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An Anti-Bucket List is Full of Achievable Goals

Buckets of lists on a wooden table. Blurred styled background.

My Anti-Bucket List (21 NOs!)

Having a bucket list sounds like an enterprising thing to do. And it is.

To me, bucket lists serve the purpose of helping us have experiences we think will make our lives more memorable. Life is relatively short and unpredictable. No one knows exactly what will happen next – whether good or bad – so the best most of us can do is to look forward to the next adventure, challenge, goal, etc.

A little history lesson

The term bucket list was coined in 2008 with the release of a movie by the same name starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. It is derived from the phrase “kick the bucket,” which means to die, so a bucket list is stuff you want to do before your life on Earth ends.

But what about things you would never do? Or things you are thankful for never having experienced and lifestyles you are grateful that are not in your path? Situations you simply would not want to find yourself in? This is what you call an anti-bucket list, and I have been thinking about it quite often lately.

I want to share mine with you. Here goes.

  1. Stop working on things before they are completed and not being productive.

It would haunt me if I started a project and then gave up in the middle or near the end. To be fair, pursuing a project or business to completion can be counterproductive if it is obviously failing, but it is in my priority to keep a good success ratio.

  1. Stop laughing.

Laughter is truly the best medicine. This was pointed out in a famous article by Norman Cousins in the New England Journal of Medicine over 40 years ago. There have been several studies since then supporting the benefits of laughing, including the fact that a good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, boosts the immune system, and decreases stress hormones while increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.

  1. Not getting my Driver’s License.

I can’t believe I am adding this to the list, but I am in the process of getting my Driver’s License – better later than never! I put my education and career first, and now feels like the right time to get it done after building up my confidence. Here’s a little fun fact regarding the driver’s license: The requirement for a driver’s license in the U.S. started in 1903. Also, Henry Ford obtained his first driver’s license in 1919 at the age of 56, even though he launched his first mass-produced car in 1908.

  1. Get in a shark cage.

Sorry, it sounds like a death wish! Shark cage diving is used for scientific observation, underwater cinematography, and as a tourist activity. Nothing for me there.

5. Exploring underwater caves.

I would not find it appealing for the same reasons given about the shark cage. But also, being fully submerged in a deep, dark cavern – even if Forrest Fenn, the New Mexican art dealer, decided to hide treasure in one – is a tad jolting. Yay, no!

  1. Go wildlife hunting.

It is difficult for me to understand how some people find joy in going into the natural habitats of wild animals and shooting them for sport. Yes, I am aware that hunting animals for food was how people survived centuries ago. But the truth is, modern hunting, for the most part, is more a sporting opportunity where hunters pose with their kills and show little regard for what happens to the slaughtered animals. So, no.

  1. Have Balut.

Go and do a Google search if you have never heard of Balut because I, personally, would not want to spoil your appetite.

  1. Not taking online courses.

I enjoy taking courses on subjects that interest me and which keep me engaged with hot topics in society such as equal opportunities for men and women. I can’t be aware of everything, but I do my best to maintain what I acquired and keep on learning. I am curious by nature.

  1. Becoming a couch potato.

Although I am no extrovert, I do need to get out, keep active, and explore in order to feel alive.

  1. Go broke.

I wish no one had to experience what it is like to not have money to purchase the necessities of life.

  1. Not feeling young at age 40.

I have time, I know. With life expectancy in Canada, France, and U.S.A. currently averaging about 80 years between all three, I envision a future filled with meaningful experiences, long after the big 4-0. There will always be another country to visit, reason to celebrate, trend to follow, song to sing out loud, minor conflicts that will raise the hackles, documentary to cry about, and causes that leave me thinking “I could help make a difference.” I look forward to good food, money-making opportunities, and ideas to convert into startups.

  1. Stop following some trends.

Currently, I am into everything entertainment, entrepreneurship, branding, positivity, and travels. So, nothing dangerous. Just fun and interesting lifestyles that make me feel more lively and confident about myself.

  1. Not travelling anymore.

Not only is travel fun, it provides a variety of surprising personal and health benefits. One study by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, found that women who vacationed twice yearly showed significantly lower risks for heart attacks than those who did not. Another study involving researchers at the Cornell University had findings that showed people experienced a boost in happiness and satisfaction from just planning a trip.

  1. Become a smoker.

I will never smoke for many reasons, but most of all, because of the many known health risks. For starters, the tobacco in cigarettes and cigars contains nicotine and other chemicals that are poisonous to the lungs, heart, and other organs in the body. That’s why smoking accelerates aging. It is also highly addictive, so just trying it out could lead to getting hooked on smoking.

There are just too many associated negatives and very few positives beyond feeling calm (and there are plenty of other healthier ways to destress).

  1. Taking hard drugs.

So many good people have had their lives destroyed due to cocaine, heroin, meth, and many other hard drugs. Hard pass.

  1. Buy a brand new car.

I think buying a new car is a gigantic waste of money nowadays, knowing that it will lose a significant portion of its value the second I drive it off the lot. Moreover, there are so many barely used cars around selling for far less and that are, in some cases, still as good as a brand new vehicle.

  1. Becoming a radio presenter.

As I mentioned in previous articles, I often recorded myself pretending to be a radio presenter when I was a little girl. But now that I am grown, the thought is far from appealing. Just to clarify, I thought about a lot of different careers as a child – as most kids do when discovering all the possibilities – and grew up not liking many of them when I learned more about what the job entailed. To each his own but presenting on radio is not for me, unless it’s for fun or for an interview.

  1. Not embracing Canadian values.

There are so many rights and values promoted in this country that I respect. They include freedom of expression, thought, religion, of the press, and of peaceful assembly. The right to participate in political activities and the right to a democratic government. The freedom to move around and live within Canada, and to leave Canada. Legal and human rights such as the right to life, liberty and security. Love it!

  1. Not looking for financial comfort.

Put in the work, stay on the legal side, remain graceful, have fun along the way, and everything else will fall into place.

  1. Stop dreaming about adopting a Samoyed.

Until I adopt one. Aren’t Samoyed dogs adorable? I am looking forward to giving our cat, Chance, a little brother or a little sister to play with and grow up together.

  1. Stop reading books that embrace positivity and happiness.

I LOVE reading and the type of literature I read is the kind that supports my core beliefs and personality. If, heaven forbid, I was to stop reading books on positivity and being happy, that would most likely signal a wrong turn in my life. Not happening anymore!

As time goes by, I may very well add more stuff to my anti-bucket list. I keep learning every day and I develop new interests, some of which end up on my bucket list, as well as new pet peeves that I can’t accept in my life.

What are some of the items on your anti-bucket list?

Published: August 5, 2020

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Mylène Besançon

Mylène Besançon is an international businesswoman. You can read more about Mylène, as well as access her business tips and secrets at mylenebesancon.com. Check out her company and team at bringmysongtolife.com, or connect with her on facebook.com/besancon.mylene and linkedin.com/in/mylenebesancon.

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