Ten Things to Do Before This Article Is Finished


“Zen has no goals,” according to a traditional koan. “It is always on its way.”

If so, Rachael Hubbard, a preschool teacher in Salem, Ore., will not be accompanying it. Ms. Hubbard has many goals — 78, to be exact. And it is only by dutifully ticking them off, she said, that she has found her path toward enlightenment.

Two years ago Ms. Hubbard compiled what is known as a life list, a contract with herself enumerating dozens of goals she hoped to accomplish before she died (build a house for Habitat for Humanity, read “Pride and Prejudice,” etc.) and posted it online.

“I just felt like I was slowly getting older and was looking around saying, ‘Well, I haven’t really done a whole lot with my life yet,’ ” she recalled.

But once she began the journey prescribed by her list, it quickly became an addiction.

Ten Things to Do Before This Article Is Finished
By Alex Williams

The New York Times/Sunday Style [Registration required]