17 July 2012

Re: The signs of a meaningful life

I'm a reader of the Skool of Life blog by Srini Rao and as I was going through my feed today, I saw this post by him.

In this post, he's on the way to a beach for a surf lesson and he sees a bunch of signs, looking much like someone's public bucket list.

I'm not a huge fan of "bucket lists" since I'd rather map out goals and make them happen as my circumstances allow.

Srini wrote: "But when I got  to the beach, I thought to myself “If I did all the things on this guy’s bucket list, I would feel as if I had lived a meaningful life.” An hour later, I overheard a girl in the water talking about the signs and the fact that she had just been proposed to. So I assume the signs had something to do with that.  The signs reminded me of just how much more valuable a life made up of experiences is than one made up of possessions."

I'm not a materalistic person. While I enjoy my possessions, the only things I truly would be devastated if something happened to would be my scooter. Everything else is moderately easily replaceable (though I'd rather not go through the inconvenience of doing so), but that scooter is a rare model and much more difficult to replace than a yoga mat, DVD collection, or iPhone.

How many of us would have items on our bucket list that simply show wealth or money or power? How many would actually be experiences?

If this was the last year of my life, what would I put on those signs?

1. Live in Europe
2. Hug a koala
3. Help an underdeveloped village in Africa
4. Hike to Machu Picchu (Inca Trail) and have a ticket to Huayna Picchu.
5. Backback from China to Singapore
6. Have coffee with as many friends (old or new) as possible.
7. Take yoga lessons in India
8. See all 7 Wonders of the World (Medieval list)
9. Write a novel
10. Leave my mom with enough money to retire comfortably

I've recently started putting my life back together and realized I had a blank canvas. I'm preparing to live the live I've always wanted and be the person I truly am and want to be, rather than the one I thought I should.

Srini said "When you get to the end of the road of this journey called life, all you’ll be left with is the feelings you’ve felt, the memories you’ve formed,  and  the footprints on your  imagination from the experiences you’ve had. As you might remember, nobody leaves this world with a thing in their pockets. So give some serious thought to what you want to be able to take with you when you go."

What is most important to you? What would you do if you found out you had only one year to live and a grant to let you do whatever you wanted?

This is my list. What's yours?

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