We’re surrounded by false friends. They masquerade as merry mates. But all too often it’s a wily corporation or an organisation that wants something off you. The same even applies to some people. Hence, excluding your family and friends, much of what passes for fun has a cost attached to it. The brands know how to manipulate you into buying stuff that you either don’t need, or isn’t good for you. I know. I’ve worked for two of Britain’s top advertising agencies. We’ve devoted our lives to getting you to open your purse. And we’re good at it. Ad agencies will show you happy families, shiny cars, and the promise of optimal health. We have jingles. We conduct research to understand your neuroses. We hire celebrities to front our products, and we put our logos on athletes. Nowadays I’m a reformed character. And knowing what I do, I want to help you think about your lifestyle. Feel free to buy whatever you want. But be aware that someone, somewhere, is rubbing their hands together, knowing that you’ve bought into the dream they’ve created. And if they’re not selling you something, they probably have some other motive. Their need is rarely the same as yours. The main false friends are: 1. TV 2. Social media 3. Gambling and the lottery 4. People who want you to buy into their misguided and unscientific beliefs such as manifesting 5. Companies that want you to buy their stuff These are your false friends. You may think they’re friendly and fun. But all too often they’re out to snare you. You can probably think of some organisations that are not like that. I can, too. They include some of the non-profit organisations; food banks, for example.
When an organisation wants something off you, whether it’s time or money, ask yourself these questions: – How does this benefit them? What do they get out of it? – If I agree to their offer, what do I lose? Independence? Time? Money? – What else could I do with that time or money? To achieve a big change you have to be strong. Avoid the lures of those who suck you into their orbit and get in the way of your goal.
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These ideas are taken from my forthcoming book, Get Up and Go.
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