Sometimes I wonder what human beings did before we had self help books to “guide us” in the right direction. What pushed humans to become a better civilization? A better species? How did we invent the wheel without Tony Robbins stirring up an energetic frenzy and motivating us to do so?
For thousands and thousands of years human beings have accomplished incredible feats without Robert Greene cynically analyzing how power is attained, Stephen Covey “leading” them along the way and Dale Carnegie to help them win friends and influence people. Before those guys were around and long before self help even existed we built the pyramids, founded new continents and thought the world was fucking flat. It didn’t take a motivation video from Tony Robbins to discover it wasn’t.
Self help is a trap.
Wether you agree with me or not this post is 100% anecdotal and based on my own experience with self help. I have consumed hundreds, maybe even thousand of hours worth of information in order to “become my best self”.
It became very clear to me that self help was a trap when I thought about the current state of personal development and saw a plethora of options. If so many of these so called “gurus” have the key to happiness, financial success or finding your life’s purpose wouldn’t there be no demand for any more of these resources? If some guru has the key to happiness and it truly shows you how to be happy, wouldn’t this be the only book about how to be happy in the world? If you want happiness and the person who wrote it is happy, they sure as shit know what happiness is and how to achieve it!
Self help is extremely subjective. The author has put together a collection of their thoughts, ideas and beliefs based on their experience on this planet. The key word being THEIR experience. Yes they may be happy but does that mean they contain the key to your happiness? Absolutely not! Think about inviting a vegan to a new burger joint in town. The whole theory just doesn’t make any sense, so while a juicy burger with some crisp bacon and creamy cheese may make you happy it will probably make your vegan friend wipe their pompous ass with hemp seed paper and criticize you for eating an animal.
It is too crowded with information.
While you may have a clear cut idea of what you want to attain wether it be happiness, becoming a better leader or enhancing your personal relationships the road to get there may seem pretty confusing. This is why people turn to self help and why it is such a big market. People are looking to fill what they believe to be a void in there life with information from a stranger through a highly selective and edited publication. Not too mention that fact that THOUSANDS of options exist. Who am I supposed to believe when MULTIPLE people give me MULTIPLE answers about the same problem? Chances are you freeze and don’t even try anything. With too much information overload it is impossible to help yourself. The conflicting theories, ideas and notions will lead you to a circle of dismay and confusion not success or happiness. For me the more self help I read the more I thought was wrong with me. It seemed like one self help book would point out more of my “issues” which would lead me to getting more self help to fix my issues issues! You shouldn’t need a self help guide to self help.
Self Help is a scam!
The only person who can help you is you! Your life and existence are completely unique from anyone else on this planet and the only way you can learn is through trial and error. Take the money you spend on self help and take a trip, pick up a new hobby or try something new. Take the time you would spend analyzing and processing self help information and spend it actually doing something. Nothing will provide a better return on investment than actually taking action in life and getting off the sidelines.
I would love to hear your opinions and experiences with self help at firstname.lastname@example.org