FIVE-MINUTES A DAY
BY: Troy Murphy | January 2013
Navigating the billion-dollar self-help industry to discover true solutions to our problems.
We have seen the advertisement; three monthly payments of 19.99 and you can achieve magical results—the body of your dreams. We want a successful life; but are tempted by promises of remarkable results without remarkable effort—simple and fast. DO THIS; RECEIVE THAT. Marketing creates want. “You need this,” they tell us. Companies find something that people will want and sell it. By increasing the want, you increase the market. If enough people want something, someone will offer it—making a profit. We want to feel better, achieve more, and work less. Marketers know this. The well-being industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, extracting money from our pockets, promising happiness with ease. While promises tantalize desires for happiness, requiring little effort, the results usually fall short of expectation, leaving us disappointed and discouraged.
Significant change, toppling entrenching habits, demands more than a few simple steps. Before beginning, we must prepare for the immediate insignificant results. Benefits stubbornly wait for consistency before blessing our lives; first arriving in small imperceptible drops, slowly increasing in consistency. But over the years, the changes accumulate soon soaking us with opportunity and joys. Evaluating progress early in the process is difficult. The complexity of life surrounding the change blurs direct correlations. Our minds manipulate facts, confuse feelings, and bias results. A simple musing over costs and benefits succumbs to hope, pessimism and present moods; exploiting assessments to produce the answer we prefer.
A single compassionate act, even when properly motivated, may not be rewarded. Those unfamiliar with our new commitment to kindness may suspiciously view an act of benevolence as manipulative. Thoughtful decency may prompt a hurtful response. We need patience; change isn’t a single act. Transformations occur in the heart, unconsciously expressing in better action. We’re not faking action when a behavior is not natural; we’re showing commitment to forcing action that doesn’t flow without effort.
A compassionate life, sprouting from character, doesn’t grant immunity from sorrow; but does, however, build connections. Over time, as compassion blossoms, we experience the delights of living, free from jealousies and vexing competitions. Strengthening connections provide toughness and vitality. The kind aren’t exempt from the pains of disloyalty; but they do have additional support as they work through the injures.
We must sift through all the hubris misguided advice, not deceived by alluring promises. Marketing won’t stop when the fish keep biting (buying). We will constantly be bombarded with promises of ease. Step back before you succumb to the seductive offer, recognize the emotional pull, and then engage life in a constructive way.
We must consistently make healthy choices, abandoning the ridiculous offers. We only do this through understanding our feelings, identifying influences from the past, and maintaining a clear vision of the desired future. As awareness improves, so does skilled responses. This path requires a life time commitment to the work; not mastered from mindless dabbling but persistent, mindful, and conscious living.