Thank You, Intel

30th September 2009

Today is the last day of Intel’s Sponsors of Tomorrow Campaign on Mighty Girl. I can hardly express how grateful I am to the Intel team, and how blessed I am to have all of you guys supporting me.

A quick recap of everything Intel has made possible in the last few months. Together, we:

1. Redesigned Mighty Girl, (with a little help from Helen Jane).

2. Took tap lessons from Mr. Kloss.


3. Swam with bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico.


4. Got a little closer to tasting 1,000 fruits.


5. Had an exceptional time in Greece.


6. Had dinner at the French Laundry.


7. Hosted a giant food fight.


8. Learned to roll in a kayak.


9. Rejected paragliding as a hobby.


10. Zip-lined through a canopy.


Because the campaign let me make my life list a top priority, I even tackled a bunch of goals on my own. We took Hank camping, played with sparklers on the Fourth of July, and introduced him to ice cream cones. I did one of Miranda July’s projects. And I even got a few friends together to help me plan a retreat.

How Did this Happen?

A lot of you have asked me how I got Intel to sponsor my Mighty Life List, and the answer is I didn’t. These guys did.


That’s Paige Thomas, Jason Ratner, and David Veneski. Paige and Jason work for Federated Media — the company that helped make blogging my job. David works for Intel, the company that made my dreams my job.

I talk to Paige nearly every day, and about a year ago I asked her to tell the sales team about my list. Ideas like this can easily come across as “some blogger wants free stuff,” but Jason understood. He told David, and showed me some of the ads around Sponsors of Tomorrow. I thought the main ideas were in line with my values: Celebrating smart people, and embracing the future.

David eventually agreed to have Intel sponsor my life list, which was bold of him, I think. Intel is a huge company with a lot at stake, and most companies of that size want full approval over any text that goes out. That clearly would never work for Mighty Girl, so David decided to trust me, which must have been scary at first.

When we first started the campaign, Matt Jessell at FM sent me this Brady Bunch collage to pin on my board:


It cracked me up when I first got it, and it still does, but now it makes me a little sentimental too. This is the team behind the Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign — most of them have made their own life lists, some have become Twitter friends, and all of them played a part in changing the way I approach my life. I owe them my gratitude.

What Happens Next?

Y’all, I am going to sleep. I had no idea how much I was biting off, or how much emotion I’d feel through all of it.

It may sound cheesy, but these few months have been transformative, and change takes a lot of energy. Doing all this has helped me clarify what makes me happy, and reminded me to be more gentle with myself. I understand now that a list like this requires flexibility, and writing about all of it has shown me that I can be comically rigid. It honestly came as an epiphany that I could change my own list — add new things, delete the things that just didn’t seem appealing when I actually started tackling them.

I’ve also learned so much about all of you. That you want to travel, be role models, buy homes, start businesses. I love reading your lists, and I’m still thinking about a better way for us to work on them together.

While I sleep for a year or so, Paige will be building a succulent wall; Jason is figuring out how to found bed and breakfasts for snowboarders, cyclists and vinophiles; and David wants to write a book. I’ll let you know how they do.

In the meantime, thank you, everyone. For all of it.

58 thoughts on “Thank You, Intel

  1. Angela

    I’m sad for it to be over! I had such a blast watching you do so many things on your list. Certainly I think more highly of Intel investing in a thoroughly non-traditional, but rewarding project like this. Long live computer chips with soul!

  2. Jenny

    Thank you Intel for sponsoring Maggie. I loved following her journey of completing her life list. It WAS inspirational. I’m not quite ready to tackle my own life list, there are still so many things on my plate that need to come first right now. BUT being a part of Maggies list, even just as a spectator has given me the motivation to at least start thinking about my own life aspirations. To get my own list documented. I appreciate how valuable this experience has been for Maggie, but more than that I appreciate what I’ve walked away with from reading about her life list.

    The first thing on my list is:

    To taste 100 teas

    Doable, and tasty.

  3. Michelle

    Aw, I feel kind of weepy. Thanks to Intel for making this happen! Watching you prioritize a portion of your list has inspired me to pursue my own dreams with abandon.

  4. She Likes Purple

    I really do hope you continue to share what you’re tackling from your list, in the same style you did with the items above. It’s thrilling to see people act on their dreams, no matter how they go about achieving them.

  5. Nicole

    have also been thinking about how to take the life list to the next level. it needs its own site, where people can upload their lists. sortable by geographic area so fellow listers can meet and help with each others tasks. mentors available from different industry/interests to answer questions. email me!

