Chocolate. Vanilla. Choose.

Chocolate. Vanilla. Choose.

Chocolate. Vanilla. Choose.

Have you done that exercise where someone holds out their curled-up hands in front of you and tells you that in one hand they have a vanilla sweet and in the other hand a chocolate sweet. “Choose”, they say.

And you choose chocolate.

“Why did you choose chocolate, is it better?” they ask.

“I just like chocolate,” you say, expecting a discussion about it.

They smile and hold out their hands again, saying: “Chocolate. Vanilla. Choose.”

And again you choose chocolate.

“Why did you choose chocolate, is it better?” they ask.

“No I just felt like chocolate…” you say, wondering where this is going.

They smile and hold out their hands again, saying: “Chocolate. Vanilla. Choose.”

And again you choose chocolate.

“Why did you choose chocolate, is it better?” they ask.

“I just… like chocolate!” you say, wondering….

They smile and hold out their hands again, saying: “Chocolate. Vanilla. Choose.”

This time you choose vanilla.

“Why did you choose vanilla, isn’t chocolate better?” they ask.

“It’s not better, I’ve just had enough chocolate…” you say, starting to see where this is going….

They smile and hold out their hands again, saying: “Chocolate. Vanilla. Choose.”

Now you choose chocolate.

“Why did you choose chocolate, isn’t vanilla better?” they ask.

“Because I wanted chocolate,” you say with a smile, starting to understand that what you choose – is just… what you choose.

The only meaning in your choice is the meaning you give it.

What Choices are You Making?

Same with what you believe about your body: your weight, the size of your breasts, the freckles on your nose, the colour of your teeth, the shape of your ankles, the contour of your stomach is what it is. The way you feel about any or all of those things is the meaning you’ve given them.

I know the world wants you to think your weight isn’t ‘right’, your breasts aren’t ‘perfect’, the freckles on your skin are cute or need covering up (in alternating years), your teeth need whitening, your ankles need lipo so they’re thin ‘enough’, and your stomach needs cutting open and sculpting like clay so it’s flat and ‘attractive’. All of this so you will be attractive to……… who now?

When you buy into any of those stories, you’re buying into the belief of the person or company pushing the message.

You’re not choosing your own meaning.

Your Choice. Your Control. Your Power.

You’re giving away your control, your power.

I also know that the companies pushing these messages will use every psychological trick in the book to get you to give your choice to them to influence, so they can at-will get you to open your wallet and give them your money. Yes, it’s ultimately about your money,

I also know that it’s not your fault you’ve believed them. How could it be? When you started to look at your body and compare it the images you saw in the magazines you enjoyed reading or the actress you were crushing on, and feel that you weren’t as beautiful, you didn’t know the images were very carefully manufactured over many hours with dozens of people contributing to the illusion.

So you believed them, and you gave away your control to the illusion.

No one told you differently. No one told you what was really happening, and that you didn’t have to do any of it.

Same with the messages we get about all the pretty bright attractive foods we buy in every kind of package. Every aspect of every package is carefully designed to capture our attention, and every word of every message is carefully crafted to divert our attention away from the toxic crap in the food and onto the pseudo-health benefits that are sooo outweighed by the toxic crap. If they can’t drag up a pseudo health benefit strong enough, they sell us on the family love or friend fun that the product will bring us.

I know that you didn’t know all these when you started believing them and you gave away your control and just did what you thought was best, because you believed them.

I want you to know all of this too. And start saying “Hmmmm…..” when you see the messages. Because when you know what they’re really saying to you, you can make a choice that works better for you, that takes you where you want to go.

What do you think?

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6 Comments

  1. Melissa Miller Young on January 15, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Sandy, I LOVE this! I spent years doing commercial copywriting on the side and finally had to let it go when I got fed up with the lies and misconceptions that some companies try to push on the unsuspecting consumer. I love the line, So you believed them, and you gave away your control to the illusion.” So well written, and so very, very true. Thank you for another GREAT post!

    • Sandy on January 15, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Melissa thank you for validating this! It’s SO important that we pay attention to the subtleties of the messages we get, and look at the holes in the messages… really appreciate your comments 🙂

  2. Debra Jason on January 15, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I think we should also listen to our intuition more than we do. Everything is a choice and if in your gut (or your heart) you feel the choice you’re making is “right” for you, then go for it. Don’t let other people’s opinions, comments, etc. overshadow what you feel is true for you.

    Thanks Sandy. ~Debra

    • Sandy on January 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

      Debra yes very true… Not trusting ourselves can be a real problem too!

  3. Kim Steadman on January 15, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Kudos! I think I will add this concept to my 2013 word of the year. “FOCUS”. While I adopted that word to help me stay on track of the goals I had for this year, I think it applies here as well. I need to get better at going beyond the packaging, and the words, in order to get to root of ‘things’. Peel back the layers…Very thought provoking indeed…

    • Sandy on January 15, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Hey Kim 🙂 Oooh love your word-of-the-year idea! Interesting too that you’re broadening the definition this way .. thanks for sharing 🙂

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