An Exercise In Gratitude
The concept of a “reverse” bucket list has been trending all over the internet recently! To refresh you memory, a “bucket list” is a list of all the experiences or accomplishments you want to achieve before you “kick-the-bucket!” A lot of people list travel to far-off places, or extreme feats like jumping out of an airplane. One item high on my list is to learn how to play the piano!
A reverse bucket list, however, is an inventory of all the experiences or accomplishments you have already achieved during your life so far. Rather than focusing on future hopes and dreams, writing your reverse bucket list requires a degree of reflection and gratitude.
While it’s easy to dream about future possibilities, human beings are very adept at minimizing their life’s accomplishments. We tend to believe our lives are somehow unremarkable, and not as interesting as the lives lived by others.
Yet, when you reflect on your life from a perspective of gratitude, you will find that the things that may not have been a big deal to one person are a really big deal to you! It’s about being proud of past achievements, or the experiences you cherish the most!
Once you have made your list, you will notice how many things in your life you can be grateful for! Reflecting on my own list helps me to realize how diverse and interesting my life has really been up until now, and grateful for my adventures and accomplishments! Here’s just a few items on my list:
1. Growing up overseas
When I was 3 years old, I moved with my family to the United Kingdom, living primarily in London. This is a life experience that I cherish over most others, and consider London my hometown, despite the fact I was born in Florida! Living in the UK has shaped who I am today and influenced my worldview for the better!
2. European adventures
UK living made visits to the European continent super easy! Special memories include climbing a mountain in Switzerland, and my brother almost falling out of the Leaning Tower of Piza!
3. Graduate school
I have always valued education, so getting a master’s degree has been a significant accomplishment for me! With a love for learning, I totally emersed myself in the experience!
4. Pavarotti in the park
In 1991, or thereabouts, I got to see celebrated operatic tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, live in Hyde Park in London. It rained the entire time but no one cared!
5. Career changes
I have been an accountant, worked in television production, cared for children with special needs, and have been a mental health professional, all before becoming a coach!
6. New York dreams
To me, New York City is one of the most romantic destinations in the world! I was thrilled to finally visit the Big Apple several years ago!
7. Got married
I was a little older when I met the man I would spend the rest of my life with, but he was definitely worth the wait!
8. Overcame sickness
After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I make some drastic lifestyle changes in efforts to treat my disease naturally. The hard work has been worth it and I am healthier, happier and stronger than I have been in years!
9. Started a blog
I love to write about things that matter to me, and hope to inspire, challenge and stimulate my readers in the process!
10. Music festivals
Totally embracing the entire festival experience, I camped in muddy fields and saw more bands in one weekend then I could in a lifetime!
What are your top three experiences or accomplishments in your life that you would add to your own reverse bucket list? Please share what what makes you grateful in the comments below. Much thanks!