The ‘Experience List’
Long ago, when I first stepped out into the world on my own I was so overwhelmed by all things you could do that I took a letter-sized piece of paper and scribbled down a stream of conciousness, a list of things I wanted to do / to experience in my lifetime. Nowadays this has come to be known as a Bucket List – a term I’ve never warmed to because it places emphasis on getting to things before you die, somehow shelfing them for the distant future. I much prefer the ‘Right Now’ or the ‘This Year’ list.
To some my first Experience List would appear far-fetched had they seen that among other things I wanted to go to outer space, own a monkey, or read a book in a foreign language but when I wrote it I purposely didn’t let myself get contrained by the thoughts of ‘How will I make this happen? Is this even possible?’, I just wrote down what I wanted to do. (And yet here we are on the verge of space flights thanks to Richard Branson – an experience junkie if ever there was! – and the realm of possibility has caught up with my imagination.)
There’s been plenty of books published on self-fulfilling prophecies and putting your wishlist out to the Universe with the promise that if you believe in it enough your desires will be granted. I’m not sure I have that power – although I do believe in positive thinking and remaining open and alert to possibilities that come my way. For me, writing my ‘Experience List’ was simply a way of harnessing all the world had to offer and allow me to focus on what I wanted to sample. A way of keeping track and not forgetting, before getting distracted by the next awe-inspiring opportunity that came my way.
A couple years later after writing my first Experience List, I was once again overwhelmed by the range of experiences available to me that I wrote another list (and have continued to do so at regular intervals since). I only recently discoverd that second list some 15 years later after writing it. I was amazed! I read through the list to discover that without realising it that I had actually accomplished the majority of the Experience goals in the years since. Moreso it provided the concrete proof to the answer I always give when often asked, : ‘Why are you doing this?’ Answer: ‘It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.’