don’t mistake the talking for the doing

While I’ve had my life list in one form or another since my early 20s, I only started to consider making it public about this time last year.

And then admired other people’s lists, adding things to my list from theirs.

Then, I thought about it some more.

Think, think.

Along the way, I came across these two videos.

The first is Derek Sivers, from a short (3:16) TED talk.  His recommendation is to keep your goals to yourself.

Oh dear.

Okay, fine.  His statements are backed by research.

I disagree with him anyway.

He says if we tell our goals to others – ostensibly so that they will hold us accountable – we get the acknowledgement and satisfaction of having achieved our goals, without being motivated to do the work to actually accomplish anything.

This reminds me of the conversation I had with Tina, where she said she would feel obligated to do something if she shared her life list.

Sharing my life list isn’t about having other people hold me accountable.  It is a celebration of all the amazing things there are to learn and do and see and taste and love in life.

A life list isn’t the same as a goal.  To me.

Then I heard Chip Wilson, CEO of Canadian athletic-wear company lululemon, talk about goals (1:05).

Chip Wilson says that setting goals calms his mind.  See also: yesterday’s post, and what Scarlet Lily said about that stuff taking up room in your soul.

The power in my life list was in writing it down.

The joy in my life list will be in sharing the stories with others.

Tomorrow: the list.


  • I very much like your take on this. I too shared my list not because I want to be accountable because I am not going to beat myself up if they don’t all get done. It is all about living life and enjoying it.

    • Celina, thank you for your visit and your comments. I agree – not all the things on the list need to happen for the list to make life more interesting. Also: I LOVE YOUR LIST.

  • This is a great perspective on the LIST. I have heard about the research suggesting that you should not tell other people your goals before, but I think it really depends on what you hope to get out of sharing your list — if it is a way to put yourself out there and connect with others — I think it makes perfect sense to share the list. Furthermore, there is something about writing it down and putting it other, that puts the universe in motion.

    • Yes, yes, yes. I agree – I also think there is a difference between goals and life list items – goals feel more about producing and DOING, where the life list items feels more about dreams and wonder and joy and how doing these things will make me FEEL. Big difference in my mind. Plus, putting it out there, you never know where help will come from.

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