Mind Matters: What's on your bucket list?

You have heard of a bucket list? This is a list of what a person wants to do before kicking the bucket.

No-one knows the source of the expression “kicking the bucket”.

One possibility is that it comes from the Middle-Ages execution of individuals who had to stand on a bucket with their necks in a noose.

Then the executioner kicked the bucket out from under the person, who in turn may have kicked the bucket while dying. Not a pretty picture.

The concept of bucket lists became popular due to a 2007 movie titled The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.

In the movie, two guys dying of the same type of cancer go on an engrossing trip as part of helping one of them complete his bucket list.

But there is no reason to wait until you are dying to create a bucket list. It may be too late then to complete all the items on the list.

Items on bucket lists tend to be either experiences to have or accomplishments to achieve.

You can find online many suggested items to put on your bucket list.  I just looked at a popular list of items and was pleased to find that I have done many of them.

I have written a book, gone scuba diving, and talked to a large group of people.

I do not exactly have a bucket list, but I do have goals for first-time experiences.

For instance, I would like to visit Yellowstone National Park in the United States and see the geyser called Old Faithful.

I hope to go sometime when the park is not closed due to a government shutdown.

One of my friends has on her list going whitewater rafting. Another just wants to go on a holiday.

Bill Gates has only one item on his bucket list: not dying.

An Indian movie titled Bucket List came out in 2018. In it, a staid woman receives a heart transplant.  The heart comes from a girl who died tragically young.

To honour the girl, the woman completes the girl’s bucket list, which includes many youth-oriented activities such as motorbike racing.

You can count me out for motorbike racing. I consider it unwise to kick the bucket as a result of completing an item on my bucket list.

But you may be made of tougher stuff. What is on your bucket list?

John Malouff is an Associate Professor at the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, University of New England.