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September 24, 2010 / Jenny Ann Fraser

Why I Don’t Have A Bucket List

I believe in goal setting and I believe in intention. I believe that these things can help you succeed in life… but past that, I have more questions about what I want for my future than answers.

In truth, I am very content with this state of being. I find that questions are often far more interesting than answers, as well as far more certain. Questions live in the moment, answers in the future. I’m all about learning to better live in the moment these days.

At this point in time however, I seem to be somewhat lacking in concrete long-term goals. I have a few short-term goals designed to lead me to whatever will happen next. I am pretty much guaranteed to succeed at that goal because something always does happen next.

This feels natural and comfortable to me. I suspect it is the result of my finally being happy, and realizing that my happiness comes from within. There is nothing that I am certain I require to be happy in the future. At least nothing that I am not confident is on it’s way to me. Being comfortable means I’m willing to let things happen and accept the results as lessons that I need to learn, or signposts designed to lead me to the next adventure.

This may seem ridiculous, or even irresponsible, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. It is a new path, and one that so far is serving me well even though it might seem to some, as though I’m in a bit of a state of limbo. This state of “just being” has brought great peace into my life and peace is what I believe we all really want. I know that this is what I have been searching for.

Goals that I have set in the past that haven’t been achieved have taught me things that I clearly needed to know. Believing that my happiness and well-being, not to mention my self worth is somehow tied to my success at achieving my goals has left me miserable and wanting.

My life experience suggests that the more I want…the more I want.

A permanent state of wanting would definitely not not be on the bucket list if I had one.

This has nothing to do with giving up.

I have known several Eyeore’s in my lifetime. We’ve all met them. Eyeore’s are those who choose not to want or hope for anything in order to save themselves the pain of being let down.

This is not what I’m doing, I am far too much like Tigger for that. I have dreams of greatness. I just don’t know for certain what that greatness looks like, how it will manifest, or that it will be greatness based on some common standard.

I do know that it lies within me, my passions, my talents and whatever it is that they can contribute to those around me.

I’ve tried fitting into the 9-5 put your head down, be a cog in the wheel, focus on money and things and well…I just suck at it.

Since I can’t find success and happiness in mediocrity, it is highly unlikely that I will find it in something that I’m really bad at doing. So, I’ve decided to stop wasting my time trying to fit into that box when I can’t even find it …

My goals at the moment.

· Go to work, do my job. Be as positive and grateful as I can, and do my best to remain focused when I’m there. Taking on extra side-work is unfortunately necessary, but I am not going to take on so much that I don’t leave myself any time or energy to explore what I need to do to move forward in both my personal life and career. (Which by the way, is probably a good idea as I have always had trouble telling the two apart.)

·Write. That’s it. Just write. Write whatever, whenever. The priority, is to do it regularly and often. Even if I don’t feel like it sometimes, because that is when I find that I learn the most. I am very willing to wait for a while to see what happens and learn what writing has to teach me.

·Sing. Same rules as for writing… exactly. I am no longer singing with the goal of achieving some specific level of competence. I’m singing to see what I can do without attaching myself to a desired outcome. It feels so much better this way.

·Make time for friends and loved ones. Yes, the above list is pretty ambitious since all three things that I listed take up almost all of my time, so I had to put this one on it so that I don’t forget. The point here. Just have fun. Accept  and appreciate all of the love that I have always had in my life.. Focus on what I have to offer, and be grateful for the opportunities that arise.

I am not putting down setting goals, or having a bucket list for that matter. I can see the wisdom and the fun in both of those approaches. In the future, my dreams will probably become more clear to me, and you might just find yourself reading a very different list on this blog.

For now however, I am content just to sit and be with the mystery.

I don’t want to find all of the answers to all of the questions, and I take great comfort in the fact that finding all of the answers is impossible. This is because I really see no point to a life where there is nothing new to learn.

That gives me a whole lot less to worry about.



