Many people have a bucket list. If you don’t know what a bucket list is, it is a list of things you would like to accomplish before you pass away.
Here are a couple of bucket lists. Which one would you pick?
BUCKET LIST #1
- Buy a big house with a waterfront.
- Have my own horses to ride.
- Take a Mediterranean cruise.
- Visit Australia and New Zealand.
- Write and publish some books.
- Become a motivational speaker.
- Start a business.
- Drive across Canada.
BUCKET LIST #2
- Build my faith.
- Have a happy family.
- Make good friends.
- Help other people.
- Make a difference in the world.
- Donate to a worthy cause.
- Write books.
- Have a peaceful life.
So which list would you pick? I never made a bucket list until now, but the first one would have been something that I would have written about 20 years ago. The second list is one that I would write today. There is a huge difference in the 2 lists. The first one is mostly about me and what I can gain in life. The second list is more about helping others and trying to accomplish things that have lasting value. I can tell you that when I was focusing on making myself happy, I was never successful and usually was pretty miserable. However, when I changed my perspective on life and began to focus on others instead of myself, my happiness level started to rise.
When we only think of ourselves and believe that things in this world will make us happy, the result will be short-lived happiness and long-term misery. However when we look at the world and try to figure out what we can do to make a difference in the lives of other people, the result is long-term joy and peace. So what is on your bucket list?
I was reminiscing about a time in my childhood when I attended an annual summer church camp. For a period of 10 years I enjoyed going camping with my friends and taking part in all the exciting activities.
One particular summer, when I was about 12, I remember settling down in my cabin for the night. The day had been hot and sticky with no relief in sight as darkness fell. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for those nasty bloodsuckers to start buzzing around my head but I was armed and ready for them. I grabbed the can of mosquito repellant sitting on the shelf beside my head, spraying my body and in the air around me. However, for some crazy reason, the buzzing didn’t stop and actually got worse. I sprayed again and then finally gave up and covered my head with the sleeping bag. Sweating profusely, I finally fell asleep from exhaustion.
The next morning, I opened my eyes and rolled over to see a can of spray deodorant sitting on the shelf beside me. My mosquito repellant was nowhere to be seen!! Now I understood why the mosquitoes were having a party around my head the night before. Instead of chasing the mosquitoes away, I had invited them with the sweet scent of my deodorant. Yikes!!
People are like mosquitoes. They buzz around trying to get close to people and make friends. But when we buzz around people who feel insecure or have been hurt, we might just get sprayed – not with mosquito repellant but words that are negative and full of self-pity. This just chases us away and often leaves the person wondering why nobody likes to be around them.
So put away your mosquito repellant and join the mosquitoes. Instead of chasing people away, start chasing people. Become more confident and start spraying out love and kindness. A confident person will attract lots of mosquitoes. Sorry, I mean friends!
What? Allow my children to fail? Yes, it is healthy to allow your children to fail yet many parents will argue this point. I’ve heard people say:
- failure will hurt my child’s esteem
- failure will make my child feel insecure
- failure will make me look like a bad parent
- failure doesn’t teach my child how to be a success
These arguments are actually not true. Let’s take a look at each one.
1) Failure will hurt my child’s esteem. The truth is, failure will help build a child’s esteem IF we don’t get angry with them or focus on their mistakes. When a child learns to accept failure and learns from their mistakes, it will have a positive impact on how they feel about themselves and it WILL increase their esteem.
2) Failure will make my child feel insecure. Failing is certainly not a good feeling and it can bring up temporary feelings of insecurity. This is why is it so important to support your child when they do make a mistake. Make sure they understand that it is okay to fail and that you still love them. Encourage them to talk about how they feel, ways they can improve and be ready to help them if needed BUT don’t do everything for them. Allow them to make the necessary changes and cheer for them.
3) Failure will make me look like a bad parent. Parents should be more concerned about how their child feels than how they look as a parent. No child is perfect and neither is any parent. WE ALL FAIL and we need to accept this fact. Pursuing perfection and encouraging your child to be perfect will only result in FAILURE! If you feel bad when your child fails, then you need to work on your own esteem and understand that FAILING DOES NOT MAKE ANYONE A FAILURE!
4) Failure doesn’t teach my child how to be a success. Actually failure does teach your child how to be a success. It teaches a child that everything in life isn’t going to go the way they expected and that they need to make some changes. Failure helps people learn and grow. Failure teaches accountability. Failures are just stepping stones to success.
Giving your children the freedom to fail helps them make decisions and learn from the consequences. Love them, support them and have open communication with them. The result: A RESPONSIBLE ADULT!
Doing nice things for other people is a sure way to feel happiness. When you put a smile on the face of a person who is feeling bad, it always makes you feel good. Research shows that doing acts of kindness has many health benefits.
Every day I try my best to do something nice for another person and it is becoming a wonderful habit that usually brings great happiness into my life. I rarely find someone who is not accepting of a kind act and it usually brings a smile to their face.
Today I was the recipient of not one but two acts of kindness! We had a bad snow storm this morning and got a lot of snow dumped on us. My husband was at work and I trying to shovel my car out of the driveway to get to my doctor’s appointment. I looked across the street where my neighbour was also shovelling and wondered if I would get stuck in the drifts on the road. We used to have a jeep and I was never concerned about getting stuck, but a car is a different matter.
The first act of kindness happened when I asked this neighbour if he thought my car would get stuck in the drifts. He didn’t think I would get through and offered to drive me to my appointment. Being on the recipient end of an act of kindness is a really awesome feeling!
The next act of kindness happened when my husband drove me home from my appointment and we got stuck in the drifts at the end of our street. Two other neighbours, whom we had never met, came up the street and helped dig us out. Another warm, fuzzy feeling! Maybe the snow brings out the niceness in people and the need to work together. Whatever the reason, it is nice to be on both ends of an act of kindness and we should all do our best everyday to help someone.
Have you done something nice today? If not, why? Do your small part to make this world a better place:)