Easy guide to the easy guides (beware of language and length)

The good thing about being in a tough situation in life is that thanks to internet and global communication we can access everything without leaving the comfort of the sofa.

As I was trying to find helpful tips on some issues that I’m going through at the moment I encountered a lot of bullshit online. Created to mislead and take advantage of people in the easiest way possible: the easy guides.

I’m going to explain as much as possible on this, so bear with, it will be long.

Here’s a few examples to start with:

5 tips to get the guy

10 easy ways to improve your life and be happier

50 easy home business ideas to start from home

3 simple steps to achieve …

And so on.

First I’ll start with the numbers. Marketing is all about the easy way to get to your brain in the shortest amount of time that the average amount of people spend on advertisement. 30 seconds max on tv/radio/video etc., 10 seconds max on printed format. Hence the number and the words easy/simple and sometimes tips/secrets etc. Also they prey on how lazy humans can be and how desperate they are.

Numbers and wordplay:

1 – Magical number, with just 1 touch, step, look, word, something should change in your life. Now that’s bullshit, even Harry Potter took 7 books, the only things you can achieve by 1 step only is to put on your shoes and only if they don’t have laces.

2 – A pair, plays with the fact that most things come in pairs, shoes, hands, salt and pepper mills, earrings, male and female, even transcendent ideas comes in pairs, good and evil, light and darkness, and I could carry on.

3 – The divine trilogy, as easy as 1, 2, 3, we count on 3 to jump, it remotes back to a sense a divine protection and good luck that everything is going to be alright with just 3 actions, set up your email account in 3 easy steps, no one wants to take much more than that to set up or do some boring task and we secretly expect divine intervention that we don’t come of it with a broken leg or worse.

4 – It’s a tricky number to play with but because is less than 5 (full hand) it preys on our laziness, it’s not used as much as others as it also resonates with some very unlucky superstitions.

5 – A handful, when you count with your fingers it becomes unpractical to use a second hand and not many of us will use our toes, it helps keeping focus of steps and tasks at hand, bend one finger for each step achieved and gives you a sense of completion and success.

6 – Half a dozen, not a very used number because 12 is cheaper, so a bit of playful wording is involved, you won’t see half a dozen tips for anything but you will see 6 easy and quick steps instead, again it’s also a superstitious number, you know, the whole devil thing.

7 – Godlike number, 7 advices from the rich for success, God makes the earth in 7 days so you should feel like one too by mastering the 7 tips, steps, secrets, the word play is phenomenal, it creeps on your desire for admiration and acceptance, and it’s considered lucky in some cultures and unlucky in others so its use depends on the target audience.

8 – Luck and the infinite, although some cultures consider this number to be very bad because of its dizzy ways it is also a symbol of all that shouldn’t end, like love, time, universe, and even knowing that none of the above are infinite we still believe in it, thus 8 secrets to a perfect relationship, 8 easy steps for a more meaningful existence.

9 – It’s just like 4

10 – The lazy bastard, most people when facing titles like 10 secrets to master the art of seduction, think to themselves, if I master 5 I’ll be ok, 10 and 12 are perfect numbers for you to feel better on skipping the harder ones or just do the ones you are more familiar with.

From 10 onwards it’s just a matter of using round numbers like 25, 50, 100 or familiar numbers like 33, 69 and 101 you had some wordplay and your appealing title is done.

The actual content of these guides:

Taking aside the things that a phycologist, an economist and a doctor can tell you, 5 ways to improve your general health, the content of these guides tend to be pretty much common sense, smaller versions of extensive research made by others (leading to a lot of important information being left out) and stereotypes that will most likely end badly. For example, it’s common sense that we should drink plenty of water to improve our health, that some home businesses although bringing you some extra money won’t be enough for you to pay your bills, otherwise we would all have businesses from our kitchen table in our pj’s that only really take off after significant time and money being put in to them, and our love life would be just a few text messages away of being better than a Jane Austen novel.

The final catch:

These guides and tips are usually presented by someone that says that they have helped millions or are posted in some website, magazine or other platform in order to help you.

Let’s be honest, when you truly want to help someone you don’t charge them for it do you? Nor do you expect any type of compensation for it. But there’s always the book to be bought, the seminar to be attended, the sponsor that it’s just on the side with the helping product for you to purchase on your way to whatever you are trying to achieve.

When I was in Uni. I used to buy a certain worldwide publication and I kept it for a year as sometimes I could use the advertisement campaigns for projects, we had a really big project and I needed all that I could get my hands on so I went through my magazines, page by page to find campaigns that suited the project, at some point some of the titles started to sound extremely familiar, specially guides, tips and such, they sounded familiar because they had been recycled from one year’s issue to another year’s issue, needless to say that I was short on ads and long on repeat magazines, a lot of recycling was done and I didn’t bought it again. These articles were being used to fill pages when there wasn’t enough material for that issue to be sent to the printer as the magazines need a certain amount of advertisement to keep the printers rolling. Same happens with websites, ad space costs thousands.

And now to end this long post, I give you the guide to all guides:

  1. Use your common sense, I you don’t have it call your mom
  2. There’s always someone trying to make money on other people’s needs
  3. Nothing gets fixed in easy steps
  4. You don’t get rich just because you work out in the morning, you need business savy
  5. Secrets are secrets and smart people keep them for themselves
  6. Consult an actual expert before making a stupid decision
  7. Do your own research

7 steps, you’re an official God/Goddess, wasn’t that easy?

Lots of love

Pearl xx

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Long and not so hard

Next post Is going to be long but hopefully informative and funny.

Hope you enjoy it, up on Friday at 5 pm GMT

Lots of love

Pearl

Sexy 50’s inspired notebook

I’m Hi, how are you?

