The Innovation Bucket List

A bucket list is meant to be a list of everything you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in your life. If you don’t have a bucket list, start one. It's a process that can help you gain clarity and focus on what you want from your life, what holds meaning.

Most people who think that they don't have the time to develop a bucket list will eventually feel a little stuck in the grind of life. When you develop a bucket list it naturally clarifies what is important and helps to create a sense of purpose. Also, it gives you something to share with your significant other so you two can support each other in your life goals. I've found that as I achieve items on my bucket it provides a sense of balance in life. 

I've been lucky enough to check several things off my bucket list: I went to India and attended a satsang with a famous guru, traveled thru Asia learning martial arts, had a book published, spent a month relaxing in Thailand, went on a safari and saw "the big five" game animals, ate at a three Michelin star restaurant in Paris, biked through the Loire valley in France, went scuba diving in a wreck in Bermuda. When I look back at life, it's these things I see, not the 9 to 5 job or keeping up with the joneses or the TV shows I've watched.

However, I still have a quite a long list to finish... like visiting the Galapagos, staying at the Ice Hotel in Lapland and viewing the aurora borealis, visiting Hall of Poets in Kyoto, staying on a private island in the Caribbean, etc. Here are two that are especially compelling to me:

#47 - See Venezuela's Everlasting Storm, the "Relámpago del Catatumbo", a unique natural phenomenon, located on the mouth of the Catatumbo river at Lake Maracaibo. It's a cloud-to-cloud lightning storm that forms a voltage arc more than five kilometre high during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours a night, and as many as 280 times an hour. This almost permanent storm occurs over the marshlands where the Catatumbo River feeds into Lake Maracaibo and it is considered the greatest single generator of ozone in the planet.

#81 - See Morocco's climbing goats. These goats climb them because they like to eat the fruit of the argan tree, which is similar to an olive. The fruit of this tree has a nut inside, which the goats can't digest, so they spit it up or excrete it which the farmers collect and use to make argan oil for cooking and cosmetics.

Anyway, what his has to do with innovation - first, creating a bucket list makes for a terrific energizing innovation workshop warm-up exercise. It primes the idea pump and helps you to throw off those mental shackles, you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll listing a hundred goals!

However, an even better exercise is... what's your innovator bucket list? Photographers use bucket lists to generate ideas for places and things to photograph, it's somethin that can be used to expand any creative activity.

So what do you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience - as an innovator? Is there some great invention you've always wanted to get off the ground? Is there some innovation workshop you've wanted to take? Or do you want to dedicate more time to brainstorming and ideation? An innovators bucket list could include goals like:

  • Write a book about innovation that drives you to invent a new way to invent
  • Win an innovation grant or contest, or be acknowledged in some way
  • Create an award winning industrial design
  • Develop a killer mobile app just for fun

So if you don’t have a innovators bucket list yet, start one. It's a process that can help you gain clarity and focus about your creative goals, assess your innovation skills, and come up with more meaningful ideas. Here's how to create an innovators bucket list:

Take out your pen and a sheet of paper... or open up a text document on your computer. Start writing down what comes to mind as you read these questions:

What if you were to die tomorrow? What would you wish you could achieve creatively before you die?

What's that crazy invention you always wanted to get off the ground?

What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?

Are there any countries, companies or design labs you want to visit and benchmark?

What innovation awards do you want to win?

What innovation skills do you want to learn?

What innovation activities or exercises have you wanted to try?

Are there any great innovators you want to meet in person? What would you ask them?

What creative experiences do you want to have / feel?

Are there any special moments you want to witness? How about an IPO for your startup?

What is the most important thing you could contribute to the world?

What do you need to be or do to give your life true meaning?


Please share your innovator bucket list in the comments!