For those of you who have seen the blockbuster film Titanic, you will remember just before Jack let go of Rose’s hand and finally lost his struggle against the icy cold waters of the Atlantic, he made her promise him that she would survive and “Make every day count”
Much later in the film we see Rose as a very old lady, white hair, skin deep with the lines of age, return to the spot where she lost her first love. By her bed onboard the yacht the camera slowly pans around on the countless sepia coloured photographs she insisted taking everywhere with her. The photographs were the reminders of a life filled with adventures, and captured a pictorial cornucopia of her many trailblazing activities over the years since being rescued that night. Some of the pictures included a smiling Rose riding a horse like a maaaan, piloting a plane , standing next to many famous international landmarks, as a successful actress draped in the various costumes of the many characters she played in her career.
At that point I was convinced that she kept her promise to Jack and did indeed make every day really count.
One of the scenes in the film that really resonated with me was of Rose, at 100 years old, slowly walking along the deck of the yacht in the dark, cold night dressed only in a thin, long, white nightdress. As she steps onto the cold metal siding to lean over and return the “Heart of the Ocean” diamond to its final resting place, we see her bare feet on the cold white railings – and her toenails are painted a vivid red!
Of course Titanic is fiction, and yet it is a powerful story told in film that touched me, particularly in the way Rose, even after being faced with tragedy and loss , found the courage, determination and strength to go on to lead an amazing, fulfilling and happy life.
Often in training and coaching we illustrate and explain many concepts through storytelling . This helps people to make their own meaning and understanding of the concept through the story being told.
The meaning I attach to Rose’s story is that I can choose to celebrate each day of my life, and on some days I will achieve amazing feats on others I will do little things to make the day worthwhile for myself and/or others – or I can take my chances each day by drifting on a piece of wood in the cold, dark Atlantic waters (metaphorically of course) Guess what I chose!
So the simple phrase “Make Every Day Count” has been my mantra since first hearing it, as it resonated a powerful meaning with me.
At first I used to have a bright yellow post it stuck on my pc in the office to remind me of the phrase – now I just say to myself each morning when I wake ” How will I make today count? “, and just before I go to sleep I ask myself ” How did I make today count ?” Sometimes I don’t have to ask myself – I just know!
On Thursday as I drove through the beautiful gates of the Country House spa where I was spending a day , I left all the thoughts that were filling my mind of work , phone calls I had to make and all the many things that needed to be done behind me. I promised myself to soak in the whole experience of a day of being completely pampered . A much needed day of calm, peace and tranquility.
After a relaxing visit to all the saunas, steam rooms, jacuizis, two long massage treatments , a beautiful lunch and a stint in the relaxation room, the day was nearly over. I waited in the peaceful lounge to be called for my final treatment – a pedicure that was part of the package.
As I sat there feeling completely relaxed and chilled, I reflected on the wonderful day Id had up until then, and what an anchor of peace and tranquility this place has always been and always will be to me. I thought I would forego the pedicure as it wasnt really something I had wanted, and I had achieved my desired result for the day already. Just at that moment a beautiful dark haired young girl called out my name. “Oh well” I thought ” too late to cancel now ! ”
Rachel was just 19 years old. As she started my pedicure she chatted away happily about her life , her boyfriend and the night clubbing she had planned for her birthday the following week . We discovered that we both shared the same birthday ! I told her that I wouldn’t be clubbing on my birthday – I was going out for a meal with my family !
“We are both Librans – we enjoy socialising” Rachel said laughing, and then we both went on to extol the attributes of people born under the sign of Libra with great gusto, clearly we were biased! It was very easy and natural talking to Rachel.
She continued to cheerily tell me about how she loves being with her friends and has a big social circle. She talked about her mum and how close they all were as a family. As I listened as this beautiful, happy, young girl chatted away, I thought what a wise head she had for someone so young, and what a great outlook she had to life already . She told me that about a year ago, after a difficult time in her life, she had decided to make sure that she enjoyed everyday of her life to the full. She allocated 1 day a month where she gave herself permission to feel moody, or sad, or just vent emotion if she needed to . Just one day.
“How does that work Rachel” I asked her – “What if you get mad or annoyed on the other days?” I joked .
“The thing is Patsy ” she replied ” I found that by allowing myself that “sad” day, it makes it easier for me to just let things go on the other days of the month . Knowing I have a day where I can really let off steam changes the way I think about things – and my sad day is rarely sad at all!” A great example of actively changing to a resourceful state of mind.
” So, are you pleased with your toes? ” Rachel cheerily asked me as she finished my pedicure . I looked down at my perfectly manicured toes and replied ” Wow , I love them – and that vivid red looks fantastic!”
Rachel had her own way of making every day count and it certainly worked for her.
So now how will you make every day count for you?
For some it will be making a great sale or signing a brand new contract or achieving success in work or relationships.
For some it will be that they have made an extraordinary effort, under challenging circumstances , to do something that may appear to others a very small thing – but to them it will have taken great courage and effort to do.
For others it will be making someone else’s day by making them feel special, maybe by giving them comfort, support or just by listening to them.
However you chose to make each day count for you will be absolutely perfect. Enjoy!