F*ck the Bucket List for the Soul: Discover the Wonder of You
“More often than not we forget we're on a journey of our own choosing. This excellent book gives us a compass for finding joy, meaning, and fulfillment on our own terms.” —Jonas Koffler, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum
The universe is full of wonder and wisdom… and so are you.
All around us—in nature and deep within our hearts—exist endless opportunities to learn, create, unlearn, overcome, contribute, love and be. You find yourself wondering whether there’s much more to life than you were told. But often, we are so immersed in the chaotic pursuit of “success” as defined by society that we simply don’t make time to experience the universe’s wonder and wisdom and to trust our inner connection to it. If you are ready for this to do your inner work, then join us on a journey of a lifetime.
- Would you like to unlock the vast possibilities of your life?
- Are you willing to question everything in order to unleash the power of your own imagination?
- Are you open to living a more intentional life in which you consciously decide what is uniquely healthy for your mind, body, and soul, and let go of what is unhealthy?
Leave behind the exhaustion, overwhelm, burnout, stress, anger, fear, blame and judgement of society’s decaying systems and reveal yourself to the universe in all your wonder. Life will never be the same. The journey will be intense. It is not for the faint of heart. But as you learn how to access and trust the universal wisdom within your own heart, your life will begin to shift dramatically. We are here to create, not suffer through outrage and despair. We are born to color the world with our vivid imagination and live in unity, not conformity or uniformity. Come and learn how to unlock your calling. Join author, futurist and healer Ayelet Baron, in the first of a series of three books, as she takes you on a journey deep inside yourself in which you will learn to trust the currents, live the life you were meant to live, and become the courageous pioneer our world needs right now.
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“This book is especially timely in this volatile era where living a healthy, meaningful, and uplifting life by understanding more deeply one’s self and thus one’s ability to do so makes this book a must-read. I was touched by the specific, actionable insights and examples Ayelet Baron provides to put us on that path.” —Kare Anderson, Emmy-winning journalist, author and TED speaker
“I LOVE the book! Have you been trying to shut out that voice in your head telling you it’s time to make a change? Sure, it’s scary, but isn’t it scarier if you don’t listen? Can you see yourself staying in the same ol’ same ol’ forever and really feeling fulfilled in your heart and soul? Read this book and Ayelet will help you find the answers you’ve been seeking to live your fullest life. The big secret? It’s been right there, within you, all along. Your own curiosity will be the catalyst for the change you know you need.” —Janet Fouts, Mindfulness Coach, Speaker, Author, When Life Hits the Fan
“Ayelet Baron’s trilogy of F*ck the Bucket List is truly an empowering read. Ayelet poses questions that are critically important for this time in our evolution and, more importantly, for our survival. Many of us have been so conditioned to giving our power away by yielding it to the status quo that we have lost our individual voices and as a result, compromised our collective future. Ayelet reminds us that we each have a voice and provides the space to explore what that is and to unapologetically use it. A must read!” —Tammy McCrary, Artist Advocate, Author, and Founder of Artistology
“Written in the language of the heart, F*ck the Bucket List is a wake-up call for all who are awakening. F*ck the Bucket List is a destination you might not have known you were seeking until you arrived here. Ayelet Baron explores the illusions of a failing world and asks us to step into another potential, one rooted in the heart of courage and emerging self-awareness. Reading F*ck the Bucket List was like speaking to the best part of myself, the part who truly knows who I am and what is healthy for me.” —Lynnda Pollio, Multi-award-winning Author
“In this book, Ayelet Baron offers us powerful life lessons to inspire and guide us. Recommended!” —Ross Dawson, Futurist, Entrepreneur, and Author
Ayelet Baron is a visionary author, healer, and global futurist. She was recently recognized on Forbes as one of the world's top female futurists. In the midst of a very successful career as a global strategy executive at Cisco Systems, she went through her own transformation. She wrote this book trilogy because she wished she had this universal guidance when she started on her own journey. Her dream is to help unleash millions and millions of people, who are ready to do our inner work, and become the architects of humanity.
