Experience Bucket

Ex·pe·ri·ence is created from active participation in events or activities, leading to the accumulation of knowledge or skill

Some of my favorite quotes about experiences:Oprah Winfrey said “With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.
An anonymous quotation “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

And William Channing said, “Nothing which has entered into our experience is ever lost.”

Now I want everyone to close your eyes for a moment

Visualize a big white bucket with a shiny handle.

Around the top edge of the bucket is the word – Experiences.
(Open your eyes if you want)

Let me tell you about my Experience Bucket and hopefully thru my story you will begin to realize that you also have an experience bucket.

Only recently did I discover that I have my own personal experience bucket .

I think this discovery is due in part from the combination of increased wisdom and the associated age, as well as the increased size and weight of my experience bucket.

Now that I can clearly see my experience bucket, I am proud to have it and enjoy looking at the many interesting and valuable experiences that it contains.

This in its own right is another experience.

Once I looked into my experience bucket I found that it actually contains many smaller buckets.

Each of these buckets is labeled and it contains experiences related to that label.

As I peer into my experience bucket I see the many different labels. They include:

Childhood / Family / School / Relationship / Religion / Growing up / Friend / The Law / Failure / Sports / Dating / Marriage / College / Father / Husband / First Job / Success / Career / Building / Driving / Vacation / Challenging Authority / Fear

The more I looked in my experience bucket the bigger it gets and the more smaller buckets I found.

Recently I looked around in my Experience Bucket and found buckets for:
Motorcycles / Changing Careers / Toastmasters / Charity / Colorado / Big Brothers & Big Sisters / Grandpa / Wisdom

I’m sure there were others as well behind these buckets and one day as the experience bucket gets stirred up I am sure I will see more.

As I look at the many smaller buckets I can see that they contain stories, words, memories and images that make up an experience associated with the bucket it’s in.

Some of these experiences can be personal and private.

However; many of my experiences are shareable.

I feel that it’s important to have experiences that you can share with others.

Not just to be able to tell a story from your experiences, or as words of wisdom for those who have not experienced the same as you, but also to be able to show others that everyone has their own unique and possibly interesting experiences.

You can not judge others by just what they say or do. You also can not see into someone else’ experience bucket. Because of this it is important to not be judgmental.

Furthermore it is also important to use the contents of your experience bucket and your talents and skills to help others when possible.

I agree with the idea that our experiences are what make up our person.

If we sat around our home all day, did nothing new at all, ignored or worst, ran from new experiences, I am sure that as a person we would wither up and blow away.

Because of this I firmly believe that it is a priority in life to collect as many different experiences as possible for our experience bucket.

Let me tell you about some of my new smaller experience buckets inside my personal experience bucket.

Some of my newest experiences are associated with activities that I never thought I would be a part of.

Yet, I am ever so glad that these activities are now experiences in my personal experience bucket and they have changed my life.

Grandpa Bucket
I for years boldly boasted that I wanted nothing to do with this generational label.
Today I quietly boast about being a Grandpa and this is due totally because of the experiences I have collected in the Grandpa bucket over the past 6 months.

Motorcycle Bucket
Riding around the country on an old man’s touring bike with my wife hanging on behind me has become a past time that I truly enjoy.
I had to experience it to believe that I would really enjoy it, and I am now an old man motorcyclist.

Husband Bucket
Back in 1978, who would have ever guessed that I would marry, have 4 girls, and be living in NC.
Even with all my planning back then I didn’t expect to add this group of experiences to my bucket
More importantly, I am a much better person because of it.
Believe me about this, even without hearing some of my private experiences from the 70’s.

Toastmaster Bucket
Not quite as far a stretch, but this as well is an experience (really a expanding group of experiences) that is still changing me today.

I hoped when I started this speech that by talking about my own personal experience bucket you would be able to start visualizing your own.
I hope that you are beginning to.
If so, label a new little bucket and place this experience in it.

Enjoy your experience bucket.