Why Firsts and Not a Bucket List?

I was telling people about the #365FirstsChallenge and they commented that it sounded like having a Bucket List—that made me realize how easy it is to consider them as the same thing, so figured it was best to do a blog post and address the similarities and differences.

Bucket Lists are a well-known concept made popular by the 2007 movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called The Bucket List.

If you go on Amazon, you’ll find dozens of books with a similar titles from people who have traveled to amazing places and done incredible things. Will Smith just recently started a Facebook series, at the beginning of 2019, called Will Smith’s Bucket List where he’s doing fabulous things, some of them are firsts, like skydiving, swimming with sharks, and racing.

It’s awesome to have a bucket list—but I’m focused on living. I want to enhance not just something down the road, but my today, tomorrow, week, who I am, and the way I choose to live life.

Do You Want to Focus on Living or Dying?

The term “bucket list” comes from the expression “kicking the bucket” or dying and focuses primarily on things you want to do before you die—which is why it often misses the point of enriching the act of living. 

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There’s no denying life is short—matter of fact, none of us know just how short it might be. Freak accidents and sudden deaths happen all the time and everywhere around the world. You can be perfectly healthy one day and the next day find out you have terminal disease. Life is unpredictable like that.

Also, there’s the fact that you only live once (YOLO) so if you don’t do it in this lifetime—you don’t get to do it.

These factors are what’s supposed to motivate and inspire you to create your bucket list.

You’re going to die so what do you want to do before you die??

That doesn’t do it for me. I’m inspired by the act of living.

I’m alive and I want to squeeze every moment and experiences life has to offer—
that’s the #365Firsts Challenge!!

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#365FirstsChallenge is about learning, growing, exploring, experimenting, and squeezing everything out of moments, experiences, and life. It’s about adding to your story, who you are, and expanding into who you want to become. It’s not about having the end in mind but the present. If you want, you can wake-up every day, try something new, and enhance your life.

Going too Big and Forgetting About the Little Things

Some people have simpler things on their bucket lists and are more focused towards something similar to the #365FirstsChallege, but for the most part—bucket lists are these big experiences, travel destinations, or things to do. They’re big things that usually require time and money to achieve.

The #365FirstChallenge breaks firsts into five types, the first type are Spontaneous/Random/Opportunistic Firsts. These types of firsts are designed to help you seize the day and notice within your routine and environment all the opportunities that exist to grow, learn, and have new experiences.


In Horace, the phrase is part of the longer carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero, which can be translated as “Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)”

Life happens more often than not in the little things of our existence and we can make small changes that have big impacts.  This type of firsts aims to teach you how to become more spontaneous and how to jump on opportunities you would otherwise let pass you by.

Say you’re at work and your boss is looking for someone to volunteer for a project and you’ve never done that before. Being on the #365FirstsChallenge will get you to throw your hand in the air and volunteer because it’s a #workfirsts and you’ve opened your mind to all the firsts you can attract into your life. It isn’t just about a list, it’s about change, the unknown, and evolving.  

These leads to difference #3.

You Want a Destination or Journey?

It’s in the name. The Bucket List is a list. Literally speaking, some items on those lists, are destinations. They are things you want to experience and achieve. I’m not saying they won’t have an impact on your life, but by default of their design, they’re not about the journey, they’re about getting something done (figuratively speaking a destination).

The #365FirstsChallenge is a challenge. In the Starter Guide, I repeat a few times how it’s a journey you’re embarking on. The first step to taking this journey is identifying why you want to do it—what do you want to gain from it. Experiencing a wide mixtures of firsts will absolutely impact who you are and shape how you continue to live your life. It’s about change and stepping into the unknown. Reconnecting with your childlike mindset. Opening your mind, tapping in your creativity, self-discovery, stepping out of your comfort zones, facing you fears, learning, and growing.

The stories worth telling are in the journey!!

Again, I’m not out to knock down the concept of bucket lists because anything that gets you to plan and act on having experiences is awesome in my book. My aim was to highlight the main three differences between doing a bucket list and joining the #365FirstsChallenge. You don’t need to get rid of your bucket list in order to do the #365FristsChallenge. More than likely some things on your list fall into the 5 types of firsts—doing the #365irstsChallenge will just enhance, shift and/or expand your outlook more towards squeezing everything out of life and enjoying the journey.

Do you currently have a bucket list? What’s on it? What’s keeping you from joining the #365FirstChallenge?

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