The “bucket list” is a term referencing a list of things that one would like to do before dying — that is, before “kicking the bucket”.
It was popularised by the 2007 movie The Bucket List, in which Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson play terminal cancer patients living it up while they can. It was a comical tearjerker, but for all intents and purposes, a thought-provoking look at what truly matters and what does not.
In our relentless pursuit of achieving our “next goals” or adding to the must-do before it all ends “bucket list”, it can feel like we are in a state of constant “reminder mode”. In this state, we focus on all of the things we “haven’t done”, and when we do something that is not working towards those goals, we may feel it is time not well spent. That is, instead of enjoying the moment, we tend to feel guilty.
That’s where a “reverse bucket list” can help. While our bucket list may inspire us to work towards our future goals, it can often make us feel, well, slightly overwhelmed. A reverse bucket list has the opposite effect. It allows us to reflect on all of our past achievements and feel happy with what we have accomplished, which, in itself, spurs us on to do more.
The reverse bucket list process is very straightforward. Instead of writing down all the things you hope to achieve in the future, you instead list all the things you have already accomplished and are proud of. You may write it down in a journal or create a “past vision board” filled with photos and memories of past milestones.
There are numerous benefits of this exercise which are very tangible and, for some, profound.
Gratitude, nostalgia and progress
Gratitude is typically thought of as appreciating all that you have in the moment, but when you also tap into the power of nostalgia and recount your past achievements, it impacts and amplifies your positive wellbeing. You take pride and are thankful for your past experiences, which increases your happiness quotient.
Listing your achievements in a reverse bucket list is also a great way to track and give us a sense of progress. This helps boost self-esteem and motivation. Progress is far more encouraging than looking at what we still have to do. It also helps when we hit a roadblock, especially in our line of work with all the ups and downs. We know real estate is an emotional rollercoaster and having a reverse bucket list does help to remind us of “if we have achieved it in the past, we can do it again”. It is the personal pep talk we all need from time to time.
As we pass the halfway mark of the calendar year and commence a new financial year, it may be time to take a different approach and focus on a reverse bucket list. Instead of adding to an already full “future bucket list”, let’s appreciate and thank ourselves for how far we have come and gain a major sense of fulfillment.
Wishing you every success in your real estate career.
Manos Findikakis is CEO and co-founder of the Eview Group.