Oct 20, 2010

Dissatisfaction=Action (Time To Do Something Different)

I've always been bothered by excessive consumption. It has never really sat right with me, and there were times in my life when I would try to make sweeping changes in my life to rectify this. Each time I've went down that road I've realized pretty quickly that it's near to impossible to go all-or-nothing, especially raising a family, in our country. I've tried to find ways to satiate this dissatisfaction, but I would fall back into old habits and go about business as usual.

Well, the old sting has come back, but this time I've decided to make small, easy changes that I can truly implement on a personal level, and some that I can apply at home daily with my family as well. I want to share the journey, and my thoughts, with you.

I've openly shared my thoughts with others and I often get asked, "How does this fit in with your job? Aren't you in advertising?" I think this is a very good question, and it makes me look even harder at my chosen profession. I often ask myself this very thing. Being in advertising, a field that is very obviously geared towards the buying and selling of goods, can I honestly be true to my own feelings about consumerism without being a hypocrite? And on a side note, does this perspective that I embrace keep me from being good at my job? 

I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle for me. I've always sort of half-joked that the reason I'm decent at small-market advertising is because I'm not a victim to it. I resist being "sold," always keeping a healthy dose of skepticism about the advertising I am exposed to.

I think that advertising can be creative field that can do a lot of good, especially if the program, event, business or group is offering something this is truly beneficial to the community. Of course, there's also the reality that it's just pushing another plastic bottle, or styro-foam cup, encouraging people to "buy and toss," rather than reuse.

I've decided to walk that tightrope, and live in the middle-grey area, for now. I think that embracing these thoughts and finding a way to apply them to my craft will be good for me and my clients. It will help me look deeper into what they do, and the message they are trying to communicate to the public by approaching it with honesty, looking for ways to create the most impact with the smallest drain on resources. 

In presentations concerning social media I've often said that the dissatisfied will light the world on fire, while the satisfied sleep in the flames. That seems to apply here. Often, satisfaction breeds complacency, but dissatisfaction leads to action. Small actions. Small steps. Real, workable application in everyday life. That's the path I plan to take. I'll keep you posted on how it's going. -OP

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