The Beginning: Introduction
F*ck the Bucket List was created to help you become aware of whether the beliefs, people, and lists that you bring into your life are healthy, or unhealthy, for you. It’s dedicated to those of us ready to do the most rewarding work imaginable—asking you to face your fears, your wounds, and become more aware of opportunities around you. It will challenge you to experiment with the vast possibilities of your life, suggesting that each and every one of us has the ability to create a healthy life—despite the deep societal conditioning that tells us otherwise—when you step away from how you should live your life, and step into your own power with curiosity, compassion, and courage.
I was told readers usually take fewer than sixty seconds to decide whether or not you will read a book, so I’d like to state up front that this book is not for everyone. It’s for anyone ready to start questioning everything, and to simply say fuck it—or whatever words you choose to use when something in life no longer serves you. It will help you become more aware of the choices you make, where you’ll truly know yourself and understand your purpose as a living, breathing, healthy creator of your life.
I wrote this series of books because I wish I’d had this guidance when I began my journey in 2012. As author Toni Morrison’s wisdom advises us, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” This isn’t just another self-help book, spiritual book, or memoir—it’s an experience, beyond categories and labels, that asks each of us to tap into the universal wisdom that says we can live our lives our own way. We’re facing a timeline split right now, and how we each respond and navigate our life is critical, as many of us are hurting and at the same time being asked to let go of the current programming and build the bridges that are needed. There’s no one coming to save us. What we need most right now is to tap into our power and remember that we’re powerful creators. Futurist Buckminster Fuller’s words are here to remind us that “we are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims.”
There is wisdom when you become increasingly aware that this is the era of living in higher levels of awareness and unity, and what and who you choose to consume matters deeply. No one has your answers since they don’t know what your questions are, and learning how to ask questions and explore possibilities is part of the way to creating what is possible for yourself, your community, and the planet.
There’s another way to address our wounds and fears, and what you’ll discover is how you can heal, share, build, and create healthy paradigms like community networks and systems, for example, that serve us. Sometimes the only love that exists is the one we create for ourselves. If you are reading this, you’re most likely one of the courageous pioneers our world needs right now. You may be ready to put down your sword because you understand that in the world we’re creating there’s no reason to war within yourself or with others.
An eye for an eye simply keeps us divided and blind. Martin Luther King Jr.’s energy joins us here: “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny … Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
A Journey Filled with Lessons and Deep Gratitude
We were born to color with a vivid imagination and live like never before in unity, not conformity or uniformity. Are you ready to discover the wonder of you (Book 1 for the Soul), trek into the unknown (Book 2 for the Adventurer), and trust your heart (Book 3 for the Health-Conscious)?
Life always provides us with opportunities to learn—when we choose to embrace them. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned by facing the challenging people that have shown up on my path. I’ve come to understand that while people are simply doing their best, some are not for me. I’ve had many opportunities along the way to learn what and who is healthy for me—and when to simply walk away (and sometimes run) from toxic people and situations.
I am as thankful for the tough times as I am for the openness, generosity, and love that I’ve received as I continue pursuing my life’s work of opening hearts and minds in a world where every living being on the planet matters. I’ve come to understand that it requires a shift in how we think, how we behave, what we consume, and how we create. It starts with journeying within ourselves, exploring how we can begin living as creators while remembering how to fully connect with others in community—with a vivid imagination, strength of conviction, the curiosity of an adventurer, and the spark of pure, authentic love.
You hold great power and an inner ability to navigate your life. The noise and chaos in the external world continues to increase but the true question is whether you are able to trust yourself and let go of deep seeded fear, sadness, or anger. It’s okay to feel into each emotion but freedom comes when you learn to let them pass through you. When you hold on to the past with everything you have, you will experience more of the same. The unknown can be frightening or exhilarating. By breaking through false safety nets and entering uncharted waters, you reclaim your power and freedom. Letting go means making space for your wildest creations.
The wisdom of our elders continues to shine a bright light in our world. In The Republic, Plato shared, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Are you ready to get started?
