Guys, it’s great to be motivated.
It’s great having all your neural receptors firing up and pointing in the same direction.
And it’s even greater when your pupils widen to the shape and size of quarters as you home in on the object of your uncompleted goals …
You’re entering the GATEWAY to the Perfect Life!
And the price of admission?
Oh, just an endless rush of dopamine. You know, the same chemical that crackles through your brain when you eat something delicious and have great sex?
Yeah, you just 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 even possible?!
Well, pal. I got bad news for you; You’re going to be a sad, unproductive loser for the rest of your life if you don’t GET THAT DOPAMINE FLOWING CONSTANTLY!
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The Self-Help Industry
Just kidding, I’m still here.
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 a market of motivational speakers, life coaches, writers, and video producers. These people use their communication skills to motivate people, basically.
The industry’s clientele may be those stuck in a personal/emotional rut, have ended a relationship, lost their job, or are generally unsure where to go in life.
In times of despair, we like to turn to unconditional, guaranteed comfort and support.
Who’s better than a person that tells us we can do it? Who better than a person being PAID to do it?
Motivational speakers are the refuge of the insecure.
They are also false idols selling fool’s gold.
Here’s why, in FOUR Reasons! 😀
1. They Complicate the Problem
Motivational speakers make 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 motivational speakers 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 haven’t been realized simply because you haven’t started.
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 really that simple. Speaking of simple…
2. They Simplify the Solution
Motivational speakers offer 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 what have you.
Instead, they have to package their advice to make it digestible for the vast majority.
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, meditate, write for an hour, look in the mirror and smile, etc.)
It’s not reasonable to say these solutions will work for every one of the 7 billion people living on this Earth. Our brains are all different. We’ve all been 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 while growing up. Maybe you’re more neurotic than your peers, maybe you’re not.
We’re all wired differently. We all have individual quirks and unique 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 playlist and their songs get me pumped like you wouldn’t believe. 🤘
Some personal background: back in high school, I first got bit by the writer’s bug. I would fill countless spiral notebooks of songs and stories. I became a writing machine.
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.
It’s like music is literally my brain fuel. I suppose Oliver Sacks would have an answer for this (may he rest in peace). But yes, I get an insane dopamine surge just by listening to loud 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 life coach will give you the answer.
3. Their Industry is Built on Insecurities
The Self-Help Industry survives on people’s insecurities.
Specifically, it either creates or exploits existing insecurtities.
Before I go further, I should admit that this reason isn’t made from a practical point-of-view (like the first two Reasons listed above). This reason doesn’t necessarily prove the industry’s lack of problem-solving effectiveness. Rather, this is from the perspective of morality.
Is what they’re doing to their clientele okay?
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, their valuable clientele, are going out splurging on books and registering 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 of 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 fourth and final point.
4. Their 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 and fried. Your taste buds were having a party. You felt great.
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 help except entice you to go back once your current rush ends.
You’ll find yourself buying another book, and another course, and 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…do you know one thing I’ve observed about people giving advice?
They NEVER follow that advice themselves. So why should you?
Don’t compromise yourself, you are all you’ve got.
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