The premise: an assignment from Nike to make a film about making life count. So what does the filmaker do? He heads off with a friend on an around-the-world trip for as long as all the money Nike gave him would last. It took 10 days.
Ten days of an extraordinary trip that these guys will be able to talk about for the rest of their lives, ten days of experiences that many people will never have, ten days of an all-expenses paid vacation. Who wouldn't want to do that? Who wouldn't want to be able to do any of the things they do in the video?
Inspirational quotes are interspersed throughout the video. Some of them include:
- Life is either daring adventure or nothing at all. --Helen Keller
- You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. --Mae West
- Above all, try something. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Do one thing every day that scares you. --Eleanor Roosevelt
- In the end, it's not the years in your life that count; it's the life in your years. --Abraham Lincoln
- Action expresses priorities. --Ghandi
Then it hit me.
It was about two young, presumably unmarried and childless, males. I do not fit into the demographic of the filmmakers or of their obvious target audience: young, unattached males who can theoretically go off on adventures on a moment's notice. I am a married woman in my 30s with two young children. I am not going to be able to have those same adventures that they had; they were not exactly conducive to bringing along a preschooler and a toddler. Well, maybe the experience of riding the elephant was; my kids would love that.
Making it count for me will look very different. Making it count for me consists of laughing at my kids having a blast driving their Jeep around the back yard or stopping what I am doing to dance along to my four year old's "guitar" playing or helping raise funds for people to be able to drink clean water or having a great conversation with a friend or enjoying my morning coffee or making the time to write on this blog.
So I began to wonder: what would it look like to make it count at other stages of or situations in life? How does the single mom working two jobs make it count? Or the recently widowed? Or the person dying of cancer? Or the college student who is about to graduate?
What are all the ways to make life count, no matter how small they are? It is far more likely that most of us will have to look for these small and creative ways to make life count, because I don't think Nike is really going to pay for most of us to take the trips we've always dreamed of (though if the offered, I can't say I'd turn it down). Making it count is not about only the single, big, exciting, short-term events in life, but about living each day to its fullest, wherever you are: in gratitude, in awe, in love.
We do need to remind ourselves about this constantly though, because it is far too easy to become complacent, irritable, and unappreciative of life and not live life to the fullest, although, the fullest will be different for each one of us.
How do you make it count?