In the post, “The Most Surprising Thing that Came from NOT Achieving My Dreams” via Marc and Angel, they share this idea of an “Unbucket List.” I had never heard of that until now, and it was an interesting exercise focused not on the future, but appreciating the past. The author shares the following:
As I approached my 40th birthday last year I decided I would do something concrete to combat the disillusionment I could be feeling about my thwarted dreams. So I made an un-bucket list. I didn’t want to make another list of all the things I wanted to do over the next 40 years. Instead, I wanted to focus on all the things I’d done so far.
And the exercise was very enlightening. Firstly, I realized that this mediocre life I thought I was living was far from mediocre. I’d ‘achieved’ far more than I gave myself credit for. But secondly, and more importantly, my list included things that made me love myself.
I think that this is not only a good exercise for anyone to do personally but professionally as well.
The obsessive focus that education has on being “future-focused” often negates the importance of placing value of what has already been done. Yes, we want to prepare our students for their futures, but we should all acknowledge the critical steps and achievement that have already been made for and by our students, or else we will be lead to feeling defeated based on the things that we have not achieved yet.
We get so lost having our eye on the future we sometimes lose sight of the significance of our past.
Make your un-bucket list and take time to appreciate what you have done. The future will be there tomorrow.
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