When telling people about my life list, they inevitably ask me what I will do after I finish it. Usually I play off the answer and joke that I will start real life. Recently, a particularly wise overhearer responded, “Don’t be a fool! What you are doing now is more real than what most people consider to be real life.”
Below is a draft of the blog post I will write the day I complete my life list. Funny enough, I can almost write the entire post right now.
My Final Blog Post
I DID IT! I finally completed my life list! Holy F’ing crap balls, I did it!
I traveled to dozens of countries, went to every major city in the world, attended every major sporting event, saw the world’s greatest art, transformed my body, altered my mind and through my contributions, made my little dent in the universe. During my journey, I got scared, excited, horny, nervous, saddened and inspired. I summited mountains, ran hundreds of miles, wrote a book, got listed on a patent and lived by myself in the wilderness for a month. I did all of this and today I am finally done. I completed my life list.
I look back now and see a stark contrast between who I am today and the boy I was before. I am more experienced, more open to love and above all else, happier. I have become the person I hoped to become someday.
After all of my life list successes, I have one key takeaway. I am humbled to say it but the accomplishments listed above didn’t help me find what I was looking for, that insight came from something entirely different.
While all of my list items did aid me in sustaining happiness, they merely acted as ignition sparks. They were not the fuel necessary to sustain a healthy glow. That source of fuel came from something much more important. It also came from something much easier to attain.
The real key to sustained happiness turned out to be spending time with the people I love. Without a doubt, the time I spent with my family and friends were the most important experiences of my life. I very rarely realized this at the time but it is immediately clear as I look back now. Love is the fuel necessary to sustain happiness.
So was pursuing my life list worth it?
Absolutely! No one ever looks back on their life and says they worked too little and explored too much. The process of completing my life list enabled me to finally stop making excuses. Times got stressful, plans got ruined, things became inconvenient and tickets got expensive but I kept making progress. Everyday I moved forward a little bit. It took everything I did to learn how to stop making excuses (even when the logic was sound) and realize that above all else I needed to live MY life MY way.
Looking back now, I realize I should have stopped working to maintain my current state of being and started earlier to focus my energy on changing and expanding my world.
I sit here at the finish line with a smile on my face. Like any circular path, the finish line is located at the starting line. Before I started all of this, the destination I reached today was within striking distance. It just took me an entire life list to be able to see it.