Self-Help: A Regurgitation of Ancient Ideas
As I sit down to write this I can’t help but think about how much time I’ve wasted on self-help books, reading the same ideas over and over again.
It seems like everyone and their mother has written a book on how to live a better life, find inner peace, or manifest your dreams. I’ve written plenty of blog posts myself.
But the truth is, these books are just a regurgitation of old philosophy, repackaged for a generation with no attention spans.
Take Yung Pueblo, for example. This guy has become a bit of a sensation in the self-help world, with his Instagram quotes and his book “Lighter.” But when you really look at what he’s saying, it’s nothing new. It’s just a rehashing of the same ideas that have been around for centuries. A mix of Buddhism, Stoicism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity and more.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people trying to improve themselves and find happiness. And I think this is a great book for anyone needing a surface level introduction to self-help or looking for a little push.
But the problem with these books is that they’re just scratching the surface. They’re not delving deep into the root causes of our problems or offering any real solutions.
They’re just giving us quick fixes and feel-good mantras to repeat to ourselves.
And let’s be honest, most people aren’t going to read these books cover to cover. They’ll skim through them, maybe highlight a few passages, and then move on to the next one. There’s no real commitment to the ideas presented in these books. No one is really being changed.
Before there was self-help there was philosophy. Before influencers there were philosophers grappling with the big questions of life. They didn’t offer easy answers or quick fixes. They challenged us to think deeply about our existence and our place in the world.
But now, we have self-help gurus like Yung Pueblo telling us to “let go” and “be present” without really explaining what that means or how to do it. It’s all just surface-level bullshit that sounds good on an Instagram image.
So, if you’re really serious about improving yourself and finding happiness, don’t rely on self-help books. Read philosophy.
Delve deep into the big questions of life.
Challenge yourself to think critically and deeply about what it means to be human.
Only then will you find true insight, wisdom and self-help.