Go grab some life, man

“It’s not so much the journey, but the destination.”
I’m not sure I agree with that.
Mortal man has but one physical destination – a six-foot hole in the ground, or in a decorative urn that will collect dust on some mantle (I leave it up to you to discuss amongst yourselves any spiritual destination you may believe in).
I’d like to think it’s the journey that makes the destination more meaningful.
(And, if all goes right, just before I die I will be granted a few moments of pure clarity; the chance to see through eyes connected to a brain that is operating at its full capacity. And I mean 100 percent synapse-firing brainpower.)
For me, now on the cusp of 2007 and nearing my 43rd year, it is the journey that is the teacher.
A Catholic nun kinda teacher (I’ve had my share). With a big scary fucking metal ruler who keeps rapping your knuckles from time to time (but actually manages to impart a lot of good wisdom, if you’d just shut the fuck up, listen and experience once and again).
With that in mind, I’d come across a Web site that dares you to journey.
It’s called 43 Things.
It is pretty simple, really. You write down 43 Things you’d like to accomplish (weight loss, book writing and travel are all top options).
Your list is shared with others.
Why do it?
Well, it is a proven fact that people who write their goals down have an 80 percent higher success rate of achieving those goals, as compared to people who just think about them.
At 43 Things, you create an account, like a MySpace of Facebook page, and start writing things down. You’ve got room for 43 Things.
Doesn’t mean you have to come up with 43.
“Everything needs a name. We think 43 is the right number of things for a busy person to try and do. Why not more? It’s too much. Why not less? You can do less, but it is still called 43 Things.”
Seems pretty simple.
Only, it is not.
I’ve had my page up on 43 Things for going on three weeks. The only thing I’ve done is put a picture up. (disclaimer: I had a few mental erections in the past 48 hours and now have 35 of my 43 Things covered).
But if you’re going to do something like this, the 43 Things you come up with better be pretty fucking special – like the desire to live in Italy for a year (OK, that’s one).
Or should they all be special?
Something as simple as read 12 books outside your normal comfort zone in 2007 (OK, that’s two).
I waffle.
I’m nearly 43 and I want my 43 Things to count for something.
Or not.
Some of my current 35 are esoteric; some are altruistic; some are a reach. Some are strange. Strangely, only one is sexual in nature.
But that’s what you get with me.
I’m complicated.
Here’s the real kicker: People look at your 43 Things and actually cheer you on (I cheered on a girl who wanted to live life without undies for a week; I’ve been commando since I was 15 and love it – betcha you didn’t know that did you, HA) and you can explain your position. It’s peer pressure, man. And it is all good.
You know what else is good? Just writing 43 Things down (and it looks like I’ll hit that easy) means I have a mathematical chance at completing 34.4 of the 43 things, if you believe the 80 percent theory.
Those are good odds.
Try it yourself, and see.
And see if it’s the journey that makes the destination much more interesting.
One last quote:
“The past is the past, the future is a mystery and the present is a gift.”


Steve said...

Hmmmm.....I might have to try this 43 thing-a-ma-jigger.

Skigirl said...

Fabulous site....though only up to 12 so far.

Sexual in nature...I'm intrigued!

Rob said...

Hey Thom. The numerical coincidences are kinda cool - I'm also 43. You inspired me to go start my own list at 43 Things. And I blogged about this post over on my site, 2Dolphins.