Take Back Your Brain! has come full circle. About three years ago I set out to discover whether it was possible to influence my own behavior by advertising to myself. Apparently it is! In fact, one of those early ad campaigns motivated me to start this website a few months later.
At the time I felt concerned about how saturated our mental ecosystem has become with seductive multimedia images advocating for other peoples’ agendas, while our own noble intentions like getting healthier, smarter, more loving, and more successful languished on to-do lists.
I reasoned that advances in personal technology have made it so easy for ordinary people to create media that we should be able to make visually compelling “ads” for ourselves that are able to compete with commercial marketing for our attention. That same technology has also made it easy to deliver these images to ourselves repeatedly, without any thought or action after the initial set-up. Finally, I thought it might be possible to borrow some tricks from the marketing industry to make our ads more effective.
Since then I’ve written over 100 articles that demonstrate how you too can make ads to motivate yourself using both low and hi-tech methods. I’ve observed these techniques working for myself and others in a variety of situations. It’s a body of work that I’m proud of, that feels like a genuinely useful, if modest, contribution to the personal development movement.
About a month ago I erased the huge white board in my office and drew the ad you see above. I did this as an intuitive response to consistent inner stirrings for change, renewal, and reinvention. Good stuff. But it generated a response I hadn’t expected: within days I spontaneously stopped writing! Completely. Instead, I have rested more, played more, and paid more attention than usual to my health and home. Again, good stuff.
But I was a bit concerned about my sudden lack of interest in writing about personal marketing until a few days ago when I ran across the seed idea that grew into TBYB!
I think there are layers of exoskeleton for the self: body, clothing, tools, home, community. There are also layers that can be less physical but no less real – media (radio, tv), communications (phone, email) metaverse (blog, website). The immediate emotional environment is an important layer too. Some of the layers contain parasites. I think it’s really effective to tweak pieces of the exoskeleton to support internal change.
Take Back Your Brain! has explored a variety of hacks on the media layer of our exoskeleton, and documenting these experiments has occupied a large share of my attention since November 2006. I see now that while I remain fascinated by the core idea of tweaking the exoskeleton, my interests and energy are currently gravitating toward more physical layers. I feel enormous desire to design space and make stuff again after wrangling a keyboard for several years (hey, I probably should be making some personal ads about that!), and I’m finally working out almost every day.
So for the time being, I’m inclined to follow my instinct to direct most of my creative energy toward the physical layers and transition Take Back Your Brain! to more of a static resource that provides tools and inspiration for you to make personal advertising. While I still have enough ideas to keep posting new material on for quite a while, I’ve pretty much laid out the most important concepts: find an emotional hook, put yourself in the picture, set and forget your delivery system. So I envision posting new articles much less frequently, while continuing to refine the existing material to be as useful for you as possible. There are currently over 100 free articles containing tips, techniques and tutorials that show you how to make and deliver ads to yourself.
Of course when I do have something new to say about personal marketing, I’ll post it right here. Subscribe to the RSS feed to be notified about updates.
More than anything else, Take Back Your Brain! is a site about seizing your power to create the life you want. What is the desire that has been whispering to you for several months or years? I’ll bet you know what it is. Go ahead and write it down right now in a place where you’ll see it every day. Illustrate it if you can. Then let that “ad” encourage you to be a willing participant in whatever shows up for you next!