The Victory List

I want to help you feel victorious by filling your life with fun and meaningful plans!

I first heard of the term “Bucket List” from the 2007 movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. It’s been a while since I last saw it.  I’ve forgotten some of it, but the basic concept has never left me. If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t mind me spoiling the plot for you, then read the next paragraph.  If you want to see the film first, then go watch the movie and return here after you do.

The plot- A wealthy businessman, Edward Cole (Nicholson), and working class mechanic, Carter Chambers (Freeman), meet in the hospital. They have little in common, besides the fact that they both have terminal illnesses. While sharing a room together, they decide to do all the things they wanted to do in their lives before they die. They go on a big adventure, crossing things off their “Bucket Lists.” Through the experience, they grow to become friends, come to terms with the past and find happiness.

I’ve always loved the concept of making a list of things you want to do in life and then achieving these things. However, calling that list a “Bucket List” never felt right to me. For the movie, it made sense to call it this because it was a title that concisely summed up the plot.

In my life, every time I would hear people use the term “kick the bucket” though, it just felt negative. My life isn’t a movie and I want to think positive thoughts when I add to and check things off my list. Calling it a “Bucket List” might also make it easier for people to subconsciously wait until they feel they are close to death to do the things that matter to them. So I formed a new plan…

I chose to name my list “The Victory List”. I love how strong the name sounds and how good it feels each time I have a victory, both large and small. You can make your own “Victory List” or make up another name that you like. Below, I will lay out some steps to help you create your own list.

Step 1 – Get a notebook and something to write with or write it digitally: I enjoy writing out lists by hand sometimes and then you can either type it into your phone or take a picture of it at the end, so it’s always easy to find.

Step 2 – Dream away: Don’t limit yourself here.  Think about things you want to try, hobbies you’d like to take up, places you want to visit. Write out anything that comes to mind, big or small. Specific details, if they matter to you. Tailor it to you and make it as unique as you want. There are no limits, so enjoy letting your imagination run wild for a while as you think up the things that would make you the happiest.

Step 3 – Steal: (No, not money for some plane tickets across the globe) Look at lists across the internet. Notice what people do in movies or on TV that you’d like to try. Keep growing your list with things you see and don’t worry if you add something someone else already has. There is no right or wrong way about creating your list and it shouldn’t be a stressful process. This is meant to be fun. Fun is often universal, but not always…  You won’t catch me bungee jumping.

Step 4 – Document your moments: You can write in your journal how it felt to achieve one of your victories, or take pictures and video. I’m sure you will remember the memories you made with great fondness. You’ll also be a great guest at dinner parties! Who doesn’t want to hear about the time you went sheep herding in the alps, when you swam with sharks, sent a message in a bottle–are you still waiting for the reply? Or that time you solved a Rubik’s Cube, learned CPR and (with permission) practiced mouth to mouth on your crush, snorkeled in paradise, went zorbing (if you don’t know, look it up — you basically become a human hamster)… The possibilities are endless.

Don’t procrastinate.  Start making your list and be sure to include some simple, local things that you can afford to do right now. Why? Because who doesn’t want to feel VICTORIOUS! 

Never stop dreaming, believing and achieving.

Kaden JamesComment