08th Jun2016

The 42 Project – A New Series of Blog Posts!

by Chris Thompson


2015 wasn’t the best of years for me … It wasn’t one specific thing – just a number of different things which came together to make it a real challenge. Money was tight, I was feeling drained and depleted, and things simply weren’t going my way. I was hoping 2016 would be different, but that didn’t start out well either.

It got me thinking about how I could turn things around. How I could draw a line in the sand and take control again. More than that, it got me thinking about the meaning of life, and that of course led me to the ultimate answer: 42 – a number which holds a lot of power, but that will resonate more clearly with some.

For those who don’t know the story, in Douglas Adams’ famous novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the supercomputer Deep Thought is asked the meaning of life, the universe and everything. After 7.5 million years, Deep Thought provides the answer ’42’, though she admits to not quite knowing what the question is. It’s a joke which has taken root in popular culture, and provided me with a question of my own.
 
What if I set myself a list of 42 things to do this year to make things more fun and interesting? Sure, I can’t control everything, but if I could provide myself with some new focus and a reward then maybe that would make this next year better – and so #The42Project was born.
 
The issue then, was to come up with 42 different things I could set myself to do. That might sound easy in theory, but when you actually sit down to write 42 things, it’s hard … 42 is a lot, especially when you want them to mean something. They need to be challenging – that helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something – but the key element is that they need to be fun. I have to want to do these things and to see them through.
 
For that reason, some of the goals are quite easy … It’s just a case of doing them. Sometimes you just need to commit yourself to do something or it’ll never actually happen. It’s like an excuse to do things I’ve always intended to do. Other things may be harder. They might involve more time, money, contacts and, more than likely, a good dose of luck.
 
Which is why I’m choosing to blog about it. By making myself accountable to an unknown audience, it’s a way to keep myself on track. And maybe, just maybe, if time is running short then there are some folks out there who can give me a hand? That’s the idea anyway.
 
So, I’ll be unveiling a few goals at a time, with a view to having the complete list by the end of the month. That will give me a year to work on things and see what I can do. I hope you’ll join me on this journey of fun and discovery as we attempt to understand the answer – even if we don’t know the question!
 
You can follow me on Twitter @popculturehound, using the hashtag #The42Project for updates. I’ll be publishing the first part of the list on Friday. In the meantime, I’d be curious to know, what would be on your list of 42 things?
 
[Side note: I’m not attempting to trivialise the meaning of life – or the fact that there are bigger questions to consider. This is just my attempt to restore a little fun in a way that only I can.]

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