“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is
the first duty of intelligent men.”
A magician named Uri Geller received widespread media attention in the United States in the 1970s. He claimed to be able to bend metal spoons using paranormal mind power.
Geller appeared on many U.S. and European television programs to demonstrate. Critics showed that he used simple tricks. This did not stop Geller from making a living from the illusion that spoons can be bent with mind power.
Some people make a living selling the illusion that the life you want can be had without sacrifice and struggle. That’s magical thinking. Over one hundred million people in the United States go on a diet in any given year. Dieting is a growth business, despite and because of the fact that the customers fail to get the results they want.
There is copious spoonbending centered on the illusion of painless, convenient change: Eat what you want and still lose weight! Spoons are not bent by magic. Losing weight is neither convenient nor painless. Even people who succeed tend to add the lost weight back in a year or two.
Every January many of us become powerfully infatuated with the idea of a new and improved version of ourselves: fit; organized; rich; and—above all—thin.
Infatuation knows nothing of common sense. We don’t foresee, let alone prepare for, what Carl Jung called “the laborious adaptations and manifold disappointments” that accompany any sort of significant personal progress.
We buy soap instead: Spray ’n Change.
The problem is not that this soap won’t get us clean; the problem is that the sellers claim it will keep us clean forever. And they want $972 per bar.
What we spend is not surprising. America is a rich and optimistic nation. Most of us hope to be better than we are now.
What is surprising is how poorly most of these products perform. Their goal is to overcome your resistance to buying, not your bad habit.
Spoonbenders encourage passive consumption over creative suffering. They are false guides. They direct you away from where you need to go.
Gumption doesn’t buy Spray ‘n Change, even on January 1.
How will you combat the spoonbenders? Gumptionade – The Booster for Your Self Improvement Plan will show you how.
i. “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious…” George Orwell’s January 1939 review published in Adlephi, of Bertrand Russell’s book Power: A New Social Analysis; http://www.lehman.edu/deanhum/philosophy/BRSQ/06may/orwell.htm. Accessed March 13, 2015. ii. Over one hundred million people in the United States go on a diet in any given year. ABC News Staff, “100 Million Dieters, $20 Billion: The Weight-Loss Industry by the Numbers,” Posted May 8, 2012; http:// abcnews.go.com/Health/100-million- dieters-20- billion-weight- loss-industry/ story?id=16297197. Accessed August 24, 2014. iii. …the illusion of painless, convenient change. Keith Girard, “Startup Stories: Challenging Diet Industry Giants with a Computer,” allBusiness.com, undated; http://www.allbusiness.com/company-activitiesmanagement/company- structures/5963512-1.html. Accessed August 24, 2014. iv. …add the lost weight back in a year or two. Rena R. Wing, Ph.D., Deborah F. Tate, Ph.D., Amy A. Gorin, Ph.D., et al., “A Self-Regulation Program for Maintenance of Weight Loss,” New England Journal of Medicine, 355:1563–1571, October 12, 2006. v. ... “the laborious adaptations and manifold disappointments that accompany any sort of significant personal progress.” C. G. Jung, AION: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978), 34.