OK class, I hope you brought your extra-big mixing spoons, because we’re in for a real treat today. I’m going to share a secret recipe that’s been in my family for over 15 years – a little dish called the World’s Largest To-Do List. Cook this baby up right, and it will fill you up for many years to come—as many years as you’ve got, in fact.
To get started, of course you’ll want to wipe down your surfaces and wash your hands…
…then take one youngster—male or female, doesn’t matter—and add equal parts intelligence, creativity, and determination. Then throw a couple thousand books down its gullet, and several thousand hours of TV. Really fatten up that brain; just pour anything you can into it. Feel free to get creative.
Then you’ll want to batter him or her up with a sense of accomplishment and invincibility. There are a lot of ways to do that, what I like is to baste “you’re in the 99th percentile” onto the youngster for several years, but you can also get them to win awards or other recognition, or train them to excel at things, or take leadership positions, etc.. Whatever you use, just coat it on real good. This is the structure that will hold up the rest of the meal. This is also when you’ll want to instill a good work ethic. Instill it over medium heat for about 10 years, stirring frequently.
We’re almost ready to start adding our to-do items. You don’t want to add them too early, or you might end up with a mono-focused “prodigy” in one thing or the other. Those are nice too, but that’s not what we’re cooking up here. What we want is more of a jack-of-all-jacks-of-all-trades type of thing. And how we get that is, we slowly stir in different jobs, one after another. Furniture refinishing, fast food working, dressing room attending, cash register working…you can add just about anything in here, we’re mostly just looking to add ideas and experiences. Variety is good–so anything from landscaping to CEO work to newspaper delivery to furniture moving to web design, proofreading, airport shuttle driving…you can’t really add too much here. Just make sure you add enough of each so the essential flavor of that job comes through. And mix ’em up real good.
Somewhere in that part of the process, you should see the beginnings of a to-do list forming—but don’t rush it! This is where we determine how high your to-do list will rise, and if the structure you built early on will hold up to the pressure. Just keep adding those jobs and skills, one after another. Technical jobs, laborer jobs, sales jobs, customer service jobs, executive-level jobs, entry-level jobs…
If you did your prep work well, before long you should see some really big things popping up on the to-do list–outlandishly high goals like running for president, or changing major global systems. You may find that your creation starts to think in terms of a “life’s purpose”, “changing the world”, and that sort of thing. This is good. But don’t get comfortable—encourage the addition of more goals, and the quest for more skillsets—music production, or directing movies, for example. And of course, inventions and business ideas and creative writing projects. A notepad or even a digital voice recorder may help to accelerate the growth as well.
At this point, what you hope to see is a massive sticky blob of goals and to-do items, representing several lifetimes worth of tasks and activities. And with the proper mix of determination and imagination, you should find that more goals and to-do items are being generated on almost a daily basis, and you’ll discover that you’ve lost control of your monstrous creation, to the point of threatening global security and spawning a national weather crisis. If so, congratulations! You’ve made yourself The World’s Largest To-Do List.
This recipe serves one person, for 50-100 years or more.