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


wants to be my own person.

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read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)
No Right to Remain Silent

“They taught me that even the most resistant learner is often teachable, and that listening is as important a skill to bring to the classroom as speaking is. They taught me that trying harder is part and parcel of teaching, even when success is elusive,” (183).

Good advice for any teachers, whether you are an official teacher or not!

“It reminds us that communication is the only avenue to redemption. As King Lear himself learned, if we enter dialogue wearing too much armor we will be incapable of hearing other voices. Our own voice will jangle in our heads; our own perspective, when heard as an incessant solo voice, unmitigated by the suffering of others, will terminate in madness,” (257).

Seriously, this is the essence of why we should not keep our thoughts to ourselves. It will only harm ourselves in the end. Call a friend when you are feeling sad!

find at least one thing each day that makes me happy (read all 5 entries…)
External Support

A friend and I decided to text each other at the end of the day and say what our “positive” for that day was. We’ve been doing it for five days now and it seems like a good plan. I definitely recommend it. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends you don’t normally see as well.

go to a waterpark

My family and I are planning to go to a water park before the summer is over. Yay!

learn italian
Mango Languages

My mom told me about a site to learn foreign languages. I’ve only used it a couple of days so far, but I really like it. It’s an easy way to get started in learning a foreign language. Hopefully I can keep practicing a little bit each day.

kiss a woman
online dating

I’m signed up for a dating site and my goal this summer is to meet up with a female to truly explore the extent of my sexuality. My mini goal is to message several individuals at one time in order to maximize my chances.

become fluent in spanish (read all 3 entries…)
another internship

Although I got news of this several months ago, I have received an internship in which I will be speaking Spanish most of the time. Hopefully. Nevertheless, this should help me in my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish!

read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)

But there were some things that I couldn’t change: I still didn’t trust men. I didn’t hate them, but didn’t trust them. My solution was to beat them at their own game, to become the girl who didn’t want a relationship, who was happy to have a fling. It was less humiliating than getting attached to someone only to find they weren’t interested in anything other than my body—or, to be more precise, sex. By keeping my expectations very, very low, I was able to avoid feeling, well, anything. (60)

The day I’d first cut myself, a switch in my head had been flicked. Instead of feeling horror, I felt nothing, and although I no longer wanted to hurt myself, my episodes of self-harm still felt normal for me in a way. I’d sometimes forget it still shocked other people. (124)

One of the other patients then interrupted. “It seems pretty simple to me. If you didn’t have such high expectations, you wouldn’t feel so stressed when they’re not met, and then you wouldn’t want to harm yourself.” Problem solved.
How could I make them understand that if I lowered my expectations, it would lead to feeling disappointed in myself and feeling miserable…(178-179)

Although it’s now six years since I last picked up a razor blade, I’m still acutely conscious of the damage I did. I can’t be otherwise; whenever I shower, pick up something, shake hands with someone, or even lie in bed at night with a book, I can see the scars. Sometimes i pull the sheet up so as not to be reminded, but really, there’s no way I’m going to be able to forget what I did. And thought. But maybe that’s no bad thing. It’s a warning against complacency, as well as being a constant reminder of how much better things can be. (208)

As I read this book, thinking about how the author viewed herself, I realized I don’t feel this way anymore. I never have the desire to kill myself anymore, and I never have the desire to cut myself anymore. And that’s a liberating thought. At one point, she also mentioned how strange it was for her boss to cut herself—someone who was so clever and caring. No one deserves to feel the need to cut themselves. Life is never as bad as you think it is. You’re stronger than you think. There are other options. I am a caring individual and I am good enough. I am happy that I don’t want to kill myself or hurt myself.

