The self-help industry pisses me off. My frustration stems from people who capitalize on the insecurities of others. These charlatans have little interest in helping their readers or clients. But it's not all their fault. Con artists are merely a symptom of society's self-help addiction.
I know there are writers and coaches who genuinely wish to help, but there are just as many crooks. Gurus offer salvation in the form of an ebook or weekly blog post. Some even claim they can sell you enlightenment! Almost as pernicious are life coaches who've barely lived. They author blogs featuring career and relationship advice, but they’ve never had a real job or relationship.
Perhaps one of the most common reasons people become addicted to self-help is diffusion of responsibility. Addicts delude themselves into thinking that reading a book will fix their problems, but it’s called “self-help” because you do the work. No one else can fix your life. Beware of anyone claiming they can solve your problems without sizable action on your part.
One can’t help but notice the abundance of blogs filled with platitude after platitude designed to make you feel inspired without taking action. All of the warm and fuzzies—none of the work. There’s nothing wrong life improvement, but spending all of your free time reading about life is a bad plan. Spend more time living.
It’s easy to get hooked on self-improvement. Inspiration feels good, so we consume more content. The problem begins when we fail to make substantial lifestyle changes. Limit self-help consumption to 1 day per week for no more than 2 hours. A couple of hours sounds short, but that’s the idea. The best way to live better is to live better.
I don’t want to be another literary sedative. I promise to include actionable advice in all of my advice posts (imagine that). Of course, some of my essays won't be about self-improvement. This is a personal blog after all.