We hear what we want to hear

It seems fairly obvious that 49 years ago when John Lennon said, “We’re more popular than Jesus now,” he was talking not about belief systems, but about news headlines. Lennon was an intelligent man, certainly aware that the Beatles had never been the cause of war or peace, yet they were grabbing headlines the world over. Manipulating context, people created tension.

Part of promoting your art is an awareness of popularity. But as humans we have choices, and often we hear what we want to hear, based on a need for tension or peace.

A bit later, a reporter saw an opportunity to profit from tension, and Lennon was taken out of context all over the world. How people chose to interpret the quote served their own need for tension. Most of us, in life and business, rarely benefit from manifesting tension in our own lives, yet we do it all the time.

If we have a need for conflict, we find the conflict in daily conversations, in the media, at work. It’s easy to find disagreement. If we have a need for feeling joy, we find joy somewhere in our day. Joy is available nearly everywhere in art, nature, other people, perspectives.

We manifest what we want by our choices. If we choose to hear and invest in the negative aspects, we bring about failure. If we choose to see the positives, we manifest success.

We choose short-term and long-term directions in which we will invest our energies. Those choices, in turn, are determined on an almost moment-by-moment needs factor. If we need tension, we invest our energy in seeing conflict. If we need ease, we find inspiration. The trick is in making choices that continually support our long-term goals.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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