Life lists

Published August 19, 2010

Maybe you have already heard of Mighty Girl, maybe you haven’t. I’ve been following her blog for a long time, and occasionally glanced at the Mighty Goods shopping site (which she’s now sold, but it’s still pretty cool). I never bought anything, but it’s like the ultimate window shopping for the internet.

Anyway, this is not about shopping.

A while back, Mighty Girl, otherwise known as Maggie, created a Life List. I mentioned this about the same time last year, as Maggie had managed to find herself a sponsor to achieve some of the things on her list. That, I imagine, is not going to happen to everyone. What is amazing, though, is how the Mighty Life List has been so inspiring to everyone else, and how the concept of the Life List has taken off.

Far from being an idea that Maggie wants to covet and hold on to, she’s encouraging all and sundry to do the same. She posts snippets from other people’s life lists on her blog and the vast array of things people come up with is incredible. They range from the seemingly impossible to the somewhat mundane, but they are all pretty awesome. A couple of examples from the Mighty Life List:

  • Go on a night dive with Manta Rays in Hawaii
  • Ride a camel in the desert
  • Make a font
  • Ring a church bell
  • Go a day without speaking

A diverse list of wishes, I’m sure you’ll agree. And some of the stuff she’s done already:

  • Cross the Canadian border
  • Try escargot
  • Learn to roll in a kayak
  • Watch Hank eat his first ice cream cone

Hank being her young son, of course.

So, I had been watching the Life List stuff from a distance, passively revelling in all these people doing so well. Then I read this post from another List-er (need a better name for this), encouraging people to start their own. Because, let’s face it, someone saying they want to swim with Manta Rays is pretty intimidating.

Your life list isn’t a “must do before I die” list, it’s a list to help remind you as you’re going through life, when opportunity comes knocking (and really, it’s surprising how often it will come knocking), you should go ahead and give it a go.  It’s a list to look at when you find yourself somewhat bored, or needing a little jolt, so you can pick something to try to do.  It’s a list that, when you’re old, you’ll look at it and think, “Wow.  Look at all the cool things I attempted in my life”; a list that perhaps you can pass on to someone younger than you and say, “Your turn.  Feel free to embellish and amend as necessary.”

If it helps you to call it an “Inspiration List” instead of a “Life List,” feel free to do that, instead.

Interesting, I thought. But still, I am nowhere near incredible enough to start something like this. Suddenly, it occured to me, I kinda already am doing this.

I have the aim to run a 5k. I am travelling the UK via the alphabet. I have other secret plans for once that is done. I am trying five new foods this year (note to self: blog that fourth food you tried recently). The Life List is like an expansion of the New Year’s Resolution, only it’s much, much better.

So, yes, I am starting my own Life List and it’s not going to involve Manta Rays or camels, but it’s going to be just as awesome. You should start one too.

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