A Different Resolution

A Different Resolution

NSMAN-MAG-JAN-FEB-2018

One question I've often been getting since completing my hike up to Everest Base Camp some months ago has been, "So how does it feel to check this off your bucket list?"

Truth be told, I don't even have a bucket list.

I used to think that having a bucket list was the same as making New Year's resolutions that we never keep. Did you know that researchers have found that about 90 percent of resolutions fail?

That's probably the same proportion as the low-ball Carousell offers you get, even though you specified "PRICE NOT NEGOTIABLE".

My New Year's resolution for 2017 was to become a more confident person. Well, that didn't happen. I just didn't think I could do it.

But I intend to start a bucket list now, because they are kind of like a no-contract mobile phone plan - there is no fixed end-date. Since it's New Year's resolution, you only need to achieve it within the year.

Bucket-list items? You are free to tick them off at any time, just as long as it's before you die. I think I prefer my bucket-list deadline.

Also, my Everest achievement reminded me of just how gratifying it is to do something after enduring much adversity. I'm sure many NSmen can relate to this. Remember that feeling when you spotted a proper toilet after a five-day field camp?

Here's how you can go about starting your own bucket list. Identify the things that you really want to accomplish in life - not those that you think should accomplish.

Don't aim to see the Northern lights because it's "cool", or just because somebody else wants to do it. For example, I don't understand all this talk about turning Singapore into a cashless society. Just because China has a highly advanced digital payment climate doesn't mean we need one here too.

Can you imagine a future where hawker centres become completely cashless? Can you imagine queuing two hours for Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle only to have your phone run out of juice the moment it's your turn to order?

Maybe by then Jack Neo could consider doing a reboot of one of his wildly popular films. Perhaps this time it would be called Battery No Enough or I Not Charging.

Next, pick a goal that is attainable. Don't aim to win the lottery. Don't aim to be punctual for morning meetings. Don't aim to win the World Cup.

Be like my adrenaline-junkie friend and go try the new Vertical Skywalk in Sentosa. It took him five full minutes to explain to his body that up was not down, and that down was actually straight ahead.

As for myself, I like travel and words, so I'm planning a road trip around North America and starting a blog about it. It's going to be epic.

I'll start my trip in Happy Adventure, a tiny village in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. From there, I'll head to places like Blow Me Down Provincial Park, before travelling to an Amish encalve in Pennsylvania called Intercourse.

The final destination? The lovely city of Climax of Georgia, of course. (I'm not joking, these places really do exist.)

Anyway, when you're done with your list, tell the whole world about it. Because then it'll be quite malu if you don't actually follow through with it.

In fact, up the ante and make a friendly wager with your buddies.

But do try to keep things realistic. Or just keep your bucket list short.

Short enough so that you can achieve well over 10 percent - or a better success rate than the average New Year's resolution list.

This article was first featured in NSMAN Magazine (Jan/Feb 2018) Issue.

You can find the article and magazine issues online via the NSman app.


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