read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)
Saving Normal

Wow. What a powerful book. “I could laugh and smile again.” I never thought that day would come for me. But it did. And it will for you, whoever is reading this looking for some hope. Illustrated by a few cases, I was reminded of the importance of psychotherapy (as opposed to drug therapy) and sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings, no matter how embarrassing, because this can lead to a correct diagnosis or no diagnosis of a mental disorder. By leaving out information about oneself, you are not protecting yourself! The more information, the better. Diagnoses can only be made after a period of time, however long they may be, but cannot be made after only one visit to a psychiatrist. Recognizing patterns is important! After reading this, I feel more aware of what my psychiatrist might be trying to sell me and the drug companies he may be influenced by. Though I now feel skeptical of my diagnoses of depression and GAD and the medication I’ve received. Anyway, the book also encouraged me to continue to explore the idea of counseling for graduate school. I previously believed that I would be incapable of doing this job because I have been labeled with depression and anxiety. But the author mentioned a few cases in which people who had these labels were able to go into this profession, despite the odds. This gives me hope. :)

forget him (read all 4 entries…)
It is possible

I did not think it was possible to get over, to forget, my first love. I pined away after him in my head and my heart for five years. And there was no need to. There was no need to keep him there because that blinded me from seeing the beauty of others. The possibility of others who could care about me. I never thought anyone would love me the way he did, that I would love anyone the way I loved him. But it is possible. Someone is there for you, believe that. Someone will connect with you. I just had to see it to believe it. And I regret holding onto that pain in my heart, not believing that there would be anyone else. I am so glad that I took the chance to get to know someone who erased the pain of five years, just with his caring for me and me caring about him. I just could not believe it.

stop being afraid of rejection (read all 4 entries…)

I met this guy. And he is pretty awesome. He is someone that could truly know me and still loves me for my imperfections. I’ve gained a lot of confidence in talking to him, believing that someone could love me for who I am, emotionally and not just for sex. So if things don’t work out with him and I have to move on, I can find comfort in the fact that such a beautiful person loved me. And hope that this will give me the strength to keep moving forward.

Go on a date (read all 2 entries…)

I went on my first date last week with the guy I mentioned in the previous post whom I met online. I really enjoyed being with him. I felt more comfortable and relaxed rather than an intensity. And after the matter, I realize you have to be honest with yourself and trust yourself in order to get a date. You have to trust that you are interested in a person and not just treat the person like anyone else can replace them. You have to open yourself up for the other person to see you, to see who you are, in order to even have the chance of knowing you and potentially liking you. And then sometimes you just have to take a risk, because I would never know him, this beautiful person, if I hadn’t messaged him that fateful day. And that is pretty amazing in and of itself. <3 If I hadn't been pushy and messaged him a second time after him not responding to my first message, we would not be talking almost two months later. Have courage, but don't fall if it doesn't work out. I've gained confidence from this experience and have learned that it is okay to ask somebody out, but it's not okay to crumble if they say no. That I'm not an insignificant being. Because your tears aren't worth your beauty.

read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)
The Good Psychologist

The good psychologist deals with story and identity, he announces. And he who deals with story and identity deals with memory. All your events and experiences, all your insights and history, all that is bound and wrapped into your notion of I—it all depends on memory. (33)

...Well, fears are like mice in the fields. Nobody likes mice, but if you run away from them, if you deny their existence, they will only multiply and ruin the crops and gardens, take over the house. You must go after them and hunt them down. The same is true with fears. You are training here to become an anxiety hunter. Not an anxiety victim. Not anxiety prey. (42)

I have a rule here, he says. You cannot say ‘I don’t know’ about yourself. Your actions and thoughts are yours, they emerge out of you, and you always know something important about them. And if you don’t, then guess. Your guess doesn’t arise from the air, either, but from within you. It too is a sort of knowing. (51)

A part of you feels fear, and another part?
And what does the curious part have that the fearful part does not?
Yes. And this courage is also yours. Fear is an important consultant, but a lousy leader. You can listen to its advice, but you must not let it lead. Courage is a wise leader. You should follow it. (78)

...But I know this: cutting won’t bury the pain. And the pain, the doubts and fears, these are things you can address in therapy. You don’t have to carry everything alone. Nobody can carry their entire burden alone. (168)

