You already have a Bucket List. (If you haven’t made a Bucket Listt, get with the program already! Here’s how). But do you have an Awesome List?
An Awesome is a list of all the amazing things you’ve already done & experienced.
Why make one? Because you should have a daily reminder of how freaking awesome you already are. The person you are today is a product of all your exerperiences and accomplishments. And you need to remember that, on dark days when you feel hopeless, when you’re stuck in a rut, or when you’re facing something new and scary. An Awesome List reminds you that you’re brave, capable, interesting & accomplished.
So what does one put on an awesome list? First, the obvious. All your proudest accomplishments. All the things that you’ve checked off the Bucket List.
-Ran a marathon? check!
-Spent a week volunteering overseas? check!
-Spent a month living on an organic farm? Hell yeah!
-Finished a triathlon? Yep!
-Picked up and moved to a new city–twice? Yeah, that’s me.
But don’t stop there. I’ll bet you’ve done a lot of things that you take for granted but would be on other people’s life list. Maybe you don’t see it as an accomplishment because it happened a long time ago, or it was something that just happened by chance. Perhaps it was a detour off your life path. Whatever it is, it’s something to be proud of and needs to be on your list. Things like:
-Graduated from college or grad school–even if it was the “wrong” program or the “wrong” school. Contragulaitons! Only 6.7% of the world population has one.
-Speak another language–even if it’s your native language or you learned it when you were very little. Same with being born or having lived in another country. It makes you really cool and unique, even if it isn’t something you chose.
-Got married–no matter the circumstances or outcome–you took a huge step that required courage and commitment and whether you’re still happily married or have survived a change in circumstances–you’re braver than most.
-Had a baby–no matter the circumstances or choices surrounding it. See above.
-Survived something–an illness, a natural disaster, the death of a loved one, a deployment. You need to give yourself credit for being a survivor and a badass. Yeah, it sucked, but you’re still standing. That’s an accomplishment. Huge! Put it on the list.
-Starred in the third-grade musical, earned Gold Scout, or were elected eigth-grade class president. Because you still have it in you.
And while you’re at it, put all those little things that you were brave enough to try. Yeah, the little things are awesome, too!
–Knit a hat?
-Went on a blind date.?
-Tried skiing for the first time?
-Finally asked that awesome chick at work on a friends date?
-Signed up for acting classes?
Finally, add all the crazy stuff you did (or are still doing) in high school or college. Not destructive stuff, of course, but the really fun, slightly dangerous & perhaps blush-worthy stuff that you’ll tell your grandchildren when you reach that age when you can tell insane stories with impunity. That’s important too. This is the list you look at when you think you’re not ballsy or spontaneous or crazy anymore. You were once. You still are!
-Crashed a totally random party in a random city and had a fantastic time.
-Snuck into a party full of diplomats and spent the evening talking politics and having pictures taken with the dignitaries.
-Found yourself at a mob party totally by accident.
-Anything involving Burning Man, motorcycles, gorgeous bad boys (or girls) with motorcycles, trips with friends, arrests for disturbing the peace, and pole dancing competitions are good fodder for this category. Your stories are probably better than mine.
So now that you have the list, you have to use it. Keep it on you. Refer to it whenever you need a reminder of how awesome and brave and spontaneous and creative you are. It’s a lot easier to do something a little scary–like signing up for a public speaking class–when you can instantly remind yourself that you have already jumped out of a plane, learned to play the piano, and shaved your head to raise money for cancer research. Toastmasters is cakewalk.
You should also shout it from the rooftops. I hate false modesty. I love the idea of hanging up your adventure pictures and medals and concert tickets all over your house. I love the idea of having a custom print made with a list of amazing things you’ve already done. This has two purposes. First, again, it serves as a reminder of how great you are. Nobody’s going to do it for you, so you have to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments every day. Baby, it’s your home (or office), right? Second, it keeps you from getting complacent. I hang my race medals in my office–but if my newest race medal is more than a couple of months old, then I know it’s time to sign up for another race or another cool event. Awesomeness is not something in the past…it’s a part of your life, and you have to keep adding to it little by little….every day.
So go forth and make an Awesome List. And share it with me!