Monday, November 1, 2010


In 2007 a movie came out starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The film, “The Bucket List,” depicts the story of two men who meet in a hospital, both diagnosed with terminal cancer. They create a bucket list, a list of all the things they want to do before they, well, “kick the bucket.” They leave the hospital AMA and get started checking items off the list.

The film is both funny and deeply touching. Because no matter how cleverly the actors portray the concept, we are left with two very sobering facts. Fact One: No matter what, each of us will die at some point. Fact Two: We each can determine what to put on our own bucket list.

Stop for a moment and consider what’s on your bucket list. Maybe you have never thought of doing this before. Or maybe you have thought about it, but never written it down.

Today or the next day take a few minutes and get a start on your bucket list. Don’t stop and think about it. Just write it down. You won’t necessarily finish it all in one sitting, but keep at it until the list really represents what’s important to you.

Now consider this. If you think about it, every day is a small bucket. We can fill it with whatever we wish. Here’s an experiment to try. Get a container and fill it with something tiny like sand, pebbles or uncooked legumes. Now take several fairly good-sized rocks and try to fit them inside the container.
What happens?

The rocks didn’t fit, did they? Now do this again and this time put in the rocks first. Once you’ve done that, add the sand, pebbles or legumes. What happened? If you put the rocks in first, you can get the smaller things to fill in between the rocks. But if you put the small things in first, no matter what you do, you’ll never fit the rocks in.

This is a great metaphor for our creative life. The big rocks represent your journal, that half finished novel, the article you have been intending to write, your unfinished thesis. The sand or pebbles represent everything else---errands, doing things for other people, groceries, the dishes, the laundry. We somehow manage to get those things done. But what about the big rocks?

Here’s a peek at a mini-film we’re currently launching. Click here to view: Remember to dump out the pebbles and sand and put the big rocks in first.

Take good care,

View the film and share your thoughts! (Note: If you are the first, it will say '0 Comments' - just click the link or begin typing inside the comments box.)

1 comment:

  1. Susan- I love using the Bucket concept in my life when I feel overwhelmed. Thank you for reminding me of this... Michelle