Musings on self-help books


Please read the foreword to this before continuing reading. Pretty please with Royce chocolates on top? 

Went for an interview for a job that turned out to be some network marketing gig, the whole process was rather standard, some woman trying to advocate propaganda into my supposedly easily influenced teenage mind to convince me that I want to join because I want a luxury car and ‘passive’ income.
No hard feelings to my recruiter, she was doing her job, did it splendidly in fact; fact of the matter is however, I just wasn’t a network marketing person! (And of course she was a wonderfully nice person, which was the only reason why I actually sat through the whole process nicely and attentively). Basically the whole process was her trying to leverage on recent self-help books like The 4 hour work week and similar titles, to convince me to join the company as many of us want PASSIVE INCOME, PERSONAL FREE TIME and SOCIAL STATUS. Apparently this ‘new’ form of business/employment is the new hype. After running through articles and testimonials of people ranging from Donald Trump to like successful cases in their company, my brain began to kick into musing mode.

Like I said earlier, I just wasn’t such a person. I’m by no means dissing these books or these concepts, if that is how you want your life to be then by all means, follow these books and concepts! After patiently sitting through her well thought out argument and analysis, it did seem on the surface like the life many people want, keyword? PEOPLE, not ME. Even with some fancy quadrant crap and supposedly enticing promise of cars and easy income I have to be honest, I’M NOT A HEDONIST so why do I have to bring myself into thinking that I am? Alright now I know I really am ranting because after re-reading the entire previous paragraphs I realized I’m not even making basic ranting sense.

To get to the point, I spent majority of this epic interview struggling to try to find her offer enticing and appealing because logically it seemed to be so, but I couldn’t. Then I started wondering, all of these concepts of having a 4 hour work week, flexible working times, passive income, a lot of it are coming from self-help books that advocate these principles. On one hand, sure there are people who are sick of the normal 9 to 5 lifestyles who genuinely seek the 4 hour work week and a hedonist way of life and wants help towards making the change. On the other hand, how many of the people now who are looking to change their lifestyles to the 4 hour work week actually REALLY GENUINELY want such a life?

Yes, some of you guys must have probably figured out where I’m going here. How many people who buy self-help books are actually reading them because they need it and not getting brainwashed by it? I dare say that grave majority are being brainwashed by self-help book propaganda to want such lifestyles as opposed to that really being something that suits their personality. Sadly, no one really reads the fine-print of these self-help books where authors tries to cover their asses as say “I only recommend this to <insert certain type of people>” as they’re too busy being brainwashed by the glorified concepts that the book is offering.

I literally stared down at the paper where the wonderful recruiter was analyzing the advantages of being part of a NWM (network marketing) team like how it did not involve the risk of your own business but you get to work flexitime as you would if you ran your own business…yes it all sounded great on paper but PEOPLE THERE ARE MASOCHISTS OUT THERE LIKE ME! I actually WANT to take the risks, I want that sense of achievement, I WANT to have no life and work towards making something of myself by doing something that I actually believe in. I tried to force myself to WANT to conform to such a supposedly ‘appealing’ lifestyle, but I just can’t, that’s not the life I want. It may be the life that some of you want, but it’s not what I want, so who the fuck gives a damn if Donald Trump says that this is the next best thing since sliced bread and iphones? I don’t give a flying duck about what Trump says, I only give a damn about what I want because ultimately it’s MY LIFE. Why am I letting some oil tycoon tell me what I should want my life to be like? Yea sure, maybe if I wanted to be like him then perhaps I should listen but I want to be my own person!

Basically, what I’m getting at is that self-help books exist to HELP you achieve your goals, not TELL YOU what your goals ARE. Self-help books are like instruction books on the elusive topic of life. You buy an instruction book because you want to figure out how you want to make something work, NOT to figure out what that ‘something’ you want is.

So next time people, before picking up a self-help book, ask yourself,

Are you buying this book because you want it to tell you what you want or HOW to achieve what you want?

I mean think about it, if all self-help book actually WORKS, then technically speaking wouldn’t everyone be rich and successful? At the end of the day, you’re your own individual and the road to success for everyone is different, so yes, read from it, learn from it, but don’t let it brainwash you into becoming someone or something you’re not.

Just because it’s printed in black and white doesn’t mean it’s always right. (And if the book is printed on ANY other colored paper with ANY other ink, it’s STILL NOT always right, okay my lovelies?)

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Musings on self-help books

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