I thought I had missed tonight's Late Show but a careful examination of the TV timetable showed it was supposed to run for three hours. What? The networks can never run such good shows excessively; if anything, Dave must usually give way to cricket or rugby, which consistently goes overtime. This has got to be a mistake. Indeed it was a mistake. Instead of the Late Show, I got some infomercial promoting "Get The Edge". This is where I should introduce Anthony Robbins.
Anthony Robbins produces CDs that inspire people to be empowered and become successful in life. How does he do it? By (presumably since I did not get my set of CDs) making them feel confident about themselves and somehow persuade them get off their butts and do that thing they've always wanted to do. I think he mentioned doing things little by little in the segment. So far everything makes sense, but my question is why do we need someone telling us that? Can't we figure that out ourselves? Robbins claims he knows some tricks that can save you time (from having to figuring it out yourself), which does help, but ultimately if you have something you want done the most obvious course of action is to actually do it. There is no way around it. If you are not motivated enough then think about the consequences of inaction. If even that doesn't motivate you then clearly you're dreaming so wake up and think of something practical to do.
The fact that a lot of people apparently benefited from this program proves one of a few things:
1) Robbins' program is a "wake up call" for them, meaning they are initially lazy;
2) they need someone, preferably one with credibility, to tell them they can achieve their goals, meaning they are a sad, superficial bunch who cares about what others think of them over their own well being;
3) the laziness in 1 is overcame by the fact that they had already paid for the program, so better get the money's worth by following it;
4) the belief that Robbins' program must work since he had a good track record boosted their determination, something also achievable if one feels confident about himself in the first place.
None of these are convincing me the program gives me things I don't already have or can never come up with on my own.
Besides, who is he to dictate that I should want to become successful, that I should want to be happy, that I should want to have a healthy romantic relationship and subsequently a family? Of course people who do not wish to be successful will not buy these CDs. Those who do should understand they can only achieve their goals by doing some work. If they need someone to coach them through that, well, refer to (1).
Having argued that the program should not be useful to anyone, I admit this is not the case in reality, because sadly a lot of people nowadays fall into the categories (1) and (2). They are too lazy to pick themselves up after a fall, and needs someone like Robbins to give them a lift, so kudos to him.
One last interesting point. Such a promotion segment is never complete without some testimonials. So three people who became successful after joining the program made their cases in front of the camera. The ironic thing is that small subtitles ran across the screen stating that, "Result are not typical. Individual results may vary." This liability waiver effectively nullifies any persuasive power the testimonials are supposed to have. I don't know why they put them on.
1 Note that it is economically incorrect to think that. Money already paid out is sunk and should not affect future decisions.