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The One Real Reason You Are Stressed Out,
Overweight, Depressed or Angry
by Brian W. Vaszily for

NOTE: After this introductory column, my future columns will be shorter. Promise!

Brian VaszilyAbout
Brian Vaszily

Brian Vaszily (pronounced "vay zlee") is a bestselling author, positive change advocate, speaker/organizer and sometimes funny guy whose life mission is to help others explore, experience and enjoy life more intensely while bypassing the traps that would hamper that goal -- particularly unscrupulous marketing and rampant consumerism.

Brian is the founder of, has authored several books including the acclaimed novella Beyond Stone and Steel (see for some reviews), and with over fourteen years of marketing management experience is President of the TopMarketingPro consultancy.

In addition to his How We Get You columns here at SixWise, Brian also leads the popular blog, "The 'Live Deeper' Blog by Brian Vaszily." He has appeared on many TV and radio shows and been quoted in many publications regarding his books, columns, articles and ideas. Brian Vaszily was born and raised in Chicago, growing up on the northwest side in the blue-collar Portage-Cragin neighborhood. Brian and his wife and two children currently reside outside Chicago, Illinois.

I am going to tell you what the real problem is. You should know right off that I am partly to blame.

If you are stressed out, overweight, depressed, or suffering some other disease ... If you are in debt, in a mediocre to horrid relationship, you despise your job, or you hate those Democrats or Republicans ... I am going to tell you what the true underlying cause is. And how to overcome it.

But you won't believe me.

Not at first, anyway. Because it's uncomfortable. It challenges your ego and, even more so, disturbs the strange comfort you have developed with your demons.

Likely for these same reasons, though, it will captivate you. In some part of you it will make sense, enough to leave you pondering it and wanting more. And I'll be giving you more.

For starters, then, here is the one real reason for most of the emotional, mental and physical difficulties you are faced with today:

You have been tricked into them. Conned. Suckered.

How Dare I Have the Audacity!

I don't even know you and I'm calling you are a sucker. If you're wondering who the [input harsh term of your choice here] writing this is, what right I have to call you that, etcetera, etcetera, that's understandable.

But I don't take it back.

Within one to four of my columns you'll see why I made the point when I did, and within two to five you'll agree with me.

I do however want to add an even more important point: you are a good person, with good intentions. You deserve good. Corny or kiss-up as that may sound, you'll also come to see that that is why I'm writing this column. (You'll also realize it's why you can be conned.)

So anyway, who am I? For your initial purposes I am a marketing professional and an editor and author.

For about a decade, up through most of 2001, I used my marketing skills effectively but also carelessly, helping corporations with little or no conscience build their bottom lines, simply because I wanted to build my own. I especially contributed my marketing, public relations, advertising and editorial expertise to one of the world's largest shopping malls, to a giant business and leisure travel corporation, and (get ready to gasp) a leading corporation in the prescription drug industry.

Then in September 2001, planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania farm field and killed 2,986 people.

Beyond Stone and Steel

Like others, perhaps including you, 9/11 made a tremendous impact on me. I wrote a short book, Beyond Stone and Steel: A Memorial to the 9/11 Victims, that evoked this impact in an unusual and apparently captivating way. It received outstanding reviews, a literary award, and did quite well for a book by a small publisher. I also vowed never to contribute my marketing and editorial skills to organizations that have little or no conscience again.

Instead -- when the minor fanfare for Beyond Stone and Steel died down in mid-2002 -- I became the General Manager and Editorial Director of

Though I was making a fraction of the income I had been making in previous employment, I respected the mission of to help change the contemporary healthcare paradigm from one where people are dangerously addicted to pharmaceuticals and other approaches that merely patch over disease, to one where they are empowered with the insight and tools to actually prevent and overcome the true root causes of disease.

I helped Dr. Joseph Mercola build his website into the world's most visited in the natural/alternative health category, and the fourth-most visited out of all websites in any health category (only U.S. government health sites and WebMD get more visitors) -- and to spread the vision in the process. Today, though as a consultant versus employee, I still dedicate much of my professional time to and its mission.

The Most Deadly Epidemic of Our Time

In a sense, then, I have been a player on two sides of a war: I have provided my skills and brainpower to companies whose goal, far above and often at the expense of any other goal, is to increase their profits. And I have provided my skills and brainpower to writing books and also growing an organization that -- within the same capitalist model -- exist for a greater good. (As I'll cover in more detail in future columns, capitalism and conscience can thrive together, despite what those trying to justify greed or laziness, or the people they've jaded, may insist.)

