We'll come back to that in a moment.
Now, let's say you want to help somebody quit smoking. Which do you think would be more effective, of these two:
A) Showing them a scare-tactic ad talking about why they need to quit -- photos of tumors on diseased lungs, all that s**t.
B) Showing them a video full of good advice about how to quit, including tons of helpful tips to walk them through it.
"By day three, you'll have the urge to use a crutch to cope with the nicotine withdrawal. Don't."
Which one do you think works? The second one, right? The first is just manipulative bullshit, the second is imparting actual, helpful knowledge. But you're wrong -- a recent study found the "why" ads made a huge difference in helping people quit, where the "how" ads did nothing whatsoever. Here's the reason, and this is crucial because a huge portion of the modern economy is hoping you don't figure this out:
No one who wants to change their habits fails because they don't know how to do it.
No one. See, if they want to do it bad enough, figuring out how is nothing more than a trivial first step. And with most things, the method is unimportant -- that's why diet fads come and go every few months, and we never stumble across the one magical method that works better than all the others. The method is never the issue, we just focus on it to hide the fact that we don't really want to do it. "I know a guy who lost 40 pounds on Atkins!" No, you know a guy who wanted to lose weight bad enough that he was willing to tightly regulate what he ate every day -- if he'd chosen to just cut calories, that'd have worked, too.