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


Ahhgghh! The...grey?... banner of doom!

Recent entries from Tarrador
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TarradorBe patient with yourself...

little outward changes is exactly how it works. It is like making a 100% change in diet and not seeing pounds fall off in a few days. First the steady routine of eating… then the incremental results. Same with the steady flow of powerful water and the gradual erosion of stone… same with a large savings account and the slow but steady increase in interest… just being within sight of the mountain top is very exhilarating, but there are still many little steps to take to reach it.

Momentum is an interesting thing: even a little will go a long way. I promise you, keep you momentum up, even with little pushes, and you will see your little snow ball increase into a snow boulder. 3 months ago

TarradorBlueprint in Place

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I’ve worked and sketched and researched and planned all month long. Here and there I’ve pushed forward and experienced some success. Here and there I’ve pushed forward and experienced some pushback. Whichever the result, I had a workable plan to either proceed with or fall back on.

Blueprint in hand and in heart, I’m ready to push on more assertively on my course. The plan is to push through the next 90 days and make some measurable progress, yet still be open and flexible to the development of things not seen or imagined yet. How ridiculous would it be to remain so set on a plan that I passed up an even better opportunity?

Sun Tzu teaches that: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”. I know that in the coming months, having a well-laid blueprint of what I want things to look like will be a big advantage over trying to figure out how to make things come together once I’m there. 3 months ago

TarradorI'm going to make...

number 10 my personal ethos! 3 months ago

TarradorYou might...

have to resize them. If you are linking them from flickr you can change the size in the link description. This has happened to me before and that was how I resolved it. 3 months ago

TarradorNothing says...

thanks for two decades of toil and labor and dedication like a hearty “go fuck yourself, which, by the way, I won’t authorize the company to pay for, either”.

It is amazing that you have been able to remain in a job for that long and deserve to be commended and rewarded. Congrats on your employment longevity and you vested status in the company. 3 months ago

TarradorI was struck...

from quite an odd angle from a verse the pastor once chose to teach on regarding 2nd Kings, vrs 23&24 (I had to Google them, since it has been a long time). It recounts how Elisha was being mocked by some children, and how God send a couple of bears out of the woods to kill the children. Now, I was already teetering at the time on thinking that God was something of a dick, and this kinda sealed the envelope and stuck a stamp on it. The lengths to which the pastor went to justify both Elisha’s curse and God’s punishment downright annoyed me. When I hear someone speak with such blind earnestness about how much God loves us as individuals, how dear we are to his heart, I think of bears killing children. To be fair, I also think of spirits killing firstborns, the massacre of Job’s family, angles smiting cities, God’s decrees to kill every man, woman and child in the new land the Israelites enter, a world drowned by flood, and the yet to be disclosed tortures and terrors in the upcoming End of Days apocalypse.

Another treatment of scripture came not from a sermon, but from a former rabbi who was a Kabbalah teacher and a practitioner of the Law of Attraction. Quoting Luke 11 vrs 9-10, he recounts the teachings of Jesus: “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” That moved me to believe that Jesus was hip to this whole “ask and it is given” philosophy, and was aware that intentions matter, and that thoughts become things.

I also took a lot of personal reflection away from Mel Gibson’s The Passion. Most of my friends found it an offensive snuff film. But to me it was very profound to see the verses I had been so staunchly indoctrinated in brought to such uncompromising and brutal life on the screen. 3 months ago

TarradorDaily Sketch Diary

6 sketches I have done in the last 6 days. 5 out of 6 started with no image in mind, just started scribbling.

I have not been diligent in practicing my art over the last 6 months. One of the things I have been doing with my early mornings has been to do a quick digital sketch every day. I want to have a daily routine of sketching ideas, objects, concepts… whatever. Just to keep the basic fundamental physical skills up, and to improve just by doing.

