On Wednesday, I was left unchaperoned in a bookstore and found myself browsing the magazine rack – a guilty pleasure I reserve for days without children in tow. I really have a thing for magazines. I need to check myself on the number of subscriptions I allow into the house so I don’t feel guilty when they haven’t all been read before new ones arrive! On this particular day, in addition to being enchanted by the glossy photography and rows of neatly stacked of titles, I was struck by the similarities among the cover stories. Nearly every single one promised some sort of a quick fix.
Lose 5 lbs. in 7 Days!
Drop 2 Sizes in 2 Weeks!
Get a Hot Body Fast!
Bikini Ready in 7 Days!
Amazing 1-Day Cleanse!
Up Your Beauty Game in 30 Seconds!
Thirty seconds? Seriously?
It’s the same with most online media outlets and the articles in my Facebook and Twitter feeds.
In the online world, I follow a lot of coaches and entrepreneurs who have clearly been taught to prey upon their readers’ greatest fears by telling them exactly what they want to hear. In fact I went to one high-end training during which the leader actually told us to “stop selling people what you know they need and start selling them what they say they want.” I understand and appreciate the business logic, but in the health and personal development space, that is a pretty scary thought.
We all want a quick fix for our problems. Believe me, I do, too! But what we need are voices of reason. We need people who will tell us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. We need people who will stand with us while we do the work that will get us the results we desire. We need fresh perspective and deep wisdom and constant reminders that the best things in life are on the other side of concerted effort. We need guides who won’t shrink away from that truth, no matter how tempting it may be to make promises they can’t keep.
If I wanted to write a best selling diet book, I could do it tomorrow. I would make all sorts of promises about a very specific set of behaviors that would peel off the pounds. And people would buy that book because they’d want to believe it. And when it didn’t work, they wouldn’t even blame me. They’d just move on to the next person promising the next quick fix. Have you ever done this? With a diet pill, or a juice cleanse, or a hairspray or an eye cream? I certainly have.
We shell out our money gleefully for these products, enchanted by the allure of the quick fix. We’re Cinderella ready for our fairy godmother to spin rags into chiffon. So much so, that sometimes we even convince ourselves that the product or practitioner delivers on the promise. But rarely is it true.
We need to seek out truth-tellers, give them our attention, and let them light the way.
The quick fixes will always be there. But let the buyer beware.
Question: What’s the problem you wish you had a quick fix for? What’s the effort you know you should put into in this area, but can feel yourself resisting? Can you take just one step today?