How to Stop Being Controlled by Advertising

Escape from advertising

You are not in full control of your behaviour.

Because you have a primitive brain.

The average person spends 47% of their day on autopilot.

That’s half of your life making instinctive decisions.

Being in this state leaves you open to influence by others. Following natural urges
and desires.

This is problematic. You are at the mercy of your surrounding environment.

An environment filled with advertising.

Companies know how to use your mindless behaviour against you.

They convince you to buy products you don’t need.

Do you identify with any of these situations?

  • Craving junk food when you are not hungry
  • Buying needless products at the grocery store
  • Thinking life will be better with a new smartphone
  • Thinking soda is the best way to quench thirst
  • Buying a car you cannot afford

These decisions make no sense. Yet you make them anyway.

There are more people trying to influence you than ever before.

Amazon spent 20 billion dollars on ads in 2022.

All to convince you to buy their stuff.

And it’s working. They have the second biggest revenue in the world.

Mindless decisions are not good.

Here’s what happens when you are controlled by advertising:

  • More clothes than you could ever wear
  • Gaining weight but feel like you don’t eat very much
  • 5 monthly subscriptions you don’t need
  • Credit card debt despite having a decent income
  • Life is difficult to manage but can’t understand why

This is not only about you. I have been there before.

My childhood years left me exposed to advertising. I was primed to be a consumer.

I eventually got my first job at 16. And was convinced to take on my first credit card
at 19.

This is a disastrous situation for a teenager living on autopilot. Controlled by
emotion.

I could never understand why I ran out of money so fast. I assumed I didn’t earn
enough.

But I had a great income for my age.

The reality was that I spent too much.

An expensive car and an obsession with branded clothes pushed me over the edge.

I went into debt. And it took me a long time to escape.

Being in debt is terrible. It robs you of freedom – and puts you in a state of constant
anxiety.

You will never escape debt unless you stop living on autopilot.

I stopped acting emotionally. And started living mindfully. That’s why I have freedom
today.

Here’s my life now:

  • I only buy healthy food that I need
  • I have no credit card debt
  • I earn more than I spend
  • I am content with the material possessions I have
  • I never drink soda

I had to go through a process to reach this point.

Here is how you break free from advertising:

1) Avoid advertising

If you spend all your time on a boat, you are going to get wet.

Detached from advertising is a must.

It will get in your head. You have to take control.

Avoidance is the best way. Out of sight, out of mind.

Here’s how to reduce advertising exposure:

  • Watch less TV. It’s detracting from your goals in so many ways.
  • Unfollow social media accounts that advertise products
  • Subscribe to the ad-free version of your favourite streaming service
  • Use a strong email spam filter
  • Spend time going through your inbox and unsubscribing
  • Read more books. They don’t have ads.

Every one of these actions has a positive ripple effect on your life.

You will become more productive.

And your attention will be focussed on positive influences.

2) Track your spending

It’s shocking how much you spend on emotional purchases.

Here are some items you spend too much money on:

  • Coffee
  • Streaming services
  • Junk food
  • Car payments
  • Smartphones
  • Clothes

These are the items you are convinced to buy.

You need most of these things. But you don’t need them in excess.

Track your spending accurately. See how much you spend at fast food outlets.

It’s more than you think.

Awareness is the first step towards change.

You will become conscious of where your money goes. And start thinking twice
before making mindless purchases.

3) Create a list of things you need.

Advertising exists to make you want things you don’t need.

Nobody needs to convince you to buy the things you need for survival.

Separating needs from wants is difficult. The lines have become blurred by
advertising.

Overcome this confusion by making a list of things you need.

Here are some examples of items that may be on your list:

  • Healthy food
  • Gas
  • Car insurance
  • Home mortgage or rental payment
  • Gym membership
  • Functioning laptop

These are things you need to live. They are not optional.

Be ruthless. Do not let wants sneak onto your list of needs.

Here are some examples of wants. You do not need these things:

  • Expensive sports car
  • The latest smartphone
  • Expensive watch
  • Junk food
  • 6 streaming service subscriptions

You can live without these items.

Making purchases from your list of needs saves you a lot of money.

And you will become immune to advertising.

You will regain control of your actions.

These steps take you to a life of meaning and purpose.

Spending time doing things

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Mindset
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