I have Sketchbook Pro on my Ipad, which is a program with a fair amount of capability for simple sketching. It is like having a portable studio because I can easily generate sketches that look like pencil, pen, marker, ink, or watercolor, depending upon what I want to do. Something I create may be the jumping off point for a more detailed piece, or it may forever be a raw sketch with no purpose other than practice. If they start to take up too much room on the Ipad I can off-load them to Dropbox then to a computer folder, keeping an ongoing record of my discipline and my progress. 3 months ago

TarradorLove, love, love...

and love to you. Such a perfect and heartbreaking poem. 3 months ago

TarradorCold Shower Therapy

Sometimes, when you find the dragon of Resistance hiding in your closet, you can’t shoo him out, you can’t coax him out, you can’t negotiate him out. Sometimes you have to take a rock and bash in his head.

My new morning routine is going fairly well. While I have yet to accomplish the entire routine, I have succeeded in performing it in bits and pieces. Since I think this routine is going to be the foundation of my productivity success, it is important to bring all the components together as soon as possible.

The biggest strain on simply getting up is the lure of the nice warm bed, draped in nice warm blankets, and filled with nice warm bodies. It is so easy to sink back down into the mattress of doom and surrender.

I’m going to fight against this with cold shower therapy. For 21 days (up to 30 if that is what it takes) I am going to jump into a cold shower for progressively longer amounts of time. Cold water will not kill me, and there are indications it is actually good for you. I got the idea from my polar bear plunge, knowing that if I could start every day like that, sluggishness and sleepiness would be immediately banished.

I also know that if I can do this, I can do anything I set my mind to. For me to get into a cold shower is no small feat. Maybe for you, but not for me. Yet I know I can do it if I try. I tried to convince myself that the hardest part of the day was just getting up, and once that was done, everything else was going to be easy. But that affirmation hasn’t stuck. I need something a bit more bracing.

I’m starting with very short bursts. 30 seconds, total immersion. From there I will work up by degrees (of time, not temperature) until I reach my ultimate goal, which is 8 minutes. From there the fear and the trepidation is over. From there it is daily discipline. 3 months ago

Tarrador6. War of Art/Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

Less of a book and more of a manifesto, War of Art is Steven Pressfield’s take on what causes us to fall short of of our best achievements. While aimed at the struggling writer, the lessons he offers work on a broad level because they are deceptively fundamental.

The main culprit blocking our path to success is an energy he defines as “Resistance”. If every action produces an equal and opposite reaction, then Resistance is the counter action immediately produced by our efforts to move forward. Resistance comes in many guises, but it is important to note that it is always internal; it comes from within our own minds.

Pressfield describes the many ways Resistance sets out to clobber our best intentions, the little ways, the big ways, the cruel ways, the kind ways. Resistance likes the status quo, and will fight tooth and nail to keep us where we are, or to counter to the extreme our attempts to raise up. This is why we gain weight on diets, crash and burn upon unflattering criticism, or fail to follow through on a project at the 11th hour. Resistance is fear, anger, sloth, all those other vices interfering with our attempts do fulfill our higher destiney.

Having run the gamut of how wicked, evil, mean and nasty Resistance can be, Pressfield offers a blueprint of sorts to combat Resistance with greater force, like a rocket leaving the Earth’s grip. This part is deceptively simple, too. It seems obvious that proper preparation, organization, patience, endurance, and acting in the face of fear and failure are avenues to success. But in their simple format, you begin to see that the reason you don’t use the treadmill daily is because it has laundry hanging on it. You don’t go to your desk because you are defeated before you get there by the prospect of the imbalance between in and out boxes. You get off to a great start, but you don’t do it daily, like a job, to bring things to completion. Something comes up and you attach a priority to it and it causes you to put off and put off your task until what you have is a loss of momentum, resulting in an unrealized dream. What Pressfield offers is a campaign plan of the professional; at attack plan to defeat Resistance whatever form it comes in.

The third part dwells on the higher realms of inspiration and what the real motivation of an artist has to be. It also speculates on what our roles as creative beings are: Are we actually creating or just putting to form something that already exists on a higher plane? Here the book is less helpful and more esoteric, but still interesting. The end is an invitation to realize the destiny each of us was born for.

Do The Work is a follow-up folio on using the advice from War of Art. While most of the pages are lifted in whole from WOA, there are also some exercises to put pen to paper and make a plan, chart a course, or generate momentum toward reaching your goals. And for Pressfield, the goals are not “lose 20 pounds”, or “Watch all episodes of Fringe”, the goals are realize what your life calling is, and be about it consistently and every day. He also makes no secret that Resistance is a dragon you have to sharpen your sword against and re-defeat on a daily, even hourly basis. It is a a war you will never win, no matter how many battles you gain victory in. Resistance never gives up, never accepts defeat. It only retreats until it sees a new opening for attack.

