“You have to use your list for good”

Superhero themed party by Anders Ruff for 3 year old child as photographed by Becca Bond

Use your list for good, not yourself. Just like a superhero.
Photo Credit: Anders Ruff Custom Designs on Flickr
Used unmodified under CC BY-ND 2.0 license

This weekend I had the chance to see a good friend (Carla Grace) who I don’t see that often. We talked about a lot of things, and one of them was our bucket/goal lists.

She showed me that she’s been learning to play the drums (after her husband found out it was on her list, he bought her a drum set and set her up with lessons. How nice is that?) The thing that stood out to me about our conversation about the drums was that Carla doesn’t want to just play the drums and cross it off her list, she also wants to play drums in a worship band.

“I want to share it with other people,” she said. “It’s good to do things on your list for yourself, but you have to use your list for good.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept lately. Often, the more I pursue my bucket list, the more selfish I get, since I’m focused on doing the things I want to do, on my timeline. I do have goals that are not me-focused, like many other bucket list-ers have (example: Christine Barba’s Kind Acts & Volunteering page at Project Light to Life). That doesn’t seem like enough.

The majority of things on my list are for me. That’s not bad, I think it’s important to do things for yourself, but I also know it’s essential to have a community focus as well.

Sometimes I play around with the idea of donating $10 to Make a Wish Foundation for every goal completed. Other times I think about directly helping one other person do a goal on their list for every one I complete. I may do these things in the future, but I don’t think they will solve the problem of having the selfish mindset that I’ve developed over the past few years.

The list itself and the items on it are not bad, and it is fun to do or learn things simply for the sake of doing or learning them. However, I want to make this more significant than just doing things because I want to. As I do the things on my list, I gain skills, knowledge, experience, etc. and it is not enough to just keep them to myself. I want to use them for good, like Carla.

A part of this is this blog. I’m already looking up all these things to prepare for the items on my list, and I wanted to share them with other people, since many of us share list items. But, I want to add a new element to this, an outward focus, and I want your help.

How are you (or others you know) using your list for good? Share about it in the comments.

And, if you need a drummer, Carla’s looking for a band.

Resources: As mentioned previously, Christine Barba’s Kind Acts & Volunteering page at Project Light to Life has many great examples of outward-focused list items.

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