“You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you.” ~ Carter Chambers (played by Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List, 2007)

Trekking the Himalayas, rafting the Grand Canyon, walking the Great Wall of China and swimming with dolphins are some of the most popular things written on our “life’s wish list”, aka “the bucket list”. I have many intentions on my own list that help to serve and support my mission. Having big vision goals can help to not only increase our level of daily focus and fulfillment, they may also help to increase our overall longevity. Longevity, fulfillment and focus all sound wonderful to me—so much so that I decided I wanted not one bucket, but four – Spiritual, Mental, Physical, and Service. As I practice filling my four buckets on a daily basis, my love of life remains high.

Ram Das encouraged us daily to “chop wood and carry water.” I have used this as a call to commit to the daily discipline of filling my buckets with what needs to be done in order to experience greater peace, resiliency, fulfillment and purpose. You can do the same by theoretically placing these same four buckets right where you can see them on a daily basis so they beckon you to fill them and feed yourself throughout the day.

Begin each day with meditation or mindfulness. Both of these practices will enliven your confidence and set the tone for a brilliant dismount from the meditation cushion and into your movement ritual. Meditation builds serotonin, which in turn gifts us with greater clarity, centeredness and conviction. Add some sweat and increased heart rate and you have a “bucket runneth over” in dopamine. In turn you get to enjoy greater motivation, concentration and ninja-like grit and tenacity. The highest and brightest performers are the ones who choose to “own” just one positive habit in one area of living first thing in the morning—they’re shown to be most apt to carry that momentum into every area of their life.

Fill your “brain bucket” with your ever-expanding genius. Meditating, playing and growing directly fill your desire and goal to serve. Remember, self-love and self-care are high service to all. Practice mental hygiene in the way you think and talk to yourself and others. That is to say—be kind and loving, even when you don’t want to.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve.” I believe service is the most important “to-do” on your life’s bucket list. The dynamic duo of meditation and play makes the mind more than ever magnificent. Read, journal, teach, and inspire yourself and others. Make it happen today.

IMG_7034e-5About: Dr. James Rouse is a naturopathic doctor and expert in functional and lifestyle medicine. An author of nine books, host and founder of Optimum Wellness Media, and Ironman triathlete, James has coached Fortune 50 and 500 companies, MLB and NFL teams, several branches of US Government and consults for companies including BackJoy, SKOOP and Kroger Grocery. He has shared his message to audiences in the US, Europe and Asia.