And based on what I've learned directly from many of the world's top leaders and experts across a wide swath of industries, and especially based on what I have seen and done firsthand, I need to tell you something:

You are not overweight because you don't know how to be thin. You are not in debt because you don't know how to save money. You are not stressed out because you don't know how to relax.

You are overweight, in debt, depressed, stressed, or sick because it is incredibly beneficial for certain other people to make and keep you that way.

Far more than you likely imagine, you have been duped into it.

In a previous life I participated in this predominant form of marketing, and rather well. But now that I realize how widespread, disgusting and devastating its impacts are -- how it is by far the most deadly plague of our time -- I am going to give all of our secrets away to you. Some may seem obvious upon hearing them, others will shock you.

Knowing these secrets, you'll be equipped to rise above the manipulations. You'll finally be able to prevent and cure what is truly the root cause of your illness, sadness, anxiety or anger ... and you'll be able to choose to live a much healthier, happier life.

So without further adieu:

The Real #1 Rule of Marketing

The average American encounters over 16,000 different forms of advertisement daily.1 Most Americans have no idea the amount is anywhere near that high, and that's the point.

The number one rule of today's marketing -- the key secret of those who seek to control your beliefs and habits in order to take your money, your votes, your time or whatever else it is they desire from you -- is to always keep in mind that nobody really believes they can be manipulated.

You don't believe the extent to which your beliefs and habits can be and are controlled through the various crafts that I summarize here as marketing; your ego likely doesn't even want you to seriously consider it.

It's funny: most adults will readily agree that the power of marketing has reached monstrous proportions in our society. Most adults will agree that marketing -- in theory a discipline meant merely to build awareness -- has instead become an invasive tool of outrageous control.

But then most will insist it is those stupid others who are really being manipulated by it.

In between sips of designer bottled water or $3 café mochas, while maneuvering their BMW or Ford F-150 to their 10-hour-a-day job or back to their 8000 square foot home or what they wish was an 8000 square foot home, they will insist they're pretty much above the influence. A little influenced, sure, but not that much.

And that's exactly the way today's predominant marketers want it. And need it.

On Guard!

More than anything else, the predominant marketing model depends on you believing you can't be suckered all that much. Whether they're selling prescription drugs, political parties, college degrees, organic fruits, wars, TV shows, or computer monitors, in order to manipulate you they absolutely require that you don't believe you can be easily manipulated.

Conversely, if you realize how penetrable your thoughts and beliefs are (they are far more fragile than your physical body), and you are concerned and open enough to learn the sophisticated, sinister ways you are being penetrated, your guard will be up in the right places.

The same way you are now very aware of the dangers of smoking and are therefore acutely sensitive to consumption of secondhand smoke, you will be paying much closer attention to the largely veiled marketing onslaught, and you will be far more sensitive to the information you consume.

Their current slogan: "Always Low Prices. "

My less catchy but more honest variation: "Always Low Prices. Because Most of You Can't Afford Anything Better and It's Incredibly Profitable for Us to Help Keep It That Way.

Please Help Me
Pass the Secrets On!

Your word-of-mouth is the most honest and effective form of marketing. So please email this column to others email this column to others email this column to others email this column to others and encourage them to subscribe to this free newsletter so they can also get the inside scoop on the tricks that are devastating them physically, mentally, financially or emotionally -- and how to overcome them.

This of course means all the tricks, mind games, machinations and other marketing tactics I will be telling you about in this column will no longer fool you, because you'll be admitting that many of them HAVE BEEN fooling you (to sickness, to anger, to debt, to death) and COULD continue to do so if you let them.

You'd be admitting you are vulnerable -- the same way your body is as vulnerable as everyone else's to the ingredients in cigarette smoke. You'd be admitting you unconsciously encounter 16,000 ads daily for a reason -- they must work at a very powerful level, including on you, for that kind of investment. And you'd therefore be equipped to take action, to take personal responsibility, to ensure you aren't being conned and manipulated to death any longer.

And so this is my hope with this column:

That if you are overweight, in debt, in a bad relationship, depressed, stressed, sick, or feel hate for anything -- and if you really want to overcome those demons and live a happier, healthier life -- you will recognize the great extent to which you have been manipulated into that situation. Through knowledge of these manipulations (which I will be revealing to you) and then personal action, you will change these things in your life for the better.

If that makes at least some sense, if it sounds captivating enough, I ask you to please do two things: pass word of this column on to others who may benefit from the insights I'll be sharing, and stay tuned.

In my next column here in the newsletter next week, I'll be telling you why, despite almost universal belief to the contrary, our lives are getting much shorter - and how to change that.

1. Is the American Dream Killing You? How "the Market" Rules Our Lives, Paul Stiles. Published by HarperCollins, 2005.


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