Friday 21 September 2012

All You Need is a New Car, Right?

I've never driven a Peugeot car, and I'm indifferent to the prospect, but their new ad for the 208 is intriguing from a life coaching perspective.

Have a look.

Do you see what I mean?

It speaks of the "you inside you". Of the person you could be - should be - if you weren't so .... inhibited. It's like you sit there in the passenger seat of your life, watching the buffoon who's driving. They're doing what they always do; getting what they always get (and sharing it with you - whether you like it or not). You might give them the odd whisper of driving advice now and then - or even a frequent scream - WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THAT?? But they're not listening. And the years roll by. 

The Peugeot people know that's true for many of us, and they're using that awareness in us. Clever. And it's a great ad. Somehow, it delivers a really powerful message without any apparent hard sell. No shouting "Cillit Bang Barry", no Injury-Lawyers-for-You clap trap. It seems to be talking to us as one of us, and specifically, the more ordinary us-es that populate the real world. That's an appeal to our sense of inadequacy; an invitation to step outside it and do something wonderful.

But what?

Well, Peugeot want you to buy their car. They're sending you an "Oh, go on! It'll be GREAT!!", and suggesting that your life will step up a notch if you do. Well, I dare say it's a nice car, and maybe you'd be well chuffed for quite some time if you bought one. But the things they show their hero doing are really nothing to do with cars.

They show the new you arriving by post on a dark rainy evening. You open the package, and inside is you - BUT ON A REALLY GOOD DAY (don't get me started on Barocca...). You look just the same and yet you look entirely different. You're open, confident, engaging, and a hell of a lot of fun. This new you goes-out-and-gets, it lives life on full power. Whilst you sit quietly in a restaurant, this you takes the opportunity to be deliciously amorous with your partner. You jog, but they jump bungee. You sit and watch baseball, but they stand up and do that ... well what is that he's doing?? I don't know, but I like it, and so does the lady sitting next to him. Oh, and he's topless in a sea of fully-clothed people. Brave or what?

So buy the damned car, right?

It's a fantastic ad, and somehow I forgive it for the manipulation - which is inherent in so much of our advertising these days. But really, the car's not the answer.

Your new you won't arrive sitting on the passenger seat of a new Peugeot 208, any more than it will arrive in the post on a rainy evening. You have to make it - and it's not easy, because the old you won't let go without a fight.

Making change happen is what I do for my clients, and here's one sneaky tactic I've found which works really well because it sneaks up on the old you and makes changes by stealth. The chances of a punch-up are much lower. Ready?
Raise Your Game
by a Tiny 1%
When You Can

What does that even mean? I dunno, but you can find out for yourself. Think about the new you. How does that person differ from you? That's your compass. Make your changes in those directions.

So - if you're shy, then maybe the new you is confident. Confidence is your new direction. So maybe your new 1% better is to make eye contact with everyone you see in the corridors at work. That's all. Just look at them fleetingly in the eye. When that new you settles in, it's time for another 1%. Get the idea?

Your direction may be entirely different, so your 1% will be different, too. But think tiny steps that even you won't fight against. Embed the new habit; make it normal for you. Then do another one. Remember to keep it going with this idea or - perhaps better - with my free online goal reminder system.

Watch the video again. You know you want to.

Every journey, however long, starts with a single step. Good luck!

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  1. Very inspiring. And yet...maybe I need the new car to boost my confidence...:)

    1. Maybe - a lot more expensive than some coaching though :oD

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  3. So nice post. I am going to buy new car. Your this post is really so helpful. Thanks for this.
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