Curious About: Bucket Lists
Why do we make bucket lists?
A 'bucket list' is a glorified term for a list of accomplishments you hope to achieve before you die ("kick the bucket" as they say) or within a set time period (like the 101 things in 1001 days trend many bloggers publish). In today's YOLO era, we have bucket lists for places to travel, books to read, foods to try - you name it.
So, WHERE does the term come from and DOES creating a bucket list make us more likely to actually do the things we say we want to do?
- The modern usage of 'bucket list' comes from the 2007 movie "The Bucket List," starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman - the plot for which IMDB describes as: "Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die."
- TheBucketListGuy.com dials it way back and shared three origin theories:
- Gruesome alert! An execution method in the Middle Ages involved a victim standing on a bucket with a noose tied around his neck. When the bucket was kicked away, the victim would strangle to death.
- Religious alert! In a Catholic custom of placing holy-water buckets at the feet of a corpse, mourners could pay respects and sprinkle the body with water.
- Kids alert! Apparently there once was a children's game where kids would kick a ball around and try to avoid hitting buckets. I don't totally understand this one, but imagine it to be similar-ish to kick the can type of basic game to keep kids busy.
- Remember those Chicken Soup for the Soul books? The franchise is cited as one of the inspirations for people who create bucket lists. But we have celebrities like Cameron Diaz and President Obama to thank for popularizing their bucket lists as well.
- Regardless of the origin, creating a bucket list can serve as a way to hold yourself accountable and motivate you to do things to make a more memorable life. A Psychology Today article, breaks down the need to balance between narcissistic things people put on bucket lists versus more fulfilling things, like connecting with people (i.e. take my family on a cruise).
- Collecting experiences or accomplishments like they are badges on a Girl Scout's uniform is besides the point. Bucket list contrarians say they can cause regret, limit your spontaneity and give you tunnel vision.
If you make a bucket list, remember to personalize it and make it your own.
What are you curious about? Leave a comment & let me know.
[Image Source: bambe1964]