...This is the principle of the functional autonomy of motives. It expresses a simple truth: what caused a process to begin is not necessarily what keeps it going….The young psychologist seeks the source of the client’s problems and believes that if he finds the source, he has solved the problem. As a child you were attacked by a vicious dog; that’s why you are terrified of dogs today….The fearsome dog of your childhood explains how your fear of dogs commenced, but not why you are still afraid all these years later, when you are no longer a child and that dog is no longer around. Your childhood story explained your childhood reactions, but not your present reactions. (175)

...Imagine you’re in the ocean, and the waves are quite large, quite scary. What will you do? You can get out of the water, but then you won’t be able to enjoy the ocean. And then the fear controls your life. You are a slave to fear. It determines what you will do. And if you internalize this kind of solution-avoidance, withdrawal-as your pattern of dealing with fear, then you know what will happen: your life will become a story of withdrawal, continuous defeat in the face of fear, and the more you lose the stronger fear becomes and the weaker you become. In addition, avoidance prevents learning….If you don’t spend time in the water, you’ll never learn to swim. Fear, in its deepest meaning, announces the need to go forward, not the need to retreat. (205)

You are telling yourself that you are not ready. What is this thought?
A guess, an hypothesis.
Right, and what do we do with those?
Test them….The most important thing is to commit to face your fear. No retreat. You cannot go back on this. Once you give your word, you are committed. Whatever happens, you must go through with it. (206-207)

...The goal of therapy is to provide the client with the tools to nurture and maintain psychological health. We help him practice the correct use of the tools; acceptance of emotions, rational examination of thoughts; to consciously confront erroneous patterns of response and embrace the flow of correct, healthy patterns….If the client stands on the tracks and a train is approaching, the client’s emerging anxiety is a correct response…The evidence quite strongly attests to the fact that a head-on encounter with a train is harmful. But if the client stands anxious in front of an elevator, then he must confront his fear, not obey it, because the dangers of the elevator are negligible and avoiding it will cause unnecessary misery….is to find out whether the client’s problem is a train or an elevator; and then your mission is to help the client step off railway tracks and enter elevators. How will you accomplish that?...with your alert and accepting yet uninvolved presence; with reflection and guidance—those are the ingredients. (222)

...And still it is important to remember that however fluent and aware and accepting you are, however illuminating and healing the therapeutic experience, still it won’t suffice to move the client. One hour a week of battering against the walls cannot breach a fortress built over many long years. The lessons learned in session must be translated into everyday practice. The shape of one’s life, in the final analysis, emerges from the sum of one’s everydays. (222-223)

read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)
The Storyteller

It is impossible to believe anything in a world that has ceased to regard man as man, that repeatedly proves that one is no longer a man. -Simon Wiesenthal, The Sunflower

You see, Minka, my father would say. Anything is possible. Even the most terrible beast might one day be a distant memory. (355-356)

I could write the word love a thousand times and it would mean a thousand different things to different readers.
What is the point of trying to put down on paper emotions that are too complex, too huge, too overwhelming to be confined by an alphabet?
Love isn’t the only word that fails.
Hate does, too.
And hope. Oh, yes, hope.
So you see, this is why I never told my story.
If you lived through it, you already know there are no words that will ever come close to describing it.
And if you didn’t, you will never understand. (357-358)

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl

You can believe, for example, that a dead-end job is a career. You can blame your ugliness for keeping people at bay, when in reality you’re crippled by the thought of letting another person close enough to potentially scar you even more deeply. You can tell yourself that it’s safer to love someone who will never really love you back, because you can’t lose someone you never had (375).

