Mighty Life List
Sep 27 2012

Mighty Summit 2012

• Attend a state dinner
• Take breakdancing lessons
• Learn to apply false eyelashes

The best thing about Mighty Summit is reading everyone’s Life Lists. It’s like speed dating for your brain.

Though reading everyone’s posts afterward is a close second:

“We stayed at Boon Hotel + Spa for the weekend. The air up there was just so clean. I felt like I could breathe deeper.” - Meg Biram of Mimi+Meg

• Have a sexy marriage
• Own 200 dresses
• Help someone through college

Reading someone’s goals gives me the same thrill I used to get when I first started reading personal websites in the early days of the Internet. You get to know about someone before you dive into knowing them for real. It gives you so many good places to start, so many chances to find their most sympathetic side.

“Each woman at Mighty Summit brought a life list. 100 or so things she wanted to accomplish over her lifetime. And on our last day together we picked five that we want to tackle in the next year. It sounds like it could be a little hippie-dippie woo-woo (and we all know I’m totally hippie-dippie woo-woo) but it was truly powerful.” – Kathleen Shannon of Braid Creative


“There is power in sharing your goals, in being vulnerable, and frankly, in being willing to fail. To really live out our dreams, we need to be prepared for the possibility that we won’t achieve them. It’s easy to make a list of things we can easily do (and there’s a need for that too), but to get to the heart of the matter, we need to dive in, leave fear behind, and say what we really, really want.” – Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper

• See North Korea
• Own a popcorn machine
• Take up barefoot running

It’s scary speaking your hopes out loud. I used to worry that I’d fail to achieve something I said I wanted. Or oddly, I worried that I would succeed, which means you can no longer define yourself by your struggle for a particular dream. What does it mean once you’ve written the book, had the kid, climbed the mountain? What next?

• Renovate a barn
• Drive a stick shift
• Be a junior member of the Explorer’s Club

Hoping for these things suggests that you deserve them. You never know how the people around you will react to that, or even how you will. I think that’s why so many people disdain this kind of emotional exercise. It’s easier to laugh at the idea of improving yourself, or your lot, than it is to face the terrifying vulnerability of claiming something better for yourself, and then attempting it.


“…as we went around the circle sharing dreams and goals of all scales of magnitude — the redwoods towering over us in an appropriately protective fashion — one by one, deep breaths were taken, souls were bared, vulnerabilities shared, help asked for. And 30 women became stronger by way of dipping their toes (sometimes their whole body) into a pool of vulnerability.” – Christine Koh of Boston Mamas


“The whole retreat was a perfect mix of socialization and thoughtful contemplation.” - Catie Nienaber of Cuffington

Talking about Life Lists is filling for me. It’s an exercise in trust, and an education in possibility.


“I left Might Summit with a better sense of self than I’ve had in quite some time. Goals clearly outlined, plans written down, proposals in the works.” – Kelly Beall of Design Crush

So what are you hoping for yourself? Who can help get you there? And if you had to choose, just five things to knock off your life list this year, what would they be?