bucket.” Perhaps you even have one.

I do. I think they are a good idea.

But while the concept of the Bucket List is good, it has its limitations. You probably think of your bucket list in grandiose terms. Your list is probably filled with big-ticket items and stretch goals, like taking a trip to Japan, visiting every national park, or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but the reality is that unless you are diligent in your pursuit of your bucket list items, you will probably run out of time, money, or ability to achieve all of them before you actually kick that proverbial bucket.

The time you spend experiencing your bucket list dreams will comprise a relatively small percentage of the rest of your time on Earth. And while major events are memorable and satisfying, your overall happiness is going to be determined more by how you live your life on a day-to-day basis.

As writer and cartoonist Allan Saunders said (and John Lennon later sang), “life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” And one of my favorite quotes is this one by Annie Dillard: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

So how can you ensure that your life is enjoyable and fulfilling during all that time between each of your bucket list experiences?