A few months ago, the Queendom team was approached by representatives for Reebok with an idea for a bold new campaign (you can check out the Superbowl commercial here).

They had a request that would turn out to be one of the most challenging and inspiring endeavors we’ve ever taken on: They wanted us to develop a test to assess what it means to be human: The “Human Score”. Oh, and did I mention that we needed to squeeze this herculean theme into a 5-minute test?

It wasn’t like we could go around asking people what it means to be human. I mean, when I asked friends that question I got the same reaction across the board: Their foreheads would scrunch up, they’d stare into the distance hoping that divine intervention would provide an answer, and then ended up saying something like, “Hmm…that’s a good question. I’ve never really thought about it.”

We decided to start with the most basic premise: What differentiates humans from animals? Aside from the fact that we can walk relatively upright (I don’t know about you, but I trip over anything that can possibly be tripped over), what makes us stand apart from animals?

We came up with four ideas – and I don’t mean that we came up with them in a span of one brainstorming session. We spent days and weeks, brainstorming, conceptualizing, tweaking, re-writing, and re-thinking. My fingers were stained blue from the amount of times we wrote on and then subsequently erased our whiteboard.

After lots of simmering, we boiled down our ideas to four delicious options:

  1. The EQ approach: Looking at humanity in light of emotional intelligence. Humans feel compassion, empathy, and are self-aware.
  1. The Self-Actualization approach: All humans are motivated to fulfill certain wants (shelter, food, sex, belonging), but the ultimate goal we strive toward is to reach our full potential.
  1. The Duality of Humanity approach: Mind and body, yin and yang, good and evil, war and peace, God and Devil, Jekyll & Hyde … human nature is complex and full of contradictions.
  1. The final idea, and the one we settled on, was the Values approach: Most people live their life according to a value system. That which we value has significant influence on how we live our lives.

Our next step was to interview people from different walks of life and learn about what matters most to them; people from different cultures, fitness levels, careers, and backgrounds. What we discovered surprised us.
Every person we interviewed said the same thing; it didn’t matter whether they were white, black, rich, poor, liberal, conservative, healthy, sick, single or married. They all had the same heartfelt desires:

  • To love and to be loved
  • To enjoy good health
  • To make a difference in the world
  • To bring joy to others
  • To raise happy and emotionally healthy children
  • To accomplish something amazing

No one mentioned the desire to become filthy rich. No one aspired to own a sports car or to rule the world. There was a clear and consistent intent to get back to what matters most: health, love, and altruism. To get back to being human.

Based on these interviews and lots of other research, we came up with eye-opening questions that compelled people to step back and figure out what really matters to them (like our stingy Genie question), and then created individualized personality types based on a person’s values system. And the piece de resistance: Everyone gets a Human Score on a scale from 0 to 100; a basic measurement of how human you are.

I got a score of 62 (let’s face it, I’m quirky) but received a very flattering and oh-so-apt personality type: The “Brain Buff,” because I love to exercise my mind and body. (Click here if you want to discover your human score).

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Despite the fact that the Reebok commercial depicts Amazonian men and women running through muddy obstacle courses, I really want to point out one thing: You can accomplish amazing feats without being an Olympic athlete.

My curvy, voluptuous body isn’t going to be climbing any gigantic walls or flipping over monster truck tires any time soon, but that doesn’t make me any better or worse than anyone else…it just makes me different.

So when it comes to fitness, go with what works for you. Be the human you want to be, whether it’s jogging while pushing your child in a carriage, dancing with someone you love, taking walks through nature, or saluting the sun on your yoga mat – stick with what you love.

This Be More Human project is about getting back to what matters to you. It’s about doing the best you can to achieve your full human potential.
We at Queendom were honored to be a part of this inspiring project.

Now get out there and be a good human.

Insightfully yours,

Queen “The Brain Buff” D