“Maybe this will be the generation that saves the world,” I say.
“Doesn’t every generation think they’ll be the one to do it?”
Did mine? Or were we so wrapped up in ourselves that we didn’t think to look for answers in the experiences of others? (376).

read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)

This was the story of Lauren Drain, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. I could not put this book down. I have to watch the documentary about this family, The Most Hated Family in America. I can’t fucking fathom why they HATE homosexuals so much. It is just disrespectful to picket human beings’ funerals who have died for their country or were just being themselves. This is exactly why I hate organized religion: people are expected to act a certain way, even if it means harming your own family members and friends in the process, in order to fit in and appease the rest of the group so that everyone goes to “heaven.” “At this moment, I realized my father had lost all human emotions for me.” This frightens me, that a person can give up so much control of themselves for a God that may or may not exist. But it’s not even that, it’s more a social acceptance mechanism. This is just so sad and exactly why I want nothing to do with organized religion. People are not free to be themselves. What a shame.

read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

“Psychologists are trained to heal…” (113)
“It’s as if, like Eleanor Roosevelt, they can’t help but feel what others feel.” (138)

After reading this book I came to appreciate the good qualities of being an introvert. Sometimes it’s good to be the person who just listens and asks questions. I learned that my introvertedness can be appreciated by others, maybe even extroverts. Apparently introverts can be better at understanding others than extroverts because they listen and really take in and sense what other people feel and say. This truly describes me and I am so glad Susan Cain wrote this book to make me realize my strengths as an introvert.

One particular passage, somewhat unrelated to introversion, truly made me think. Cain describes “three key steps to identifying your own core personal projects,” (218).

1. Think back to what you loved to do when you were a child…I used to love to interview people. Ask people what their favorite movies and books were. I guess this could be considered personality psychology or even pop culture psychology (is that even a thing?). This aligns with my goal to be a psychotherapist because I just love to hear people’s stories, their innermost thoughts.

2. Pay attention to the work you gravitate to…I tend to avoid work. I gravitate towards having one-on-one conversations with people. Hearing them talk about their relationships with others in their lives. I like to teach others words in Spanish. Spanish teacher? Gah. I just can’t be a teacher. I love to talk. I love to read. I love to listen. This past semester I tended to gravitate towards my Abnormal Psych homework. Love learning about mental illness. Psychotherapist for the win.

3. Pay attention to what you envy…Those who get to work with victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Detectives. People who get to work with crime. Psychotherapists. Ha. I think I’m in the right field. ☺

Go on a date (read all 2 entries…)

Yes I decided to try an online dating website. So far I’m not sure how it is going to go. It seems just like real life: I’m not attracted to the guys who are attracted to me and the guys I’m attracted to aren’t attracted to me. Le sigh. What am I doing wrong?
There’s this really attractive guy I came across. His profile made my heart flutter so I decided to message him. And he’s been online since then and didn’t respond and I don’t know if he ever will or not. I just gah hate myself. I hope I haven’t failed with him.
I hope there will be more people that will be interesting. Sadface.

learn chinese (read all 2 entries…)
Next Fall

Signed up for Chinese 101 for next fall semester! Yay!

take a road trip with my friends (read all 3 entries…)

Planning to go to Florida this summer with one of my best friends. I have never been and I have been wanting to go my whole life!!!

read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)
Sybil Exposed

Finished Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case by Debbie Nathan. It was an okay book. I am glad it has made me question and WHY it has made me question the existence of multiple personality disorder. The interaction between a society and an individual is incredible. Sybil, or Shirley Mason, was an individual. And once her case, which may or may not be true, was known many more people were diagnosed with MPD. But is the disorder the result of drugs? Or pernicious anemia? I am disappointed in the book that I feel I will never know whether MPD is an actual disorder or not and if anything about Sybil/Shirley’s case was true.

read more for fun (read all 13 entries…)

Ironically, I just finished Columbine last night. I had started it this summer and finally finished it. Definitely an eye opening book. Now that the fall semester is over, I can take a month to try to read more. I’m so excited because I was recently introduced to basically a networking website for books. I’m finding all these books that I have read in the past and books I want to read in the future. A good way to organize my virtual library. Must read more! I feel inspired to read more!

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