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Even though I have worked in Marketing for over a decade, it has taken me a while to become really “Aware” of all the Advertising & Marketing being thrown at us to get us to “Act” in a way that benefits a given company.

When I was getting my weight back in control, I really started to think about how hard it can be to effectively lose weight.  At almost every step in the supermarket, marketers and companies are busy pushing sugar-laden confectioneries, high calorie cereals – They even take a swipe at you on the way out, by putting those great “Impulse” chocolates in front of you!

Now, before you say “OK Ed, take some responsibility, you chose to eat those chocolates” I am the first one to agree with you.  However, you got to acknowledge – companies are throwing lots of money at us to get as to act in a favour that benefits them.

In fact, is this fair doing it to Children?  OK, you can blame me because I am an “Adult”, but the marketing directed at Children? Come on – you can’t just pin that on the kids.

One thing that has really got me thinking lately is that:

– If you don’t know what you want, you can (and most likely will) get sucked into things that aren’t to your better interests.

If anything, this makes perfectly logical sense.  If you know exactly what you want to do and why you are doing it – it’s actually very hard to get distracted.  But if you are “Going with the Flow” – I have found this can really work against us.  When I did this myself, I really got into Chocolate and got very fat!  Fortunately I lost most of it (But it wasn’t easy!).

There are so many people out there (such as in my confectionery example) who are spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to get you to act in a way that suits them.

Scary Huh? Besides picking on Chocolate (which is a personal love of mine) – this can really apply to many areas of our life.  A good example (as my mother always reminded me), if you hang out with the wrong crowd, you can really up becoming the wrong crowd!

Even better (and especially relevant Post-Christmas) is Consumer Credit Card Debt.  Once you get sucked in to this arrangement (i.e. Easy Credit Payment Terms, Easy ability to withdraw etc) it can be a tough one to get out of! If you know what you want (and why), I have found it really protects you from getting sucked into other people’s plan. If you are sucked into something that doesn’t suit you, then I really ask you to be “Critical and Independent” and ensure you act in your own interests.  After all, who else is going to look after what’s important to you?


2 Responses

  1. Although there are many facets of this issue, one is that there is always a pay off for whatever we do or decide. Therefore, if you can work out what the real pay off is and work out how to get the same pay off in a more beneficial way, you are half way there. One other facet is working out what’s really important. Some people need to be hit by a Mack Truck, while others only need a feather to work this out.

    My father in law has been spending some time in hospital recently and his doctor said he needed to lose weight if he wanted to spend more time out of the place than in it. He doesn’t have a lot of money and doesn’t have private health insurance. I put forward a program which will enable him to lose weight without driving him nuts in the process. Like most such plans it involves reducing carbohydrate intake and adding more protein, veggies and fruit. Where he lives, rice is the staple food. Problem is he eats rice as if he’s still doing a hard day’s physical labour which he hasn’t for the past 5 or so years. He complained about the higher cost of meat, fruit and veggies. I pointed out that it’s a lot cheaper than paying for hospital care. I asked him what was important to him. He said spending time with his wife, grandkids, dogs and kids and generally making a nuisance of himself. He got that it’s really hard to do those things from a hospital bed, except for being a nuisance.

    • Wow thanks for the article Tom – sorry it took a while to approve, it got stuck in the Word Press Spam Filter (really odd).

      It’s fascinating how we as humans really get into patterns and then even if their harmful, we just stick with it?

      Werid – at least I have had a habit of doing that 🙂

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