News / January 10, 2013

Reverse Bucket Lists: Never Forget How Awesome You Are

Awesomeness has many shapes and forms.

Today I found Rebecca Tracey’s website, The Uncaged Life, the entire point of which is to help people ditch jobs that they hate and spend their lives doing what they love. Pretty hard to argue with, eh? I stumbled upon her post about Reverse Bucket Lists,  essentially, a list of things that you’ve accomplished that remind you of why you’re awesome. Great for when you’re feeling down or discouraged. Just an excellent idea.

Everyone has items for a reverse bucket list, and everyone needs to be reminded why he/she is awesome every now and then. It’s not an ego trip, it’s not saying that you’re better than anyone else. It’s reminding yourself that you have achieved things that you’re proud of doing. Everybody reading this can think of at least 10 things, whether it’s learning to cook a whole turkey or getting your college degree. Heck, running three miles is great. One mile, even.

So remind yourself why you’re awesome today. Becca busted out 50 items, but I’m going to start with 10 11 15 16 in no particular order and see where it goes from there:

  1. Totally married out of my league.
  2. I work on my own schedule from my house.
  3. Sometimes I get paid to lay in a hammock and drink beer for an entire afternoon.
  4. Was fire-poisoned by a sushi challenge in Salt Lake City.
  5. Was within 10 feet of several wild grizzly bears without crapping myself.
  6. Jumped off some  waterfalls in the Grand Canyon.
  7. Crossed the Colorado River in a packraft.
  8. Ran across 60 miles of the Rockies.
  9. 24 of those miles were on a pulled hamstring.
  10. Got dropped by 10,000 volts at the NorCal Tough Mudder.
  11. Ran around a cruise ship in my underwear.
  12. Gave a quarterback a concussion during his own homecoming game.
  13. Got paid to drive around in four turbocharged AWD wagons for a month.
  14. Was called a “wild man” by Outside PR.
  15. Wandered around San Francisco getting my pictures taken in long underwear.
  16. Spoke with ultrarunning legend Dean Karnazes about dealing with cramps during the TransRockies Run.

So here’s the thing: write up a reverse bucket list for yourself. Keep it down to ten, or add more, I don’t care. But most importantly, remember that you’ve done some great things and that you’ll do some more great things before you’re done here. Post it in the comments if you want. I’d love to see it.

EXTRA CREDIT: Once you get the hang of it, write an encouraging one for someone else. I don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t welcome getting a Reverse Bucket List posted on their FB wall.


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Billy Brown
Billy Brown
has a hard time standing still. A few years ago he combined his passion for the active lifestyle with his love of toys and somehow made a job out of it as a journalist specializing in outdoor sports and adventure travel. An avid runner, climber, crossfitter and snowboarder, he has tested gear around the world, from canyon running in Jordan to ice climbing in Chamonix. He writes for Outside Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Wired, and Backpacker. Contact him at


Mar 27, 2014

Awesome idea. Everyone should get the reverse bucket list going.

Mar 26, 2014

[…] Do you have a reverse bucket list? Do […]

Mar 20, 2013

[...] Trek Tech I learned about Rebecca Tracey’s Reverse Bucket List, the concept of remembering past [...]

Feb 01, 2013

[...] to do something a little different, and it all started yesterday when I read Trek Tech’s blog post about Becca Tracey’s Reverse Bucket [...]

Jan 18, 2013

Loving these lists. As always, thank you for inspiration, Billy. Getting to work on mine…although it may not be as adventurous as yours.

Jan 10, 2013

Heyo! Rebecca here, the OG of the Reverse Bucket List. Would love you to share your top 10 list items in the comments on the post! Let’s see how awesome you are! x

Jan 10, 2013

You’ve done some good things, my man. Some very good things.

I love the last idea; posting a reverse bucket list of 10 awesome things others have done. Good grief, it’s just genius.

    Billy Brown

    Jan 10, 2013

    Totally. My narcissistic tendencies aside, the good stuff’s really about encouraging other folk.

Jan 10, 2013

I am so hoping for a repeat of the fire sushi at OR. Just saying.

    Billy Brown

    Jan 10, 2013

    Believe me, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. Lessons learned and such.

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