I recently met “Mark” at one of my training events. “Mark” lives in Melbourne in a million dollar apartment, very well groomed and good looking, is a highly educated man of 35, wealthy with a well paid job, in a nice long term relationship with a lovely girl, socially well connected, owns an impressive library of books, comes from a lovely family, is healthy and fit and is Personal Development junkie.
He goes to every seminar available.
It starts off with the “free” ones, then he buys the books and then purchases the “special offer” of whatever seminar is being sold in the intro.
“Mark” thinks there is something seriously wrong with him and is on a quest to “fix” himself.
“Mark” is my Exhibit A in MY quest to case study and examine the nature of the human quest for answers.
“Mark” has attended seminars by Roger Hamilton, Christopher Howard, Bob Scheinfeld, Dr John F Demartini, Bob Proctor and most of The Secret stars. He dallied with “The Master Key” and “Landmark” and “Magicians Way”. As an accountant and economics major, he has also sourced and attended the never ending offerings of “internet business”, “real estate riches” and “financial mastery” events.
His book shelves groan with thousands of “how to” books most ear marked, well notated and read and re read – usually reading a series of 10 books at a time – generously piled up beside his bed. Mark’s knowledge recall is extraordinary and his ability to conduct an interesting discussion is exceptional.
Mark’s head is swimming with billions dollar enterprise ideas and he painstakingly takes the time to draw up plans with every one. He is passionate about making a difference to the world, is determined to break away from his day job and create wealth via his own enterprise using the tools he has accumulated through his continuous self mastery studies.
Yet after spending more than $200,000.00 and committing to five years of events, seminars, programs and study, and for all the wealth in his life, Mark is overwhelmed and depressed and convinced there is something dreadfully wrong with him. He has an overwhelming fear that he is so “fucked up” that he is different to everyone else and needs to pay “more” until he finds the right “guru and master” who can “heal, fix, help and breakthrough his blockages” through touch, meditation, energy work, magic formulas, incantations, secret information, hidden messages and any other marketing catch phrase that promises to solve all his problems with their product!
You may be reading this and beginning to feel rather cynical and sarcastic and feel superior when in comparison to Mark – but the truth of the matter is – for me – I can definitely see myself looming large in his mirror. In fact there is not one person that I know who isn’t doing exactly the same thing in their own lives. As confronting as it is, I can own the “I want it all now and I want it easy” cell. My form isnt finance or business but it is equally as silly -Health/Physical. I hold a vast catalogue of “practitioners” who I have eagerly “sought” to give me the “magic pill”. There must be something wrong with me – no one can find the “cure”.
How insane is that? I have believed my own bullshit for years.
What voids drive Mark to pay crazy money to find answers?
What factors have driven me to pay stupid money to find answers?
What is the appeal of the “quick fix”? Actually let me clarify this. We don’t seek an immediate result at the beginning. Its just that after years of searching, trying and spending, we feel exhausted and resentful and just want it fixed NOW. The quest for the “quick fix” began a long time ago.
Why did it begin?
What were we actually searching for?
Where was the gap that we sought to fill?
What was the fault we sought to correct?
What was the need we sought to resolve?
Should we “perceive” this quest to be “difficult” will we naturally seek to balance the nightmare of the hard with this constant craving of the fantasy of the easy?
“Mark” is the target market for thousands of PD “specialists”. I am the target market for thousands of Health “specialists”. We are both a marketer’s wet dream and never more so than we are at the “end” of our quest. We are tired, over it and therefore easy to convince – ONCE you know what we seek. 🙂
ONCE you know what we seek.
Examine the target market profile: Well educated, earns great money, is inquisitive, is prepared to invest in self, is motivated to educate and is driven to create an identity through his own enterprise, wants to know, has great “stories” about family and how they are responsible for being so “f*cked up” and has a deep dark secret that something is seriously wrong with self.
The more Mark and I seek our quest, the greater the spiral into depression and self doubt. for “wasting” money and years and energy. To balance the initial infatuation for the “solution”, the resentment phase commences after about 18 months of the start of this quest and both Mark and I will beat ourselves up while blaming the “gurus” that have failed us.
Yet if you can sell the “real” solution to use – using our language, currency, values and story – with promises of finding “the answer”, finally being “fixed” “healed” or “cured” we will continue to invest big money – guaranteed. In fact, to an expert marketer who is well educated in human behaviour and communication, we are a soft and easy target.
We seek to identify themselves through and with services/products/programs that deliver the manifestation of our fantasy once the cheque has cleared.
We show enduring faith and zeal that we WILL find an answer.
We have an amazing ability not only to be “fed and sold” the most outrageous bullshit but to justify it to ourselves and our friends as we resolutely cling to the side of the “hope” boat.
The question burning on my forehead before I smooth it is what drives this quest?
Why do we take up this heroes journey?
I bob up and down in the ocean of endless questions and TELL ME WHAT TO DO wishes.
Shall I swim or float and do I want fries with that :-)?