Sunday, September 21, 2008
I recently spent some time with some folks suffering from cognitive breakdowns. I won't get into any details to protect the names of the innocent but it got me thinking about how easy it is for us to agree that the noise we make is reality. Why is it that a heroin addict can understand his own self-destruction yet choose to return to that destruction after he admits it is destroying him? There's an unconscious acceptance that his particular noise is real to him. I then think of all the work I did as an account planner coming up with arguments and rationale to convince my clients that if we make a certain noise then people will really like that noise. I doubt that now. I think we operate under layers of cognitive distortions. Most of the time the noise we listen to has a pitch and melody we think sensible. Many times it is a soundtrack to our sense of who we think we are. But then I spent time with some folks whose premeditated idea of themselves ran headlong into the gravity of reality and that noise was just noise. I think we continue to make noise between each other and within ourselves. I don't know why. Sometimes there is enough agreed upon noise that it becomes valued. The valued noise becomes the premise behind a brand strategy but as I look at it now that thinking is false. Marketing simply becomes a more organized cognitive distortion; just one particular noise chasing after the noise it deems valuable. The only thing that quieted the noise for the folks I spent time with was the humble acceptance that their noise wasn't who they were. There could be quiet instead as they listened and considered in kindness other people's noise and helped them see that it was just noise.