I enjoyed the pair of books (so close in content that I can only consider them one book), and they have already inspired me to work the principles into my daily achievement routine. Recognizing the dragon and having an arsenal to confront it is a big advantage. Like training, like a muscle, I can only get better and more successful from fighting Resistance. In little ways and in big ways. Battling the dragon will keep me honed and toned and fit. Allowing Resistance to flow over me and defeat me will only keep me weak. If I want the prize that comes with winning the purse, I have to get into the ring and do battle. Resistance just keeps me fit. Resistance just makes me hard. 3 months ago


on your progress. Sometimes changes can be difficult to see over time, both losses and gains.

“He kneads my body regularly”... snicker-snicker-snort…3 months ago


so is your perfect partner… 3 months ago


That would be my third choice. 3 months ago


the finalists are selected, the voting for the winning design is open to the public via an online link. I cast my vote, for what it is worth. 3 months ago

TarradorThe myopic view...

taken by most nay-sayers of climate change (tagging it as “global warming” has, in part, lead to these denials just by its name) will probably be the epitaph on the gravestone of Western culture in the coming century. When climate is measured not in years, but in decades, when the preponderance of data continues to indicate the direction this planet is going, when the history of the planet is replete with examples of the dramatic results of climate change, short term views are like looking at a sunburn and saying “so what? I don’t see how this is going to cause skin cancer…”

Combine shrinking resources with a human population anticipated to hit 11 billion by 2100, and the damages to the environment being wrought by raking nations and corporations and the potential for apocalyptic disaster is not just possible, in seems ineluctable. 3 months ago

Tarrador5. Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh

I bought this book when I first downloaded the Kindle app to my Ipad. It had a overall positive review and looked to be an entertaining read. It was enjoyable and quick and a more fitting style for me after the last novel. There were bursts of action and a masculine narrative. The plot was thin, but then what isn’t these days. It revolves around a centuries-old sorcerer who lost his memory due to a curse. He now works odd jobs as a thief in the employment of a vampire. Life takes an interesting turn when he is charged to steal an ancient book, and it seems that people (and things) that know about his past life start turning up.

The novel switches between his adventures in present day London, and flashbacks to adventures in 1444, France. This is both to fill in the reader on the sorcerer’s abilities and powers, and to give insight into his character and sets up the role of the main villain. It is also, probably, to thicken the book, since each story on it’s own would not make a compelling novel. The switches back and forth try to function as cliffhangers in the story. They really are kind of a distraction, to me anyway.

The novel follows a predictable three act set (again, what doesn’t these days?): Introduction to the character and his world, the instigation of the mystery; Friends and lovers drawn into the conflict and held hostage to force the hero to do the will of the villain; Superhero crashes forth and defeats all foes with powers he only regains at the last minute, when all seems hopeless. Captives saved, evil-doers dealt with. Sort of happy ending. I will say that saving the ultimate dispatch of the villain for the epilogue was a particularly satisfying touch, since it looked like he was going to make a Darth Vader-style getaway and return to torment our hero in future novels. How dull and predictable that would have been.

In the end I would say it was a worthwhile read for entertainment, and it moved quite quickly. I was able to knock out 377 pages in about 6 days, which is good for me. This being the first book in a series, I would read more of the series for pulp fun. 3 months ago

TarradorIn Like Flynn

I entered the annual lottery for a race position in the 2014 Peachtree Road Race. Got my confirmation today, so I am in for my 9th consecutive running of the race.

So, come July 4th I will be claiming the t-shirt with the winning design from the five finalists pictured above. I have always been disappointed with the final choices in years past. I’d like to see either the one on the far left rear win, or possibly the Captain America inspired design in the center rear. The one on the far right rear will probably be the winner… yeech… 3 months ago

TarradorVery little news...

and very little detail of what I do look over. I have found it harder and harder to sort the propaganda-laced yellow journalism from the real fact and figure based information.

I watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, but that is not really news. I skim headlines on Flipboard and read an article if it catches my interest.

I pay attention mostly to major world news and anything that affects my industry. I skim celebrity news, and I don’t care for sports or political mudslinging. 4 months ago

TarradorThe Rise and Shine Protocol

I’ve decided what to do, and I’m not going to like it.

I’ve been fiddling around with a “blueprint for success” for a couple of months. I realize what I’ve actually been doing is looking for a way to make it easier. The weak and fearful side of me is resisting change. As usual, it is going to require me to draw from deep within my inner well to accomplish what I want to do.

The first step in my blueprint is a daily routine. Just one hour of the day. Problem is, it begins at 5:00am.

  • Get up at 5:00 am, hydrate
  • Perform 5 – 10 Sun Salutations
  • 10 pullups (I have a pullup bar already in place)
  • 1 minute of weighted squat jumps
  • 1 minute of plank pose
  • 1 minute of Swiss Ball rollouts
  • 1 minute of burpees
  • Sit for focused, guided mediation – 15 – 20 minutes
  • Layout my action plan for the day – 10 – 15 minutes

That is about the size of it. In roughly one hour I can jump start my day and put my head in the game instead of running to catch up. A start like this gives me from 6 am to 9:30 or 10:30 depending upon the day of additional free time where I am more energized and focuses, and becomes the perfect “found time” for special projects.

Why 5:00 am? Two main reasons:
  1. It is indisputably early and there is no good reason for it. I’ll be honest; right now my day starts with a backwards countdown of exactly where I have to be and when, and how much time I need to get there for that. I settle myself in to warm covers and useless tv until the magic second when I can literally wait no longer. Then it is up, rush the morning chores, jump in the car and arrive in the nick of time. By getting up super early, there is no rush. I am poised and prepared to launch into the day, not struggling to pick up the pieces.
  2. I am hoping to find adequate “me” time in the early morning to do the things I need/want to do without being distracted. Without going into laborious detail, I have a lot of irons in a lot of fires. My attention is constantly diverted. At the end of the day I end up with a list of things I wanted to accomplish for me and my benefit that just never got done. Buying a couple of hours each morning might help me break that cycle.

Of course this is not the first time I’ve tried this. I’ve tried and failed many times to carpe deim, only to negotiate my way out of responsibility. I’m adding a few new elements to help me overcome past failings. I have an “accountability buddy” whom I will email promptly ever am and inform them of my rise time. I have a “bed-time” when I must be done reading, internet surfing, and tv watching(to help with this I have a guided meditation app that is putting me to sleep in about 15 minutes). I drink a big glass of water before going to sleep, to make sure I have an additional urge to get up. (Of course, if the baby wakes up around 2 or 3 am and it is my night for feeding and changing, chances are I will relieve myself at that time, so I have two water glasses standing by)

I have a few other tricks as well. Mostly it is just going to have be about a month of struggling through it, until the habit begins to deliver the rewards I’m looking for.

This is the foundation of my blueprint. 4 months ago

Tarrador4. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

I read the first book of this series at the behest of my sister, who really enjoys the series. The alternate history plot of the book is very simple: During Europe’s Napoleonic Wars era dragons are used as weapons of war. There is an Aviator division like the Navy or Army wherein riders are matched to dragons, they train them to fight aerial combats against other nations, and bonds form between dragon and rider. The dragons can speak and are as intelligent as humans, in some cases even more so since they can live for hundreds of years.

In the book an English warship commanded by Captain Laurence overtakes a French warship. Among the booty is a dragon’s egg, ready to hatch. Since the hatchling dragon must be bonded with a rider from the shell, or become wild and unrideable, Laurence and his men are forced to draw straws to see who will present themselves to the creature for bonding. Despite best laid plans, the dragon bonds with Laurence. This means an end to his Navy career and ignominious acceptance into the disreputable Aviator Corps. He names the dragon Temeraire and they form a very close emotional bond.

The book is basically broken up into three distinct and predictable acts: 1. The acquisition of the egg and the hatching and the bonding with Laurence. His subsequent personal turmoil at having to give up his captaincy and become an aviator (which he does in the most British of fashion). 2. Training camp, where Laurence collects a crew who will serve on the dragon, and where Temeraire learns how to fly, fight, and cooperate with the other dragons. 3. The plunge into battle, where both dragon and rider are tested against hostile forces.

