I never kept a bucket list. My impression was that most bucket lists were just people’s travel wish lists that were rarely updated. They seemed abstract. It didn’t seem to answer how to exactly live a full life in the everyday. Plus, I didn’t like the image the name evokes (“Why is a bucket list called a bucket list?”).
Then, I came across the Impossible List via College Info Geek, a.k.a. Thomas Frank, who blogs about productivity, meaningful living, and ways to be better students in college and in life.
Whereas a traditional bucket list is static, the list getting smaller every time, an Impossible List evolves. It’s iterative, the list getting longer as life shifts and horizons expand. Most importantly, it inspires action now. It creates a narrative, in which similar goals and experiences are grouped together, so a progression or journey, if you will, is clear.
From Joel Runyon, the creator of the Impossible List, in 2011 when he unveiled the concept to the world:
“The Impossible List is not a bucket list.
There’s a difference. Not just in the name, but in the entire concept.
Lots of people have a bucket list. They’re static things made up at one point in time that most people don’t end up actually incorporating into their lives and discard when things get tough.
The impossible list is different. It’s fluid, updating status of what’s coming, what’s next and where you’ve come from. It’s always changing, always updating and always evolving. The impossible list isn’t just a piece of paper, it’s a commentary to yourself on how you’re living.”
You can find my Impossible List here, which now also has a place in my toolbar. It’s obviously very personal, but putting it there helps me constantly evaluate my path and how I’m growing and helping others along the way.
Hope this inspires you to revisit or pick up the Impossible method too.