It Started With A Centenarian’s Point Of View

My 12th focus area was about thinking big, and mostly regarding my career goals.  (Read more in The Oak Is No Longer Sleeping In The Acorn… It Is Sprouting Big Time.)  This next focus area, the 13th, is about thinking big in a different way.  It encompasses leisure time, counts up lifetime achievements and started with a centenarian’s point of view…

Focus Area #13

F-ocus: Bucket List

A-ttitude: What is my approach to this focus area – what do I/we want it to be?

“John Goddard is most known for his amazing ‘Life List’ of accomplishments. At the age of fifteen John Goddard listed 127 goals he wished to experience or achieve in his lifetime. The list is impressive and audacious, but the results have been truly incredible.”   (

Goddard’s list includes things like climbing the world’s major mountains, exploring the longest rivers, visiting every country in the world and read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.

Talk about trying to reach one’s potential!

My life list… or as I like to call it, my “Bucket List” (after the famous movie by the same name starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman)… is not as ambitious.  Still, for me, it’s pretty big.  I started it in 2010, and my reason for making it a focus area is so that I don’t forget the items I’ve been adding to it.

S-tory: What is a story that illustrates the power of having this focus in my life?

The act of making & checking off lists is very empowering.  It gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps keep your momentum strong.  Making lists is the main technique many of us use to get things done on a day-to-day basis.  But, making a bucket list really stretches your imagination.  It gives you an even larger sense of accomplishment and confidence when you check off those items.

When I started my list, I didn’t think of it as a bucket list.  Instead it was something that a colleague challenged me to consider – my answer to the question, “On your 100th birthday, what things will you want to be celebrating having accomplished?”  I started writing down where in the world I’d like to have traveled, how many books and articles I will have published, what kind of projects I’d like to have collaborated on, etc. 

Life is busy.  Every day is filled with the business of living and of making a living.  It’s easy to forget big picture dreams.  This is why making “Planning” the center focus of my 13×4 System has been so important for me this year.  If I don’t plan for the little AND for the big things, I spin my wheels far too much.  I never get down the road.

What I’ve realized is that I’m an expert at planning for the little things – the small projects.  And focusing on Bucket List planning is helping me to understand how the little things are tied to the big things. 

Here’s what I mean.  I have a lot of trips to faraway places on my bucket list.  To afford the money and time off it will take to make such excursions, I need to look at what I have in front of me to do right now that will help me afford to do those things later.  So bucket list planning helps me to work smarter.  It helps me to think about my time and money in new ways. 

Some of my bucket list items are smaller than others.  I decided that to have some fun with this focus area this year, I would do at least one thing from my list this summer.  Last week I went to NASA and saw the historic mission control room where they directed the early space missions and landed men on the moon.  Check!  Now I’m wondering what else I can do this year from my list…

T-ool: What is a tool I/we can use to maintain this focus area?

This focus area, “Bucket List,” required that I actually block time on my calendar.  So each day I spent a few minutes looking at my bucket list.  During this week, whenever I had extra spare time I looked into what it would take to go certain places, do certain things.  I put aside some money from my budget and blocked out vacation time for early August so that I could fulfill something on my list.


Angela Loëb helps people rediscover and use their gifts so they bring who they are to what they do in life. 

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