I Want Less Choice

This idea stemmed from my time this week as my wife is out of town, leaving me home alone for 9 days. Clearly, I’ve had plenty of time to myself, to do pretty much whatever I want. And in that time alone I’ve realized that I am prone to boredom, which is ridiculous and I’ll bet a very modern phenomenon.

I think boredom is inherently linked to my ability to choose from seemingly limitless options.

What do I want to eat? I only have to choose between every restaurant and grocery store in the KC metro area.

What do I want to watch? I only have to choose between what’s currently on, what’s on my DVR, what’s On Demand, what’s on Netflix, what’s on Amazon Prime Instant Video, what’s online, what’s at Redbox, what’s available to purchase, or what I already own. Then I have to choose what I want to watch it on…

What do I want to read? I only have to choose between everything on Amazon, my local library, what is available through Kindle or iBooks, what’s on the blogosphere, what’s on Twitter, or what I already own (which is a lot).

What activity do I want to do? I only have to choose between…this is getting stupid. Hopefully you see what I’m getting at.

I don’t want to have to sort through hundreds of thousands of choices everyday, it’s exhausting. And I think the feeling I equate to boredom is actually sensory overload. I have so much to choose from that I often wind up choosing what is easy. And I don’t like that.

I like to think that in a simpler world, one where I have fewer choices, I’d be more prone to do what is better than what is easy. That I wouldn’t choose to binge watch (seriously, when did this become a thing) a crappy TV show over exercising, learning a new skill, studying scripture, writing, sharing stories, building things, gardening. These are all things that I want to do, and believe that I should be doing, yet I find myself on season 4 of White Collar.

Maybe I’m just lazy and I’m taking it out on technology and convenience. Or maybe I’m correct in saying that I’d be better off with fewer choices. Or, and perhaps most likely, it’s a little bit of both.

It was only a matter of time before having access to the entire world from my pocket became an anchor.

I think it’s time that I start evaluating what I really believe to be worth my time and then removing the things that have prevented me in the past from pursuing those worthwhile endeavors. This certainly means disconnecting from superfluous things in my life but it also means looking in the mirror, admitting that I’m the one to blame for this reality, and consciously making a change in what I allow myself to do. In other words, self discipline.

Lexus Has Crappy Marketing

I just saw a commercial for the new Lexus IS and it was terrible.  They used one of the worst marketing formulas out there. Here is how the commercial went:

“We could tell you about (a very specific feature) or about (another specific feature) or even about (yet another very specific feature) but we don’t have to (even though we’ve spent a majority of this commercial doing just that) because (insert expert reference here) already has.”

Which raises one major question, if you don’t have to mention these features because an industry expert already has, why in the world did you waste time and money writing, filming, editing, producing and advertising a pointless commercial!!??

I find this sort of advertising to not only be pointless but also insulting to my intelligence as a human being and in their minds, as a possible customer (never going to happen).

I am constantly underwhelmed by current advertisements and often wonder how they get approved. Apparently all of the education and experience these marketing firms have has not gotten them any closer to producing quality work.

For those of you that would argue, “well the commercial worked becuase you’re talking about it and the product they mentioned” I would say you’re wrong. Yes, I am talking about the commercial and the product but I’m doing so in a negative way, stating how awful it was. Marketing is supposed to encourage the public to speak positively about the product/company and encourage people to purchase said product or service. If the marketing is so bad that it pushes me to write a blog post about it within seconds of seeing the commercial, they have failed miserably.

For the record the best commercials I’ve seen lately are:

and

They are the best I’ve seen because they share a story, they understand the basic human desires of friendship/love, and they connect emotionally with you. There isn’t anything in the commercials about why their product is better than the competition, what experts say about them, or anything like that. They sell their product through these advertisments because they fit their product into a story that we can relate, and even aspire, to.

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This Week in Ridiculous Church Jobs

I’ve been looking for the right church to serve at for quite some time now. As I’ve been searching I’ve come across a disturbing trend: absolutely unrealistic job descriptions. Some of them have even made me laugh out loud in public because they were so ridiculous.

Take for example this job description:

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Are you kidding me?

“We’d like you to run pretty much the entire church and we’d like to pay you poorly for all your hard work! Sound like a deal!?”

I don’t understand how churches can write such job descriptions, pay so poorly for that job, and expect people to thrive in that situation.

$40,000 is not by itself terrible pay, however, when you consider the scope of this job and the fact that cost of living where this church is located is particularly high, $40,000 isn’t nearly enough.

I share this post, not to throw this church or any other under the bus, (you’ll notice that no names, locations, or anything identifiable about the church is mentioned) but to address a larger issue: churches setting pastors up for failure.

It amazes me how many similar job descriptions I’ve come across over the past 9 months. How can a church in good conscience hire somebody into a role like this?

If any place should have realistic job descriptions, competitive pay, and a concern for the longterm viability and fruitfulness of its employess, it should be the Church shouldn’t it?