  6. Amelia M

    I’ve eagerly read about every one of your new accomplishments, and I must say the entire process has been incredibly inspiring. You’ve written in such a way that doesn’t make me think “Pfft, sure, I could achieve my dreams too if I had a sponsor” – instead I’ve been thinking, “hey, these things are achievable, if I work towards them with conviction.” You’ve deserved everything you’ve achieved here.

  7. Amanda Blog and Kiss

    Awwww, is this it over then? That was so much fun to watch unfold!!! Job well done and thanks for taking us along for the ride.

    Can I also just say that I packed for 3 days in London and brought the SMALLEST BAG EVER. Inspired by you.

    And wow Emmy are you a fan of Mighty Girl too? Small, small world!

  8. Christy

    Thank you Intel and Maggie’s team! It has been so much fun (and so inspirational!) to watch her cross things off of her Mighty List! Thanks for making our girl so happy!

  9. robyn

    YAY AND CONGRATS! have fun sleeping!

    {i have to say, i love love love the new blog design, but i miss being able to just glance at your life list in the sidebar where it used to be.}

  10. Meg

    Well. I just got all teary. Thanks Intel, and thanks Maggie. Oddly the trick you just performed over the last three months seemed *hard* to me. Fun, but really hard, which was surprising… it’s funny, but now that I think of it, life lists are hard… that’s why we haven’t done them yet. And I’m inspired and delighted that everyone here has such similar lists – travel, role model, businesses, books. Each one particular, but shared goals.

    So thanks Intel. We owe you one.

  11. Yolanda

    Oh god I’m totally weeping over this. I’m so glad you got to do everything you did. I’m even more glad that you shared it with us, and let us come along for the ride. But this feels like the end of summer camp.

  12. smallstatic

    I just have this gigantic sense of YES!!! YES this is what corporations like Intel should be spending their money on! You (and we, your readers, by watching and listening) are the people they should be supporting. Why blow a bunch of cash on network ad buys when they can directly transform your life and remind the rest of us to try to do the same? I don’t watch network tv and I DVR anything interesting on cable so I don’t have to suffer through the commercials. But the next fancy thing Intel has to offer that makes sense to buy, I’m in. Intel, you ROCK. Dave Veneski is a genius. I’m so glad this came together for you.

  13. Aisha

    Could you work with a designer to make a It could be a place where those of us that have similar goals – say, going to Italy or doing a triathlon – we can connect, either to find ways to fund these trips or find people we want to do the triathlon with, etc. It would be a place for all of us to work on our lists together. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but thought I would toss it out there.

    Reading your posts the past few months have been so inspirational and amazing. Enjoy the sleep – you earned it! :)

  14. Michelle Ottey

    You have been so inspiring. It was an amazing gift that this happened for you but it was also a gift to all of your readers.

    I know that you’ll continue to make your way through that list. I know how wonderful it feels to acheive those life goals. It is empowering.

    I’ve put up my list and progress here:

    All the best,

  15. Debbie

    Congratulations on all of it! It was so much fun to read along through your experiences. Thanks for sharing it all with us! I’m inspired… I need to dust off my old list. I’ve been accomplishing a lot and I’ve changed so much that I’ve now done things I hadn’t even considered to put on the list but I can’t imagine my life without them.

    Thanks again, and you deserved it. I’m grateful along with you.

  16. Sarah

    Well done on doing some amazing things – and for thinking of doing them in the first place. That’s the bit I have trouble with.

  17. Jasie VanGesen

    This just oozes awesome. I’m so happy they sponsored your list… and I’m so happy you went forward and just grabbed that list by the balls! You even inspired me to make my own list, however simple and modest. I’ve got it up on the right sidebar of my blog and have been slowly whittling it away. :)

  18. Pam

    Have loved living vicariously through your adventures, and you’ve motivated me in so many ways.

    Thank you and congratulations!

  19. amy

    Oh man, I too am so sad it’s over. But I am hoping you will keep us posted on the many more life goals you tackle with this newfound inspiration & transformation! I started a list and scratched off a few things but let it to the wayside. I’m going to return to it, thoughtfully, with your wise experience – don’t worry about meeting them perfectly, be happy about them, learn from them & keep an open mind…thank you so much!

  20. Paul

    Unbelievably great stuff, Maggie. Your website is a must-visit every single day of the week! Can it be you are now “Famous Among a Couple of Dozen”? Yes, you ARE the Mighty Girl!

  21. Bonnie

    I think this is the most incredible blog-related thing I have ever read. How weird and amazing for the possibilities of a blog to go from strange thing to do, to common thing, to thing that might get a book deal, thing that might lead to one meeting the love of their life of new best friend, top thing that could change media forever, to go-to world news source, to this: absolute dream machine.

    All the more awesome that you thought a sponsor might want to do something with your list– I thought they found you. You made your own lucky– so much brilliant luck!

