Everything is #@%!ed by Mark Manson - Ch 8

Posted by David Schaefer on

Hello and welcome to chapter 8

Noah's view-

In this chapter Mark talks about the feeling brain once again. This time talking about how it affects the economy and how we buy. To start out the chapter Mark tells of how cigarettes were first marketed towards women. A man named “Edward Bernays” looked at the way cigarettes were being marketed and realized, there was a better way of doing it. If he just appealed to whatever the buyer wanted, and made the cigarettes look like they’ll change the person into who they want to be, people will buy. And it worked! This is really the main point that Mark is trying to convey in this chapter, if you can make the consumer feel a certain way, they’ll be more likely to buy. 

    “At the end of the day, we are all animals: impulsive and selfish and emotional.” Page (195). As harsh as this sounds, I truly think Mark is completely right in this statement. I believe that no matter how selfless or how humble we believe ourselves to be, there’s probably a selfish ideal behind it. Not to mention how just impulsive a human can be. For instance look at a cashier station at a grocery store, all the candy and the drinks are placed right there right before you leave. Do you know what that section is called? It’s the “Impulse” section. Because we as people all live off of impulse and corporations know this. And that’s what they market to. No matter what it is.. It could be anywhere from alcohol to just a stick of gum. 

    Mark says there are two main differences in the way corporations market nowadays. They either market to innovate pain, essentially replacing something like DEATH from heart disease, with a much more tolerable painful week after surgery. You just replace one pain with a much more tolerable pain that gets the people to buy. Then corporations also market by trying to divert from the pain all together. They’ll create a product, and then market it as if it solves every issue in life you have. Like how gum makes your breath smell good. Sure it DOES, but it’s diverting from the ideal that you might just have to brush your damn teeth. And that’s how everything upon everything is marketed anymore. They make the product seem like it’ll make you happier. Yet a stick of gum probably won’t make you any happier than you already are.

    “Money is its own special religion” Pg (196) People always say the same thing, “Money won't buy you happiness. Which is true… and yet that’s not how people market anything. If you go and turn on your TV right now and start flipping between channels. It’s safe to say in a matter of seconds you’ll come across a commercial of somebody just smiling and having a good time. They want you to look at the commercial and think, WOW I wanna be that happy. So you run outside and spend your money thinking whatever it is you just bought will make you happy just like in that commercial, and it never works.

David's turn -

Hello all,

Chapter eight, one more to go after this.  I like how the logic of how our values, our identities are explained to us here.  Mark lets us know and supports his belief that our feelings are more in charge of ourselves than our logic.  Emotion and impulsiveness will drive us more than logic in most cases.  Our feelings take over and our conscious self takes a back seat, losing any since of control it thought it had.

I would agree, being a responsible adult – considering any consequences of our actions, what we say or how we treat people can have is not an easy thing to keep in mind.  Mark introduces us to Edward Bernays, the man who invented the marketing industry that has influenced our buying habits since 1928.  Ed knew that our logical self would not be as easy to influence as our feelings are.  Catering to our feelings, instilling a false need to fit in, to pursue a fleeting happiness would be a great way to part us from our money.  Ed found that focusing in on our pain points and making us believe that buying something would be our answer to the happiness we seek.  This false hope becomes repetitive in our lives.  It is obvious that our feelings can take over and we can get lost in the results, our hopes being lost as well.

This chapter goes into in depth explanations of this logic and where it has taken our democracy, how our  society has changed, how our pain is replaced with “upgraded pain” or how to “avoid pain”, as well as how this has all lead to an increase in mental illness, depression and anxiety.

Mark lets us know that facing our pain is a part of the process of life.  It makes us stronger, shapes our values and can strengthen our conscious self to not be as influence by the feeling self.  “You can become freer right now simply by choosing the limitations you want to impose on yourself” (207) – facing the pain that it takes to find the freedom in our mind, hope, is replaced with action.  To build character, one must accept various forms of self-denial. (211)

Getting control of our feelings and finding our happiness in the discomforts of life requires a mature conscious strength.  How do we approach a job that is not the best, how can we find happiness with what we already have instead of feeling we need more?  Hope is a call to action and our values, our character, will shape those actions.  It’s okay to seek a better life, but we must be aware of how our values shape the actions we take.  As Mark has said in this book, the happiness we find can also lead to more perceived threats and actions based off feelings.

This book keeps me wanting to read on.  I like the logic and, if we really think about the examples shared, how we can find hope in our lives.  Join us next week for the final chapter.

Thanks for joining us and please, leave a comment.

Noah and David


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