10 Mind Expanding Bucket List Ideas
Often when we think of bucket list ideas, images of island holidays, mansions, high-profile careers and red Ferraris come to mind. But, what if you created a bucket list to enhance the expansion of your mind, body and soul, rather than add to a collection of material objects and experiences for pleasure alone?
There’s nothing wrong with desiring physical objects and fun bucket list activities, but when you focus on mastering your mind, you might just find the inspiration necessary, to achieve them all the more easily.
1. Get Your Game On
There’s nothing more important than your mental and physical health, when it comes to achieving goals. After all, if you’re always down, sick or lethargic, you’re not going to feel like kicking them in the first place.
Get in shape, to get happy :)
Getting into top shape doesn’t mean striving to match society-driven images of the “perfect body”. It means eating a nutritious diet, exercising and achieving the ideal body weight for you – to feel healthy, full of energy and ready to take on any goal you desire.
That way your physical activity, your external efforts, can streangthen your inner well-being. It's said that, a pair of running shoes, (if used correctly) could be better than any anti-depressant. So just get goin' :)
2. Learn to Control Your Thoughts
It can seem like our thoughts control us, but the opposite is, in fact, true. For example, if you’re sitting in a traffic jam, you can either choose to give in to road rage or take the opportunity to mediate in the peace and quiet of your car. All the yelling in the world isn’t going to move the cars in front of you, in any case.
This scenario is applicable to all external situations. Controlling your thoughts means moving from pre-conditioned ideas of how good or bad something is, to a state of perceiving reality in a way that fosters more positive emotions.
3. Become the Master of your Emotions
Once you’ve mastered control of your thoughts, it’s easier to steer your emotions in a beneficial, rather than negative, direction. In general, our thoughts dictate the state of our emotions, which is why positive thinking is so important.
First though, in order to become the master of your emotions, you need to become aware of them. Each and every day, check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling. Unpleasant physical sensations are a good sign your thoughts are triggering an emotional response. Scan your body for stiffness, stomach aches or slight headaches.
Then, contemplate the situations you’ve encountered and the thought patterns you’ve had about them. Switch the thoughts to more positive, proactive ones and you’ll soon notice your emotions rise. When they do, you’ll be ready to get back to kicking goals.
4. Learn to Control Your Time
If you don't have time, you don't have priorities -Tim Ferris
There are loads of productivity tools, time-management techniques and self-help gurus out there, but Tim Ferris seems to have "hit the nail on the head" with this.
His statement may very well be the key to any success:
- To achieve your goal, you need to make time for it (and then of course use that time wisely)
- To have time, you need to prioritize (according to long term objectives, ie. being proactive insted of reactive)
- To get your priorities straight you need spend time alone reflecting on what you want, need, and the direction you want to go.
Self-reflect ⇒ Prioritize ⇒ Have Time ⇒ Realize Dream
Spending time alone is the best way to understand what really makes you tick. Away from the influences of others, you’re able to foster clarity about how you really feel and what direction you need to go in. Plus, you learn how to rely on yourself, create your own happiness and operate independently. This is one of the best ways to boost your confidence and take on any challenge thrown at you.
5. Don't Give in to Anger
There’s nothing inherently wrong with anger and it often helps to propel us forward towards results in negative situations. The key is to channel it appropriately, so you can respond, rather than react and potentially make an issue worse.
In terms of a mind expanding bucket list idea, letting go of anger creates the space you need to deal with anything that comes your way. On the flip side, holding onto it because you want revenge, feel victimized or hard done by doesn’t provide solutions. It only gives control to the one that angers you – it can lead to drama, self-confidence issues and even physical illness. Don't give youself away for anyone or anything.
6. Revaluate Your Beliefs
"If in the last few years you haven't discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead."
Do you ever think or say the following statements?
- That’s how it’s always been done.
- I’m right and you’re wrong.
- I have to make a certain amount of money, get married, have a baby, become CEO (or insert any other goal), by a certain age.
- I can’t achieve my goal because the industry is saturated with people trying to do the same thing.
- I should be doing what my parents/teachers/friends/neighbors or colleagues are doing.
Every time a statement like this arises, it stems from a pre-conditioned belief, rather than an expansive thought process. Within society, it’s easy to think you have to follow what others have done, or do. While sometimes it’s useful to do so, in order to learn, these beliefs are generally limiting to the point of stopping you from achieving your dreams. The key word here is your dreams, goals and desires - not society’s.
To really understand this concept, just think about moments in history, in comparison to the modern world. It used to be acceptable to burn people at the stake, own slaves and everyone believed the world was flat. Without new, innovative thought, they’d be no progression. So, making sure you’re not stuck on your own carousel of repetitive beliefs, propels you towards mind expansion.
7. Dive into Adventure
One of the best ways to test your beliefs, is to dive into adventure. The adventure can be big or small, as long as it takes you out of your comfort zone. You could travel solo, learn a new craft, go skydiving, try skinny dipping, launch your own business or aim to grow gigantic pumpkins.
No matter what you choose, as soon as you do it, you’ll develop a new perspective. For example, travelling solo to an exotic country opens your eyes to a variety of cultures and ways of living, proving there’s no right or wrong, just fascinating differences. Don’t wait to dive into adventure. The time to do it, is always now.
8. Learn to Let Go
Unfortunately, the reason many of us don’t dive into adventure, is because we’re scared of failing. Read the biographies of very successful people and there’s always a common theme of failure leading to major breakthroughs, strengthening confidence and honing new skills.
The embarrassment that comes with failure is totally redundant, when you really think about it. When you were learning how to walk, falling over was simply a reason to get back up again and try harder. This is exactly why we fail. After all, achieving goals wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilling, if they were as easy as a walk in the park.
To reverse your mindset about failure, you must first dive head first into adventure. When your first few or even one hundred ideas fail, know that you’ve just been given a shiny nugget of knowledge to help you on the path to success. When you reverse your mindset about failure in this way, you’ll soon strike the word from your vocabulary, knowing that it is, in fact, a very valuable lesson.
9. Embrace the Real You
All mind expanding bucket list ideas point to one thing. Embracing the real you. There’s nothing expansive about comparing yourself to others and allowing that to dictate your life path. This takes courage, but the benefits far outweigh the small amount of will power it takes to stick to your own guns.
You don’t have to be rich, own a luxury car, rise to the top of a company, get married or attend social events that make you cringe, just to fit in. In fact, most people admire individuality and, when they witness it, wish that they were brave enough to show the world what they’re really made of, too.
10. Put Happiness at the Top of Your Mind Expanding Bucket List
Choosing to be happy sounds obvious, but sadly it’s often at the bottom of a bucket list of things we think will create happiness. The truth is, no matter how many goals you kick, there’ll always be another desire knocking. There’s no end to possible goals, so there’s no point thinking that once you achieve them, you’ll finally be happy.
Happiness really is an inside job. On the path to fulfilling goals, choose to be happy along the way. Embrace the little wins and congratulate yourself for the effort you’ve made. At the end of the day, happiness is what we all strive for and you can have it right now, when you move it to the top of your mind expanding bucket list.