Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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whahappen THANK YOU all my 43Things friends! I LOVE YOU <3

smile at strangers
Smile at strangers AND Look people in the eye... I don't know about this.

Okay, if I were to combine these goals, I might explode with anxiety. It’s too much. I happily smile at strangers everywhere, but it’s more like a quick smile/look away. I’m waaay too shy to smile and hold the eye contact. It seems kinda creepy even.

Besides, I have a question: If you’re walking towards a stranger, what’s the appropriate distance closing in on each other do you break into a smile? If you start smiling too soon, like 15 feet away, they might think you know each other.

If you wait to smile at that person when you’re right up in their grill, they might not even be looking at you by then. They’ll probably be looking into their cell phone instead.

Anyhoo, I definitely would have to work on looking people in the eye as I smile at them, instead of the usual flash-a-smile-and-pretend-I-don’t-care-if-they-don’t-smile-back (but secretly I’m crushed if they don’t).

Secretly Shy Smiler


sue820 Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch...GBShaw

I got back into this habit at work and carry it over.

The secret is not to look them in the eye too long. Ten feet away or closer is a good distance to aim for and then make the looking in the eye part no longer than 3 Mississippi seconds. If they smile back, look you in the eye, and you are walking past each other, you can even say hi softly, but don’t slow down, or it might look like you’re coming on to them. This was weird trying to boil down how I do this, but I’m a naturally outgoing person. It does brighten both your day and someone else’s.

whahappen THANK YOU all my 43Things friends! I LOVE YOU <3

1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi....

Great tip. Yes, you’re right. Timing the look-away part after smiling is the key.

Knowing what a dork I am, I’d probably mouth the Mississippi seconds and the person would think I was muttering something to them.

It would go like this:

Stranger: Huh? Did you say something?

Me: No – nothing. Pardon me, I have to look away now.

joie de vivre Here, now and until the end

Another way to do it

Look at the “third eye” between their eyes and just a bit above, on their forehead. They’ll feel like you’re looking into their eyes, but you really aren’t.

(This is a trick I’ve taught to people on the spectrum – it really works!)

whahappen has gotten 15 cheers on this entry.


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