There’s a wonderful movie in theaters now starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called The Bucket List. It’s a movie about two men in their late 50’s or early 60’s who meet in the hospital, having both just found out they have less than one year to live. They develop a friendship of sorts, and one of them recalls a college professor who taught them to write a list of things to do before “kicking the bucket.” One convinced the other to join him in making a list and doing everything on it before their time runs out. The list was called “The Bucket List.”
Jack Nicholson’s character was quite wealthy, having had many successful businesses beginning at age 16. Morgan Freeman’s life was spent as an auto mechanic; his college cut short by an unplanned pregnancy. The irony in the movie is that the wealthy character had failed in all personal relationships – 4 marriages, an estranged child, and no friends. The mechanic had a strong loving family, but many distant dreams never fulfilled.
The lessons in the movie were powerful, and applicable to life as a business owner. In my view, here they are:
1. Without powerful relationships with people, wealth is unfulfilling.
2. Don’t allow dreams to get lost in the day to day routine of your life. Take risks and let your imagination run wild.
3. We never know how much time we have – so get started now.
4. Keep a running “Bucket List,” crossing off as you accomplish things and adding new items. If you don’t, you lose sight of what you want and may get to the end disappointed with your life.
5. Don’t allow your desire to make money steal your desire to live.
That last one is important. We all know what money can do for us; financial freedom is a worthy goal. If we spend all our time working to make the money, and no time spending it and enjoying it with people we love, what have we gained?
A life in balance is a life lived without regret.
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