Chapter 1: Initiation: Embarking on a Health Path Takes Guts
It’s 8:30 a.m. You’re rushing to catch your morning train to work. From the moment you woke up, things haven’t gone as planned—the yolk from the egg you were wolfing down while rushing out the door dripped on your shirt, the milk for your coffee was sour, and you missed your train when you got delayed in unbelievable traffic. All of these events could lead to starting the day with a negative state of mind, inspiring you to feel as though you should have just stayed in bed since nothing was going “right.”
A crappy mood might then influence every moment of your day—unless you choose to shake it. You can bring it along or you can choose to see that the vast majority of things around you are actually working and you’ve simply hit a few bumps in the road. You may be relieved that you changed out of your egg-stained shirt when you later realize your client was wearing the same exact one. You also ran into an old friend you haven’t seen in years when you took the later train, and the world was still intact.
Now, it’s six months later and you get up to go to work. But this time, you must stay in your house and not go outdoors. There’s a lockdown that prevents you from taking a train and being in traffic. Everything in your life has changed in a flash, as life often will, and you’re missing your local coffee shop, getting dressed up, and the hustle and bustle of your “normal” life. You have more work than ever before because everyone is at home and you may now be responsible for your kids’ every need, caring for your elders, cleaning the house, and everything else that you need to take on, because there is no one else to do it. But perhaps being indoors will create an opportunity to pause so you can go on a journey inside yourself and question everything.
We would be delusional to imagine life as a never-ending ordeal, but that doesn’t mean we should not feel our frustrations and disappointments. This whole notion of being happy and positive all the time is not healthy for anyone, as there are real bumps along the path that are here to teach us how to truly be human. Just like we can become aware of our state of mind and choose to shift it, we can imagine what we want to create in our world and make it real when we begin to become aware of the importance of trust, relationships, and community as the key currencies of our time. We don’t have to run away from it all; our opportunity is to face it all with a sprinkle of healthy fear, wonder, and awe.
When we forget that we control the volume of our lives, the noise around us will get out of control. Observe the news programs you’re watching, take note of the stories you’re listening to and the friends and colleagues you’re hanging out with. Do these sources share stories of inspiration? Or are these stories ones of fear and sadness about atrocities and injustices going on in the world?
By consciously changing the channel or selecting different people to befriend, we make a choice regarding what we allow into our lives and surround ourselves with. It doesn’t mean we ignore what’s happening in the world, but rather that we are opting to live with higher levels of awareness in terms of our own role in the choices we’re making, fully aware that the external noise will continue to increase for a while.
Each of us is standing at the intersection of the present moment and future possibilities. We each have our own initiation to life. I would guess that when you were old enough to start asking questions about why you’re here and what the meaning of life is, those questions mostly went unanswered—and probably all you were taught was to trust those older than you because they know what’s right and wrong, what’s good and bad, and how to be successful in life.
You were most likely conditioned to believe that being positive was more appropriate than sharing what was truly going on inside of you. Someone might have told you that to be a responsible human being, you must get to your job on time and your morning routine shouldn’t have any glitches. The glitches were your failures on the road of perfection, predictability, and productivity. But did anyone make an effort to understand you and answer your questions? And are you still asking these questions with renewed curiosity?
BOOK YOUR LIFE JOURNEY
We invite you to join the journey, as a leader of your own life, to discover the wonder of you—where life is simply an adventure and work is just a part of it. Enter the gateway of possibilities and leave the manual of how life is supposed to be behind, saying “fuck it” as often as you need to.
There are many of us on this journey, each at our own intersection. It all starts with the conscious decisions we make about our lives—and the most important decision is not buying into the notion that what we do for a living defines who we are. On this path, we’re able to sit back and experience the journey as it unfolds, as nature is here to teach us that change is constant and there is never a need to rush.
Change doesn’t need to be scary. It can, and often does, bring rich experiences into our lives. Remember that what got you to where you currently are may no longer be useful to you on your journey forward—and don’t forget to look out the window during the journey, as you may see something spectacular or scary that you want to experience, or something you are passionate about creating.
