The Bucket List

My wife and I enjoyed watching the movie The Bucket List, in which two men who have just been informed that they have a year left to live create a list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.”  The characters, played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, seem on the surface to have only impending death in common; one is very rich and alone while the other is middle class and surrounded by family.  Both, however, are just mortal.

I recently read that you should ask your boss for a raise while standing next to him at the urinal because it is one place where all men are equal (clearly this writer had not accounted for the surprise advantage women seeking a raise might have in this scenario!).   However, death is also the great equalizer.


In this life many people spend their days quietly expiring of boredom a little at a time, simply spending their lives doing what has to be done to pay the bills.  I can’t recommend a book written for women about how to lead more robust lives (although I’m sure they exist and encourage women to seek them), but I strongly recommend that men read John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secrets of a Man’s Soul.  In it, the author speaks of the way that God made men and wired their hearts.  He states that men desire to live a life of adventure and risk, to be the warrior, the hero and to rescue the beautiful girl.  But most especially, he says men desire to live a life based—to a degree—on instinct or gut reaction or, put another way, to follow their hearts.  He says that too often the Christian churches teach men that to be proper churchmen they must become wimps.  To bolster his point, he cites Jesus’s strong actions in the temple, King David, King Solomon and those of numerous other strong men who stood firm for principle and fought when needed.  He speaks about living your life with meaning, passion, adventure, truth and beauty.  Most of the items on the “bucket list” in the movie were about those very things.  I truly believe that God wants us all to choose to live a full, exciting, passionate and spiritual life.


I received several emails after publishing an article titled “Midlife Crisis,” which recounted my skydiving adventure.  It was all about tossing a life of safety (and me!) out the window.  One correspondent accused me of encouraging reckless behavior and sarcastically asked if I were going to swim with sharks in the Great Barrier Reef for an encore.  He even asked me how my wife would get along without me if something happened.  (Obviously he didn’t read the entire story, because he would have learned that my little wife jumped out of the plane right after I did.)  Sadly, the complainer missed that point that I decided to skydive to break up the ho-hum of my daily routine and to inject excitement into my life.  Most of the emails I got, however, were encouraging.


Emboldened by the skydiving lark, I am even working on getting back my third class medical certificate, required of all recreational pilots, and so that I can start to fly again. It's not just flying again that I desire- but living again! A few years ago, God had to remind me to take better care of myself and to get back on track. There is nothing like a good old-fashioned massive heart attack to get you thinking about the things left to do in your life. I thank God every morning for the second chance He has given me. Dr. Pat Day, my minister and author of When All Hail Breaks Loose: Weathering the Storms of Life, says we should all get up every morning and say, "Good morning, Lord" instead of "Good Lord, it's morning." I try to greet the new day and embrace all of it's possibilities.


Most people spend more time planning their television-viewing schedule than they do planning their lives. Even though sometimes I am pretty certain that God finds amusement in our plans, I feel they are necessary to make us think.  In 2006, I attended a seminar that lasted several weekends and focused on just that—crafting life plans.  How can life go “according to plan” if there is no plan?


Just one of the things that I want to do is to travel and spend more time with my wife.  I now plan several trips a year and have them inked onto my new calendar by the end of every January.  I encourage everyone to spend some time to plan the rest of his or her life.  Go away for a retreat. Spend some time in prayer and look deep into your heart.  Think back to when you were a little boy or girl and remember what you dreamed about.  What do you really want out of your life? No plan is perfect, and you undoubtedly will have to make a few changes here and there along the way.  But if we do not choose for ourselves the way in which we would like our lives to go, then we are allowing others to choose for us.  Life rewards our actions, not our good intentions.  So get started right now. Start your own bucket list.  Be sure to include a little fun and adventure.


Life is a journey, not a destination.

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Since 2001, Larry LaBorde has sold gold, silver, platinum and palladium for investment to clients in the U.S. and around the world through his firm, Silver Trading Company LLC. The firm also offers guidance about metals storage options. We love your feedback! Please email Larry with your thoughts about this article or your questions about metals or storage.

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