It’s great to be motivated.
When all your neural receptors are simultaneously firing up and pointing in the same direction. When your pupils widen to the shape and size of quarters and you home in on the object of your uncompleted goals. You’re ready to enter the GATEWAY to the Perfect Life!
And the ticket? Oh, just an endless rush of dopamine. You know, the same chemical that crackles through your brain when you eat something delicious or have sex? Yeah, you basically need to feel like you’re engorging yourself with great food around the clock. You need to feel like you’re having an orgasm 24/7, too. No big deal, brah.
Wait, wHaT? You don’t think it’s doable? You don’t think it’s possible???
Well, pal, I got bad news for you: You’re going to be a sad, unproductive loser for the rest of your life, unless you GET THAT DOPAMINE FLOWING CONSTANTLY!!!!–
corey toomey has left the chat
Just kidding, I’m still here. I recently made a video about this topic on YouTube. What I’m writing about today is essentially the written version of it, though I hope to provide more detail and clarity.
The Self-Help Industry is composed of motivational speakers, writers, and video producers who use their communication skills to motivate people, basically. The industry’s clientele may be people that are in a rut, just ended a relationship, lost their job, or are unsure of where to go in life.
In times of despair, we like to turn to unconditional, guaranteed comfort and support. Who better than people that tell us we CAN do it? Who better than people that are being PAID to do so?
Self-Help gurus are the refuge of the insecure.
Here’s why, in 4 Reasons.
1. The Industry Complicates the Problem
The Self-Help industry makes the problem seem more difficult and onerous than it actually is. The problem, in question, is someone’s lack of productivity and direction.
“Listen to us,” the Self-Help gurus whisper, “And all your problems will disappear…”
These gurus present themselves as experts tackling a serious, complicated problem. When you have an infectious disease, you need to see a doctor because they’re the only ones equipped to treat it, right?
What if I told you that your lack of productivity is NOTHING like an infection or a disease? In fact, you DON’T need a professional’s consultation to find direction in your life. What if it actually goes down to YOU, the individual?
What I’m saying is, the problem is not that complicated. You don’t need a professional’s guidance to get you out of this rut. The hardest part of being productive is simply starting. Your goals of writing a book, recording a video will not be realized simply because you haven’t started on them. Once you start, you’ll see yourself on a roll and the rest of the task will appear effortless. It’ll become smooth sailing. Yes, it’s that simple. Speaking of simple…
2. The Industry Simplifies the Solution
The Self-Help Industry offers solutions that are simplified. Since these gurus are addressing thousands, if not millions, of people, they can’t give individual solutions for everyone in the crowd, or their readership, or what have you.
Their proposed solutions to unproductivity and lack of direction are typically reserved for the most stringent military types. (i.e. Get up on time, make your bed, mediatate, write for an hour, look in the mirror and smile, etc.)
Is it not reasonable to assume these solutions will not work for every one of the 7 billion people living on this Earth? Our brains are simply different. They were all shaped by different backgrounds. Some of us are victims of trauma and childhood abuse, some of us aren’t. Some of us had different routines drilled into our heads as we grew up. Some of us are even more neurotic than others. We all have our own individual quirks and ways of getting motivated.
For example, do you know how I get motivated to get stuff done?
I listen to heavy metal music.
No, I’m being serious. I listen to Metallica, Megadeth, and Judas Priest on my iTunes and those songs get me pumped like you wouldn’t believe. What’s interesting is that back in high school, I first got bitten by the writer’s bug. I would fill countless spiral notebooks of songs and stories.
Around the same time, I was also getting into the heavy metal scene where I discovered the Big Four thrash bands (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer). I grew my hair down to my shoulders and donned a studded belt and bracelets. There was a period where I never wore a non-black t-shirt. Yeah, I went all out back then.
Anyway, when I listen to heavy metal nowadays, I think it takes me back to the time where I would write for hours without effort. It’s strange, I know. I suppose Oliver Sachs would have an answer for this (may he Rest in Peace). But yes, I get an insane dopamine surge after listening to loud-ass music.
It begs the question: would ANY Self-Help guru tell you to do that? Of course not. That solution is too bizarre and unconventional. It was a solution that I had to find for myself. My past is unique and so are my cumulative experiences.
Finding a solution has to be tailored to YOUR needs, and YOUR inclinations. It’s something YOU have to figure out. No guru is going to give you the answer.
3. The Industry is Built on Insecurities
The Self-Help Industry survives on people’s insecurities. They either exploit existing-insecurities or create them. Before I go further, I should admit that this reason isn’t made from a practical point-of-view (like the first 2 Reasons listed above). Rather, this is from the perspective of morality.
I’m of the opinion that taking advantage of people going through a personal crisis is wrong. Hell, I think it’s morally-egregious. These people, the valuable clientele, are going out splurging to buy books and register for self-improvement courses. Why? Because they’re deseperate to claw their way out of the ruts they’re in.
Let’s think about it: If everyone on Earth was happy and perfectly content with their lives, of what purpose would the Industry serve? Of what necessity would it have? The Industry can only survive on negative human emotions.
If you’re making money off someone’s misery, since they’re buying your product, would you want to eventually lose your customer when they no longer need you? I’m not ascribing this to particular speakers, or content creators, mind you. Sometimes businesses and industries operate on a mindset that transcends human psyche. This brings me to the 4th and final point.
4. The Industry Entices You to Keep Coming Back
Think of the last time you ate fast-food. It was delicious, right?
You felt this fantastic dopamine rush while ingesting that cheeseburger. Your taste buds were having a party. And then an hour passed. You started to feel like crap. All that excessive sodium started to kick in, rendering you tired, and wanting to flip over and frickin’ die. We’ve all been there. But hey, it’s not going to stop you from going back to that same grease trap and buying another cheeseburger, will it? Nah, why should it? That good ole dopamine rush is alwaaays worth it.
Dopamine rushes cannot, and will not, last. Your brain will scream and bellyache during your “off” periods, craving for another rush. This is how addictions are formed.
The Self-Help Industry operates the same way with its products and services. Reading a motivational book is exactly like eating fast food. It doesn’t do anything for you except entice you to come back once your current “motivational” rush ends. You find yourself buying another book, another course, another video, and around and ’round the hamster wheel you go.
I believe that one of the worst mistakes in life is relying on the kindness and help of strangers without relying on yourself first. These speakers don’t understand the complicated mess that is you. They don’t understand what gets you going. They act like their lives are perfect, and their advice is the Gospel, but it’s all bull. Whether they’re speakers, columnists, dating coaches, or gurus…you know one thing I’ve observed about people giving advice?
They NEVER follow that advice themselves.
Don’t compromise yourself, you are all you’ve got.
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