One of the commitments I made to myself when giving up working for “the man”, was to go to the gym a minimum of 5 days each week; you know, to try and keep this 53 (almost 54) year-old jalopy that I call a body in the best condition possible. My chosen time to do this gruelling activity is usually between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and noon – after which I’ll go home, then glare at a computer screen trying to come up with witty antidotes and stories to amuse the masses; something I don’t have to do today, and here’s why:
Part of my daily routine is 31 minutes of brisk walking on the treadmill (and yes, I really do need that extra minute, don’t ask me why) which – not having cable at home – is the only time I ever watch regular television. And here’s the thing: Lately I’ve noticed that – based on the high quality programming that’s on at this time – the target market of folks who sit at home and watch T.V. in the mornings can’t be the most motivated of our society. Divorce Court? Check. Judge Judy? Check. Jerry Springer? Soap Operas? Rachel Ray? Check and Check again. (Sorry Rachel, but adding cream and cheese to everything is not considered cooking)
But even worse than these crappy programs are the advertisements that show up every ten minutes; almost every one makes some kind of “life-changing” claim that is available for little, if any effort on behalf of the consumer – consumers who clearly are of a specific ilk. Based on all the facts, I’m going to assume that – being regular watchers of these types shows at this time of day – the target audience probably aren’t the most motivated members of our society – hence why the bombardment of crap products making crappy, false claims that any thinking person would roll their eyes at – that is if they weren’t at work or school at the time. No, these ads specifically target the lazy, unmotivated, uninitiated and slothful members of society into believing that they too, can have it all! Better yet, they can do so with little or no effort; and certainly without any commitment or real cost of any kind. For example:
I’ve seen tons of ads that talk about “miracle” weight loss pills and “cutting edge” remedies to help people “shed” those unwanted pounds; no special diet or exercise needed! Woot! Woot! But wait a minute; whenever I see these kinds of ads, I imagine a massively obese person sitting on a couch taking swigs out of their 2 litre bottle of diet coke, eating the last piece of an XL pizza getting falsely believing this IS THE ANSWER to their life long obsession/dilemma with food, and taking the bait – hook, line and sinker.
C’mon now – any rational thinking person knows these claims simply aren’t true. No, they are usually just a bunch of “snake-oil” claims made by sophisticated hucksters preying on the emotions (as well as the lack of commitment) of a group who want to make a change, but – if we are to be honest – statistically lack the commitment, and true desire to achieve their desired goals the hard way.
And hey, I’m not singling out overweigh people who dream of having skinny bodies, or for want to be (or get) the hot chick at the beach, oh no; these insults on rational intelligences are targeted at all kinds of day-to-day problems that we all – not just morning T.V. watchers – are taxed with, each and every day. We all want to have premium health, an abundance of wealth, a brand new car, a glorious beach vacation, excellent credit, an awesome job, a gorgeous “soul-mate”, etc.
But here’s the difference: While the rest of us realize having such things in our lives requires commitment, focus, sacrifice, etc., while the “easy-to-target T.V. watching” crowd believes they’ve “stumbled upon” a sort of magic shortcut, and after the (a) constant repetition of the message, and (b) “nothing else working” (despite actually doing nothing to affect change) they might as well, you know, give it a try “to see if it actually works”, right? This is where they pony up the credit card, and whoosh! $99 + tax goes out the window for another shot at the same old, same old broken dream. In fact, I’d bet my bottom dollar most order these “wonder products” without event getting up from the couch!
What I find most scary of all is that the tidal wave of these kinds of ads is on T.V. is on all day long; and that’s scary because it means that there is a massive audience who are (literally and figuratively) buying this stuff! This idea alone is frightening to me – and so, just for those folks, I present the following FACTS for them to consider…
Despite what the advertising geniuses on Madison Avenue would have you believe, the bottom line is there are NO SHORTCUTS for any of the good stuff we want in life. It’s true:
- There is no “Magic Pill” that causes healthy weight loss – period. Any weight loss program MUST incorporate both diet and exercise – there’s no way around it.
- Nobody with bad credit drives a brand new car off the lot – period. If someone wants a new car, they NEED good credit, and a way to ensure they can make the monthly payments – not to mention gas and insurance.
- If someone has bad credit, it won’t be solved with one phone call – period. It takes a while (and some reckless decisions) to screw up a credit rating, and takes time to get it back on track – period.
- There is no such thing as a “free cruise” to the Bahamas (or an iPad, or vacation of any kind) given for simply answering a question over the phone – period. If someone wants to take a holiday, they have to book it, pay for it, and only then have they earned the right to enjoy it.
- Awesome, well paying jobs aren’t available without specific skills – period. If someone wants a better job, or to make more money, they need to bring more to the marketplace in the way of skills… that requires education and commitment.
- The chance of getting wealthy by (a) winning a lottery, (b) inheriting money from a long-lost relative, or (c) that emperor of Tanzania who has to divide up his estate, and he’s chosen YOU by email – are slim to
nonezero – period. For most of us, creating wealth comes from saving and investing over the long term – not “pie in the sky” schemes.
- I believe that there is someone out there for everyone – period. But if the “couch-sitting, T.V. watching” folks honestly believe they are good match for the singles on the dating site ads – you know, the ones walking on beaches, sharing romantic meals, playing mini-golf, running together, etc. rather than just watching T.V. all day long, then all I can so wish them luck.
I’m pretty sure that I’m preaching to the choir on this one; in fact, if you are reading this blog, I’m 100% confident you already know that – despite what the ads on T.V. tell us, (regardless of what time of day they air) the good stuff in life only comes to those who earn it through a combination of hard work, sacrifice, focus, and above all – commitment to achieving the end result. Anything less, and you might as well be on “The Tyra Banks Show” confessing to… well, you know.
Oh, and just in case you didn’t think I noticed the irony here, I did: I’m fully aware I discovered all these commercials while sweating away on the treadmill for 31 minutes each day! No pills for me!