The Indians say that “It is not how much you have, but what you can give” that makes all the difference. Many times, people appear to be rich and living in abundance, yet they live a life as prisoners of their success.
A prisoner of success is a person who spends a lot of their time minding about their businesses and how to keep growing it and lacks discretionary time to do other things that are important for a happy and integrated life like travel, family time, and peace of mind. Discretionary time is doing what you want to do when you want to do it. To be happy, you must be able to give. To explore. To be happy without work-related worries and stress.
Have you noted that some people may appear wealthy but lack the power to give out or share part of their wealth without first getting permission from someone else?
Tool 1, for a happy life, is having a bucket list.
What is a bucket list, you may ask? A bucket list is the list of things to do before you die. To live a balanced life, you need to create a list of things that you would love to experience during your lifetime.
The more knowledgeable in terms of education, training, exposure, and awareness you are, the more likely you will create a rich bucket list. Your aspirations, vision, or goals expand with the exposure and training you get. For that reason, your bucket list should continuously be updated as times change. When we are young, our exposure is limited to the people around us, our small cities, and limited knowledge. If we are doing a bucket list at that age, it is likely to be limited. However, with growth both in terms of the places we visit, the books we read, the movies we watch, and the people we interact with, our aspirations change.
Now is time to create your bucket list. Get a piece of paper and write all those things you would want to experience or enjoy or participate in before you die. Just list. Examples could include:
For each item you achieve, you tick it off your bucket list and indicate the date and time when you achieved it. A friend of mine takes it a step further by having a personal book of memories called a “bucket list.” One of the things he wanted madly to experience was going to NASA headquarters to see the people who work there, how they behave, what they eat, and how do they spend their lives. When he did it, he took photos and saved them in his “Bucket List Accomplishments Book.” Every year, he updates the bucket list.
What are those things you love most? Write them down. And then work hard to achieve them. For this reason, each person has their own bucket list.
I remember, while still young, my dream was to visit Makerere University in Kampala city to just see how it looks like. My grandpa had just told me that the best people are folks who go through Makerere University and graduate, and thereafter such people get the best government jobs like chief administrative officers, education commissioners, and others.
So, when I came to Kampala, I asked to be taken to visit Makerere University straight away. I loved the iconic Makerere University main building (which burned down.) It stuck in my mind and helped me to work hard to join the University.
What is on your bucket list?
Remember, when you die, you can no longer achieve any outstanding items on your bucket list. That is why they say “S/he has kicked the bucket”, to mean that you have given up your bucket list by dying.
A bucket list helps give you a purposeful life. I encourage you to have one. My bucket list has always been about having experiences in different countries. In January 2020, we went back to enjoy great tourist attractions in Dubai. 2021 we had planned to travel to China, to experience the Great Wall of China. Unfortunately, we are not comfortable flying during these tough restrictive times of the pandemic. But we have decided to watch documentaries about China and to learn some Mandarin language this year.
What is on your bucket list? Take time and write one. It does not have to be complicated. If you are a Christian, you could write one of “taking a Sunday reading in Church.” Or “walking 270 kilometers from Kampala to Mbarara.”
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.