  22. Cici Jones

    One of the most remarkable things is this: How often does a big Fortune 100 company do something that makes you love them?

    I’ve never been so fond of computer chips.

  23. Carolyn

    Ugh, this is so hard to write.

    Maggie, I’ve had a pretty different reaction to watching all of these wonderful life-expanding experiences unfold: envy. And frustration. Nobody is going to show up tomorrow with this kind of support for me to grow and live. I’m always going to have to work out of the home because of a pre-existing medical condition from an accident in my early 20s. I come from relatively poor people and don’t have friends who are influential. My husband’s been unemployed for six months–the second round of unemployment in three years.

    Let’s be clear: THAT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. But the wonder and joy you’ve felt and expressed here has made my world–of work in a job that stresses me out so much that I cry on Sunday afternoons because I have to go back on Monday; of stretching food a little bit farther so that the house payment is current; of having to ask parents (in my 30s!) for financial help to fix the car–feel even smaller and more confining. There’s no “out” for me: if I stop, we don’t eat. We don’t have a roof.

    Again: THAT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. But it does explain why I haven’t been inspired to create a “how I want to live” manifesto. When I read Mighty Girl, all I can see is how different your life is from mine. Nobody says life is fair and I am in no way saying that you have’t worked for and earned every bit of your success and its benefits. But it has been really, really painful for me to watch and know that my own world will never look like yours.

  24. Maggeh Post author

    Hi Carolyn,

    I’m sorry you’re going through so much right now, and I can see the frustration in your note. This project is meant to be inspiring, but given your situation I understand why that’s not resonating for you right now. You’re right that no one will magically appear to give you everything you need, there’s a lot of hard work behind “luck,” but it sounds like you’re a pretty damn hard worker.

    I’ve been in desperate financial situations myself, and I know how soul crushing it can be. I hope things improve for you in time, and you start to let yourself dream, even if you don’t know yet how your dreams will come to pass.


  25. Renee

    Congratulations Love! I feel confident that you conquering some things on your Mighty List inspired many to mark a few things of their lists, or at least start writing their list. Thank you for letting us be a part of this personal journey, and I hope you continue to tackle the things on your list… after you nap of course.

  26. Nicole

    I’m glad you commented. I think I understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes it hurts too much to even dream, because everything seems so impossible. This is another worthwhile discussion brought about by the life list, though. I hope that someday soon your luck changes, your hard work pays off, and you get to where you want to be.

    I think you actually just made a very big step, by taking stock of where you are and how you want things to be different.

    And on behalf of the entire blogging community, thank you for rationally addressing your frustration and envy and not just hurling hate towards Maggie.

  27. Pingback: my mighty life list « check your sugarcoat at the door

  28. tara

    sometimes dreams really do come true.

    i’ve enjoyed reading about your adventures, maggie.

    i feel you carolyn — sometimes reality can really bog one down with little room to dream. i hope your reality gives your some breathing and dreaming room, and soon.

  29. samantha

    wonderful wonderfully wondrous wonder! so glad you got to do this and even more so that you shared it with us.

    reading this regularly helped me believe in my own adventures i’m tackling (like quitting my job to be an artist + illustrator).

    can’t wait to see more!

  30. Dauntless

    Now this is true brilliance… learning to lose your rigidity towards the ol’ Life List.

    I could learn from that! I’ve lived my life through a serious of intense Lists since I was 15 years old, and I’ve never before allowed myself to change the List. It’s as though life lists had become my religion!

    And recently, while compiling my “101 Goals in 1,001 Days” list it dawned on me that at some point in that 2.74 year-long journey, I MAY want to change a few things… perhaps I should notate that on my site.

    “Note to self: learn from Mighty Girl that flexibility can equal progress, and by pursuing one’s dreams with focus, Luck can be Created.”

  31. Stephanie

    You should be very proud of yourself. It seems odd to say that to someone I’ve never met, but I’m proud of you and inspired by you.

    Good. On. You.

  32. Pingback: Mighty Life List | Mommy Blogs @ JustMommies

  33. Long Story Longer

    Totally overwhelmed at how wonderful all this was – the adventures, the posts, the comments. I love that you mentioned how much energy change takes. Enjoy your rest and thank you for all the sharing you’ve done!

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  36. Laura S

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog and have been perusing past posts (and enjoying doing so!). When I saw the picture of you near the swimming pool in the black romper from Urban Outfitters in your “Packing Light: Greece Edition” post, I just had to comment and ask if this photo was taken by the pool at a small pension called Irene II on the Greek island of Naxos? If so, my husband and I spent 3 weeks there a couple of summers ago (possibly the best 3 weeks of my life) and, if not, it bears a striking resemblance. Either way, I’d be curious to know!

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