Interesting Signs!

A sign like this just might show up in a dressing room near you.

I love treasure hunting for clothes.  I never know what I will find at T.J. Maxx or my favorite resale shop.  On a recent visit to good old T.J.’s, my “find” was a hooded exercise shirt – certainly something a person who works at a gym can use!

I headed to the dressing room, closed the door, and prepared to try it on.  As I looked in the mirror, I had to laugh.  A sign stared back at me – a very clever and sneaky message – “You should get it!”  As I turned to face the door, another one caught my eye – “This would be a great score for you!”

I talk a lot about how food companies market fast food and snacks.  They use similar tactics.  Before you know it, there they are . . . right inside your head!

If I had a nickel for every positive emotion linked to junk food in ads, I would be able to put up my own billboard ads:  “Stop, observe, breathe in deeply, exhale completely, reflect.”  (SOBER: my acronym for the process of returning to mindfulness).  Then my sign would read:  “OK, now make a genuine choice – YOUR choice, not the one inserted into your brain while you weren’t paying attention.”

In fact, in a conscious state of mind, many of us are probably more likely to turn down temptation if we feel pushed into a decision by advertisers.  The problem – and it’s a big one – is that we are so often not even aware as the messages sneak into our heads.

So, what did I do, you wonder – in that dressing room, confronted by these prodding signs?  I stopped, observed (just noticed feelings in me), focused on my breath, and then thought about what that sign was trying to do to me.  I ended up buying the shirt, but it was a genuine choice that I was certain was not influenced by those stupid signs.  Now that’s what I call a real score!

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