The self-help society is a vast field with endless videos, podcasts, books, gurus, and etc.
Speaking about an industry that has a goal of self-help, development, growth and motivation, I never would have though it had such a dark and gloomy side.
The person who actually brought this side to light, was no one other than Sam, the king of self-blame and criticism.
I should have seen this day coming, because no one other than him would see the ugly side of self-help, but I don’t blame him, he does have a valid point and I don’t want to say I’m convinced from what I saw and heard, instead I can say I understand his point of view. However I do have my own comments on the matter.
Before continuing to read this blog, please take some time to watch this video so you’d be able to follow-up on my point, I know it’s a long video and an even longer blog but I promise you it’s worth it because many of you out there are living like Sam and suffering with your lives, and everything you’ll hear in the video would be a virtual representation of your lives, and I’m here not to offer solutions, I can’t promise you that or I would be misleading you!
I’m here to help you through your obstacles, so you can lead the life you’re meant to live. Don’t trust anyone who says we have the solution to all your problems, and follow this magical technique to see your life changing for the better, those are all just hoaxes.
The only person able to offer solutions, the ONLY person able to change your life, is YOU!
I’m only here to help you see that.
Please press on the link below to watch the video, then come back to continue your reading.
I hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did, can’t say as much as Sam did because it brought him down, seeing his reality decimated in-front of him.
I’m going to write the 10 items from the video then tackle each one on it’s own:
- Where it begins?
- Addiction to dopamine
- The illusion of progress
- Action faking
- The sinister business of selling hope
- You are more profitable unhappy and discontent than you are happy and fulfilled
- Toxic positivity
- The actual meaningful things are created through struggle
Where it begins?
It all begins with a person who is not contempt with his life, who seeks improvement and change.
In the video, he states this fact not as a bad thing, but as the weakness the self-help industry pries on so they can bait you into their world.
Even if his point of view is true, I don’t see it that way. Because this is the most important life-breaking point a person can have.
If I were to be happy with my average life, I wouldn’t have the need nor the motivation to change.
I would still be sitting in my same place till the day I die, having no impact what so ever on my self nor on the world.
I would be nothing, I would be worthless, and I would be another pointless face in the crowd who made nothing from her life.
No scientific advances would have been made, and no breakthroughs in the world of business, economy, internet, etc…
It’s the disscontempt with our lives, and the thrive to want more that makes us matter, that makes us stand out, and it is what gives our life meaning!
So kudos for you, for making this first drastic step in life! 👏
Addiction to Dopamine
I have to agree with the vlogger that self-help is addictive. Sam went down that dark path and thought that he needed to read every self-help book, watch every video, and attend every seminar or webinar to be successful.
But I’m going to tell you one thing, the self-help world isn’t to blame for this, you are to blame for this, and I’ll tell you why with a simple example:
Alcohol is world renowned for it’s addictive nature, however we see that there is a vast difference between an occasional drinker and an alcoholic, though BOTH have a highly addictive substance in their hands.
However one chose to control the drink, using it in moderation, and only experience the joyful sides of it, while the latter allowed the drink to control him and pull him down a bottomless pit filled with all the harms and consequences of alcohol addiction both physically and mentally.
So we notice here that the issue wasn’t the substance or in our topic here the self-content it self, but it’s OUR own response to it!
It’s how much we allow it to control our lives, for everything that surpasses moderation, balance, and boundaries of self-restraints will get toxic no matter how benign it may have seemed.
The Illusion of Progress
This is a point I completely disagree on, and it in fact got on my every nerve!
There is no such thing as the illusion of progress, because every step you take towards changing yourself into a better person is PROGRESS!
People tend to forget the small things that led to them taking action, however those small things have a tremendous positive impact on their lives. Progress is relative from one person to another, you CAN NOT compare yourself to someone’s else life and say I’ve made no progress in my life.
The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday, and the ONLY person you should strive to out-achieve is the person you were yesterday, the only standard of comparison is YOUR PAST SELF.
Don’t say you haven’t made progress when you’ve turned your life around, from a person who had no goals in life, who was a couch potato, who wasted precious time doing nothing, to a person who is now healthy, who exercises, who is seeking self-improvement, who is self-educating himself, and knows the value of precious time and is NOT wasting it!
Doing ANYTHING in life that helps you move forward and change the way you are is PROGRESS!
And one more thing, I know I keep saying this to Sam over and over again, yet he fails to listen but maybe you would.
Comparing yourselves to others timeline is TOXIC, shaming yourself because of your lack of achievements compared to others is TOXIC, and copying someone else’s success story to get the same results is TOXIC!
You are meant to succeed on your own terms, and on your own timeline, doing the thing you love and are passionate about.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.Albert Einstein
Has the same concept as the above mentioned heading, which makes you feel that you have not achieved anything in your life, and all the actions and achievements you felt you had were actually fake. Though they are NOT!
Success and results don’t come magically over night, it’s a long process.
You don’t go to the gym one afternoon and expect to have “The Rock” muscles later in the evening. You have to work hard, be consistent, and be motivated for a long period of time before cultivating your gains.
Same thing applies for the ladies and loosing weight, you shouldn’t expect or believe any of the trends claiming to have instant weight loss with ZERO effort, there is no such thing!
You have to have a balanced life-style of healthy eating, drinking water, exercising and most importantly COMMITMENT, for A LONG period of time, then you’ll start seeing results.
Same goes for your life and success, there is no magic pill or switch that will change your life in day, stop expecting it, and STOP being disappointed by it!
The Sinister Business of Selling Hope
This I suppose is true, but yet again no one is forcing you to buy the books, pay for seminars, and etc.
