Many of us have heard of the now infamous “bucket list.” This is a list of the top 100 things you would like to do before you die. I think it’s a great idea. The list I’m referring to was an idea given to me by a friend of mine, Bob Youden, who developed his own list of rules/ lessons he learned in his life. He developed the list throughout his lifetime about simple principles that he has learned to live by. It’s not rocket science, but it’s a great snapshot of principles to live by. They are little pearls, tailored, and resonant for him. I think everyone should develop a list that could be personalized and built upon. It can be fun, educational, and helps keep things in focus. I’m actually encouraging you to make your own. It can be based on common things and principles you already live by, or from teachings you’ve acquired from school, books, friends, family, and your faith. To help you with this exercise, it is useful to think about the points you would want to be written on your tombstone for the future generations to come. The points should be brief, and possibly only you alone know the significance of what they mean. If someone read that point, they could come and ask you for further clarification. I’ll share with you a few that are on my list so you get the idea. The list should include areas in your personal, family, career, spiritual, and financial life. It certainly doesn’t have to be restricted to 100 items, either.
1. Always err on the side of more; more food at a party, more compassion, more time to listen, more money when you go out, etc.
2. Recite what you are grateful for every day; make it a habit.
3. If your bus leaves at 9:00 am, don’t leave your home at 9:00 am.
4. Don’t yell, unless something heavy or sharp is about to fall on someone.
5. Learn to be flexible.
6. Always look for the other side of the story because there’s always another side of a story.
7. Don’t embarrass anyone in public or private.
8. Learn from people smarter than you and seek their guidance.
9. Don’t just learn from your mistakes; learn from others’.
10. Learn to give freely and to receive freely.
11. Always smile, even if you are not in the mood to do so.
12. What goes around comes around; both good and bad- act accordingly.
13. Pay yourself first.
14. Find the help button and use it.
15. Laughter is the shortest distance between people. Learn how to laugh.
16. Say something kind to another person daily.
17. Say something kind to yourself daily.
18. Nobody likes a mean person.
19. Fear rules absolutely, but love lives forever.
20. Life is short.
21. Watch your time, no one else will.
22. Find the gift.
23. The sooner you embrace change, the sooner it embraces you.
24. You play a significant role in your life, so pay attention.
25. Find the good.
26. Learn to listen first.
27. Understand criticism.
28. Learn to confront with elegance.
29. Practice what you need to learn.
30. Create a vision board for your work, personal, and spiritual life.
31. If you fail to plan then you are inevitably planning to fail.
32. Others watch what you do and learn from you, especially your children.
33. Actions always speak louder than words.
34. Be yourself; if you are not a good self then learn to be someone else.
35. Find your talents and never stop.
36. Good times and sad times will always come and go.
37. You can’t have a top without a bottom; you can’t have a front without a back.
38. Commit to exercising.
39. Watch how you eat.
40. Everyone makes mistakes, not everyone learns from them.
41. Never give up.
42. Be trusting and cautious at the same time.
43. Don’t cheat others, in the end you are only cheating yourself.
44. Be reliable.
45. Learn what you enjoy and do it on a regular basis.
47. Grow a flower or a plant.
48. If you are uncomfortable then you are growing.
49. Don’t live without hope.
50. There is no end, only beginnings.
51. Laugh everyday and find ways to do so.
52. Learn to forgive and forget.
53. When travelling on a long journey, where dark pants so ketchup and coffee stains don’t show up as easily.
54. Have a backup plan.
55. Remember your kids when they are young, there’s a greater chance they will remember you when you aren’t.
56. Leave a will not only monetarily, but also what you’d want your children to have learned.
57. We can’t choose if bad things will happen to us, but we can choose how we deal with it.
58. Try to make friends, eventually you will find true ones.
59. Be the friend you’d want to have.
60. To do the right thing can be hard, to do the wrong thing can be easy, but to do the right thing is the right thing to do.
61. Remember the carpenter’s principle.
62. Never go to bed angry.
63. Learn to overcome your weaknesses, the sooner you do the quicker you won’t have to try to learn that lesson again.
64. Dress in layers if you are not sure what the weather is like.
65. Always keep enough gas in the car in case you need to drive to the hospital in an emergency.
66. Drink plenty of water daily.
67. Don’t overspend.
68. Learn to be happy; the other option is very depressing.
69. Celebrate birthdays, yours and others.
70. See as many sunrises and sunsets as you possibly can.
71. Don’t get bored; it causes stress.
72. Go to church regularly.
73. Be careful how you judge.
74. Practice gratitude.
75. Don’t forget to rest.
76. Know when to discipline and when to release.
77. You can reveal your heart, but protect your soul.
78. You are not only what you eat, you are what you see, breathe, listen and believe.
79. Freedom takes work.