Think back to the last time you picked up a magazine or catalog and walked away from it feeling better about yourself. If you’re having a hard time remembering such a time, you’re not alone. The only way you would likely feel better about yourself is if you purchased a product you “discovered” by reading said magazine or catalog.
What if you made the conscious decision to stop browsing magazines? Is it possible that you would miss out on the lastest and greatest thing you never knew you always needed? Would you walk around in the “wrong” color eyeshadow or shoes?
What about television commercials? And radio advertisements? Would you miss out if you decided to skip those as well?
Or would you save money and be more content with what you have and who you are?
The thing about not knowing what you’re missing, is that you don’t know what you’re missing. If you don’t know you want something, that insatiable desire to consume sits quietly in the backseat of your life. With the consumption monster under control, you can regain control over how you spend your resources and where you focus your attention.
The entire purpose of most advertisements is to make you feel dissatisfied.
Dissatisfied with your couch, hair, body, car, house, clothes, cleaning products, spouse…you get the idea. Once an advertisement has made you discontent with yourself or your current possessions, it can then suggest a newer, shiner, better product.
But soon, the product you just purchased becomes obsolete (according to a competing manufacturer) and the new dissatisfaction sold to us by way of advertising can only be cured by consumption of a newer, shiner, better product.
And the process repeats itself over and over until we’re drowning in debt and discontent.
You already know this, but choosing to expose yourself to advertisements is optional — to some extent. We are bombarded with hundreds of advertisements each day. Many of those we can choose to refuse (e.g., put down the catalog, turn off the tv).
For the rest of the advertisements we can’t control, we can educate ourselves on where they’re coming from and how they’re trying to persuade us. I’m finishing up an ebook that will help awaken your inner advertisement detective. I’ll help you see where and how advertisements influence us each and every day.
I promise once you’re tuned in to the ways in which we’re affected by advertising, you’ll be better able to withstand the negative effects constant advertising exposure can have on our self-esteem, spending habits and overall contentment.
For now, close that magazine, turn off the tv and revel in the perfection of who you are and what you have today. Realize that it’s enough. And enjoy the holidays with the people that matter most to you.