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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FAQ

Saafir in Fort Worth is doing 10 things including…

cultivate grit

11 cheers

 

Saafir has written 40 entries about this goal

how to become a musician in 10,000 easy steps

I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why, I succeed. —Michael Jordan

Grit is sticking with a challenging goal in spite of obstacles. Grit is digging deep to find the passion in my everyday life. It takes roughly 10,000 hours to become an expert at an activity.

I cultivate grit when I…

  1. Achieve a goal that takes years of work
  2. Become known as a person who performs to his potential
  3. Overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge
  4. Stick with my goals
  5. Finish whatever I begin
  6. Learn not to be discouraged by setbacks
  7. Become a hard worker
  8. Maintain my interests over a long period of time
  9. Don’t let new projects distract me from my previous projects
  10. Don’t allow circumstances beyond my control to prevent me from realizing my full potential
  11. Learn diligence
  12. Work daily on projects that will take years to finish
  13. Maintain my vision for where my life is headed from year to year
  14. Learn to think of life is more of a marathon than a sprint
  15. Don’t change my interests from year to year
  16. Stay committed to ideas and projects. Avoid becoming obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time, and later losing interest in it.
  17. Discipline myself by practing a sport, musical interest, or other skill daily
  18. Develop ambition
  19. Maintain focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete
  20. Keep New Year’s resolutions very well

from Duckworth, Seligman, and Peterson, Copyright 2005



Friday, March 22

Those who attain any excellence commonly spend life in one pursuit; for excellence is not often granted upon easier terms. —Samuel Johnson

  1. CREATE BEAUTY. Create beautiful martial art. Earn my black belt in Tae-kwon-do. Learn the first five forms. Exercise for thirty minutes each day. Learn an entire Vinyasa flow.
    Take a half hour to practice a few forms. Meditate for twenty minutes.

  2. WEAVE A TAPESTRY of compassion. Stay happily married for fifty years. Be someone’s best friend. Go to my little sister’s track meets. Call my mom more often.
    Go to Hanans game. Call Latifah.

  3. CREATE BEAUTY. Learn enough about the history of jazz to teach it at the college level. Learn to easily distinguish jazz drummers.
    Practice the Sarah Vaughn songs. Listen to more Louis Armstrong.

  4. USE MY GIFTS of intelligence and curiosity to serve others. Learn enough about analytic philosophy to teach it at the college level. Study philosophy for ten hours each week and write a decent term paper. Earn an advanced degree in the social sciences.
    Get my papers form work. Decide how I will proceed in this class.

  5. DO GOOD WORK. Create the best youth development program in the country. Figure out how to use my strengths every day at work.
    Help out at the ALA. Write some notes for the meeting next week. Go talk to Judy “did you get the prelim comments?”


Rethinking some of my goals: A gritty Monday

I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.
Frank Lloyd Wright


  1. CREATE BEAUTY. Create beautiful martial art. Earn my black belt in Tae-kwon-do. Learn the first five forms. Exercise for thirty minutes each day. Learn an entire Vinyasa flow.
    Wake up a little early. Memorize the rest of the basic flow so I can mark that goal “done.” Meditate for twenty minutes

  2. WEAVE A TAPESTRY of compassion. Stay happily married for fifty years. Be someone’s best friend. Go to my little sister’s track meets. Call my mom more often.
    use the drive to Fort Worth as our time to catch up. Try to listen really well. Draw a little note and send it to Mom.

  3. CREATE BEAUTY. Learn enough about the history of jazz to teach it at the college level. Learn to easily distinguish jazz drummers.
    Practice the Sarah Vaughn songs.

  4. USE MY GIFTS of intelligence and curiosity to serve others. Learn enough about analytic philosophy to teach it at the college level. Study philosophy for ten hours each week and write a decent term paper. Earn an advanced degree in the social sciences.
    Go to class. Take a stab at reading the paper. Use two solid hours tomorrow morning to study philosophy

  5. DO GOOD WORK. Create the best youth development program in the country. Figure out how to use my strengths every day at work.
    Think harder about volunteering. Decide if the library is the best choice. Go to the library and talk to D about the music project.


