Calling All List-Makers: Game On!

Everyone has some sort of life list, right?

Call it whatever you want:

A Bucket List.

101 List.

If I Win the Lottery List.

Things I Want to Do Before I Croak List.

I can’t believe I feel compelled to explain this, but….

It’s usually a list of big-ticket things you want to experience in your lifetime. Some of these lists are written on a cocktail napkin, while others are eloquently typed-up and uploaded to a fancy web site.

Again, it seems like everyone has one. Even anti-list makers have several unspoken “before-I-die tasks” mentally filed away.

The phrase “I should put that on my list” is totally accepted, understood and never questioned.

Some of these life lists have timetables. “Prior to death” is the hands-down winner, but I’ve also seen “before we have kids,” “before I buy a house” and “before I’m forced to use a walker.”

My first life list was 101 things I wanted to accomplish in 1,001 days. (Confession: I’m the guy who flamboyantly displayed his online.) 

Honda has even embraced this society-wide phenomenon with its new marketing campaign: Leap List. The concept, a CR-V can help you accomplish your goals before you whatever…celebrate your next birthday, settle down, etc. (So wonderfully brilliant!)

OK….the “What is a Bucket List?” tutoring session is officially over…quickly on to my point: I want to help people mark things off their list (kind of like the CR-V). I also want to write about the experience.

I mentioned this in a blog post exactly two years ago. The post referenced a VERY similar concept that MTV picked up and ran with – “The Buried Life.” I mused how I fiddle-farted around and let them “steal” my idea.

Update: The show has been cancelled, and I still think this is a tremendous way to connect with people, help them do something they’ve always wanted to do AND tell their story. (Again, I want to do it differently than they did on the show.)

How do YOU fit into all of this?

I’m ready to get started and I need your help. All you have to do is:

• Re-visit your life list (find it, write it down or dust it off);

• Attach it to an e-mail and send it to me;

• I’ll see if there is something I can help you mark off;

The only other request: Allow me to write about it (why was this on your list, what did it mean to mark it off, etc.).

Do NOT start making excuses before we even get started. The ONLY argument I’ll accept: “I don’t need anyone’s help.”

BUT as soon as those 5 ½ words enter your consciousness, you have to start attacking your list and marking tasks off. (Reminder: There is a reason these tasks still don’t have a line marked through them.)

Since this is an uncharted endeavor – I’m going to start slow. I will “adopt” the first six people who reach out to me.

Now, if you’re on board and don’t need anymore convincing – stop reading and send me your list. The accompanying message can be as simple as “Game on!” or “Let’s do this!” 

If you’re on the fence, I want to share the premise of a book that changed my life: “Into the Wild” by John Krakauer. It’s a true story about a 20-something nomad named Chris McCandless, who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness and died. (I’m not ruining the book – it says that on the cover.)

Before his tragic and premature death, it was always about the next adventure for him. He wrote in one of his journals, “The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.” During his last days, however – alone in an abandoned bus in the snow-covered wilderness – he made a note next to the following passage from “Doctor Zhviago.” 

“And so it turned out that only a life similar to the life of those around us, merging it without a ripple, is genuine life, and that unshared happiness is not happiness…” 

In his dying days, Chris McCandless (right) realized that the experiences that he had were extraordinary, BUT they were meaningless because he didn’t get the chance to share them with someone else. Next to that passage, he wrote “HAPPINESS IS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED.”

No one should suffer the same fate as Alexander Supertramp – the colorful alter ego that Chris McCandless adopted during his journeys. I’m not even referring to him dying in the abandoned school bus in Alaska. No one should mark the last task off his or her life list, look around and have no one there.

“Congratulations to me!” – highlighted by the deafening sound of silence and maybe the occasional chirping of a bored cricket.

Life is short. I’m sure your list is long. Let’s share an amazing experience TOGETHER.

Game on?

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One Comment on “Calling All List-Makers: Game On!”

  1. arlene
    January 27, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    Since you were unknowingly a part of one of the things on my list years ago (to spend a month in a loft in NYC) maybe you should knowing be involved now. Adopt me and I'll get to working on that list. You already have an idea about the next thing up.

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