Thursday, February 11, 2010

I want it all. I want it now.

Also posting on my blog.

I have been watching some afternoon television the last couple of days (thanks to this never-ending plague-like sickness) and in between all the sanctimonious advice, the rampant love affairs, and the extreme makeovers I see one message over and over again: You can have it all.

And hold on, if you call in the next 15 minutes, we'll throw in "No sacrifice" and a bonus "No wait" special. A slim waist, toned body, and that sultry blond can be yours despite your dim wit, thinning hair, and zero bank balance. Guaranteed.

This instant coffee lifestyle (100 percent taste, o percent wait) has permeated our culture so much that we fall for what would objectively seem to be completely ridiculous propositions.

You don't even have to lift a pinkie finger. Just let the Hawaii chair do the work for you!

Last weekend during Superbowl, I saw the Skechers Shape-ups ad. Voila! You can walk your way to a healthy you. Instantly!

No sweat. No tears. Certainly, no blood.

They don't want to impede your unhealthy, junk-food driven, zero-activity lifestyle. Just send 'em the money, get a trashy product that will inadvertently find its way to the garage or a yard sale, and wallow in self-pity. Until the next shiny, svelte promise comes along.

And it's not just the area of weight loss where we have this need for instant results/gratification. It applies to everything in life. Be it relationships, your career graph, material possessions, food...

What makes us such impatient but lazy gluttons for success? Why can't we toil for and work our way to our goals? What is it in our psyche that knowingly ignores or brushes aside the truth? Why do we not want to be "inconvenienced"?

Chasing instant results only means being embroiled in a constant struggle. What if we started planning for and working toward lasting results? Wouldn't that give us a better sense of accomplishment? Wouldn't that provide more value -- a sense of fulfillment?

If we could only learn to take it slow, to gather our will power, to coach our minds...

If we could only realize that the power is not without but within...

If we could only persist...

We could have it all. And we could relish it ... for a long time.

11 comments:

Katherine Jenkins said...

Mansi-I couldn't agree with you more...who made this instant gratification society anyway? It's the very reason I don't own a TV. With internet, at least I feel I have some control over where I go. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the finer things in life from time to time..like a hot shower...(lesson 41 on my blog)...but this should not be the goal. For me, the inward journey is where I put my focus...whatever comes on the outside is just a by-product of what I am doing inside. Love the TV imagery in this Mansi..GREAT!

Tony Anders said...

I have a chapter on this in my book as I completley agree, Prior to the era of television, I wonder how people could get better abs, have healthier bowel movements, reduce their debt, stay young, meet a mate, connect to God, sleep without snoring, on and on without television. Did we all die fat, lonely, toxic, and faithless? Or perhaps were we able to feel happier, oblivious to the media imposed dangers that are so prolifically proposed for us to fear or feel insecure about? Hmmm... Thanks for your perspective! ;)

Pamela Bousquet said...

Ooooo - I've been laying on the couch lately too...with ANOTHER bad sinus cold. so - Been witnessing the same ads on TV you have probably! Have pondered on this plaque on society many times. Perhaps if more people read (and wrote) BLOGS instead of viewing the fiction on TV, we might get somewhere....? :)

Mansi said...

Sorry you're under the weather, too Pam. Hope you feel better, soon. I've realized that blogging's the only thing keeping me driven in my brief streams of consciousness. TV's so mind-numbing. Most of it anyways.

Aine Butler-Smith said...

What I am seeing here in the comments is hitting on the same theme - it's TV. That's really what a lot of this boils down to, it isn't really how people are but how people are being pitched to in television ads, and it's gotten so pervasive in television that entire shows are just turning into long version advertising. It's a commercial world, the beauty is that when you unplug from it, it goes away, and I'm saying that living in one of the cities most known commercially as the most superficial, commercial place on earth, Las Vegas, and yet it rarely touches me.

Aine

同學 said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it........................................

Sai said...

Mansi, this is so true. The experience of watching TV, especially the advertisements, feels like a sensory overload! I've cut down drastically on the amount of TV I watch, am a lot happier as a result. Thanks to the "instant result" syndrome, people choose career paths that will bring in quick money, and there's no concept of investing time and energy into doing what you love/enjoy. Those activities are just "hobbies" and always remain relegated to a place of low priority.

Miss Swirley said...

I do have to agree with you Aine...I'm not sure this reflects society - yes there are people out there who fit this box, but as you can see here, not one of us has said we do! I think the media knows that the people who want it now are also the people who will pay now and there's enough of them around to make their entire business targeted to them. And then we're faced with the image that it's what everyone wants, when in fact it's the media targeting the few (or many), but not all.

I agree that we need to look inside if we're chasing results on the outside but I also feel that those that are doing this are doing the best they can to fulfill a need, and no, it won't be met, but it may be giving them the temporary fix to get them through on the journey while they find what they really need. And because there will always be people at this stage in their journey, there will always be the media to sell to them.

UPLIFT ANTIDOTE said...

I agree with everyone's comments here. I'd also add that when I used to have the tv on, I found I couldn't think. Noise pollution in my mind made it impossible. It also used to make me feel irritable. It's so nice now I don't watch it. Peaceful!

Mansi said...

Thanks, all, for your comments. This conversation reminds me of the time I had interned at our local NBC station -- one morning, early in my internship, I witnessed the decision-making process for what goes in the health news section. On the one hand was a story about a Stanford researcher who was studying some potential cancer treatment and on the other was a story about tight tights and how they could affect your digestion. Guess which one made the cut! I walked out of the conference room knowing that I wouldn't be working as a TV reporter in this life, or the next.
But what irks me most is how people seem to leave their brains aside when watching TV. Normal, intelligent, reasonable adults swayed by the flimsiest of promises. Such a shame.

Tezuka said...

Excellente ! My line of thinking Kathy. 1000% true.