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.