there is no secret

January 9th, 2013   |   LifeThink About It

 

This morning I had The Today Show playing on TV while I got ready for the day. I usually have it playing in the background as I make assemble Mr. Lively’s breakfast and lunch and try to keep an eye on Franklin (he loves absconding with our shoes which is the cutest [and annoying] thing ever).

While I was in the kitchen I heard a random lead in to an upcoming segment talking about a man’s weight loss.

“Coming up, a man who lost 140 pounds shares his weight loss secrets.”

For whatever reason, a part of my mind just kinda snapped. I got all feisty.

I’m sick of people/tv shows/magazines pitching us the “secrets” to things.

Because you know what? There is no secret. 

We all know this. We all can guess, by logic, science, and personal experience that the man probably moved more and/or ate less calories. Sure, there are a lot of trends in nutrition that might try to break that equation. But more often than not, a calorie is a calorie. How we can move more and/or eat less can take a million different forms. But that simple principal still remains constant barring serious body or chemical imbalances.

In other areas of our lives we also get bombarded with the “secrets” to wealth, business, relationships, you name it.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of the hype. Deep down, intuitively, we can all infer what leads to success.

Unlike our ego’s vain hopes that we can find short cuts, principals remain true.

  • Eating until satisfied (not stuffed) and moving our bodies regularly. – Weight Loss
  • Creating unique products that genuinely improve people’s lives. – Business Growth
  • Saving, spending, and investing money within our means. – Wealth
  • Being a more loving, kind, and accepting significant other. – Relationships

Though we can manifest principals in a myriad of ways, there are no real secrets or short cuts.

We know this, yet we are fed “short cut advertising” like this all the time.

I really hope that we see less of this low-level, flashy messaging over time.

We are smarter than that.

 

Please note: I commend the man in the segment himself very much! What he did was commendable and full of hard work. Not a “secret” like the show presented it in the promo. The issue I have is that they pitched his story as “sharing secrets” rather than talking about dedication and hard work.

 

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  • Eva Mijes

    Totally agree with this post! This really bothers me too! One of my fav quotes is “If you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen.” (By Conan) Like you said, there is no secret… all it takes is work, but some how we are always looking for the short cut!

  • Sarah van Loon

    Yes! This is so, so true. Well spoken, Jess. Thanks!

  • Erin

    Really lovely put, and I doubt yoga is a real weight loss secret!

    I really like how you wrote your Wealth non-secret too!

  • Jessica

    Thanks for expressing this so simply! We all have the capacity to live a beautiful life. No secrets :)

  • Alicia B

    Amen. Similarly, I get super frustrated with statements like, “I don’t know how (weight gain/debt/relationship drama) happened!!” Same formula; opposite direction.

    Thanks for being a voice of reason (as usual).

  • Chicspace/Marguerite

    Generally I would agree with this post. However, I’m not sure you saw the actual piece itself. The man had been a paratrooper and had damaged his legs/back as a result of that career. He need full-arm canes to walk, could not stand unassisted, and had ballooned up to 340 lbs. He was looking for pain relief and came across a yoga dvd and decided to give it a try. Over several months, he lost 140 lbs (he also gave up junk food and in the process dealt with depression over his health) and by the end was able to run. There *was no secret here*, just hard work, dedication, and some obvious solutions (well, obvious for weight loss; getting from canes to running wasn’t “obvious”). This is the video of his journey:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448

    I’m not endorsing the yoga dvd at all, but I did feel a little off about the assumptions in this piece when it was exactly what you are talking about.

  • Jess Lively

    I totally agree with you, Marguerite! What the man did to improve his health and his story are commendable.

    My frustration is that the writers of the show promoted the piece by saying that he was going to share his “secrets” as if there was something he did that was a shortcut no one knows about. I commend him and wish that the show had properly given him the credit due. His success is not a secret, so they shouldn’t pitch it as one.

    I hope this clarification makes sense.

    The man = awesome.
    The show’s pitch of the segment being a “secret” = not so awesome.

  • Jess Lively

    I totally agree with you, Janene! Like I mentioned to Marguerite above, what the man did to improve his health and his story are commendable.

    My frustration is that the writers of the show promoted the piece by saying that he was going to share his “secrets” as if there was something he did that was a shortcut no one knows about. I commend him and wish that the show had properly given him the credit due. His success is not a secret, so they shouldn’t pitch it as one.

    I hope this clarification makes sense.

    The man = awesome.

    The show’s pitch of the segment being a “secret” = not so awesome.

  • Jess Lively

    Great point!

  • Jess Lively

    I love that Conan quote!! Thanks for reminding me of it.

  • Emily Harden

    What a great way to break down this concept, really wonderful way to express these thoughts, especially the examples for wealth and relationships!

  • Missy G.

    That’s good stuff right there.

  • Sandi

    Well said!

  • http://byov.blogspot.com/ iris

    Ah, marketing! Isn’t it grand?! It needs to be called a ‘secret’ so that people want to find it out. We are a nosy culture. I wonder if in other cultures, they are secrets-averse? I wonder how the marketing works there…

  • Jess Lively

    That’s a great point. I’m not sure if it works in other cultures too…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tanya.calver Tanya Calver

    Such a well made point and it comes at the perfect time for me. I’ve so many big life decisions to attend currently that having the “secrets” broken down into such reasonable statements will help me keep my mind focused. I’ve only just learned of your blog today and have spent the past 3 hours getting to know you and I am so glad I have! Thank you for sharing your intentional life in such an honest and realistic manner.

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