frank's blog

Rituals Are Powerful

Posted in ideas, inspiration by aldorf on August 18, 2011

The average American undertakes approximately 170 rituals a day–from shaking hands to picking up their cup of Starbucks. And even though no one gives them a thought, these rituals add up and shape our daily lives. What’s interesting is that the number is steadily increasing. People have added, on average, six new rituals to their portfolio over the past four years. The more stress we feel, the more rituals we carry out.

Rituals create an artificial space around us where we feel safe from our everyday pressures. Trouble at work, trouble with relationships, and trouble with children all add up to us searching for more rituals to keep our anxieties at bay. Take time to observe professional athletes as they prepare for a big race. They are usually engaged in one ritual after another in an attempt to minimize failure and create a positive place for success. However, you don’t need to go much further than surface level to see that the types of rituals we undertake today have changed. All those that involve building anticipation have been replaced with our need for instant gratification–like viewing a photograph within moments of taking it.

Rituals are immensely powerful from a branding point of view (although surprisingly few brands really get how powerful they are). It’s time for all of us to introduce a big dose of patience into our lives, into our routines, and of course, into our brands. Numerous studies show that it’s the anticipation we enjoy the most. Looking forward to a vacation tends to be more rewarding than the actual trip. Planning to buy the latest camera, with its improved features and functions, is a whole lot more exciting than using it. Yet, for some reason we’ve skipped anticipation, opting instead for instant gratification. Sadly, along the way we’ve slowly and unknowingly killed many invaluable rituals which once defined our lives. They now seem odd and outdated. The question is: Were the rituals really that outdated? Or have we become too demanding? (via Martin Lindstrom)

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  1. […] and HappinessWhy Rituals Matter Part 1: My Daily Tea RitualTaking The Time To Let It Write ItselfRituals Are Powerful jQuery(document).ready(function($) { […]


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