Goals still to be achieved.

Well, 100 goals in 100 weeks was always going to be a huge challenge, and of course, the perfect ending to the story would be the achievement of the complete list.

When I started writing the list out in 2008, before the ALife4Sale auction had even started, I didn’t censor myself in any way, whether the goals were scary, difficult, or expensive. Everything I wanted to do went on the list, regardless of how tricky it may prove to achieve.

I could have been a little more selective, chose some easier goals, and have a much better chance of achieving them all. But that is not what I wanted this to be about. Think big and achieve big. And in a way, the goals were always just a framework around which to build a bigger adventure of a lifetime.

Over the whole two years I only changed two of the original list of 100, one before the start of the journey, as the company that operated the thrill ride I wanted to experience had gone out of business, and another late in the journey, as dates conflicted, and two big events occured on the same day.

But out of the list of 100 goals, I am incredibly proud to have achieved a total of 93 of them. The seven remaining unachieved goals are as follows:-

Drive a car into water off a jetty

I have tried to arrange this goal on several occasions, in several locations. In Salt Lake City my buddy Clay has a few TV program pals, and thought he might be able to get something arranged for this goal. The biggest problem that he ran into was finding a suitable body of water to put a car into, due to pretty strict environmental regulations.

When I found myself with a few spare days in Kathmandu, heading next for England, I started putting some postings on UK diver forums, looking for suggestions for locations, and offers of assistance for safety cover. I didn’t quite expect the level of controversy that my posting would receive. Check out the most active forum for responses here at Yorkshire Divers – very polarised opinions. After much discussion, I pretty-much wrote off the UK as a venue.

Finally, back in the States again, a friend of a Hollywood stuntman contacted me on Facebook, but unfortunately I never heard from the daredevil himself!

At times I have considerd simply buying a car, and driving it off a pier somewhere, but have always been keen to avoid two potentially undesirable consequences – being arrested and ending up with a hefty fine, or worse, or getting trapped in the car with nobody there to assist! Common sense has prevailed here, and unable to do this safely, I have decided to wait until such a time as I can do this in the way I would like. I am sure I will get around to doing it one day.

Gather 5 Ian Ushers together in one place

I came so close with this one, managing to gather four Ian Ushers in a pub in London. I have tried on several occasions since then to achieve this goal, and just the other day arranged a Skype call, hoping to at least be able to gather five of us together on an internet call. The three other Ians from the original gathering all agreed to be part of the final attampt, but despite many emails to many other Ians, I couldn’t get one more involved.

I had thought this might be a reasonably easy goal to achieve – I mean, how hard can it be to get five guys together for a beer? But despite my best efforts, it would seem that most Ian Ushers are not the slightest bit interested in meeting any of their namesakes.

Thanks to the Ians who did take part though, sorry we couldn’t make it happen.

Dive to the Titanic in a submersible

As far as I know, and I have done quite a bit of research, there is only one company that offers deep-dive sumbersible tours down to the Titanic, where it lies on the sea-bed, at a depth of over 12,000 feet. That’s over two miles down, and is an extremely dangerous trip.

Unfortunately, there is no expedition in 2010, the next one being palnned for 2011. I am on the mailing list for information, but another factor which makes this a particularly difficult goal is that the cost is expected to be around $55,000 per person. Unless my forthcoming book is a runaway bestseller, this one may not happen for a while yet.

Learn how to lucid dream

This is another goal upon which I have been working on and off over the course of the 100 weeks. Lucid dreaming is when, in a dream, you realise that you are dreaming. Apparently it is then possible to control the direction of the dream, and make it about whatever you want.

I have had this happen only twice, once long ago, and once during the course of the 100 weeks, but want to be able to do this somewhat regularly to count it as an achieved goal.

It is something I intend to keep working on in the future.

Raise $50000 for Bowel Cancer Research

I perhaps think I put off beginning my fundraising efforts for too long, concentrating on other goals instead. I have managed to raise over $7,000 for my chosen cause, which I am proud of, but it is still a long way from my original target of $50,000.

I can’t make any excuses, but perhaps the world economic climate over the past year or two has made this particular goal a bigger challenge. I received many emails from people who would have liked to help out on this one, but unfortunately were not in a postion to do so.

Many thanks to all of you who did help, or would have liked to. Your support is greatly appreciated, both by myself, by the Australian Bowel Cancer Association, and I am sure by the people whose lives may well be saved by earlier recognition of the onset of symptoms, and more effective treatment that ongoing research facilitates.

Watch a baby being born

I have always imagined that one day I might see my own child being born, and this was a goal on a list from long ago. maybe this will never happen for me, I don’t know, but I left this goal on the list regardless. I think this must still be an incredibly moving experience, obviously more so if you have a connection to the parents, rather than it just being a random stranger.

Maybe I will still be lucky enough to experience this one day.

Secure a book deal for 100goals

Part of the original overall plan for the 100 goals journey was to write a book about the whole adventure, hoping to fund much of the journey with the proceeds of such a deal. For a while I did have an agent in London, but despite his enthusiasm and optimism he did not come up with any concrete offers. he cited economic conditions as one possible factor for the reluctance of publishers to take on new, unproven subjects and writers.

I also had someone in Los Angeles hoping to represent me, but again, nothing has come from that arrangement either.

On my travels I have met a couple of self-published authors, and have been doing a lot of reading on self-publishing. I have actually come to believe that in my case this may actually prove to be a better option in the short term. If I manage to write a good book, and manage to market it successfully, it may actually help in picking up a much better publishing contract at a later date.

From what I have read, the publishing world is very much like the movie industry these days, with the six big players only keen to put backing behind sure-fire winners which will make the biggest money. Quality or originality counts for little when the ultimate measure of a book’s potential is measured in dollars and cents.

Authors lucky enough to be picked up often get very little in the way of publicity and promotion, having to much of this for themselves, unless they are in the John Grisham-type big league. And so self-publishing, much like independent film production, is becoming much more mainstream these days.

I am hoping to have my book completed over the next three months or so, and published sometime in October. I’ll keep you updated here on the blog.

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