I’ve worked out the meaning of life!
I’m 42 so I feel I have the authority to speak on this matter.
And the answer is not 42 (it might be 56!) although in a way the answer is 42, Douglas Adams totally got it.
The meaning of life is……..Memorable Experiences!
That’s a bit disappointing isn’t it. Worse than 42 as an answer.
But it’s true, Memorable Experiences.
After all that is how we as humans learn.
We crave memorable experiences.
We reward those who give us memorable experiences.
We wish to be remembered when we’re long gone.
Legacy, through our children, our donations and benevolence, our ideas, the parkbench, assassinating a Kennedy! Most of us want to be remembered.
But enough of the future, what about the past?
We have deep nostalgia programmed into us.
A smell of fresh bread, a song, an old photograph, a taste, a touch on the head when we’re ill.
The world of politics, media, and advertising realise this nostalgic desire and Memorable Experience.
They lash their agendas on to something memorable, regardless of whether or not the product is any good.
Let me give you a few examples.
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why? Have they elected him on his ability to govern and solve California’s debt? No. He’s memorable. He evokes a Memorable Experience of what we know of him.
George W Bush. Why? Because we vaguely know the name from his Dad, so must be ok.
Benetton Adverts. Do they have anything to do with actually wearing a knitted woolly jumper?
The two best examples I can give of advertising at its best and worst, are two of the most popular adverts of the last 5 years.
The Budweiser Wassup advert (though not shown here in Australia) went viral in the UK and USA. The twist in the plot, was the short film on which the adverts were based on was never designed for Budweiser, it was a short film doing the rounds that found a brand, and not the brand inventing the film. So in other words it was something which offered a Memorable Experience that had a brand, in this case Budweiser, attached to it.
I’m developing this idea of Memorable Experiences in the work I do.
I realise that all the guru stuff knocking around on self-development may not have anything to do with changing, it’s just that the “guru” who presents is memorable, or there’s something about the book that is memorable (sometimes only the title!) but in reality we buy into the Memorable Experience rather than actually doing something about it!!
Watch this space for more on this subject.