What does “make it count” mean to you?
That is the question director Casey Neistat was supposed to answer when Nike approached him to create their latest commercial.
Nike had success working with Casey before, but no way could they have expected what he decided to do with the money for their commercial.
Casey decided to rephrase the question and ask himself, “Consequences aside, if I could do anything in the world what would it be?”
His answer: Spend Nike’s entire budget (without telling them) to travel the world with one of his friends until the money ran out. They ended up lasting 10 days and made it completely around the globe. You can see their adventures edited down under 5 minutes in the video below.
It turns out that Casey isn’t the only one who wants to see the world. Less than a week later, Steve Kamb from NerdFitness came out with a similar video that he was working on for the last 18 months. Much like the first video, Steve created a mission for himself to exercise in some of the most notable and remote places across the world. His video (below) is definitely worth checking out.
I have to applaud Steve on this very professionally done video. It’s very uniquely done and I think everyone should be able to have this kind of “lifeshow” (life+slideshow). I’ve been to some of the places in these videos and to actually see them in person is just amazing and breathtaking.
Steve also didn’t take a giant wad of money from some big company and blow it as fast as possible. He saved up responsibly, used credit card mileage wisely, and took his sweet time seeing the world. Right Steve?
And last but not least, I remembered seeing a similar video about a year back on FourHourBlog. It’s the same concept as the other 2 videos, but I wanted to share it anyways. Plus, I have an affinity for breakdancing so I had to include it.
I don’t show you these videos to make you think that your life sucks, but rather to show you what is possible. It is so easy to get caught up in your daily to-do list that sometimes we forget to see the bigger picture. While traveling the world may or may not be a feasible option for you, I think there are some important takeaways that we can all learn from these videos.
There will never be a better time than now to do something amazing. If there’s one thing that all of these videos had in common its that the people who made them all could have made excuses why their project wouldn’t work. They could still be sitting on their couch dreaming about the trip they would eventually take someday. But they didn’t.
They all took action and decided to figure out the details later.
Tim Ferriss (author of the 4 hour work week and one of the inspirations for videos #2 and #3) recommends outlining your worst case scenario.
What would the worst case scenario be if you quit your job or asked for a short leave of absence?
What would the worst case scenario be if you negotiated a remote working agreement and used the extra freedom to travel the world?
Once you realistically define the worst case scenario you will usually find that you could easily recover from it in a few weeks or months. More than likely it will work out better than you think and you will wonder why it took you so long to take action in the first place.
Traveling the world doesn’t have to be expensive. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the first video was done on corporate giant Nike’s budget. Most of the traveling done in the second and third videos were done very frugally. Steve from Nerd Fitness even wrote a post about how he was able to book a round-the-world airline ticket for only $418.
I also can attest to this personally after spending close to 3 months traveling through London and the rest of Europe with my girlfriend at the end of 2011. London is extremely expensive! If we could survive there financially, we could pretty much survive anywhere. But if you are flexible with your flight times (midweek is usually the best time to fly), have an open mind about where you are willing to sleep (we stayed on spare couches and rooms from airbnb.com), and smart about how you spend your money on food and entertainment (living social, groupon, and similar companies are worldwide now), you can plan the trip of a lifetime for far cheaper than you could ever imagine.
Scare Yourself Everyday. These guys didn’t have friends in each country, nor did they travel with security and translators to help them through every foreign country. They just had their bags, a friend, a camera, and WENT.
The same rule applies if you want to grow a muscle, you have to push your body to do things its never done before, to push beyond your comfort zone.
This is especially true when you want to grow as a person. The more uncomfortable situations that you can comfortably handle, the happier and stronger you will be.
While these 3 videos all use travel as a way of stepping out of your comfort zone, that’s definitely not the only way to do it. When I was in London, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try parkour, and it was an amazing experience. For you it might mean signing up for your first CrossFit or Yoga class, learning to speak Spanish(another goal of mine), or attempting a new skill like stand up paddleboarding. Make it a habit of trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
Ultimately, I want you to use these videos as permission to take a step back from your day-to-day life and figure out what you are really working towards. Do you want to travel the world? Do you want to learn something new? Do you want to quit the job that you hate? Do you want to start a business? Stop making excuses and make it happen.
You only get one shot at this life. Make it count.