“Self improvement” is an industry which has brought many fame, money and countless minutes on air to discuss their views on achieving happiness and building a greater you.
Let’s all agree that the majority of the advice is pure bullshit. A good “self-improv” material is considered to be the one that will make you feel better about yourself. If you’ve been an avid self improvement material consumer, like me, you know that the only thing coming out of reading such content is a false sense of self-respect with a sprinkle of ephemereal self-confidence.
Let’s stand back and think, what are the reasons for someone reading a self-help/self-improv/self-yadda-yadda book?
1. This book will solve all of my problems
Yes, it will solve all of your problems – if your only problem is a cockroach and you’re using the book to squish it.
2. I’m going through tough times
I don’t mean to offend anyone who has lost a loved one, or is in pain because of consequences out of his reach.
What I mean by tough times are the problems we inflict upon ourselves. Been there, done that. Shouldn’t tough times be a lesson on it’s own? Of what use are the tough times we indulged ourselves in, if there is a magical book that will show us the way out and tap us on the shoulder?
3. I want to work on myself
What a horrible way to waste your time. Unless you’re working to be a millionaire by writing the self-help crap.
Working on yourself means doing something you will directly benefit from, either by immediate or delayed gratification. There are so many wise and meaningful words in world’s literature which you will never read, so many poems you will never hear, so many paintings that inspired many – yet you will never even have glance upon; not that there is something more valuable to be consuming rather than self-help books.
Reading a self-help book is like reading an poorly abridged and retold version of a story, expecting to benefit from the real thing. Why not just do the real thing?