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What’s on Your Bucket List?

What’s on Your Bucket List?

By Todd Durkin, MA CSCS

I’m getting ready to take a “Bucket List” trip. You know, one of those big trips you have always dreamt about. One that motivates the heck out of you.

In about one week, my wife, Melanie, and I, and our three kids are taking a trip to Europe. Originally, I was just going to London and Munich to speak at two different fitness conferences one week apart. That alone fires me up.

The fact that I’m now bringing the entire family doubly fires me up.

How did this happen?

It was always on my bucket list to take my family to Europe. But I kept telling myself I’d do it when the kids are older, or when I had more money. And of course, when the time was just right.

Guess what? The time will never be just right.

So I booked it!!!

WHY WAIT to accomplish your dreams?

WHY WAIT to take your dream trips?

WHY WAIT to do anything that’s on your bucket list?

I booked the trip of a lifetime. London, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy await. Five Durkin’s – big and little. I can’t wait to return to Europe, and I can’t wait to share the experience with my entire family.


Do you have a bucket list? An inspirational list of all the things you want to do or accomplish in your life?

Back in 2007, there was actually a movie called The Bucket List. I’ve seen it a few times and like the movie for several reasons. The two main characters (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) were diagnosed with terminal cancer. And each had a list of unrealized life experiences. Dreams unmet.

Basically, for Edward Cole (Nicholson) and Carter Chambers (Freeman), it meant a lot to do in very little time.

A bucket list is a list of all the things we want to do before we “kick the bucket.” Do you have a bucket list?

I think about my dreams all the time. They inspire me, keep me focused and motivated. It’s just who I am.

But lately, it seems like more and more people tell me their dreams are dying. They talk about limiting beliefs. Burnout. The economy. Fear of the unknown. Lack of support. Too much stress. Not enough courage. No motivation. Lack of drive.

And the excuses go on and on.

Ultimately, what stands between you and your dreams?

What’s the number one item on your bucket list? It has to be realistic. We’re not talking about do-overs from the past or flying to the moon. We’re talking about chasing a dream and catching it. Making a dream come true.

Dream Job… find a job you love, run a Fortune 500 company, start your own business, work from home…

Dream Vacation… spend a few weeks in Europe, travel to Australia and New Zealand, take a trip to the beautiful New Jersey Shore…

Dream Hobby… take up woodworking, become a master gardener, learn photography

Life Dreams… Live on a boat, build a mountain retreat, study massage therapy, hike the Pacific Crest Trail, ride your bike from coast to coast, climb Kilimanjaro, summit Everest…

Everyday of the year, people achieve dreams that once seemed impossible or too distant. What makes them different? How do they do it?

Most of them would offer similar advice. You need three things to make your dream come true: belief, focus and energy.

You see, dreams are illusive. To make them real, you’ve got to believe and you’ve got to stay focused. Dreams are demanding. They require extraordinary energy. But, lofty or pragmatic, they inspire us. They allow us to express our deepest desires and to find the self we forever have been seeking.

And one day, we achieve our dream. But then what? A dream come true can at once bring intense satisfaction and fuel our hunger for more, because when we achieve a dream, we are redefined.

My goal this month is to challenge you to renew the chase for your dream. No more barriers. No more excuses. Get out the bucket list. Write one down if you never have before and let’s get down to business.

Carter Chambers, Morgan Freeman’s character in The Bucket List, has a great line in the movie about the two questions the dead are asked at the gates to heaven.

  1. Have you found joy in your life?
  2. Have you brought joy to others?

I am not so naïve to think that life is easy and each of us is now or will eventually be living our dream like some television show. What I am trying to say is that when your mind and your actions align, when you live for a purpose that fulfills your deepest desires and intentions, that is when you find ultimate harmony. Your own personal peace. Those of us lucky enough to know this state of grace are each one more point of light in the world. So get out there and find joy. Share it with others. Make the world better. Make your dream come true.


There have been many times in the past 6 months that my “European vacation” has served as a carrot for me and given me “extra” motivation. And we all need that.

So, think about your bucket list. And write down the trips you want to take and places you want to visit in your lifetime. Or in the next 5 years. Or how about in 2015? That should excite you. Stir your soul a little bit. And maybe even scare you (even better).

Remember Carter Chamber’s questions: Have you found joy in your life? Have you brought joy to others?

And one more question from me: If you had to choose one, and only one dream to realize in your lifetime, what would it be? That’s the one! Now, go make it happen!

Much love… and much adventure. Arrivederci!



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