How NIKE Ruined the Best Advice You’ll Ever Get

We all know the slogan, right under the NIKE swoosh.


Yeah. If you’re a runner or a swimmer or a climber. Whatever. Just do it.

There was some impact to this slogan when it first came out, along with some terrific visuals and intense encouragement. Sure, a lot of viewers felt a jolt of inspiration. Maybe a few were even sparked into doing something more than they thought possible.

But, as befalls all advertisers, overkill seems to be inevitable. And so, this particular phrase, while remaining one of the most recognized statements in modern history, has suffered the doom of a life sentence in the prison of cliche, without any chance of parole.

The words “JUST DO IT,” are now synonymous with NIKE.

And shame on NIKE for taking what is probably the best advice you’ll ever get, and draining all meaning and power from them with over use and commercialism.

I’ve recently lost a considerable amount of weight. Enough that I am constantly being hit with the question, “How?”

Not the “How do you lose weight?” question. We all know the answer to that: more output than intake. It’s all in the math.

No, the real question is “How did you get started?”

Those who need to lose more than a few stone know that we don’t need a new diet, a funky new exercise, a dreaded trainer, a doctor, an intervention. We know all the rules. In fact, no one knows more about nutrition that those of us who need to lose some weight.

What we need is a dose of magic – a pill, an event, a spark – that puts us in the right mindset to want to make the sacrifices necessary to successful weight loss. The fact is, losing weight is as easy as breathing. But only if and when your mind is in the game.

The big question is: How do I get into that mindset? How do I convince myself that I want/can/should do this? How do I get started when I just don’t want to do it, even when I know I should?

And the answer is obvious. JUST DO IT.

Yeah, yeah.

No. Think about the words. Not the cliche.

JUST. Keep it simple. Don’t plan. Don’t think. Don’t worry. Don’t add in a whole bunch of dreams and hopes and fears and emotions. JUST. One thing. One focus. One.

DO. Act. Go. Move. You know what to do. You don’t need to prepare and spend and organize and anticipate. Start. Now. Don’t listen to that whiny voice in your head.

IT. Lose weight. Attack your debt. Get that job. Meet that girl. Whatever your IT is. One thing. You know what IT is. You know how to do this. If IT is your obstacle, you know everything about IT. Make IT your bitch. Climb all over IT. Conquer IT.

JUST DO IT. Don’t think about it. Don’t wonder what if. Don’t waste time and energy with IT in your head. Get IT out there and face IT straight on. No feeling sorry for yourself. No regrets. Just IT. JUST. IT.

Until you feel some success. Until some little thing happens that makes you look up from your charge to realize, hey, this is working. I’m doing IT. I’m getting somewhere. I can do this. I can keep going. I am a god!

When you make the transition from the blind focus of JUST DO IT to, LOOK AT ME! I’M DOING IT, the energy and enthusiasm you gain from that success brings on a momentum you couldn’t have imagined. And you find yourself wondering why you didn’t JUST DO IT a long time ago.

If debt is your nemesis, fight back. Open the bills; read them. Call your creditors. Face the music. Add everything up. Take control. JUST DO IT. You know what IT is. JUST DO IT. And when IT starts to become a thing separate from you, instead of defining you, when you become the boss, when you take charge, when you realize that you’re DOING IT! life becomes a whole lot better!


So What If I Can’t Pay My Bills

This is the equivalent to “So what if I’m fifty pounds overweight?,” “So what if I smoke a pack a day?,” and “So what if I like to tie one on every weekend?”

With the added detachment of not know exactly whom you owe the money to, it’s too easy to fall into this stage of denial. Certainly, if you owe Uncle Bill $5,000, you are going to pay attention to that debt, not because financially, it’s the best one to pay off first, but because your mother knows you owe her brother and mentions it every time you see her. And you like Uncle Bill.

But, really, who the hell is VISA? There’s no name. No face. No dinner on Sunday.

You’re not going to hurt VISA’s feelings.

And if you ruin your relationship with VISA, there’s always MasterCard.



Having a lot of personal debt can easily, and very suddenly, lead to a type of denial you didn’t think possible. You begin to detach yourself from the responsibility of the debt, and paying it off begins to take on a lower priority than it should.

Someone who had never bounced a cheque before in his life, can unfortunately find himself thinking, “They can take it out of the insurance when I die.”

And this kind of defeatist attitude will do more damage to your emotional and financial health than simply carrying the debt in the first place.

It means you’ve accepted your debt as part of your life. And given the stress and hardship that comes with a heavy debt load, that’s like saying, “Oh well, I have cancer. I was going to die anyway.”

If you’re feeling this way, you need to seek help. You need to speak to a financial professional who can help you understand your situation more fully, and to make a plan for your recovery. Find a credit counsellor. Today. And make an appointment.

And make sure your next phone call is to your doctor. Tell you doctor about your situation. Explain how you’re feeling and how you think your future looks.

Debt is a major environmental cause of depression. And giving up is the first major symptom.

If this sounds like you, talk to someone. Get some help. You need to find the spark that lights the fire under your butt. And if your debt has extinguished that spark, this could be the beginning of a long road downward that doesn’t have to happen.

Asking for help is not admitting you’re weak. It’s proving your strength. It takes more control and power to ask for help than it does to simply allow your problems to take that control and power away from you.