Which Bucket are You?
What are you all about?
That question might feel a bit intimidating, but don’t worry you’re not alone. In fact, when it comes to knowing what one’s life is all about, most people don’t have a clue.
In general, I’ve found that people typically fall into one of these three buckets when it comes to being able to define the purpose of their life:
Bucket One: I have a clear vision and can articulate it in any conversation.
Bucket Two: I have a general sense of my purpose in life, but I find it difficult to adequately communicate it to others.
Bucket Three: I have no idea what I’m doing or how to talk about it.
So, which one of these buckets are you currently in? And what intentionally or unintentionally did you do to get there? Ponder that for a second, and when you’re done keep reading.
Hopefully, if you aren’t already there, you have a desire to find yourself in Bucket One, holding on to a clear vision and easily able to articulate it. However, if you find yourself in Bucket Three, don’t be discouraged. You have an exciting journey ahead of you, and it’s not as far away as you think. There’s actually a good chance you’ve flirted with your true heart's desire before, but for one reason or another have dismissed it, most likely due to a lack of belief in your ability to accomplish it. I can help you with that, but for the moment I want you to trust me and put your lack of belief aside. Get out a piece of paper and start writing a list of the things in life you value the most. I don’t care how long that list is, just start making it. On your list you could have family next to baking, or teaching alongside starting your own business. Don’t worry about the list making sense, only be concerned with the list making your heart come alive.
Once you have your list, spend time refining it by expanding on each item you’ve written. What is it about each one of these words that gives you goosebumps. Write that down and then go to the next. Before long, you’ll have a page full of candidates that you may choose to represent your life. At that point you can tell bucket three goodbye. We should all tell Bucket Three goodbye!
For those of you in Bucket Two, where you have a general sense of purpose, but find it difficult to articulate it to others, you’ve probably done an exercise like we just went through before. You most likely have already narrowed down the list and generally know what your life is all about. There’s a chance that due to time, you simply haven’t refined that list to a clear vision that is easy to articulate.
As a side note, I have to mention that vision and purpose do change over time. It can be easy to move between buckets. I’ll come back to this, but if you are experiencing that, don’t be dismayed!
For those in Bucket Two, you are in the final phase of editing. One of the unspoken challenges of this bucket is the fact that with editing comes deletion. To move from Bucket Two to Bucket One, we are forced to delete, in most cases, things that we’ve held dear. That’s a level of commitment we’re not sure we’re ready for yet. We like the idea of knowing we’re headed to California, but not ready to choose between Newport Beach and Malibu. There are so many great things about both! How could I ever choose? You can and you have to, because unless you have a clone you can only end up in one of those locations at a time. Often, we never even get to California, but instead end up never leaving home. I’ve gone a bit deep in this analogy, but the point is whatever has been holding us back from defining and thus choosing a path is literally just holding us back! Don’t let it.
If you find yourself in Bucket One, that’s great! We should all strive for and attain a clear vision that we are able to articulate. However, we must remember all the while that as we move through life, we will find ourselves at different “turning points” along the way. These points will beg us to question, redefine, and revise our greater purpose. It’s okay to have been in Bucket One and moved into Bucket Two, and then back.
Some of you reading this may be thinking, “I use to be a Bucket One person, what happened?” Life happened. It does to all of us. You’ll be tempted to get down on yourself, but please don’t. Just as the bed we sleep in at night can change, so can our purpose.
From the young adults taking a first stab at clearly pinpointing their purpose, to the seasoned veterans who have visited this redefining process often, and all those in between, we can all strive to better define our end destination.
No matter where you find yourself today, you can begin to move toward the life you want. Here’s to striving for Bucket Number One!