The Cog

Honda’s commercial, The Cog, is a pretty cool one to watch.

According to a quick search online, it is said that there were 606 takes before capturing the sequence perfectly.

606 takes.
606 attempts.
606 resets.

As I think about this commercial and its process, it feels like 606 lessons from this one advertisement! But we are going to focus on just a couple of them today.

A Lesson in Persistence
Imagine being on the team that set this commercial up time after time after time (after time…). It’s a pretty clear example of being persistent. That seems remarkable to me! But the more I think about it, I come to understand that many of us have done something in the arena of 606 times before getting “it” right.

How many miles logged before completing a marathon? How many words, phrases, inflections memorized before becoming fluent in a second language? How many classes attended and concepts learned before receiving a degree?

It doesn’t seem like such a stretch that we have all persisted in a manner similar to Honda’s commercial to reach our own goals. We are persistent!

The Lesson of Thinking in Terms of Possibility
There are times, when we are in the midst of a process, that we may be plagues with the question, “Is this even possible?” It seems fair to imagine that someone at some point during the creation of The Cog had some doubts. In fact, throughout the process I imagine folks had to really channel a serious commitment to thinking in terms possibility. I don’t know what they grounded their belief in, but I can reflect on what grounds my own ability to stay in a state of possibility. You can do the same…and hang onto that when you wonder if “it” can be done.

A Lesson in Comparison
This commercial looks perfect. The experiment we see goes perfectly.

In a world where we are able to present ourselves in a “finished” state (think social media), it is rare to have access to everything it took to reach that publicly shared end-result. We aren’t always privy to everyone’s “before” and “during” prior to seeing the perfect looking “after.”

And when we are generally exposed to projects in their completed and “perfect” state – to the “after picture”, if you will – it’s easy to form a potentially false idea around the journey leading there.

What’s my point here? Let’s not compare our progress to someone else’s achievement.

The commercial we see is flawless; the making of the commercial was not. 606 times. Maybe the number 606 can serve as a touchstone when we need to be pulled back to reality, when we need to be persistent, when we need to remember what is possible.

Haven’t sung a song or recited a poem completely without tripping over the words? 606.

Haven’t beaten your personal best in a race? 606.

Think someone else’s life is better, more accomplished, shinier than your own? 606.

Is anything possible? Remember, 606.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s