Remember when we were in our early teens, jotting down everything we wanted to do over the summer when we finally got a break from endless research papers and reading assignments. Or when we got a little bit older, maybe even some of us being ambitious in our childhood, would make a list of everything we wanted to accomplish throughout our lives, whether it was geared toward our career goals or leisure, such as going to Jamaica or bungee jumping.
By now you probably know what I’m referring to, being as everyone has at least mapped out their next moves or made it a priority to accomplish short-term goals first and then slowly but surely, cross out those long-term ones, through what we call, a bucket list.
What if I told those who didn’t know that there was a pre-bucket list, which serves a way for you to graciously take in your blessings you already received, rather than the ones you’re setting a goal for.
A ‘Reverse Bucket List,’ allows us as individuals who may sometimes feel as if we aren’t doing enough, or have trouble maintaining pride in what we’ve thankfully accomplished, layout and note everything we never thought we’d do and did.
I tried it myself during the beginning of my junior year in college. Here I was in a new, big city at a new institution, barely knowing anyone and constantly asking myself, “Where Do I Start?” I got involved in things I was familiar with such as the school newspaper, the National Association of Black Journalists (the best organization I’ve ever decided to be a part of btw), attended seminars and conferences, met and listened to incredible people, made good friends, with people with great energy, but thought, “What am i actually doing here, other than existing in a sea of tens of thousands of other people?”
So I started the reverse bucket list.
I wrote down everything I’ve ever done in my life that I never thought I’d do at least still in the prime of my youth, or things that have left an impact on my life’s until this day, from accomplishing it. And then at the end, that’s when I entered in a few spaces and from there, began my actual bucket list branching off my reverse and wrote down ways I can use my platform and voice through what I’ve gained, from the reverse.
Now, here’s my challenge to you: Take a moment within your day, when you have some free time, or when you just have one of those days where you don’t know where your life is going, feel down on your luck or just downplaying your greatness, and start your reverse bucket list.
- Graduated high school? Write it down.
- Visited an exotic place or vacayed out the country? Write it down.
- Took a step closer to accomplishing your ultimate career goal? Write it down.
- Was a part of a protest? Write it down.
- Met a celebrity and got an autograph or photo? Write it down.
- Ate an oyster or had your first alcoholic beverage? Write it down!
Big or small, these things in more ways than one, can be key components in enhancing who you are and more importantly, who you’re aiming to be for the future. We have to take more pride and gratitude in the experiences and opportunities we have been given in this rollercoaster, we call life. It’s always great to look and plan ahead, but sometimes or even often, there’s nothing wrong with learning from the past.