The book is well written in regards to historical details, and the author has created a fictional back history of the dragon corps so that it reads like real history, too. Not a lot of words are wasted on ornate explanations of things regarding dragons and dragon training that make it seem like the author is trying to convince the reader that this alternate world existed. By being simple and brief, we get the feeling that this is something people who knew a little bit about the early 1800’s would already know.

I was not, however, excited about the book as a story. Laurence’s character is stiff and unyielding in his righteousness, nary making a moral misstep. Temeraire is a sweet, good-natured, intelligent, yet self-possessed dragon who thinks Laurence is just the bee’s knees. They get along without strife from Day One. The plot line was very predictable, to the point of being a pulp plot. Most of the book was kind of boring in it’s day-to-day details of training and human-dragon bonding. The few action scenes, the few fight scenes, were well done and engaging, but still lacked emotion. Laurence is a fearless hero without fault, and Temeraire is (predictably) discovered to be one of the rarest dragons in the world: A Chinese Celestial. It also turns out that such dragons are exclusively hatched for kings and emperors and that Temeraire’s egg was actually headed to France as a gift to Napoleon. All ends well for rider and dragon, Laurence more than overcomes his misgivings about being an aviator, and brings some much needed British Navy spit and polish to the ragamuffin corps. Of course, if he called one more person out because of a gentlemanly affront, I would have hoped to see his tight, upper-class ass given a good kicking.

It is unlikely in general that I will read the other books in this series. I certainly won’t read any more as part of my 52 book goal. By being kinda dull and unengaging, it took me a long time to get through it. And that puts me behind on my goal in general.

I’ve got several other books lined up to read, but they are all in the 350+ page length. That puts me in the position or reading about 15% of each book per day to complete it in a week. I believe my reading skills will come back, the more reading I do. That will make me a faster reader, and also not so prone to fall asleep while reading. That is not just the fault of the subject material, it is also a result of my eyes being out of practice in reading. 4 months ago

TarradorOh, Yeah... We Have A Nursery

Skipped over this goal numerous times. In truth, we haven’t done much with the decor or improvement of the house. We talk a lot about what we want to do, but it is not translating into action.

One room that has gotten a makeover is of course, our nursery. Even though little Universe doesn’t spend a lot of time in there yet, we’ve gotten it painted and decorated. We still want to lay new flooring (carpet or laminate, we haven’t decided), and we need to paint the dresser/changing table. The walls are a pleasant Riesling green, the ceiling is sky blue with a sun-shaped light fixture in the center, and the closet is daffodil-yellow. S. has put numerous Circo stickers on the wall featuring all kinds of animals and bugs. We have put up two shelves over the rack that holds diapering supplies and bibs, we have a glider with a foot rest, an open-faced shelf unit for toys and stuff, and a mini-fridge and bottle warmer in one corner. Eventually her bassinet will migrate from our room to the nursery, along with the required baby monitors, spycams, heart-rate monitors, motion sensors, and alarm systems. The nursery is in the room right next to ours, and I suggested we take down part of the wall and add French doors to connect the rooms. S. said the was over the top and to get a hold of myself.

The main theme for the room is ladybugs and owls. It is a relaxing space and I think our baby is going to enjoy it for a number of years. 4 months ago

TarradorThe I'd's of March

“I’d like to get a new job, but it’s so hard to find anything right now.”

I’d like to lose some weight and get into shape, but there’s so much to do and I’m so tired.”

“I’d go to that play, that show, that movie, that network meeting, that meet-up, but I’m so busy with things I don’t want to do.”

The I’d’s of March are upon me. All the things I’d like to do, or wish to have, or need to get around to. They are swarmed by the rush of things urgent but unimportant, things unexpected but disruptive, and things completely useless and exhausting. “Et tu, Tivo?” I cry out as yet another day slips away with the lists of “must-do’s” still accusingly unfulfilled, building impotent reinforcements with the next day. I’m the one putting out so many fires that I fail to notice the dragon I should be slaying. Slay the dragon, and the kingdom will be safe, and the fires will burn out on their own. I move from “crisis” to “crisis” like a Whitechapel whore looking for a gentleman with a farthing, and at the end of the day, none of my real chores, the ones that are supposed to set me on a more purposeful and permanent course, have been accomplished.

