Is it just me, or are TV commercials for prescription drugs among the most off-putting in existence? It doesn’t matter whether it cures nail fungus, lowers blood pressure or prevents strokes—the basic commercial formula is consistent regardless of the medication—and typically begins something like this:
Beautiful everyday people appear on the screen, explain their problem, and how it was solved.
“That’s when my doctor told me about llama spit.” (I’m making this part up.)
Having been healed by the llama spit, the patient returns to everyday life, hopping into a bath tub in the middle of nowhere, or catching a record-setting catfish as happy music plays in the background. Meanwhile the voice-over prompts action from the viewer.
“Ask your doctor if llama spit is right for you.”
And then the bottom drops out, as the list of side effects begins: May cause drowsiness. May cause rapid heartbeat. May cause uncontrollable bleeding. May cause itching. People with unexplained weight gain or weight loss may need to discontinue. May cause death while taking, or at any time in the future. On and on it goes.
By the time the commercial is over, I’d rather take my chances than take the medicine. (Don’t get me wrong. I know there are a lot of powerful and effective drugs out there. But that’s hardly my point. 🙂 )
I wonder if sometimes we all feel that way about trying to live a more remarkable life. That perhaps it’s easier to take our chances with what we know instead of dealing with possible side effects.
Let’s face it. Attempting the remarkable could find you re-examining your values and priorities. It could cause you to re-visit painful past experiences. The search for a remarkable life could convince you to ditch a bad habit (or forgive someone else’s 🙂 ). It could prompt you to sport a better attitude, or streamline your daily activities—to be present and intentional, instead of trapezing willy-nilly through your day.
So maybe the real question is this: What are the side effects of not seeking a little more remarkable in your life? Are you prepared to live with them tomorrow or next month or next year?
As a mentor of mine once remarked, no matter how we spend our time—whether we’re starting a new business, mustering our courage, or worrying about the future—time will continue to pass.
Much like those blasted prescription drug commercials, the side effects are unavoidable either way. But we can choose which side effects we’d rather live with. Even if there is some llama spit involved along the way.
And wouldn’t that make for a remarkable story 😉
Until next time,
P.S. When you consider adding a little more remarkable to your life, what side effects worry you? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. We’ll put our heads together to solve them!