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A Bucket List

Do Before You Die - A Bucket List

By Paul Bremer, for Revive Your Life

Why fear death when you can embrace life?

 The fear of death is arguably one of the most common and secretly debilitating phobias that plagues the minds of millions who quiver at the very thought of the afterlife. Unlike tight spaces or eight-legged crawlers, death is one phobia that cannot necessarily be conquered by facing it head on or avoiding it entirely. What terrifies most thanatophobics is the inevitability of the end and the uncertainty of what awaits them once they crossover.  Though the fear of dying is comprehensible and shared by many, what good does it serve anybody to be paralyzed by a prospect that is completely out your control? Instead of hiding from death by putting strict limitations on your life, it should be accepted and subsequently used as motivation to reap the benefits life has to offer and get the most out of it while you still have the time.  People often say that when the end is near, they wish to look back over the years of their lives without regrets. They hold on to the memories of the things they’ve done, places they’ve seen, and people they’ve loved in order to ease their fears of what’s about to come. To be able to say you’ve lived life to its fullest is a utopian sentiment that will prepare you for the final transition.     Actors Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman immortalized this philosophy in the 2008 film “The Bucket List.” As two terminally ill cancer patients, they take back control of their lives by creating a list of things they wish to accomplish before they pass. Among their last aspirations are laughing until you cry, visiting Stonehenge, and kissing the most beautiful girl in the World.  While the glimmer of Hollywood production values and the combined talents of two respected actors shed an entertaining light on having a “bucket list,” the film consequently reinvented the notion of living as if there may be no tomorrow. If everyone compiled a list of goals they want to achieve before they die, it would not only help many come to terms with their impending fate, but also allow them to feel complete and satisfied with their lives when the time comes.  Every individual has their own ideas and dreams they’d like to see reach fruition, but until they complete their own list, the one below could serve as a launching pad to begin living like every moment is precious.


Mending burned bridges - Perhaps the most unsettling knowledge one could leave this earth with is knowing they have unfinished business with someone who was once an important presence in their life. Having those you loved in the beginning in your heart at the end could bring a much needed closure to a situation that you may have regretted or wished had turned out differently. We sometimes obstinately let people slip out of our lives because we have too much pride to fight for something we, at the time, didn’t realize was worth fighting for. Apologize to those you hurt, or let water under the bridge for circumstances that remain in the past. Rewrite the end of any negative chapters involving people you cared for before it’s too late.


Learn a foreign language - Studying another culture’s language will provide an intellectual challenge that can be fulfilling on several levels. First of all, it’s a powerful feeling to be able to bridge the communication gap and connect with a population of people that you otherwise would have no opportunity to learn from or get to know on a personal front. Secondly, immersing yourself in another culture will open your eyes to the world at large and bring awareness to the beauty of diversity.


Volunteer your time - Donating time to others who either need help or can benefit from your services is a profound and admirable act. Those with unfortunate life circumstances cherish the generosity of others who lend a helping hand with no favor expected in return. If you had no one to turn to and found yourself in a desperate situation, you would hope a kind person would show you some compassion. Volunteering can be an incredibly rewarding experience that will last forever.


Become spiritual - Getting in touch with a higher power of your choosing can help guide your life in a healthy way if you’ve ever struggled to find direction or meaning. It’s a personal and intimate relationship that requires nothing but your own reflection on life and can serve as a silent mentor to turn to when things get rough.


Conquer your greatest fear - You will feel equipped to take on anything the world throws at you if you can manage to rise above whatever frightens you the most. By not surrendering to your fears, you prove your strength and your ability to let nothing get in the way of finding happiness and comfort within your life.

 Rescue a pet - For the living beings on this planet who have no voice and no ability to defend themselves from the forces of man, you can give them a new lease on life. Similar to volunteering, you can help the helpless by providing shelter and love to an animal that needs to feel like they deserve it. Taking in an animal that just wants to be loved can form a companionship that is unexpectedly deep.

 Keep a journal - Record any events, significant or mundane, that may be noteworthy as they happen. One day, you may want to look back on them as a way to remember the course your life has taken, as well as leaving a memoir for your loved ones to remember you by when you’re gone.Whether you want to scale Mt. Everest or write a novel, aspire to accomplish whatever you wish. At some point, everyone will pass on and you don’t know when exactly it will happen. If you let the prospect of death inspire the choices you make in life, you’ll find peace and purpose and find comfort in the fact that you fit in as much life as your years on this earth permitted.

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Dying is one of the few events in life that's certain to occur, yet one we rarely plan for. Should we spend more time preparing for a two week vacation than we do our last days on Earth? Library

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