I’m not a complete failure, you understand. I just don’t have my blueprint laid out quite flat and free of wrinkles and creases. I’m fighting with the permit guys and contractors instead of building my foundations and footings and walls. I’d like to get moving on my big projects… but there it is: my I’d’s of March.

Lately I’ve been trying a new means of keeping those “must do’s” at the forefront of my attention. I’ve frankensteined a couple of productivity methods including Kanban and Priority Matrix, and I’m using multi-colored post-it notes to identify my most important chores and tasks. It works as a tiny, hands-on reminder of things I need to make a priority on any given day. I keep all my post-its on a large foamcore board, and when I decide to work on a chore or task, I pull the post-it down and carry it with me, tacking to my car’s dash, or my phone face, or my notepad. When I get it completed, there is a physical satisfaction in either putting it back on the board in the “Done” column or just crumpling it up and tossing it away. It is harder to sit and watch mindless tv while a pink post-it waves at you from your wine glass, reminding you to get to that particular task (harder, I am learning, but not impossible :( )

As a get-things-done methodology, it is an on-going experiment, but it has been helping me, especially with short term tasks that just required me making a phone call, or paying a bill, or placing an order online. I’m looking forward to making it a more holistic process. I am thinking of adapting it to cover affirmations, idea flows, and task delegation. I know a lot of people use post-its to improve their productivity. I just don’t know the whole mental process they use to apply it.

I’d better learn, though. 4 months ago

TarradorIt might be funny...

Or it might not. We’ll only know after it is told. 4 months ago

TarradorThere's a 50/50 chance...

I’ll laugh at #16 from the first link, but I haven’t looked at it yet. 4 months ago

TarradorHi back...

C’mon back, dear friend. Love to be found here everywhere. You have been missed. 4 months ago


to and them for making such a great choice to renew your contract. Great news! 4 months ago

TarradorSeems endemic...

and I wonder if it is a lack of attention to detail or a lack of basic capability. Our mail carrier frequently makes errors just like yours does. To the point where I wrote with a Sharpie marker on mis-delivered mail advising him to be more careful and please read the addresses on the envelopes. We lost at least one package at Christmas when the tracking info said it had been delivered to our doorstep when we believe it was, in fact, delivered to someone else, who just kept the presents inside. 4 months ago

TarradorIf Schrodinger's Cat Farts In A Box, And No One Hears It, Does It Still Smell?

It either is, or it isn’t. Unless it is or it isn’t…

I can understand why physicists who work in the realm of quantum physics get irate when the LOA people start using their theories and concepts to explain how attraction principals work. Quantum Theory is convoluted and bizarre enough without throwing in “New Age mumbo jumbo”. Never the less, it does offer some answers to unanswerable questions. And as a science it is just barely understood enough to be cooptable when attempting to rationalize the weirdness that is intention, attraction, and the role of energy.

I’ve been semi-watching the implosion of Kevin Trudeau and the GIN pyramid scheme he concocted. A friend who gave me some of his audio CD’s is very into the organization and continues to include me in her email chains regarding the evil government plot to destroy the ability of well intentioned people to gain mass wealth without working hard. Every setback is seen as opportunity opening a new path, the Universe setting up the perfect set of circumstances. But not for these people to be lead out of the desert of deception they’ve been stuck in, but rather, every setback is a step further toward validating the GIN program and all that needs to be done is to throw even more energy, good will and powerful thoughts into seeing it restored.

This “any answer is the right answer” philosophy irks me. Be it blind faith in God, or blind trust in the Universe, I have issues with anyone who simply takes every twist of fate or turn of events as a continued sign that they are on the right course.

