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Have you ever heard someone talk about their “bucket list” – a list of things they want to do or experience before they die? True confession – I’ve always considered it a little odd and somewhat pretentious. What’s the point of creating, updating, and adding to a list of outrageous things most of which you’ll probably never do?

But then I was having coffee with a friend and he started talking about the reason he has big goals. Not necessarily for the obtaining of those goals, he said, but for who he would become in the process of reaching them.

It was an interesting way of looking at the things so often enumerated on a bucket list. What if a bucket list was more about the journey involved in them than the destination listed? What if the goals listed were there in hopes of developing you into a kinder, more thoughtful, lifelong learner before the opportunity to develop further is gone?

With that in mind, I’ve started creating a bucket list. A list of destinations I hope reflect the course of my journey. It’s a work in progress. Some of the things on my list I’ve chosen not to put here. These are in no particular order:

Get a Master’s degree with a focus in English as a Second Language
Learn to play the violin
Learn to play the sitar
Get a Master’s degree in something like Christian ministry/theology/Christian mission
Publish at least one book
Become fluent in a third spoken language
Take an art class
Take a class in photography
Go on a horseback riding vacation
Spend a week on a silent retreat (like the monks)
Give an extravagant gift anonymously
Spend a year seriously studying a different book of the Bible every month
Spend a year practicing a different spiritual discipline every month
Visit New Zealand
Visit the holocaust museum
Road trip across the US with good friends

That’s the start I’ve made.

What do you think of the idea of setting big goals more for the process of fulfilling them rather than for achieving the goal itself?
Do you have a bucket list? What’s on it?