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COMMENTARY BY RAMON PRESSON: The Zombie Guide to Goal-Setting and Success

Vampires have been in the spotlight long enough. Wait, let me rephrase that. Thanks to movies like “Twilight” and hit TV shows like “True Blood” the infamous nocturnals have had their moment in the sun. Hold on, that doesn’t work either. OK, my point is that vampires have gotten enough attention and affection.

And they get LOTS of affection if the hot literary genre of vampire romance is any indication. Vampire romance is really hot. Wait, let me reword that. Interestingly enough, as the pendulum swings, the other current most popular genre of romance novel is Amish romance which sounds like an oxymoron to me.

What hasn’t been done yet is what I have a mind to do—breed the two trendy genres together and create Amish vampire romance. My agent and several publishers have thus far been rather cool to my idea for a novel series titled “Bonnets and Bloodsuckers.”

Sensing that vampires needed a rival other than just humans, author Stephanie Meyer introduced werewolves into the later “Twilight” novels. But apparently having a boyfriend with traces of dog breath never really captured the imaginations of teen girls and young women.

Thankfully, this left the door wide open for zombies, which is about the only way they get in. Zombies have been around for a long time but they’ve been experiencing a resurrection of sorts. Wait, let me put that another way. In 1983 Michael Jackson re-introduced us to zombies via his “Thriller” video; and after some strange movies over the years zombies are now the stars of their own hit TV show, “The Walking Dead.”  Contrary to popular opinion that is not the title of a reality series about the job security of several college football coaches in the SEC.

Zombies were out in full force this Halloween, competing with vampires, pirates, and fairy princesses for candy. While intriguing to our imaginations, zombies are generally not welcome in our neighborhoods, our schools, or in fine restaurants. Zombies have an image problem and a branding crisis. That is why the International Zombie Federation has hired me as an image consultant and marketing coordinator. What an ad agency did for California raisins in 1986 I’m going to do for the IZF and zombies in 2013.

Instead of our just being more accepting and tolerant of zombies I am suggesting we see them as inspiring models of achievement. And I’m giving you, my Williamson Herald readers, a sneak preview into my newest writing project “The Zombie Guide to Goal-Setting and Success” currently being rejected by my literary agent and all publishers. Here are some points to consider:

* Zombies are clearly not overly concerned with outward appearances. As they go about their mission they are not fixated on fashion and are not obsessed with beauty and ultra-fit bodies. In fact, many are actually missing key body parts or lose them along the way.

* Zombies are hard workers. They never take a day off or call in sick.

* Zombies don’t talk a lot. Actually they don’t talk at all. (Moaning doesn’t count.) Zombies let their actions do the talking.

* Many public middle and high school teachers have zombies in their classrooms but don’t know it. Zombies are quite prevalent in first period classes and in classes right after lunch. Junior and senior male zombies are easily identifiable by the way they merely grunt when asked questions. Female zombies stare incessantly into something ironically called a smartphone. Both species will be the future leaders of our country.

* Zombies are frequently unsure where their next meal is coming from but they don’t wait around for a government handout. Their motto is “Opportunity may be just around the corner, along with a really unlucky guy named Bob.”

* Walkathons, popular in the 1970s, were practically invented by zombies. And centuries before senior adults discovered that walking inside shopping malls wearing blue velour warm-up suits and white Velcro sneakers is good exercise, zombies were walking across town barefoot. 

* Zombies are very social and inclusive. They almost always travel in packs, like wild dogs and or a college fraternity – which actually have a lot in common.

* Zombies are really slow but they are persistent. If they don't get decapitated, they eventually reach their target and meet their objective.

I conclude with this week’s Zombie Motivational Tip: Be like a zombie and move steadily toward your goals. Stay hungry. Keep your chin up and keep your head on your shoulders, which means plan to duck a lot. Sadly there are people committed to see you fail. Remember that it’s not technically paranoia if someone is truly out to get you.


Author and therapist, Ramon Presson, is the founder of LifeChange Counseling and the Marriage Center of Franklin, TN.


Posted on: 10/31/2012


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