Build Laser Focus with One Bucket Item

The "bucket list" concept is as old as time, though the term wasn't used until just 15 years ago.  You and I have a finite amount of time left here on this earth. What are things you'd love to see and do before you "kick the bucket?" Most lists include travel destinations and learned skills. Most of those things would make nice memories, but wouldn't do much for your legacy or for others after you are gone.  Let's see if we can narrow things down a bit.


What if you were to list just one bucket item?  As we discussed in this week's episode, if there was only one thing you could accomplish, become, see or do, before this life was over, what would it be? What is so important, so impactful, so consequential, that you would choose it over all else? I don't know if you have thought about that. But once you figure out what it is, I think you have tapped into a "Core Value."  We talked about those a few episodes ago. These become your passion, your purpose, your life.


It would need to be something that took effort and changed me.  I get that people want to see Europe or visit every United State.  I understand the desire to see someplace amazing or go somewhere special.  But for the most part, that doesn't take much more than some time and money. And the results would include awesome memories and pictures, but few people come back from Europe fundamentally changed into a better person. I would want my one goal between now and death to be a journey of growth and discipline. Something truly valuable because I became better in the pursuit of it.


It would need to ultimately bring glory to God.  How could a Christian have a "one bucket item" that didn't directly bring honor to God? We exist to honor Him. We are to use the remainder of our days serving Him. If my main life goals serve myself, then kicking the bucket may not be something I'm ready to do. I would want my one focal item to be rewarding in its accomplishment, because it lifting up glorification to God. This could be something like writing a book about faithfulness, doing missionary work in another country (an excellent reason to learn a foreign language), or devoting every Tuesday until eternity having a Bible study with someone.


It would need to carry an impact beyond my death. One of the saddest things I witness at funerals is a family member telling all about the passions of the deceased, and I'm thinking, "those things don't really matter." No one really cares how much she liked to knit, beyond some treasured pieces at home in their closet.  His affinity for the Dallas Cowboys isn't exactly going to transform his family's future for years to come. I wouldn't devote my life to an accomplishment that doesn't matter after I'm gone. Would you? I need it to be something that, if they follow in my footsteps, will take them to God.


I have made my decision.  I have decided that there is one thing, above all other things, that I have not yet accomplished, and want to see more than anything else in this life.  I want to raise faithful children.  I have four kids: ages 18, 16, 8, and 6, at present. It will take all my life to help shape them as Christians. The accomplishment of their faithfulness will glorify God. And if I can help them serve Him well, long after I am gone, that work will live on. I am prepared to make sacrifices. I am prepared to malign the unimportant for the sake of this beautiful thing.  It has reshaped my life.


Are you ready to pick just one thing?  I'm not saying you can't plan trips, or learn new things, or do cool stuff. But those have to happen if they happen.  I'm talking about listing something you will pursue with passion, and will gauge the usage of your life as noble, if but this one box gets checked and stays checked. It doesn't have to be the same as mine. There are plenty of wonderful things, like building up a church, converting your friends, publishing material to build faith, drowning a particular demon forever, or maybe even becoming a Christian. But sift through the unimportant and announce the crucial, the absolute, the heart of who you are what you are striving to achieve. God can use that kind of focus.


Thank you for supporting our program.  If you believe this blog can help someone you care about, be sure and click a link on the right to share it on social media or email to friends. Have an amazing weekend! And always remember: whatever you choose to do today in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, excel still more. 


Excel Still More with Kris Emerson

Consider Sharing This Blog Post

Latest Podcast Episode

Latest Blog Posts


Let’s Save Everyone!


Perfection is Unattainable, but Practice is the Key!

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 75

It’s Time To Re-Evaluate Commitments


Truth Bomb: The Sun is in the Center