Leave a Comment
  1. Emily Jane / Sep 24 2010 7:52 am

    I love this mentality! I think it’s all about finding the right balance, between having a giant list of goals with an infinite timeline (too big) and no goals at all and just taking each day as it comes (IMO, too small). I think it’s important to have a few goals all the time – not to be longing for things, but to be always striving for something that will ultimately leave you better off as a person. But I think these goals are only effective if you have a short timeline, so you’re actually calling them into action, rather than making a bucket list for your whole life and never getting around to most of them.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Sep 24 2010 8:35 am

      Hi Emily,
      I love, love, love it when a comment gives me more to think about. I hadn’t thought of the idea of a bucket list being that list you eventually get to… and that is what mine would be if I had one. I have lists like that all over my desk at work! LOL.
      This is working well, and I am seriously motivated and have been for a while now. As for the future… we’ll see. 🙂

  2. Andrea DeBell - britetalk / Sep 24 2010 7:43 pm

    Hi Jenny! I think it’s fine not to have long term goals. I prefer short term goals because they keep me focused more closely on the now. Long term goals tend to take me to far off into the future and dreamland.

    Short term goals are also more manageable and attainable. They keep me motivated. As I achieve one short term goal, another one pops up, and life goes on. That seems to work fine for me.

    Thanks for your insights and for sharing your experience. Loving blessings!

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Sep 24 2010 8:03 pm

      Hello and welcome Andrea,
      I’m so glad you stopped by and lead me to your blog!
      I hear what you’re saying regarding future dreamland… I think I have spent most of my life there, but no more. And it is true; Life does have a tendency to keep happening. I’m trying to stay focused on what I am doing now, and that it is different from my past which seems to lead to different outcomes. Everything is a peaceful mini-adventure!

      • Andrea DeBell - britetalk / Sep 24 2010 8:45 pm

        I love this: “everything is a peaceful mini-adventure.” That’s what life is all about, you just captured it. 🙂 Loving blessings.

  3. Ollin / Sep 24 2010 10:16 pm

    Wow, some really great one-liner’s here. I like the idea you said about the more you want, the more you want. I’ve done those exercises before where you’re supposed to great a vision board of what it is you want. They actually work really well, but sometimes it does make me feel very needy, and like I’m alway striving for something, and it makes me miserable in the present. We all need to be like you and just enjoy being. Whenever I have taken your approach I have always been much happier… now how to keep myself focused on taking the approach is the next question.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Sep 25 2010 7:41 pm

      Hi Ollin,
      I too have done the vision board thing, with very much the same results. I have one that I keep on my wall because I like the look of it, (very artistic collage.) At the time I made it I was starting my life over again after leaving a relationship and didn’t have a home of my own. I have a picture of an apartment living room, many pictures of peace, relaxation and creativity, and other things too.
      The apartment living room is EXACTLY where I live now, and the peace, relaxation and creativity definitely happened, but there are also pictures of things that I know now I won’t have. I do love the whole living in the moment and seeing where it takes me. Some day, there may be vision boards…

  4. Angela Artemis / Sep 24 2010 11:21 pm

    I think you laid out some terrific tips for us to make our intentions a reality. I have new vision board I did 2 1/2 years ago and whenever I look closely at it I see something else on there has manifested.
    It’s so amazing!

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Sep 25 2010 7:43 pm

      Yes, it is amazing.
      I don’t have a current vision board, (but see my response to Ollin.) right now I’m so content to live in the moment… as long as I am working towards something it doesn’t matter all that much what the outcome is.
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point / Sep 25 2010 12:54 am

    I love this intuitive approach to life, Jenny. Goals are nice, but for me, they taste a bit too much of the result and not enough of the process (or progress) — two words I’ve learned to make peace with.

    The success of reaching a goal is a great feeling; but alas, not sustainable. The joy that sustains me is in the moments.

    Lovely post.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Sep 25 2010 7:44 pm

      Thank you Belinda. So often we seem to mirror each other’s posts. I agree with you totally. It is all about the process since that is where we will spend most of our lives…

  6. Chris Edgar / Sep 25 2010 8:40 pm

    Hi Jenny — I think there’s valuable wisdom in “being in a perpetual state of wanting would not be on my bucket list” — at least at one level, it highlights how what we’re really looking for are feelings and ways of being when we set our goals, and not the material stuff or even the relationships.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Sep 26 2010 12:49 pm

      Ooh, Chris, that is beautiful! I had never thought about it that way before. Thank you for giving me much to think about…

  7. BK / Sep 26 2010 10:44 pm

    How greatness in life looks like will depend on how you look at it and how you are creating it. It is just as ‘meaning of life.’ That is a question which many are asking themselves. Life’s meaning is what we are giving it then what life is giving to us.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Sep 27 2010 8:45 am

      Hi BK,
      Nice to see you. I know that making the shift to focus on what i’m giving as opposed to what I’m getting, or not getting has made a world of difference.

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