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.

Export My Content

Dave in Connecticut is doing 38 things including…

Complete "The Artist's Way"

8 cheers


Dave has written 17 entries about this goal

Week 12 complete after 29 weeks.

Just over half a year to complete this task. But what a journey it as been. I strongly urge all of you (and anyone else I can goat-rope into it) to finish this process.

At this point, I can honestly say I have completely re-invented myself. Sure I had some help, but call it synchronicity or coincidence or just the universe responding to my own need for change, at this point my life looks nothing like it did 30 weeks ago.

The twelfth week was excellent, built upon completing all the previous weeks. I did this process with a twin purpose; to expand my creativity in my technical work, and to rediscover my creative writing, and that confused the process a bit, but I have no complaints.

I just joined an area meetup for TAW people, and intend to start it all again. Let’s see if I can finish the process in less than 29 weeks this time!

week 11 complete after 27 weeks.

Well, it’s mostly complete anyway. I loved chapter 11, especially the exercises. I’ve even re-written the “basic principles” for us poor athiests. I’m sure it’s all fine for anyone who believes in God, and more power to you, but for me, it was just not talking to me.

For others in the same box, here’s my take on it. (with all due credit to Julia, who did such a fine job on the original version)

1) Creativity is the natural order of life; life is pure, creative energy.

2) There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force in all life- including ourselves.

3) When we open ourselves to our creativity, we are opening ourselves to that creative force within us and in our lives.

4) We are genetically designed to be creative; it is a direct consequence of our evolution.

5) Creativity is our greatest asset, or evolutionary advantage. When we create, we are expressing our true nature.

6) The refusal to create is unnatural, using self-will to counter our true nature.

7) When we open ourselves to explore creativity, we are enabling that evolutionary gift to do its work.

8) As we open our creative channel, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.

9) It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.

10) Our creative dreams and yearnings tap that creative energy and ability within ourselves. As we move towared our dreams, we are moving towards our true nature.

week 10 complete after 25 weeks

This is an easy place to start writing again.

Julia has been of immense help this past week. I’m back to doing my morning pages more or less religiously, and I’ve even done an artist’s date. Make it two.

Week 10 is the best so far. I’m still working on my collage of success, but the rest of the chapter is finished, and I got an enormous amount out of it. I’m certain that, if not for other stuff going on in my life, I would have had a breakthrough of biblical proportions.

As it is, I should probably start at the beginning again. Maybe I will.

But I think I’ll soldier on for now, finish the course, and then revisit whether I should begin again. At least I have a clear vision of where I need to be, what I need to do, and how to do it.

I’ve decided that the near-term piece of my future plan is to finish writing my optics class. I’ve spent the better part of four hours on it in the last two days. Yeah! I love this process!

week 10, special update

This is big enough not to wait until the end of the week.

Week 9 was huge, but nothing compared to week 10. The topic is “self-protection”, but the first exercise hit me right between the eyes. Blocked writers actively block themselves with their favorite toxic agent. Julia lists alcohol, drugs, sex, love, and work as obvious candidates. I chewed on these for a while, and didn’t get far…

Suddenly I slipped into creative mode. All you other blocked artists know what I’m talking about. Electricity, powers of observation, and the feeling that the entire world is clay in our hands.

And this while I’m sitting in a bar, drinking my second glass of wine, and wondering why my obvious blocking tool (alcohol) doesn’t seem to fit the mold.

And then it hit me. My blocking tool is…wait for it ...the approval of my spouse. That’s right. Whenever I feel like I’m going to do something powerful and creative, and embrace the process that brings me art, I think to myself “D wouldn’t approve.” This revelation is a synchronicity between Julia’s chapter 10 and Jenn and my discussion earlier today about why my chest hurt. Jenn was the one who pointed out “her approval is always right there; it’s central to your life.”

Of course, the truth is that my wife is very supportive of the idea of returning to my creative process. So my fears of her dis-approval are all fabricated anyway. I need to just let go of them, and do what I know I need to do, to capture the creative wave and get moving again.

Suddenly, as I realized this, my chest stopped hurting for the first time in a week, and I knew I had figured it out.

Week 9 complete after 23 weeks

Whew! That was a long one.

In week nine, you finally go back and re-read your morning pages, so that took a little longer

What a great chapter. Probably my favorite so far, with the exercise of describing your vision of the future, and the careful review of history, and the “creative U-turns” section.

Great stuff.

Week 8 complete after 19 weeks

I know, I know. I’m slowing down.

But it’s been a hectic month, so I’m just pleased that I haven’t given up on this, but continue to poke away at it when time permits.

I’m still collecting flowers and rocks from week 7. My six year old brings me new ones frequently. A habit I just might want to keep.

The exercises this month seemed tedious; been there, done that. Let’s see what week 9 brings.

Week 7 complete after 15 weeks

I’m taking roughly two weeks per week.

My favorite week lately was week five. I loved collecting images.

I’ve decided to just use my week five image file to create my collage for week seven. It’s now up on the wall of my new home-office, that I use for both my creative writing as well as my optical design consulting business. I like the images, and the way it recalls my focus to my primary motivating goals. It’s like a visual compilation of my master list from the davist manifesto.

Week 5 complete after 9 weeks.

Still, I’m plugging away at it. I recognize the changes that are occurring in my life, and I can fairly attribute much of it to the process of morning pages and self-cultivation, but the exercises of the past two weeks have done little, if anything, for my awakening.

Still, I’ve started chapter six.

Morning Pages and mental health

I just read this article on brain research, and I’m convinced that this is why “morning pages” works so well.

Basically by naming emotions, you can calm the side of your brain that actually does the emoting. By writing morning pages, and letting ourselves experience the emotions that are first into our brains every day, (before they get buried by all the day-to-day thought flotsam and the other tools we use to bury the nasty ones), and then writing about them, we are forcing the use of our logical brain to put into words the things we can’t articulate. This “naming” of emotions allows our brain to process these emotions logically, and calm them down.

Since all writer’s blocks are emotional in origin, as are a lot of other problems, blocks, and self-destructive tendencies typical in an artist, this process drains out that emotional cesspool, and allows more healthy emotional stability.

I’ve long known that during the periods when my journaling is active, my emotional well being is far better. I’ve also noticed the opposite; when my life goes off the rails, I pick up my notebook. I guess I never expected that the tool was actually working for me at the brain-chemistry level.

Write on, my friends!

skipping chapter 4 entirely

i’ve decided to punt on chapter 4. not that it’s bad, but I just don’t want to take a week off from reading. maybe later. on to chapter 5.

Dave has gotten 8 cheers on this goal.


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