You may agree with me that life is filled with waves and there are difficult times and not so difficult times. Many people long for inner contentment, joy, peace and happiness. If you look at advertisements everywhere very closely, you will notice a common theme among them all. I noticed that many advertisements that try to sell you something, are not only trying to sell you a product, but they try to sell a feeling; an emotion. Ads try to sell people happiness; a life that is much easier and more content. They try to promise that if you buy their product, it can make your life different and therefore you will feel better.
So for example, I was driving one morning and I saw a truck that was affiliated with one of the school boards. There was a picture of children holding books and it read " Extraordinary lives start with a great Catholic education." The reason why this stood out for me, is because what those words are saying to people is that to have a great life, it starts with a Catholic education. There is a societal belief that education will lead you to a path of success. Many believe that education is the door way to a future filled with stability, financial abundance and contentment. While education is a human right for all and I believe it is important for everyone, it does not guarantee any happiness, nor an extraordinary life. An education can assist in getting the career you long for and allow you to obtain certain jobs, but achieving any form of education is never the answer to filling a void you may feel within yourself. For anything that you seek externally to fill an internal emptiness, is only a temporary relief that is sure to lose its excitement.
Another example I have are advertisements that come from the fitness industry. Many fitness ads sell you personal training programs and other fitness programs. At the gym that I attend, there was an advertisement for personal training that read, "unlock your success, we have the key." Industries try to communicate that what their selling, holds the key to people's happiness and succeeding in their fitness goals. Many people have different fitness goals, and maybe a personal training program can very well be beneficial in achieving those goals. However, success, in whatever way you define it, is only achieved from a place of dedication, motivation and determination. Many of these programs can definitely assist and guide others in achieving their goals, however you hold the key to any goal you want to achieve.
These are just some examples that came to mind. Advertisements have a great way in pulling people into buying products because they know many people seek true happiness and peace and they create their advertisements to target that area in customers. When people choose to purchase a product or a program, they do it based on a feeling that arises within. Often we choose to buy something based on how we anticipate it would make us feel. Organizations know the process of how customers make choices and create their advertisements based on that knowing. It is very important to be aware of this. Often the feeling that we want to feel by purchasing something, can never be obtained from anything material, but is obtained only by embracing whatever we believe we are void of and exploring it.
"We carry inside us, the wonders we seek outside us." Buddha