A few years ago, Jack Nicolson and Morgan Freeman made us aware of the bucket list. Since the movie, thousands of people have created their bucket list of things to do before the end of their lives. From the whimsical to the serious to social responsibility, these lists reflect what it is that people want to experience or how they want to give back. However, the Real Bucket List includes the opportunity to focus each day on developing the top 10 distinguishers which will serve you and allow you to serve others.

These items capture the perspective, skills, characteristics and insight needed to distinguish yourself. Master these, and you are masterful. As we carry out our roles, we can cultivate our abilities and potential within each, garner the attention or appreciation of others, and move to a new level of internal and external success.

The top 10 distinguishers are as follows:

  • Perception Management – your ability to perceive what is real vs. a figment of your imagination or judgment. Managing your perceptions allows you to stay in the present rather than anticipate what could come next. It minimizes anxiety and stress.
  • Emotional Intelligence – your ability to manage your reactions and responses, especially in pressure situations or when your anger is piqued. How you react and respond has consequences.
  • Initiative – your ability to take action and think about what is next without having to be told to do so. Knowing how to and choosing to take initiative will help you to stand out as a leader. It distinguishes you from the masses who sit back and wait.
  • Compassion – your care and concern for others’ circumstances. Everyone in life is experiencing or will experience something that is not easy. It’s an expression of shared humanity and, moreover, it is an expression of your humanity
  • Humor – your ability to laugh at yourself and make others laugh. Poking fun at yourself is a great method for making it through a tough time or a mistake, while demonstrating you realize it is so and you are learning from it.
  • Humility – your sense of doing the right thing without needing the credit. Sometimes acknowledging that you did something well or accomplished a good deed does not require words or exposure.
  • Ownership – your decision to accept responsibility for your actions, words, deeds, and opportunities. No more of the ‘not mine’ syndrome!
  • Service – your call to serve and give to others with your time, money or resources. Service comes in many forms.   It can be as simple as smile or an occasional volunteer role.
  • Consistency – your commitment to do what you say and say what you do without interruption. One action, behavior, or decision does not typically create sustainable impact or change.
  • Knowledge – your capacity to apply and share what you continuously learn. Perceive yourself as a vessel for capturing information and skills, and then share your knowledge and its fruits generously.

The items in the Real Bucket List are all inter-related. When you become more adept at one, you also contribute to the development in another. Developing your abilities, thoughts, and choices pertaining to each item will distinguish your life from one that passes by and one that is deemed exceptionally well-lived. Tuning in to your skills and applications resulting from filling your Real Bucket will ensure that you function as a whole person making a significant contribution to your life, the lives of others, your family, your community, and even your country.