Many years ago there was a song, something about Jesus take the wheel. It was an interesting statement if you are a person of faith about trusting God. My question however is more about your physical world application. Who or what is steering your life? I am sure everyone will answer with booming resolve that they are the ones controlling their own lives. We all want to believe that we are in control; no one or nothing is influencing our direction except ourselves. Are you really driving or are you along for the ride?
If you start carefully asking the question WHY about the things in your life you will be shocked (my opinion) at how much you do that you just, do. I was when I started doing this and have driven many people crazy with the question. I truly believe that you should have your “why” for everything you do. Some of the reasons or “whys” you come up with will make sense while some will be a little disappointing. There will be a great deal of things in the middle that you don’t come up with a satisfactory reason or a true “why”
The marketing/advertising industry is a 560,000,000,000 dollar a year industry according to Google. That is not an accident or because it doesn’t work. Alphabet Inc alone is a 160 billion dollar business and their business is you, you may not recognize the name, they are Google’s parent company. Companies spend billions every year trying to influence you with ads in all shapes and sizes. From your phone screen to your movie screen, every magazine and billboard, al the displays in the store are designed by experts to influence you. The best part of every super bowl is the advertising, the smart companies save their money because it is so effective that it cost 5.6 million dollars for 30 seconds of air time. TV shows are designed to influence you and effect the way you think, tell you what to think and believe.
Here is an example that will ruffle some feathers, but on with the first amendment!
In 1997 LGBTQ people were still very taboo lifestyles; people who lived an alternative lifestyle to the commonly accepted one were still frequently mistreated and harassed. I remember having a friend in high school who was openly gay and he was frequently victimized by people who didn’t think it was ok. David was brave to be so open given the area we lived in was not a particularly warm environment for his life. We had other kids at school who chose to be more discreet. In September of 1998 the TV show Will & Grace first aired and gay relationships were thrust on to the TV screen in front of the public. People warmed to alternative couples being like them in most ways. Over the next few years the LGBTQ community became more mainstream and common, people were not as fearful about their persons and choices. It became more common on other television shows and movies, even in regular commercials. Then after a few years it became no less controversial in mainstream life then single moms.
Everything is built to influence you, you are the commodity for Google, Facebook, Twitter and every social media platform. Retail giants like Wal-Mart and Amazon are the same. Your attention is the currency in a billion dollar industry that they use scientist and experts to design ways to get.
So maybe you are driving, maybe you are in total control of what you do. There are behaviorist that see you as a programmable robot and think that they can control your every action without you ever knowing you are not in control. I listened to an interview the other day with someone who worked in the intelligence community. He sat with a friend one night at a restaurant and predicted everything that happened at every table around them with a 99% accuracy. Conversations they were going to have and how the conversation would go, what dishes people would order, who drink too much and how that would turn out. The intelligence guy said it was amazing at how predictable people where and how much they give away with their body language and demeanor. Every little thing gives you information if you know how to watch for it. These were men who did this on the fly because situations dictated their need to be able to do so. A friend of mine who is an expert in hand writing analysis couldn’t stop himself before asking about a fight I had recently had with my father. I had not told anyone about the fight, I was just having a pleasant dinner with a bunch of friends. He saw it in my signature is what he told me.
If you want to have control of your life you have to start asking the question “why?” about everything you do. Unless you know why you are doing something, you may not be the one deciding to do something. Something else may be winding your gears, or someone else. Don’t be a robot, ask why and take control of yourself.
Be better tomorrow because of what you do today!