I truly do not believe that we want to be “mindless” consumers, yet it’s becoming increasingly difficult to resist the seduction that’s all around us. Advertisements for “stuff” are placed everywhere. If I decide to look up a mattress I might want to buy on the internet, it suddenly appears on everything I log on to. I’m sure someone will soon come up with a hologram of a mattress that will follow me everywhere I go.
Who would have imagined that before a movie was shown that not only do you watch previews, but also at least five commercials. I wonder who comes up with the esoteric formats? Why is Mathew McConaughey falling into a pool to get into his car? And why is someone standing in the middle of the road wearing dark sunglasses holding a bottle of Pepsi? I think they’re getting desperate for ideas.
The messages we are fed over and over are about making sure we never feel satisfied with what we have. As soon as you purchase a cellphone, you’re told about the next one coming out that might vacuum while it takes pictures of you watching. As soon as you get on the bandwagon and stock your refrigerator with what you’ve been told are the new longevity foods the faster they’re replaced with something else. Butter was deadly, margarine was analogous to healthy arteries. Now butter is back. It even got the front cover of Time magazine in 2014. I’m waiting for them to put sausage on a cover, that would make my heart sing.
We live in a culture of extremes. Moderation is not a value that is discussed very often. Weight loss has become a goal that entails becoming a prisoner to some formula that requires enormous discipline. How often does a so-called weight loss expert suggest eating less of everything and taking a walk everyday. No, it has to be monastic. Put on your hair shirt and become penitent and self-sacrificing. How exciting is it to eat something that comes in a cardboard box and can stay intact until the next millennium? But the seduction becomes complete when a celebrity is showing off her size two “toddler” body after she lost fifty pounds on the “plan”. Yes, and her plan pays her plenty of money to sell us the product.
Finding the right balance can be a lifelong journey—but it’s one that needs to be taken. Each time you ask yourself if you’re living in balance, it gives you an opportunity to pause and self-reflect. It allows you to be conscious about the decisions you’re making instead of blindly following the herd off the cliff.
In the end, you’ll be able to celebrate your life more often, because more often than not I think we all realize that “less is more”!