I recently had a discussion with a client that wanted help designing a family vacation. She said the trip was on her bucket list, which is something I hear quite often, and love being part of. But the conversation went further, and I learned that it wasn’t the destination that was on her bucket list, but the goal of raising a family that was compassionate, curious and accepting of diverse ways of life, that she was working towards.
This conversation left me inspired, and is prompting me to take a brief pause from the travel world to talk about bucket lists and eulogies.
Now at a quick glance both these topics can seem quite morbid. After all it does mean talking about the things we want to do before we ‘kick the bucket’ on life, and what someone might say about us after our passing. But rather than take the sad and morbid view, let’s flip it around, and look at things from a different perspective.
I recently found myself thinking back on a middle school class called Careers. On the first day of class my teacher, Mr. M, asked each student to write their eulogy. In response I remember hearing laughter and lots of questions – ‘Mr. M, what is a eulogy?’ and then spending time writing my eulogy, aided by these prompts from Mr. M:
- What do you want people to say about you?
- What impact do you want to make in your community?
- How do you want to make people feel?
- What do you want to experience in your life?
- What do you want to accomplish?
Now I don’t remember exactly what I wrote down that day, but I remember feeling a sense of purpose when I put words on paper. The words felt like goals and a compass for how I should show up everyday in order to have my eulogy speak to the person I wanted to be. All that coming from a middle school Careers class, who knew?!
So I leave you with these questions, inspired by the questions I was asked by Mr. M and illustrated by my recent Travel Design client:
- What experiences do you want to be intentional about manifesting in your life?
- And what kind of life and legacy do you want to leave behind?
But more than just keeping the answers in your head, find a way to get them out in real life. Write it out, share them with your partner or a friend. Heck – share them with me! But put the words out there, and find ways to hold yourself accountable and make baby steps of progress towards this version of you. My hope is that by putting these words out there, you’ll be one step closer to the words ringing true.
Cheers to ‘living big!’