In the animated film Cars, Lightning McQueen—a popular rookie race car—does a commercial for his sponsor, Rusteeze, advertising their Medicated Bumper Ointment. He plasters a smile on his face and chimes, “Use Rusteeze… and you too can look like me! Ca-chow!”
The humor lies in the irony. It would take a lot more than one product to make any old car be as flashy or fast as a race car. Such a transformation would require a new paint job at the very least. More than likely, the car would need a new engine and transmission along with modifications to the body style.
Have you ever noticed that many ads for self-help products run along the same lines as that Rusteeze Commercial?
“I went from working sixty hours a week in a dead-end job, to tripling my income with half the effort. Attend my seminar and learn how you too can be successful like me!”
The only thing missing is the “Ca-chow!”
There are many successful folks who share quite valuable expertise. Dave Ramsey’s no-nonsense budgeting advice has helped our family finances. Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits” still inspire. Michael Hyatt’s blog teems with useful strategies for aspiring speakers, writers, and bloggers.
On the other hand, most “you-too-can-be-like-me” statements are mere marketing strategies designed to sell books, products, and seminars. Sadly, many of these are high on maxims and low on practicality. We try them out only to fall into to a vicious cycle of hope, attempt, failure, and disappointment.
In the mid-life struggles of adulthood, we feel a keen disparity between what we dreamed possible and the reality of where we are. It can be downright discouraging as we are bombarded with these ideas of, “the grass really is greener on the other side,” and “if you aren’t on the fun side of the island, it’s your own fault!”