What do you want to do with your life?

“What do you want to do with your life?”

It’s a conundrum that most of us have wrestled with at some stage of our lives.

If you need some direction, 43 Things is a social networking website built on the principles of tagging.   Users create accounts and then list a number of goals; these goals are then connected to similar goals constructed by other people.

43 Things not only encourages people to write down their goals – an important factor in high achievement – but also provides a social networking space for people to meet other enthusiasts with the same (sometimes very obscure) goal, to share their progress and to learn from other people who already achieved that goal.

More than a 1.1 million people have joined the site and have set themselves goals such as ‘donate blood’, ‘learn sign language’, ‘travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway’, ‘grow my own vegetables’, ‘watch every Bette Davis movie ever made,’ ‘keep up with current web trends’ or ‘be happy even if the rest of the things on this list never happen’.

43 Things is very much like the ‘21 things to do in a lifetime’ concept that I’ve often talked about in motivational workshops, and written about in my book, SelfScape: Success through Balance.

My list includes ‘write a novel’, ‘retrace the steps of a famous explorer’, ‘ learn something from a child’, and ’sail the seven seas’.

The first time I wrote my list of 21 things, it was the result of a session facilitated by my supervisor at the time.  He was a creative thinker and looked for different ways to develop better teamwork among his executive group.  Each of us wrote our list and then one by one we displayed them and discussed each point.

My manager was looking for common areas of interest where the team or a sub-set of it could undertake activities together on the basis that that the best relationships are developed through shared experiences.  It lead to some of the group sailing together through the Whitsunday Islands, some racing cars in serious races and some four wheel driving across the Simpson Desert.

That was in 1995.  I wonder if today we’d all sign up for 43 Things and then share our lists through the Internet?


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