Why 101 things?
Many people ask us why we want you to make a life list of 101 things. Why not 10? 20? 50? 101 things can seem like a lot. Anyone can rattle off 10 to 20 things that they have always wanted to do, and have been thinking about for a while. But something happens to you when you have to extend yourself to enumerate so many things that you want. You have to open your heart, and listen to the voice that has grown silent in so many of us, as we’ve become mired in the world of work, keeping a home, or raising a family.
I came across this exercise in a personal growth class. Everyone in the class made a list. We compared lists, and found some surprising commonalities. You see, to be truly happy, people have several different kinds of needs that must be satisfied. Once we’ve secured the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing, we find that life has more to offer. Life seeks life.
So, what does this have to do with your life list? Plenty. Happy, well balanced people need:
· Satisfying careers, or ways of spending their time that make them feel valuable in some way. This can mean work for monetary compensation, or a volunteer position that helps others.
· A home that reflects their unique identity.
· To feel that they are of value within some kind of community.
· Intellectual stimulation.
· To do, or create, something that they see as beautiful.
· To feel loved, within a family, by a chosen partner, or both.
· To grow in spiritual connection with God and with others.
· To seek new and different experiences.
· To experience joy through the body’s senses.
It requires the writing of a longer list to make you stretch to include more than the obvious things. That is why we ask you to write 101 things. We want to stimulate you to look at all the areas of your life where you could be having more joy; experiencing a greater sense of fulfillment. Take a look at your list. Do you see how these different kinds of needs are reflected there? If you missed some areas, can you now think of more things that you could add to your list? Many people find that, while writing the first 101 things may be difficult, the second list comes much more easily. The key is to be open to all facets of themselves; to listen to the voice of wonder that we all had as children.
Rise above your self imposed limits. Most of us are capable of much more than we know. Almost all of us have a little voice inside that tells us that we can’t have what we want. We’re not smart enough. Wealthy enough. We have the wrong parents; went to the wrong schools; have the wrong friends; or don’t live in the right places. This voice isn’t really ours. It is the echoes of our parents, teachers, siblings, classmates, passing their limitations on to you. They couldn’t, so in their minds, neither can you. Henry Ford said “The man who believes he can and the man who believes he can’t are both right.” This is the voice of limiting beliefs. It thinks it’s protecting you from the pain of disappointment, and in some way, it does. But it also limits what you will attempt. It keeps you from finding your true potential. When this voice speaks to you, fire it. Be gentle, but get rid of it. Say to yourself “Thank you, but I choose a different way”. Once you are in connection with your creativity, many of your current or former limiting beliefs will dissolve. Problems that seemed to be insurmountable will disappear. Solutions will present themselves. You ‘luck’ will change.
This is the true purpose in writing your life list. Your first list will unveil the desires of your heart. Sure, you’ll have fun along the way, but you’ll also grow in the process. As you replace things on your list that you’ve done with new things, your next list may represent a complete shift in what you see as possible for you to accomplish.
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