So it made me think of Shrodinger’s Cat, the famous thought-experiment about a cat, a thingy of radioactive material, a geiger counter, a trip hammer, and a vial of poison, all in a box. There’s a 50/50 chance that an atom of the radioactive material will decay, setting off the geiger counter, which in turn trips the hammer, which breaks the vial, which releases the poison and kills the cat. There is an equal chance that the geiger counter did not go off, and the cat is spared. When the box is closed, any observer cannot determine the situation without opening the box. Once the observer does this, they are affecting the outcome, one way or the other. The idea is that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time until someone makes an observation. The act of observing settles the state, and the question of kitty morbidity.

But does the observer’s intentions or expectations affect what state things settle in? If you open the box expecting to see the cat alive, and it is, then you feel your powers of intention are validated, and if you expect to see the cat dead, and it is, then that just makes common sense. But if you expect to see the cat alive, and it is dead, do you think you were carrying some negative element in your subconscious, some glimmer of doubt that affected your positive vibration and led to the opposite effect you were intending? By focusing on what you expected, did you limit the Universe in delivering what was best in this situation?

People with blind faith in God and blind faith in LOA don’t subscribe to the idea that “stuff just happens”. In fact, they believe everything happens for a reason. Some people source God as the author of all that occurs, and some people source themselves and their intentional vibrations. For people to rationalize events that do not happen the way they want or expect, they have to believe that God was acting in higher wisdom, or that the Universe was a)responding to unconscious vibrations they were not aware they were emitting, or b)is acting in a higher wisdom.

In the movie The Minority Report Tom Cruise rolls a wooden ball across a table. Just as it tumbles off the edge, Colin Farrell catches it. “Why did you catch it?” Tom asks. “Because it was going to fall,” answers Colin. Tom: “You’re certain?” Colin: “Yes.” Tom: “But it didn’t fall, you caught it. The fact that you caught it doesn’t change the fact that is was going to fall.” Meaning? Everything happens with it’s own purpose, until an observer interacts and forces a new purpose.

What am I blundering to say here? Everything happens for a reason. Yes. Without a doubt. A ball rolls, set in motion by a force of momentum. It follows a course set for it by environment, motion, and gravity. It will continue on this course until an observer interacts, expressing intention, to change what would have been an inevitable course; falling. Whether the observer acts, or doesn’t act, he still influences the outcome. He creates the reality of whether the ball is caught or falls. The observer determines the reality of a live cat or a dead one the moment he opens the box. Reality is not what is, until by action it is what is. Reality is determined by actions, not by intentions.

Every day since December I have intended to mail my sister’s Christmas present to her. I have not taken action to do so. My intentions have not opened magic door of postal convenience for me. My intentions have not summoned a mail genie to take the package away. Until I take action, I cannot create the reality of my sister receiving her gift three months late.

And yet… and yet… No action is taken without intention (at least no meaningful action). So, hmmmmm. If intention is required to take action, then there is no action without intention, then reality is a construct of intention…

Why am I thrashing out such ideas, considering outcomes and intentions and quantum physics, when I can generally barely figure out who’s turn it is at a four-way stop? Because I believe I define my reality, I’m not sure how. I’ve been practicing the art of letting go and releasing expectation with very positive results. But sometimes that isn’t good enough, and if I’m just turning things over to the Universe, is that any different that turning it over to God and wouldn’t I get just as much benefit from praying? Also, are my successes really successes or just the inevitable outcomes of a process set in motion? Does releasing expectation do anything more than take the stress off? If the answer comes back in a way that doesn’t seem to mesh with my intentions do I simple shrug it off with the peacefulness of acceptance and gratitude, figuring “if not this, then something better”?

I like getting what I want. I accept that. I don’t like not getting what I want. I accept that, too. What I really don’t like is not knowing if I’m getting what I want or not. That’s hard to accept. The waiting, the trusting, the detachment… it goes against my nature to take action, even when there is no action to take. That is why I am trying to figure out if my intentions set my reality, or if my actions set my reality, or if it is all just a cosmic swirling shitstorm in which cats die unobserved and balls drop uncaught, over which I cannot hope to hold the reins, merely to be swept along in the current.

I’d like to go with what I know works. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it works until I observe that it does… or it doesn’t. Whichever. Or both. Or neither. 4 months ago

TarradorAbstract Lessons in Awareness

Sometimes you’re snacking mindlessly away on whatever your brain is telling you it wants. Then you stop and look at the package and you get it:

You are what you eat… 4 months ago

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