The Bucket List Guy

What’s On Your Bucket List?  Things you want to do before you die.

We’ve been talking about making change in our lives.  About the possibilities we all think about when considering doing something different.

I recently attended a national conference.  The keynote speaker was Trav Bell, the “Bucket List Guy.”  (

He walked the audience through his journey and told of all the amazing things he has accomplished.  He also stepped the attendees through a process that would help us develop our own personal Bucket Lists.

It is my opinion that “Know Thyself” is important when you are thinking about something new in your life.  What your strengths and weaknesses are.  What you want to accomplish.  Compiling New Year’s Resolutions.  And writing your “Bucket List”.  A Bucket List is a fun as well as insightful tool to use in the process of evaluating and re-evaluating your life.

For those who may not know, a Bucket List is a compilation of all the things you want to do, to see, to accomplish before you die.  Simple, right?  They even made a movie out of the concept.

The list may include items that may feel a long way out of reach — but then are accomplished.  The simple task of writing goals down makes them feel possible.  Or more possible.  Even skydiving or mountain climbing become a realistic goal.

The Bucket List Guy – Trav Bell

But personally, I don’t really want to jump out of an airplane or climb Mt. Everest.  Some of the things I do want to accomplish may be considered mundane.  So mundane, I really do not want to share them but here goes.

I lived 12 hours away from my grandchildren.  And I think making cookies with them is important, even though it won’t really change the world.  But I don’t get to see them as much I wish.  And I make pretty good cookies.  So – “making cookies with Essi and Ezra” is on my list.

Of course, my initial list has some pretty impressive things I want to accomplish – some travel, some work goals, personal health tasks.  And it is definitely a work in process.

So, how exactly does one figure out how to create a personal Bucket List?   A great place to start:  figure out what you have already accomplished.   Acknowledge that you have already done things that are worthy of Bucket List check marks!  These accomplishments are what Trav Bell calls the Reverse Bucket List – looking in the rear view mirror to review your life.  List what you are proud of; what you wanted to do and did it; and the results don’t  matter — it’s the sheer “doing” that is important.

Going forward, there are 12 different “buckets” (no pun intended) of items from which to determine what should be on your forward-looking Bucket List.  Bell has created an acronym to help with this, which is – not surprisingly – M.Y.B.U.C.K.E.T.L.I.S.T.

Here’s the first of these steps to filling a Bucket List:  “M” stands for “Meet a personal hero.”

This step took me over an hour to figure out who I might like to meet.  Along the way, I realized I have already met several very outstanding people who I consider heroes – an astronaut, two presidents, a woman who was one of CNN Hero’s award list two years ago.  I’ve also met some individuals who aren’t famous but are so impressive they make my “personal heroes” list.  So I also got to add some pretty cool tick marks on my own Reverse Bucket List.

Then, I identified two people that I admire but haven’t yet been in their presence.  BIG TIME people.  You-would-know-their-name-type people.  They are now at the top of my List as Personal Heroes.  Since I first sat down to write this list, I’ve also added some other people to it.

My Bucket List started to take on some depth at this point.  I found myself developing criteria for both the person I wanted to meet as well as the reason that person show up on my list.  Just meeting them on a rope line wasn’t good enough.  So now, my expanded definition is more than just a handshake.

My idea of what appears on a personal Bucket List has expanded even more over the last couple months.  The List resides on my desk and now gets added to, changed and scribbled on regularly.


Want a copy of this template so you can work on your own Bucket List?  Or just find out what Trav Bell suggests should be on a Bucket List?  I’m more than happy to sent it to you – just let me know where it should go.

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The next thing we are going to discuss is New Year’s Resolutions.  Stay tuned to find out what David G. Allan of The Wisdom Project has to say about putting a little different spin on those Resolutions.


It’s That Time of Year Again

New Year’s Resolutions