But I’m not peddling slimming underwear for sexytime. Or donuts. Or get rich quick schemes using blockchain. Or any other attention grabbing, slap-the-table inducing appeal to the impulse centers of your brain.
I’m in a very different line of work.
It’s the “Give people not-exciting, occasionally terrifying news, that they don’t want to hear but that they desperately need to” business, aka healthcare.
It’s a hard sell
There’s not a lot of impulse buying of colonoscopies.
Prevention — do an annoying thing now to avoid pain and suffering in 2 decades — sells poorly. Because getting rich quick, getting sexy soon, and losing weight easily are highly desirable benefits that we are primed to leap at like trout rising to a fly, and you’ll catch more suckers by hooking into base drives than you’ll convert thoughtful intellectuals: more suckers and more impulse buying.
If most of your life’s decisions are driven by wants and desires, you have plenty of company. Most decisions made even by self-rated rational people are based on instinct, with the higher brain bringing up the rear to justify after the fact. But you’re also extremely vulnerable to those who can harness your wants and desires to lead you where they want you to pay go. Base needs are strong, compelling, and very easy to harness by others (e.g., Sex Sells).
If you have intimate experience with painful illness — as do many people from so-called 3rd world countries — you’ll seek out health. You’re grateful for the chance to avoid what killed Uncle Anton after a grisly lingering illness.
If you’re reading this, you aren’t looking to be whipped into a buying frenzy.
Health is more thoughtful
Fitness…can be about what sounds like a great idea. It’s cool, adopting an exercise program that the Navy SEALS use (grim alpha male stuff), or that promises to buff up your beach body and prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
But health is about the grown-up mixture of avoiding the bad as well as preserving the good: preventing illness, but also spending all day with the family, having the energy to stay alert after 3 PM, and lifting and carrying and helping others while not being a burden. And at a time when you’re being bathed 24/7 in an influencer-rich stew of digital data, staying healthy is essentially about being thoughtful and picky.
Not grabbing at the newest, shiniest offering designed to bypass your caution filters.
Unless those random, profit seeking influencers have your well-being as part of their mission statement, Being Healthy means YOU — the subject of the sentence! — leading (not following) with your carefully critical mind. Not letting someone else lead you around by your gonads or lizard brain.
Maybe at one time, being healthy was something you could do instinctively, as part of navigating your life on earth. But those days are gone forever (I suspect by about 10,000 years). Instincts are too well understood by marketers and marketing companies for you to NOT be surrounded by appeals to your instinctive drives rather than careful reasoning.
If you feel wide-eyed and quiveringly eager to snap up something for your health – remember the trout rising to the fishing lure? – I suggest you STOP and give the offering a long, critical stink eye.
Squinty-eyed, chin stroking, lips pursed, and approaching slowly with caution is about right.