Passionate, Persistent, and Strong

I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen. —Frank Lloyd Wright

I started off my day in a funky mood. I woke up too late to do my morning ritual. I think I can steal away from work to exercise and meditate for a half-hour. That should make me feel better. I read the first two chapters of a fascinating new book by Marcus Buckingham, the Gallup guy who writes about strengths in the workplace. He argues that the route to flourishing is to identify the unique way your brain is wired and spend your whole life developing along those lines. He claims that we can grow most in the areas where we are already strong. His description of what it looks life to build a life around your strengths sounds a lot like the recipe for building grit. You can’t be passionate and persistent about anything. You need to pick areas that you are drawn to, that give you energy, where you feel like your best self.

1. Develop a morning ritual. Meditate daily. Exercise for thirty minutes each day. Learn an entire Vinyasa. Earn my black belt in Tae-kwon-do.
Meditate for twenty minutes. Do a half hour of yoga tonight.

2. Stay happily married for fifty years. Weave a tapestry of compassion. Be someone’s best friend. Plant a garden.
Leave Kim a sexy voicemail. Make sure we get our fifteen minutes on the drive home tonight. Finish the laundry. Call Hanan and Latifah.

3. Create beauty. Learn about 1920s jazz. Draw every woman from the Fall 2002 issue of Perfect 10
Practice the Sarah Vaughn songs. Draw another picture.

4. Use my gifts of intelligence and curiosity to serve others. Study philosophy for ten hours each week and write a decent term paper.
Sketch out a plan for studying this weekend. Do step 1.



Today: Passion and Persistance

I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why, I succeed. —Michael Jordan

Grit is sticking with a challenging goal in spite of obstacles. Grit is digging deep to find the passion in my everyday life. Grit might be an antidote for depression and despair. It is the only life I get, after all. I have stuck with meditating every day. Tomorrow will be day eight in a row.

1. Develop a morning ritual. Meditate daily. Exercise for thirty minutes each day. Learn an entire Vinyasa. Earn my black belt in Tae-kwon-do.
Meditate for twenty minutes. Do a half hour of yoga. Do the laundry.

2. Stay happily married for fifty years. Weave a tapestry of compassion. Be someone’s best friend.
Make sure we get our fifteen minutes. Use the book this time. Do the laundry.

3. Create beauty. Learn about 1920s jazz. Draw every woman from the Fall 2002 issue of Perfect 10
Draw another picture. Listen to the rest of Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Sevens.



Day 3 of 30: Enthusiasm!

There are several reasons why I’m anxious about today. First, Kim and I planned to take the day off and spend it together. Second, I had a really bad day yesterday and I only slept for four or five hours last night, so I’m not hopeful about today. Lastly, we never made plans last night, so I’m afraid we might waste our time today and end up dissatisfied. In planning my “gritty” use of my time today, I must be realistic about these threats.

The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the hidden side of things. They bequethed to us one of the most beautiful words in our language—the word ‘enthusiasm – en theos – a god within. The grandeur of human actions is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a god within, and who obeys it.
Louis Pasteur

1. Stay happily married for fifty years. Weave a tapestry of compassion. Be someone’s best friend.
Plan our day together as best I can. Bring enthusiasm and curiosity to the project. Call Latifah and Hanan today.   

2. Develop a morning ritual. Meditate daily. Exercise for thirty minutes each day. Learn an entire Vinyasa. Earn my black belt in Tae-kwon-do.
Write a journal entry. Meditate for ten to twenty minutes. Hike with Kim for several hours.   

3. Read 50 books this year.
Work through the rest of the Gottman book. Do a few exercises with Kim. Read a chapter from “Truth.”   

6. Create beauty. Learn about 1920s jazz. Draw every woman from the Fall 2002 issue of Perfect 10
Finish my drawing. Take a dozen photos on our hike today.   



