Oprah Winfrey Show - Tom Cruise (being Tom Cruise)

This is part four of Looking for Resolutions in all the Right Places, in which we look at the top 10 most commonly chosen New Year’s resolutions and see if they are all that and a bag of potato chips.

This article has nothing to do with Tom Cruise being evil, I’ll save that for another post. 

Brisbane Zombie March 2011 - Healthy Geek

Brisbane Zombie March 2011 – Healthy Geek

I’m just going to be up front about this fourth most popular New Year’s resolution – it’s a bit lame. If you are planning to “enjoy life to the fullest” then you are presumably already alive. Therefore being more full of being alive is a little redundant. Unless of course if you are a zombie and classed as a member of the undead – in which case enjoying life to the fullest would imply you want to be more full of life. Quick tip for all you zombies out there, eating brains never got a zombie anywhere closer to being full of life and normally just results in you being shot in the head and/or decapitated in some creative way.

So why is it we collectively keep nominating “enjoy life to the fullest” as a New Year’s resolution when it is such an abstract concept that is only applicable for zombies? Advertising.

Advertising is all about creating a notion that we want something we don’t have, but that buying a particular product will give us that something. The sneakiest advertising creates a completely fictional and therefore unattainable ideal, convinces us we want it, then gets us to buy something in the hope that we can get it by association. If the ideal is always just beyond reach then we keep buying. 

This is the origin of the “enjoy life to the fullest” myth. Advertising gives us a general sense of what this state of being is, but never really clearly defines it. Even so, we are convinced we want to enjoy life to the fullest, even though we don’t know what that means, nor do we have any way of knowing if we ever actually attain it, so we keep buying more stuff. In order to debunk this notion a bit by attempting to work out exactly what it means to “enjoy life to the fullest”, I’m going to just use the demographic of people that advertising consistently links to this concept.

According to advertising, women having their period are the most likely to be in the process of enjoying life to the fullest.

If you aren’t biologically capable of a menstrual cycle, you may have just suddenly been scared off from the rest of this article. For men, talk of women’s health products is petrifing, which is why we are going to talk about them in this article anyway.

But fear not, the following tips are entirely based on advertising on mainstream TV so it is all completely blue-liquid-fresh. Men, pre, and post-menopausal women are also entirely capable of performing all of these activities (with practice) and thereby attaining an existence in which they enjoy life to the fullest.

Step 1: Buy women’s hygiene products

This has to be the first step since you can’t enjoy life to the fullest if you don’t do what the ads tell you – and the whole purpose of an ad is to get you to buy stuff. If you are a man, or a girl who is just starting out, then don’t worry, advertising tells you exactly which one to buy:

Men: Look at your crotch, and pick the one that makes you feel the most manly

Women: Get the one that makes you think about having kids of your own…? Awkward.

Step 2: Dance around all day

It doesn’t matter if you can’t dance, you have to do it in order to enjoy life to the fullest. Even better is if you do some ballet, and/or gymnastics. If you can’t do any of that, just twirl around a lot

Step 3: Do everything in slow motion

Happiness is always in slow motion. Particularly laughing – it doesn’t matter if there is no one around or no one has said anything funny, just laugh in slow motion. If you don’t want to disturb anyone, just laugh in slow motion silently. Silent slow motion laughing is closer to enjoying life to the fullest than normal laughing out loud. 

This is also one that is best shared with kids – nothing says enjoying life to the fullest like getting some little kids to jump on you while laughing in slow motion. If you don’t have kids, just borrow someone else’s – though you do have to give them back at the end of the day so if you are childless, it might be better to combine Step 1 and 2 and just dance in slow motion instead.

Warning about slow motion though, it can also be used for the drama-shot. It can be easily avoided though – just make sure you don’t walk in a line with your friends avoiding any eye contact with them in slow motion as this means you are about to go shoot something.  

Step 4: Go to the beach

The beach is the best place to dance in slow motion. Actually the beach is the best for slow motion anything. The producers of Baywatch knew this, which is why they tried to promote enjoying life the the fullest by having so many slow motion shots of people running on the beach.

Baywatch - Get out of the waterContrary to popular belief, Baywatch didn’t have so many slow motion scenes as filler due to the lack of a plot – the episode with Summer being attacked by a giant octopus while dealing with an eating disorder gave us this “Just thinking about almost being that octopus’s dinner has made me look at food such a different way”. Classic.

Step 5: Ride a bike or a horse

We all know that according to BMX Bandits, all the really cook kids ride bikes anyway. However, riding a bike is also going to help you enjoy life to the fullest. You can also ride a horse if you want to be fancy, though you might want to save that one for special occasions like at the beach – a horse is going to handle the sand a bit better than a bike. 

Step 6: Wear white clothes

Nothing says enjoying life to the fullest like these women wearing white – pastels and bright colours are also acceptable. 

Step 7: Use blue liquids for EVERYTHING

After you have done the previous 6 steps you are given access to the mystical blue liquid that is used in all advertising for hygiene products. It started with women’s sanitary products, but is occasionally contracted out for you use with nappies. If you are a plumber, this stuff is going to be really helpful since as these backyard scientists demonstrate, the magic blue liquid is useful for anything, including an alcoholic approximation of Romulan Ale. 

The Verdict

So basically, in order to enjoy life to the fullest, you need to wear white clothes while dancing on a bike at the beach, while someone throws small children at you and you respond with a slow motion and silent laugh out of context. If you can do all that, you will get a blue liquid that will make you a more successful plumber.

Being able to do all that at once however is going to take up a lot of your time, so you might need to give up your day job and any other goals and aspirations you might have. 

Should “enjoy life to the fullest” be on your next set of New Year’s resolutions? Only if you want to be a plumber. 

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