, , , , ,

Contentment is the primary goal of the Probaway – Life Hacks blog and contentment is the highest goal toward which a human can aspire; it is the state beyond happy, healthy, wise and wealthy to which all of those are directed. Opposed to contentment is advertising; it is the enemy of contentment because its goal is to compel a customer to purchase some item, which he would not buy without the advertising.

Advertising is also the enemy of happiness because it attempts to make the customers believe they are unhappy, unless they purchase some particular product, and that buying that product will make them happy. No subtle qualifications to this concept either. The purchasers will be as happy as the model portrayed if the affordable thing is purchased, or they will be as unhappy as the loser pictured off to the side if they don’t. You will not only be happier but healthier too, if you take this product, a little pill for example, never mind the five hundred contraindications in the fine print, it’s much too tiny to read. You will be living the lifestyle of the wealthy and famous if you buy this flashy tastefully-designed expensive-looking product, which you can easily afford, if you just sign this loan agreement. And best of all you will be respected for buying all these things because then everyone will know you are a very successful person because you are smart and filled with wisdom. Buying these products proves you are happy, healthy, wise and wealthy.

Unfortunately all advertising, yes all advertising pitches are premeditated lies, or at the very least distortions of the testable facts, and since these distortions are intentional they are the purest of lies. These distortions are tolerated because there is a tiny chance you might actually have a need for the product. But the distortion is pressed to the maximum they think you will tolerate, to convince you that you are unhappy, unhealthy, foolish and bummish if you go away without this unneeded bobble.

About a third of TV time is devoted to advertising, and the mislabeled word newspaper is mostly advertising, and even the so-called news stories are laden with as much spin on the information as can be endured. The online material is also being corrupted by this same process and its value greatly diminished. None of the advertised media is intended to convey useful information, but it does hide behind the pretense that it does. Perhaps, the weatherman just might give a little, but even that is typically about terrible weather somewhere far away, and it is intended to keep you paying attention to sell its sponsors’ products. The rest is attractive stuff to get you to look because there might be something important to you, but it rarely delivers anything useful.

No one is selling contentment because when you are contented you don’t need much. There are ads pretending to sell contentment by illustrating someone sitting on a beautiful beach, sipping a special drink, and doing their high-tech work on a powerful online computer over a super 4G network. But that isn’t contentment, or happiness, or healthiness, or wisdom or wealthiness — it’s a fantasy distortion of those things. Contentment isn’t having every possible convenience; it is accepting the functionality of what fulfills your needs as sufficient for your present purpose and well being.

Contentment is a state of actively participating in the reality of what is available, and it isn’t idly sitting on a beautiful beach passively observing nature do whatever it’s doing. People might be perfectly happy doing that for a few minutes, but if it isn’t interactive with the events before them, then they soon get bored, and unless that unpleasant condition doesn’t spur them to get up and do something, they will soon settle into depression, and if that doesn’t prod them enough to do something active, they settle into a gloom. It is easy enough to break out of those undesirable conditions by simply doing something, and the more worthwhile the something is, the further away from a gloomy state they will be.

Advertisers promote the passive gloomy state for their customers by suggesting they are presently in it and that once they have purchased the product being presented they can settle into a perfectly comfortable state of havingness where nothing more is needed from them. In fact the item will soon have the exact opposite effect if it actually performs as advertised because the purchaser becomes a non-functional and hence a useless appendage to the item. The old advertising slogan, The clothes make the man, may be all too true because other people are no longer responding to the human within the clothes but to the external projected entity of the clothes themselves. The man is nothing and the clothes everything. When he is driving a car there is a similar effect. When he is wearing a particular cologne, he becomes merely a source of pleasant odor and is no longer a functioning part of his local reality. At its core all advertising flourishes on creating discontent. Contentment is a particular relationship with personal productive action, and you can’t purchase it, you can only live it.

Contentment is the internal reflection of interactivity with the world.