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Life Lessons: What Checking Things Off My Bucket List Has Taught Me…

Being at the halfway mark of my decade-long bucket list of 300 challenges (I have completed around 180 tasks so far and counting), I have learned a lot! Here are just a few life lessons I’ve picked up over the course of these challenges:

1. I’m stronger than I think   

When I have taken on some of my physical challenges (mountain climbing, running every day for a month, obstacle courses, etc.,), I have learned that I am mentally tougher than I thought I was. Just when I think about giving up, I seem to have a ‘reserve tank’ of grit that tells me to keep pushing through the pain to complete the challenge.

Suggested read: 10 amazing reasons why everybody should have a bucket list

2. I’m more organized and resourceful that I thought


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Some of the challenges on my bucket list cost a small fortune and others are completely free, some will take months to organize, and some I can do on the spur of the moment. What I’ve learned is that I’m so much better at time management and planning nowadays. Whilst I’m waiting to save up for a big trip or whatever, I plan lots of less expensive things to do either alone or I invite people along. I believe life is too short to wait around so there is lots that be done while you’re waiting for the bigger things!

3. I like to watch other people succeed and experience new things

I genuinely didn’t expect to get the joy that I do when I see other people I know or have just met, try things for the first time and grow as people. That’s why I don’t mind being the one to organize things if I hear people say, ‘I’ve always wanted to try that,’ but they may not have the confidence to book it themselves. When you see faces light up through achievement because you said to somebody they could do something, and then they try it, it genuinely is a pleasure.

4. I can do it!

woman hiking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

I’ve been amazed at what I have achieved and just the fact that I am still dedicating my life to bucket listing, I am proud of myself. Some of the challenges have nearly beaten me (holding a tarantula was one of the toughest things I have done as I have a massive phobia of spiders! Climbing Mount Snowdon for me was a real challenge too). But when I put my mind to it and I break long arduous tasks into small pieces (I count down, go through the alphabet – anything to take my mind off the pain), I realize that I can do it!

5. The world is exciting…if you look for it

If you shift your mindset, even only slightly, you genuinely open up possibilities. If you normally go for a run on a certain route every day, try a different route, you may meet different people and then who knows where that might lead? Don’t believe me? One of my bucket list tasks was to visit the Tower of London as I’d never been. I tweeted that I was there and one of my followers mentioned they found my bucket list inspirational, and that they would read my book on it. We got chatting and they recommended a writing group nearby (after I mentioned that one of my tasks was to write a fiction novel). I joined the group, met some lovely people, and got a fantastic idea for a novel that I am in the process of writing. Since I started writing my book, ‘Meet Me At 10,’ I’ve had several other fantastic ideas for books! All sparked because I visited somewhere off my bucket list.

6. Adventure can be on your doorstep

woman driving_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

I’ve heard on more than one occasion where people say, ‘I can’t afford to do bucket listing,’ or ‘I haven’t got time for all that.’ I have found from experience that bucket listing can be free and easy; all it is, is doing something different. It could be, ‘Go wild camping for the night’ – no campsite fees! It could be, ‘Go on a road trip using a flip of a coin to determine the direction you travel for an hour’ (I’ve recently done this one – good fun!). Suddenly, you discover places you would never have gone. It could be that you join a club/group in your hometown, anything. It doesn’t all have to involve getting on a plane.

7. I want to help people

My bucket list has taken me all over the world. I have seen some of the richest places and some of the poorest places. It’s when I have visited some of the poorest cities/countries that I have been driven to want to help people. I’ve realized that it doesn’t take much to make a difference. I have added more charitable tasks to my bucket list so that it isn’t just me who benefits from my success. I have also added things like, ‘anonymously pay for somebody’s fuel/shopping’ who seems deserving.

8. Small achievements can be just as good as big achievements.

woman walking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

So you don’t have, ‘Run a marathon’ on your bucket list? So what? You don’t have, ‘Do a bungee jump’ on your bucket list? No problem! If you struggle to get out the house and on your list you have ‘walk to the front gate,’ you’re a winner and your heart will beat as fast as if you have just jumped out of a plane… well, you know what I mean. Keep doing the small things, and you will naturally, at your pace WANT to do more. Just enjoy the small wins.

Suggested read: 17 iconic quotes by Rumi that will charge you up for life

9. There are no rules as to what to start with. Just START!

What was my first thing to tick off? I had my legs waxed! Yep! It wasn’t anything extravagant like climb Mount Everest. At the time, I didn’t want to leave the house, but I still ticked things off. Eventually, after ticking off others that I could do inside my home like naming a star after me, becoming an organ donor, adopting an animal, I naturally progressed out of the house – when I was ready, nobody told me to. Don’t feel like doing much today? Watch a film you would normally turn your nose up at, read a magazine you normally ignore on the stand, order a takeaway you haven’t tried before. You get the idea…just start; then keep going, at YOUR pace, and I promise, there are no downsides.

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
9 Life Lessons Checking Things Off My Bucket List Has Taught Me
Bucket listing can teach you valuable life lessons when you least expect it. Here are 9 such lessons that will surprise you :)
Vicky Jones

Vicky Jones

Vicky Jones is from Essex in the UK. Ex-Royal Navy, now a keen songwriter, author-to-be, and bucket-lister, she is writing about her many adventures after her friends said her stories would make compelling reading. You can stay in touch with Vicky by receiving newsletters. Details on her website