The other morning I was watching Sportscenter on ESPN and along came a Nike commercial starring LeBron James. I had just enough time built up in my queue where I could have fast forwarded past it, but it immediately pulled me in and I watched. And then, I rewound it and watched it again. And then, I called DH in the room to watch it again. The commercial (entitled “What Should I Do?”) has to be one of the most brilliant pieces of marketing Nike has ever done, and that’s saying something.
Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the “LeBron James summer” where he was the topic on every sports fan’s mind. Where will LeBron go? I’m not even a basketball fan and even I followed the headlines. This drama exceeded anything I’d ever seen before in the history of sports. It really was something else.
And the Nike commercial? Brilliant. I mean, seriously brilliant. It has LeBron asking “What should I do?” as he refers to the past summer, his legacy, his life. It asks the question but as we all know there isn’t an answer, just a lot of suggestions from people who have nothing to do with the situation. Take a moment to check it out if you haven’t seen it:
The thing that stays with me in this commercial is that, while it applies to LeBron, it really speaks to each of us. Doesn’t it? How many times do we wrestle with decisions where our friends and relatives weigh in, where we strive to reach goals and yet have people constantly question our motives, or where we’re made to apologize for the very life we’re trying to create?
This all reminds me of one of my all-time favorite books, The Four Agreements. One of the “agreements” is Don’t Take Anything Personally. And I mean, nothing, including the good stuff. Someone give you a compliment? Thank them, but don’t let it go to your head. Someone criticize you? Take it with a grain of salt. Why? Because everything people say to us is motivated by something in their own life. Everything! Even if what they are saying is true.
The question, “What should I do?” is something I’ve felt time and time again. When someone is being critical, when they are giving unwanted or un-asked for advice. When they pass judgment. When they just plain outright lie because you’re not acting the way they want you to act. It makes you ask, “What should I do?” But that question only opens up the door to more judgment, more suggestions, more opinions.
What should I do? What’s the right answer? There isn’t one. There are just a lot of opinions, and sometimes things happen just because they do.