Sam claims that it is brainwash that takes you down that hill, but I did read several self-improvement books and none of them seemed to suggest that we find the secret to success by reading every single book in the universe.
So it is back to the concept of moderation and the example of alcohol, when you’re an alcoholic you are most definitely profiting the alcohol companies every where.
You Are More Profitable Unhappy and Discontent Than You Are Happy and Fulfilled
This is a simple business ploy for it makes absolute sense that their target population would be people who are unhappy in their lives and want to do anything to change it.
I completely disagree with this point, because there is no such thing as toxic positivity. Without positivity we cease to exist and move forward in our lives.
We are surrounded by negativity, whether in our household, at work, in our outings with friends, and all over social media.
Why do we constantly allow ourselves to be smothered with negativity, and then when it comes to positivity we stop, say it’s too much, and even go the extra mile of saying it’s not realistic!
Let me tell you one thing, being positive will have no harm what so ever on your on the contrary if it weren’t neutral, it will actually benefit you by giving you the extra courage and motivation you need to get things done, and in believing that your dreams will come true. Trust me nothing in the world will ever happen unless you believe in it and most importantly unless you believe in yourself.
Negativity on the other hand, the criminal we let roam freely in our lives is the culprit of all the disasters happening to us. We give ourselves excuses to be negative by disguising it with the term “being realistic”, well let me break it to you, by being realistic you are placing a dagger right in your dreams, enjoy watching your future bleed in-front of you for the sake of reality. That very same criminal keeps you up all night worrying you, criticizing you, demolishing all your worth, and crushing your spirits, so you wake the next day exhausted with no will to move one step further, we are captives to negativity’s siblings; anxiety and insomnia.
I urge you to rid yourselves from these criminals or they will bury you alive.
Choose positivity that will support you and light up your whole path, and will aid you through life’s hardships.
Positivity isn’t believing that the world is all unicorns and rainbows 🦄 🌈. Positivity is knowing that life is hell but you are strong enough to survive and get through it, positivity is believing that there is a silver lining behind every darkness.
The Actual Meaningful Things are Created Through Struggle
This is 100% true, the “No Pain No Gain” motto didn’t come from no where.
You can’t expect things to just be handed to you on a silver platter, you have seek out, to work hard, in order to cultivate the gains.
However it’s not just about working hard, it’s about working right, and working smart!
I once read something I liked from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, he explained that if a person wants to get a certain place in Chicago while holding the map of Detroit, even if they worked hard day and night, and had all the positivity in the world, they won’t arrive to their desired destination, because they had the wrong map!
While if they had the right map, that’s were all the positivity and hard-work pays off, and you’ll arrive to your desired destination sooner.
If you are working hard on something after several decent attempts result in failure, you should be smart enough to cut your losses short, and try something else.
There is an exception to every rule though. If you are working on something you are passionate about, I urge you never to give up! I urge you to keep on going despite every one that’s doubting you, despite all the obstacles in your path, and despite what “reality” states are your odds. When you have a dream, you will achieve it, no matter how far fetched it may seen, because if you work really hard and believe in yourself, you’ll end product will stun you and all those around you.
Trust me, it worked for me and a billion others, but those are stories for a different time.
Whether we like it or not, there are certain situations in life that require us to “Hustle”.
Things may come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustleAbraham Lincon
I might need to clarify a few points about what “Hustle” actually means, and I have to agree with the video that certain self-help advices are way off when it comes to this topic.
Here self-improvement books will actually self-destruct you, and suck you into a vortex of self-blame. In their definition, you are not working hard enough if you don’t work for 15+ hours a day, if you don’t spend every minute of everyday learning something new, doing something “productive”, and they call you a loser, and a failure if you cannot continue with this toxic life style.
Yes I did say toxic, because we are NOT machines, we are human being that need our rest, our comfort, and our space away from the work environment.
We don’t have to work every single hour of every day for the rest of our miserable lives in order to be labeled “successful”.
We are NOT all the same, and a certain method that might have worked with someone might NOT and most probably won’t work for the other.
So let’s focus on being the best versions of ourselves, and working hard on our own terms and on what suits our mental and physical health.
Because putting high unachievable goals and over-expecting from ourselves will crush us if we can’t attain them, instead place small easily achievable habits or goals and embrace the satisfaction of completing them, then gradually level up your game and climb the stairs one flight at a time till you reach your ultimate dream.
” When aiming for the sun, there’s no harm in landing on the moon for a quick rest on the way!”
This will ensure that you will reach your final destination, and not get tired and risk giving up half way through.
That brings us to our final point.
I have to admit I completely agree on this point, because we tend to act as machines working not stop though we miss the fact that even machines actually BURN if not rested appropriately.
It is scientifically proven that a human mind cannot focus on a certain topic with maximum capacity for more than 25-30 minutes maximum, this is where the pomodoro effect comes in.
The pomodoro effect suggests focusing on 1 task only for 25-30 minutes with zero distractions then take 5 minutes break, then work again for another 25-30 minutes. After repeating 4 cycles you are entitled for a longer break ranging from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
This method has been proven successful in multiple studies, where students who implemented this method not only didn’t burn-out, they scored higher on their exams, and retained more information months after the exam, since the information was properly stored and coded in their brains for future use.
Lots of countries around the world have noticed this, and decreased their work days from 6 to 4 work days per week because they noticed maximum capacity and efficiency where achieved when the workers had their adequate rest.
Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.Micheal
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes….Including you.Anne Lamott
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two breathsItty Hillsum
Just remember even a car’s gas will runout when driving endlessly and will most probably stop before reaching the desired destination.
- Believe in yourselves
- Go easy on yourselves
- Don’t compare yourselves to others
- Stay positive
- Achieve your goals
- Don’t let anyone even yourself stop from achieving your dreams