The Oldest Trick in the Book

You know the trick.

In fact, like me in the distant past, you’ve probably employed it a time or two.

It’s the duplicitous (while innocent) psychological trick used by salespeople, ad agencies, motivational speakers, way too many preachers and politicians, and those seeking to gain control in relationships.

What is this oldest trick in the book?

Fortify separation and then provide, and take credit for, the cure.

To illustrate, here’s a common way that change workers (coaches, counselors, consultants, speakers) sell their services—in this case, the marketing copy for a seminar:

"For each of us and in our own personal way, life today presents all sorts of challenges. These challenges bring overwhelming insecurity, stress, and worry. But, thankfully, my simple approach to insecurity, stress, and worry has proved life changing for me and for others. Now, you too can finally find the sustained peace of mind you’ve been after. In fact, people return to my seminars year after year to reignite the wonderful sense of connection, passion, purpose, and love. Book your place today!"

In other words:

Step 1. Ingrain the belief that we are separate beings viewing life from a perspective of separation. 
Step 2. Rightly confirm that this belief and perspective brings with it all sorts of insecurity, stress, and worry. 
Step 3. Provide the “cure”—an approach, distraction, affirmation, meditation, communication or connection strategy—for the separation just ingrained.
Step 4. Generate a high of hope, a temporary good feeling.
Step 5. Note that, for the high to continue, you must come back for more!

Here’s another idea instead: Let’s say we abandon the oldest trick in the book for good.

How’s that accomplished?

Here you go:

Step 1. Explore inward. Discover that we’re not separate beings.
Step 2. Recognize that insecurity, stress, and worry are attributes of separate beings, not of who we truly are.
Step 3. Understand that, because we’re not separate beings, we don’t need to be cured of insecurity, stress, and worry. Good feelings or highs are unnecessary.
Step 4. Appreciate that, because we’re not separate beings, there’s no one to take credit—or blame.
Step 5. Come back for more? We’re cool, but thanks!

Lastly, if you’re guilty of fortifying the illusion of separation and then offering illusory cures, and, thus, this post rubs you the wrong way—good. It should.

Maybe you should get to know yourself a little better.

As I said, it’s innocent, if—in your business, marketing, friendships, on social media, or even in your family—you’re still employing the oldest trick in the book.

But who you truly are wouldn’t dare.

Thanks for reading,
Garret