There are plenty of commercials from my childhood that stick out. Growing up at the beginning of the Super Bowl Commercial craze gave us plenty of memorable advertisements. “Where’s the beef?” from Wendy’s. Bird vs Jordan shooting contest. This is your brain on drugs. These all caught my attention because they were either clever or memorable for positive reasons.
One commercial that stood out for another reason was for GOYA beans. The catch phrase “GOYA, oh boya!” was so inane that it stuck. Inevitably when I am food shopping for my family, the big letters G O Y A stick out and remind me of the stupid tag line. So I have decided to associate something new to that can and the beans that sit inside. GOYA is now an acronym. It stands for “Get Off Your ASS!”
It is a call to action and action is all that matters after all. The commercials that are running in our minds should be moving us forward. I’m sure that if you’re anything like me, there are commercials running for sleep, junk-food, relaxation, sex and beer… sweet beer. The commercials for these things are not hard to run because they represent our surface level desires. At a much deeper level, we want to have health, wealth and good relationships. These things require a much greater effort than the shallow desires of the moment. So it is up to us to stick deliberately put in those commercials for beans, ACTION BEANS. Those less than sexy items that we need in order to get where we really want to go. You’re running the show and when you stop for a word from the sponsors, make sure they’re the ones taking you in the right direction!
G.O.Y.A! And do it!
During college and for the first year after I graduated, I had a job as a poison merchant. It was a really good job for a young person. The pay was above average, the hours fit perfectly into my personal and social schedules. My boss was a great guy who treated me extremely well because he recognized that I was a valuable member of the team. Our customers really liked me and I had banter with the regulars. I knew the preferences of the regulars and was adept at helping the people who didn’t know what they wanted. Despite how well things were going as a poison merchant, I opted to follow a more noble cause: knowledge salesman!
The past sixteen years as a knowledge salesman have been a tough slog. I have plenty of prospective customers who are forced to consider my products. Unfortunately most of them are resistant to buy because of the obligation that is held over their head. Most see no point to my product and think the price is too high. My store is antiquated. Even though I see all of the deficiencies in my company, it’s an old industry that believes that it will always exist. Despite the poor working conditions, I truly do care for my customers and know that my product could help them toward a better life. Unfortunately I have grown weary from fighting with my customers in their own self-interest. I know that in other parts of the world, customers risk death to get my products. While in my territory, low prices are demanded constantly and I know that many of my customers despise me for trying to do my job. The thing that keeps me going at the moment is my former customers who send me the occasional message of thanks. I’ve thought often of going back to being a poison merchant.
Value is not a fixed thing. Currency, real estate, commodities and almost anything else in this world has a value relative to the desire for that item, service, etc. Since value is driven by need/desire, it changes by region, time period or circumstance. It can also be deceptive. Humans put great value on things that are inherently worthless much of the time. They also put little to no value on things that are of great importance. My time working at a beer and wine store and as a teacher are not particularly an indictment of American culture but they do paint a picture of the value that we put on different things. Value is decided both individually and collectively. As each of us presses forward in our lives and communities, it is important to decide what we truly value in both the short and long term.
It’s so obvious on one level. A spouse is someone that you are supposed to spend most of your days and the rest of your life with. So choosing a person that offers a one dimensional relationship is absolutely ludicrous. It would make for a very long and difficult daily road because all of the other areas of your life would suffer. The sex would be great but what do you do with the other 23 hours 59 minutes of the day? Most likely that extra time would be spent trying to makeshift a life with someone who should have been a guilty pleasure but has become a daily burden.
This is a description of a very extreme situation that is probably not realistic to most people. Almost no one marries their “f#@% buddy” because it makes no sense and few of us would make that foolish decision. The reason is that it is such a big decision that it would usually get sorted out before the cutting of the cake. Signs would be so obvious that either self-examination or friends would intervene. But what happens with the small things? Marriage is a big decision or at least is should be. The small decisions might be the ones that sneak through almost undetected.
Each of us has them, the guilty pleasures that we love probably more than we should. Ice cream, chocolate, Youtube, beer, physical affection and so many more are pleasureful things in their correct amounts. However when we “marry” them and make them a central part of our existence, they wield an unbalancing power. Just like the fictitious marriage that seemed so obviously out of place, relationships with items and experiences can create a burden in the other areas of your life. It’s easier to dismiss because it is not a person that you need to take home with you. It’s a thing, a moment in time that you deserve and the consequences will be dealt with later.
So now it is up to you! Are you married to one of your “f#@% buddies”? Then choose! You don’t need to break it off completely (unless you want to). The key is to put this relationship into its proper context. See it as it really is and not let it take over. Then you are available to marry the things and experiences that you really want!
Have a great weekend!