An acquaintance of ours is a real charmer with her friends’ children. At her house, when adults ask children for “the magic word,” they don’t answer, “Please!”
Instead, she teaches them to answer, “Now!” And everyone dissolves into laughter.
“Now!” from a spunky child doesn’t carry as much weight as, say, an angry manager barking orders to an employee or a firefighter at an emergency yelling instructions.
But “Now!” gets thrown around fairly often. Our mail, our pop-up ads, and even our dentists insist they need our attention immediately. We simply must respond to this limited offer, this overdue action, this short supply.
Manufacturing urgency where there is none is a tactic. It compels us to turn our attention to whoever shouts “Now!” the loudest. And it can be startling.
Fear as a mode of motivation may “work” in the short term—it can really get people moving, right away—but a person can’t sustain the fear state. Fear triggers the part of our brain that wants to react quickly and prioritize survival. Maybe you’ve heard about those reactions: fight, flight, or freeze.
But fear is not a long-term mode of persuasion. Shaping others’ behavior has to happen with their consent and participation, over time. Habit changes, for instance, can’t be ruled by fear alone: there must be something providing positive reinforcement.
Hope, ease, intrinsic motivation—something of personal meaning must be present in any financial goal or financial habit. Otherwise, why would you do it?
Clients, people will shout “Now!” for all sorts of market reasons. We know to be wary. The shouting can be a sign of a stampede, sell-off, or unwarranted turmoil.
But don’t take our advice without investigating for yourself—even if we say, “Please!”
Questions for us? You won’t get scare tactics from us. Call the shop or write.
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