Now that Autumn is here, activities tend to be more indoors oriented.

A few years back my stepmom taught me how to do decoupage, it’s a technique were you decorate pieces with pre-printed paper, I like to use napkins and rice paper, although there’s other types available.

I haven’t done it for over 5 years so this was just a skill test to jolt my memory. I used polka_dot fabric to cover the back and part of the front, red ribbon and rice paper. hopefully the next one will turn out a bit better 🙂

I hope you like it.

Lots of love

Pearl

Thoughts on waste.

Human beings are the most wasteful of all animals.

You give a cat a fish and it will eat it on the spot, you give a dog a ball and it will play with it until it falls apart, you care for them and they care for you and brighten your day, no matter who you are or what you have, animals enjoy what they have when they have it, but not humans.

Humans will leave the fish in the fridge and when they remember about it it has gone off, we will leave the ball somewhere until we can’t find, we are amazing at creating waste, we waste food, clothes, water, any commodity that we put our hands on, but we also manage to waste the good things that life gives us that animals don’t seem to grasp as we do, like friendship, love, time, family, intellect, peace…

We act like we don’t feel like it or that it’s all overrated, until it dawns on us that we need it, in some situations we don’t have it anymore because we turned all that to waste, most of us don’t take care or enjoy the good things in life when it’s right there in front of us.

I don’t want waste in my life and I don’t want to create waste out of others, it’s not fair to them or me.

You see, at the end of the day I realised that my dog really loved that ball.

I hope this made sense to whoever reads it, I should be sleeping by now but this was going around in my head.

Good night

Love

Pearl x

Quitting smoking – Take 5

Hi,

How are you today?

I’m once more trying to quit smoking, although it’s the 5th time I’m trying eventually I’ll be stronger than the addiction.

I got an cigarette and a few different flavours, tobacco, mint, rhubarb and custard and also bubblegum.

It’s around £20 as the shop gave me 2 flavours for free and it’s quite colourful.

Now I just have to be good and stick with it.

Wish me luck.

Lots of love

Pearl x

When a push is what you need and uncertainty is bliss.

Hi, how are you today?

Two months ago I agreed with my now previous employer that it would be for the best that we terminated my contract, this is something that I should have realised sooner as the job was taking over my life and taking a toll in all areas. My health was poor, my relationship with Mr. Parker was falling apart, I didn’t have the time or the energy to do anything outside work and when I wasn’t at work I was worrying about it, specially because all of what was happening wasn’t allowing me to do the job properly either.

I was miserable and unhappy.

I knew I wanted to get out of there, I was going to work thinking that I just had to endure 8 hours of work and the delightful company of some people who I didn’t particularly liked. Hell.

So one day, after several conversations about my performance and me almost losing the plot I was placed on garden leave which was the best thing that could have happened.

For the first week I slepped between 10 to 12 hours, on the second week I started jogging and looking to get another job, I was curious to know which other companies and jobs could be interested in me and me in them.

By the third week I was being called for job interviews and I had to go back to the company to have a meeting, after the formalities that come with it I said “I don’t want to work here anymore and I would appreciate that you consider this meeting as my formal resignation”, HR and my general manager were caught by surprise, they probably thought that I was going to fight the accusations that they already had written down on the papers I could see across the table. They agreed and payed me until the end of the month plus the holiday I was still entitled. I got out feeling that I was free, I felt like a weight was lifted from my back, my mind and soul. I remember that the sun was shinning. I called Mr. Parker to tell him the good news and also my dad to tell the happy news.

By week four I was getting worried has the calls from agencies started being less and less by the end of the fourth week I got 2 phone calls for jobs that would take me 2 hours of daily commuting but if that was what I was given then I had to go for it. To take my mind of my worries I joined the gym, something I haven’t done in about 10 years and on the first day I got a call mid-cycling to go for a job interview that same morning, it went so well that I started working that same day.

It’s now been 5 weeks since I’ve started my new job and I’m so happy, the hours are the same but I’m not getting out of bed at 5am but at 7am I leave at 5pm and the gym is a 2 minute walk away, when I get home I still have time and energy to do things around the house, have a nice meal with Mr. Parker, watch some of my favourite programmes and not think about work.

I like the people and the environment where I’m working, I like the fact that the office has windows and proper ventilation, I get the chance of seeing the new fashion trends before they hit the stores, I like having time and energy to take care of myself and others.

I’m happy.

Lots of love

Pearl x

Changes 

Hi, how are you?

I haven’t been posting lately as some changes occurred in my life and I needed to get them sorted. So, in the next few weeks I’ll get back to normal schedule and maybe some more. 

Thanks 

Lots of love 

Pearl x 

Easy Vegetarian Sausage Casserole

Hi, how are you?

I like a good meat sausage casserole as long as it done with quality ingredients and with mash and veg on the side but I wanted to try vegetarian sausages as I heard that they were and I quote “really good”.

Got myself the usual ingredients but swapped the same amount of meat sausages for vegetarian ones (only found Quorn at Sainsbury’s ) and took about 10 minutes from the full cooking time. Used my massively heavy cast iron pot so I can do the prep in it and place in the oven straight from the hob which means less stuff for me to wash .

To make the sausage casserole just get a pack from Colman’s or another brand you prefer and follow the instructions, I was a bit afraid of doing this and ruining the sausages as I didn’t know if both sausages and seasoning pack would work together, but it did and it smelled and tasted delicious.

DSC00647

Have a nice sunday and I’ll write soon as I have a couple of news and updates for you.

Lots of love

Pearl x

I’ve set up an email account 

Hi, how are you today?

I’ve set up an email account if anyone wants to contact me.

It’s pearlvonpeeps@mail.com

Drop me a line sometime

Would love to hear from you

Lots of love 

Pearl