What’s most important is understanding that humans did not create the earth or the ocean, but we did create the concepts of education, work, employment, retirement, health care, leadership, business, money, justice, fairness, ownership, and success. We set the price of gold and coal. We placed prices on our natural resources from fuel to soil. We’ve genetically modified our food sources. We’ve created borders and property lines. And now, we decide whether we work to live or live to work. And maybe there’s even a third option that we have yet to imagine about how we could live our lives fully that has nothing to do with employment?
Many of us have been so engaged in the hustle and bustle of pursuing a successful life that we have simply not had the time or energy to be aware of the choices we’re making or what we’re assigning value to. And we may be exhausted, overwhelmed, burned out, stressed, angry, humiliated, scared, and simply spiraling within the very decaying systems society has created, forgetting that we are capable of creating a healthier alternative for ourselves and each other. We have the power to choose how we invest and engage with life. We get to say yes and usher in what’s healthy, and we get to reject what’s unhealthy with a “Hell no, thank you!” We have the power to trust our intuition and connect deeply with what’s meaningful for us.
When we choose to prioritize a healthy way of life, it’s in our power to do just that by reimagining and creating it ourselves. It’s far from easy, but we can start trusting the currents of life: swimming upstream and downstream with curiosity and grace. We have to be honest—not just about what we want, but what we are actually prepared to create. Every person who takes action to create a healthier life for ourselves shifts the collective environment. It truly is powerful to know that by changing our own lives, we’re contributing to the change of our society—and world—as a whole. Isn’t it time to reimagine what is possible?
We’re witnessing the breakdown of many of our institutions and systems, and many of us are feeling helpless and lost. How do we take the first step out of the conditioning that has led us to have mentalities of outrage, judgment, fear and criticism of what is happening in the world? A constant need to fight for our lives and survive. But we can become aware and realize that blaming and shaming only creates deeper divides and doesn’t serve anybody. Our opportunity is to become increasingly aware of the veil of reality, and begin trusting our guts when something doesn’t feel natural or healthy. And there’s a lot that is being revealed in this moment, which has always been here, as there’s nothing new under the sun.
Many of us have not yet fully awakened to the possibilities and opportunities that surround us. Many of us are still stuck in the programmed belief of fear, ingesting news of doom and gloom broadcast to us from every part of our world, and everything that this fear-based mindset brings to our planet. We may also have experienced our parents fighting or have gone through some trauma early in life, which made us very fearful and shut us down. It created a fear that we must fight for our life and simply survive. This teaches us to go to war every day, trying to solve our problems by applying flimsy Band-Aids to deep wounds, unsure of how to look inward and identify how we got injured in the first place.
We’ve been taught to suck it up to fight the next battle or live in a delusion of making this world “better.” Billions of lives, money, and resources have already been sacrificed to save this world and yet the same hatred, fear, anger, and struggle pour through its veins. The fight for our lives keeps us trapped in a divided world (by design), repeating our history over and over. In a winner-takes-all paradigm, no one truly wins for very long.
It is highly unlikely that whatever we resist can simply transform into something peaceful. In a podcast about his groundbreaking book Winners Take All, journalist Anand Giridharadas shares that “We talk about doing more good, but we never talk about doing less harm. We talk about giving back, but we never talk about how much these people take and the structures of taking. We talk about changing the world but we never talk about the ways in which they are shoring up the status quo that benefits them and predictably and reliably shuts other people out.” When all of our energy is used up fighting, what is left for us to actually birth? Why take sides when we can create something in the world that exemplifies what we envision?
Do you want to spend your precious life fighting, competing, and winning at all costs? If you do, then you are simply not ready for what this book has to offer, and that’s perfectly okay. Part of the journey is becoming aware of what is and what is not for you. There’s no reason to perpetuate more fighting, judgment, or blame. But if you are here to be the best you can be and are curious to start letting go of what no longer serves you, this is the start of an adventure that will take you where you’re ready to go.