A Simple Path – To a Simple To-Do List | The BridgeMaker

A Simple Path – To a Simple To-Do List

By on Oct 11, 2012

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius

Lately, my daily to-do list has seemed like an empty well. With no hope of finding water, I’ve gone to bed feeling tired, frustrated and disappointed with what I checked off that day. It’s not that I didn’t check off any to-do items – it’s that I checked off the wrong ones.

But the Universe showed a little mercy recently. It grabbed my attention and is challenging me to look at my to-do list in a different way. The message I received is I have a clean slate right now. I can choose to make a list that is unfulfilling or I can choose to make a to-do list that is more aligned with my heart; my passion; and my spirit.

I hear you Universe.

Today is a new day – a blank page. I think I will make a new to-do list. It will be full of hope, promise and love. It will be honest, true and simple. It will sound more like me.

My simple to-do list
  • Count my blessings.
    The blessings of my children, my wife and the beautiful life we share are more than enough.
  • Practice kindness.
    I will always give the best of me.
  • Let go of what I can’t control.
    It’s not me. I surrender. Take me as I am, wherever I am, and I will follow.
  • Share my heart.
    I will share my heart, and trust that others will respect it and cherish it as much as I do.
  • Be productive, yet calm.
    There is a reason, and a purpose, behind every setback and disappointment.
  • Just breathe.
    Every moment is precious. I want to cherish each one.

Sometimes the simple path to a simple to-do list begins with getting smacked with a dose of reality, and then rather than responding with anger, chose to make a new to-do list that is simpler and sounds more like you.

The smack was just what I needed. My new, simpler to-do list gives me the opportunity to check off the right items – the ones that sound like me:
Being Love – Check
Finding Hope – Check
Showing Kindness – Check
Remaining Faithful – Check
Letting Go – Check
Enjoying the Moment – Check

The list may be just words written on paper, but each word has the ability to end the drought and fill the well with happiness.

What is A Simple Path?

This post is in A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Hi Alex,
    I know the feeling of having ticked off the so called wrong things……. I love your list of 6 and I know that by starting each day with gratitude and counting my blessings that my day flows and i come from my heart with kindness to me and others. I find that as one lives more in the present the things I can’t control take up less energy.
    Thank you and i love your new look
    Suzie xo

    • You’re so right Suzie – it does take less energy, and at the same time, brings more happiness. Great seeing you here!

  • My favorite is “Count my blessings” because I start my day with it. But of course I love the rest of the list too! I survive thanks to lists. I write down all the little things too and enjoy the on-going motivation of checking off – talk about the little things that matter!

    I am practicing living your “simpler to-do list” – and enjoy being always-conscious about it. At the end of the days, these are the things that make our hearts smile.

    Thank you. Early morning + my big mug of coffee + your post = Awesome!

    Love, Vidya

    • I’m so happy to be a part of your morning Vidya. It’s good to know that my words have the power to inspire! Enjoy the list my friend.

  • Great list! I tried a different approach to a to do list yesterday. After finishing something, I wrote it on my list and immediately crossed it off–ha! I felt very productive. Your list is much better though, and focuses on the only important things we have to do anyway! Like “It’s the economy, stupid!” Your list is “It’s the things that really matter, beloved!”

    • Hi Galen, I also like to cross things off my task list at work. This to-do list, however, is more of an ongoing list so the cross offs come and go, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • I’m not really a “to do” list kind of person….I’m more of a ‘
    must do’ type of person & your list fits into that category Alex…these are ‘musts’ …and they feel good.
    be good to yourself

    • I live your style David and the idea of “must dos” is a winner. Thanks for sharing!

  • Whoa! You nailed this one, Alex! I’ve been finding lately that the mantra “just do what is in front of you” has helped me with my to-do list. But I’m definitely going to add this in as well. What is life, after all, beyond these things?

    • For me, Bobbi, this list is what matters most in my life! Btw, I love your mantra! Can I use that sometime in a post?