Marketing and advertising professionals know about the Six Ps of Progress (though they don’t call them that…yet).  Every good commercial comes down to showing how a particular product or service can help the buyer progress toward feeling pleasure, peace of mind, profit, prestige, and power, while also limiting or avoiding pain.  We choose from an endless list of possible actions in order to try and achieve our desired outcomes, thereby feeling the Six Ps of Progress.  Some of these actions might include:

-        Volunteering at a food bank

-        Dealing with an upset customer

-        Cleaning out the garage

-        Making sales calls

-        Eating out

-        Reading to our kids

-        Praying

-        Paying our taxes

-        Feeding the pig

-        Sleeping

-        Watching a movie

-        Signing a contract

-        Lifting weights

-        Going Green

-        Writing this book

-        Hanging out on Facebook

-        Doing laundry

-        Hiring a new employee

-        Firing an employee

-        Buying a new pair of shoes

-        Picking up trash

-        WHATEVER

Each of these actions has positive meaning only when we believe it will help us feel a mixture of the Six Ps of Progress.  

We are all motivated by self-interest.  This does not have to be selfish thinking.  Even if our desired outcome is for someone else to feel pleasure or avoid pain, this too is connected to us feeling an empathetic mixture of pleasure, peace of mind, profit, prestige, power, and pain avoidance.  If it weren’t, we wouldn’t act.  We give not so much out of the goodness of our hearts as for the goodness we feel in our hearts when we give.

Most of us know that giving adds great pleasure to life and that a life of serving others also offers great profit and even helps avoid pain.   In fact, as we begin to understand this, we see how the biggest givers end up with the most. 

 “You can get everything in life you want,

if you help enough other people get what they want.”  

-- Zig Ziglar

(I know this quote is over-quoted, but it

goes perfectly here, and Zig is right on the mark.)


A major hurdle to being progress for ourselves and others is that nothing actually causes someone to feel the Six Ps of Progress.  Products, services, ideas, and companies can offer pleasure, peace of mind, profit, prestige, pain avoidance, and power.  But they do not inherently cause it, just like nothing exterior actually causes stress or happiness. 

What brings peace or prestige to you might not do it for me.  For example:  How much money will make you feel “in the money,” or feel peace of mind? Various studies have determined that no matter what their annual income, the majority of people say they’d be significantly happier and more content if they only had one-third more in salary, in their nest egg, tucked under the mattress, etc. 

The fact is, feeling the Six Ps is entirely our choice, and with the power of choice comes the challenge to progress.  It is in the ways we go about meeting this Progress Challenge that we establish an action’s meaning, and even the meaning of our life. Each of us makes decisions as to what to wear, whom to connect with, what to invest our time in, whom to help, and whom not to help based on whether we believe, consciously or subconsciously, that these acts will bring us these Six Ps of Progress  – short-term or long-term.  

At a mostly subconscious level, we are continuously thinking to ourselves:  Does taking this action (buying this product, switching vendors, hiring this person, calling this help line,  agreeing to these terms, etc.) help me move toward pleasure, peace of mind, profit, prestige, and power, or help me to avoid pain?  

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award winning Speaker & Author of The Progress Challenge