Day 2 of 30: Persistence and passion with the little things

This is another drawing from my gritty project. It’s not great, but that’s not the point. I stuck with a difficult project that I really care about for longer than a few weeks. Now, I want to point that kind of focus at everyday things that end up meaning a lot to how my life feels; things like doing good work each day, organizing my money, exercising, and meditating.

Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.
Theodore I. Rubin

How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience would have achieved success?
Elbert Hubbard

1. Stay happily married for fifty years. Weave a tapestry of compassion. Be someone’s best friend.
Work on our money some more today. Call Hanan again. Write an e-mail to Latifah.   (30 min)

2. Develop a morning ritual. Meditate daily. Exercise for thirty minutes each day. Learn an entire Vinyasa. Earn my black belt in Tae-kwon-do.
Meditate for ten or twelve minutes. Run two miles.   (30 min)

3. Do good work. Create the best youth development program in the country. Use my gifts of intelligence and curiosity to serve.
Go to work from 1:00 until 6:00. Write up a plan for researching and writing grant proposals. Help install “Stories.   (7 hrs)

4. Read 50 books this year.
Work through the rest of the Gottman book.   (1 hour)

5. Study philosophy of language for ten hours each week, write several check+ RTPS, and write a decent paper
Skim the Ramberg paper and write an RTP of it. Read the Evan’s paper again.   (2 hours)

6. Create beauty. Learn about 1920s jazz. Draw every woman from the Fall 2002 issue of Perfect 10
Burn a couple of Louis Armstrong discs. Finish my sketch from yesterday.   (1 hour)



Resurrecting a Great Goal: Day 1 of 30

This drawing is part of my grittiest project to date: I spent eight months learning how to draw, and now I’m pretty good at it. I’d forgotten how potent my “get grit” goal was until I was reminded of it during therapy last week. I was reminded of this project when I read about the life of Wilfred Van Orman Quine, the great twentieth-century philosopher—he was a man who had grit in abundance. I’m going to try it on again and see how it fits. I’ve been dealing with a bad depression for a month or two now and I need all the help I can get sticking to the healthy behaviors that make me feel better. Maybe if I tried a stripped-down version of grit building for a month, I’d feel better. It’s worth a try.

Passion! Persistence!

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
Vincent Van Gogh

1. Stay happily married for fifty years. Weave a tapestry of compassion. Be someone’s best friend.
Strive for kindness and passion in my interactions with Kim today. Call Hanan. Call Latifah and catch up.   (30 min)

2. Develop a morning ritual. Meditate daily. Learn an entire Vinyasa. Earn my black belt in Tae-kwon-do.
Meditate for ten or twelve minutes. Do a yoga flow.   (30 min)

3. Do good work. Create the best youth development program in the country. Use my gifts of intelligence and curiosity to serve.
Go to work from 1:15 8:30.- Write up a plan for researching and writing grant proposals.   (7 hrs)

4. Read 50 books this year.
Polish off the Stroll book. Decide if it’s worth reading analytically.   (1 hour)

5. Study philosophy of language for ten hours each week, write several check+ RTPS, and write a decent paper
Read through the Evans paper and write an RTP on it. Go to class.   (2 hours)

6. Create beauty. Learn about 1920s jazz. Draw every woman from the Fall 2002 issue of Perfect 10
Burn a couple of Louis Armstrong discs. Do a quick sketch from one of the photos. Scan all of the images in my notebook to my computer.   (1 hour)



This, of course, is an ongoing project...

but I have made some inroads into it this year. I will continue to cultivate my ability to stick to projects for a long time and with passion and zest.



I'm re-opening this goal...

because I’m fond of it. Although I may not be able to change my set range of grittiness, I can move to the upper end of my set range with practice.

“I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why, I succeed.”
- Michael Jordan



Saafir has gotten 11 cheers on this goal.

  • sweet cheered this 7 years ago
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  • Calissa cheered this 8 years ago
  • FireRainChild cheered this 8 years ago
  • edina cheered this 8 years ago
  • Yemaya's Limestone Archiviste cheered this 8 years ago
  • shy_light cheered this 8 years ago
  • ume cheered this 8 years ago
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  • fpoe cheered this 8 years ago

 

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