According to Forbes, only 8% of us succeed with our New Year's resolutions. That’s shit! Meaning 92% fail (thank you - math was my jam), but we do so in style with the majority not making it past mid-January.
Surely there’s a reason for this? So I dug deep within my infinite wisdom and came up with one. It’s not a resolution; it’s a sacrifice. No wonder the majority of us hate January. Anything to look forward to seems donkey's years away, and on top of that, we have a self-inflicted wound to tend to, in the name of a resolution.
While all resolutions are made with the best of intentions, if you can’t make it to the middle of the month and the intention is to run with it for an entire year or longer - I’m calling it a 'sacrifice'.
This little dude know what's up!
So why do we do it?
Why do we make sacrifices and not adhere to them only to feel defeated? It’s not for growth; we’ve established that. This isn’t a rhetorical question; I'm actually asking here. It seems counter productive (on second thoughts, fuck that - it's rhetorical). Many traditions are outdated. Society evolves and traditions remain stagnant when many should be deemed extinct. Santa is a great one, but we all get screwed over by him in the end. So many atheists go to church on Christmas day to pray to a God they don't believe in. Why? Tradition. So many atheist parents have their kids baptized. Why? Tradition. It falls within the realm of conformity and perception. 'Fuck, everyone else is doing it so I better do it.'
I'm not here to tell you what you can or can't do. I'm merely suggesting you possibly don't bother with some bullshit New Year's resolution this year because it doesn't work. Ask Forbes.
Stay with me here...
The term happiness is hazy at best; it’s far too subjective and individualistic to define. The self-help sections in every bookstore are stacked with bestsellers and staff picks on the subject of happiness. Clearly a trending hot topic, and something we all aspire to achieve. Backed by science and research, most people have a crucifying list of regrets on their deathbed, and very few wish they spent more time being a lick ass in work. They wished they lived more, experienced more, connected more, and spent more time with loved ones. They finally realize what’s important in life, but it’s too late. With one dying wish before the big man pulls the trigger, they pass this wisdom on to their nearest and dearest in the hope that they don’t make the same mistakes. The greatest parting gift one could give, and what do we do with it? Fuck all! We continue to sheep walk down the same path ensuring we’ll be saying the same shit to the generation below us because we're too scared to roll the dice and take a 'chance' on life.
What’s on your bucket list?
If you're anything like me, it’s about experiences. Meeting new people, embracing new cultures, eating weird shit, travel, exploration, doing things that scare the shit out of you but leave you feeling exhilarated. It's about living, with the freedom to make decisions and to be ok with each and every one of them regardless of what others may think.
Bucket lists are full of dreams, and most just grow and grow as we get more caught up in the shit that doesn't fulfil us one fucking IOTA! You might dream of scaling Everest, diving in the great barrier reef, shopping in Paris, sleeping with a lady boy in Thailand, sipping espresso in Rome, drinking cocktails in the Maldives, volunteering in South America, practicing Yoga in India, partying in Ibiza, a cruise in Alaska, giving Mickey a big hug in Disneyland, tango in Argentina - I could go all day.
It's all individualistic, but everything listed is an experience, and with each experience comes a memory, and the more positive memories we have, the better quality of life and the more likely we'll be to nod off with a smile on our face.
Time to dive straight in!
Look inside your bucket!
Right now it's most likely loaded. Loaded with dreams. Dreams you can talk the arse off a donkey with, but unfortunately never manifest as you're too busy conforming in this stressed out world. Before you know it, you'll be 90, and they won't let you skydive because your catheter bag will be full before take off, regardless of whether you still have the balls to jump or not.
Do that and a sacrifice will turn into an experience, and a failure will turn into a success. In theory. If you get loaded in Thailand and happen to sleep with a ladyboy; some might regret that. Just saying - I've heard stories!
Say you have a comprehensive bucket list with about 30 items. In 30 years time, you could have that entire list ticked off, and that's just one a year! Imagine how amazing it will be looking back in 30 years at all the photos collected, and the memories of each and every one of those experiences? Priceless right. I'm very wisdomish!
So instead of starting 2016 with a sacrifice, start it with a dream. And don’t stop chasing those dreams; maybe that’s happiness!
I'm scratching off two;
1. I’m going to The Philippines. I’ve been convinced for a long time it’s a little piece of heaven on earth, and I've wanted to explore it for years.
2. Flipper is out there somewhere. I’m going to find him, and I’m going to swim with him (a friend just informed me that male dolphins get aroused when you swim with them; so I might look for his sister).
If you don’t see pictures of me swimming with a dolphin and jumping off a waterfall in The Philippines within the next 12 months. You have my permission to hunt me down and beat the shit out of me.
While this isn’t bucket list material, I also can’t wait to make it home to see my family and friends who I miss dearly. I just thought I'd share that in the hope that on the off chance they do read this, it earns me some brownie points.
Are you ready to commit?
If you’re ready to commit to ‘The Bucket List Challenge’, please let us know what you want to tick off your list in the comments below, and share this with your friends. It’s the sound thing to do!
The Bucket List Challenge is for everyone, whether you suffer from a mental illness or not. If you are committing to the challenge and you have Instagram, please share your pictures to inspire us all. We all want to be inspired, I also want to re-gram them because half the time I’m clutching at straws with Instagram.
When sharing pictures, please use the hashtags #TheBucketListChallenge & #FuckTheStigma. The former is for all, the latter is to inspire those who suffer from a mental illness and show your support. Not for me, for everybody who suffers from a mental illness and is exhausted from continuously fighting such a nasty bastard on their own. If you want to support me, you can share this post and consider buying my book in the future.
Anyhow, food for thought. Santa the bastard flew right over here, so I’ve spiked my coconut with rum as I wallow in self-pity!
Here’s to a less anxious, less depressed, more vibrant, exhilarating, and free New Year.
Thanks for reading!