Are Self-Help Books The Road To Happiness Or a Nasty Fraud?

That day the city was under attack coming from a heavyweight rain playing with everything beneath the clouds. My shoes with holes in the soles reported bankruptcy rather fast. I had to find a place to hide and since I was in the period of your life when shiny shop windows attract you the most, I entered a large store with multiple floors, hoping to find consolation.

I decided to go to the large bookstore on the 4th floor. I would like to say that my choice was dictated by strong desire to achieve spiritual elevation, but the truth is that this was the place with the lowest prices. It suited my broke status.

I got into the elevator and the spam started. There were posters promoting a revolutionary self-help book that had the power to change your life. It was called ”Transform Yourself Into…..uhuhuhu something”. I don’t remember the rest. The author had white curly hair and three million dollar golden glasses. He was a local professor and the brotherhood was pushing him forward.

His look in the poster was supposed to be profound and intelligent, but it wasn’t. It reminded me of the stupid faces of politicians you see everywhere when there are elections, and the fuckers spam the world. The photographer had tried to make him look like a deep and sophisticated philosophical guy, but to me he seemed like one of those I’ve-never-worked-a-day-in my-life-thanks-to- bureaucracy bozos in suits.

This smart-head definitely had one of those faces you just want to slap with the outer part of your palm. I don’t know why, but I felt the urge to show him my long middle finger. It felt stupid and good at the same time. For a second, I wondered whether there were cameras in the elevator and people were laughing at me. I decided to give multiple middle fingers at all directions just to be sure that everybody feels appreciated.

Once I was in the large book store the spam continued. This guy’s head was everywhere. Apparently, deep pockets were used to sponsor his campaign. I felt like throwing ninja stars at his forehead and slapping his swollen face him with his own book.

The book store was fairly empty because I was there during office working hours. There was one of those rich middle-aged guys who have too much time and money on their hands. He was going through expensive encyclopedias with glossy hard covers worth close to a hundred. He was probably choosing a gift for another member of the pretentious rich men crew consisting primarily of old suits who are not men enough to admit that the silver spoons in their mouths are the reason for their successes. On top of everything this daddy was constantly looking with the corner of his eyes at the legs of a girl that could be his little daughter. She was wearing one of those funky alternative leggings or whatever the hell it was.

I understand that feeling sexually attracted to someone is natural, but the square watery eyes of this rich wanker were full of dirty desire to squeeze the living juice out of that girl and then throw her away. This was another reminder of the world we live in.

At this point, I gave up. ”Fuck. It. Let’s see if this guy can help me ‘transform myself’,” I said to myself and grabbed a copy of the book. As expected, the old poodle was on the cover. I almost spit in his face before opening the book.

What do I see? The font was size 200 and there was enough space between the lines to write a second book. Anyway, I went to the content section and saw a chapter entitled: ”Why the rain is good for you?”. Being naturally attracted to cloudy themes I went for it, but the disappointment was strong. Instead of reading one of those philosophical bars that recharge your batteries for a little longer and give you hope that change is coming, I read something like that: ”The rain is good because it makes the air fresh.” Really, bro? Then, the poodle was continuing with trivial stuff such as how you can place buckets outside to collect water. I guess the idea was to use every situation to the fullest. After reading another page it turned out that this was the exact goal. According to this guy there were no bad situations – only situations. He believed that the ultimate tactic is to shape all events accordingly and profit instead of complaining constantly. This can happen in some cases, but we all know that somewhere along the lines there’s always a catch.

At one point the guy started giving as example the famous CEOs that the media constantly pushes in your face as the epitome of success. Even though at this stage of my life I wasn’t the developed hater I am today, I felt like ripping the fucking book in half, setting it on fire and shoving it straight into the mouth of that rich wanker who was still checking out the young girl and dreaming of sliding his ancient genitalia covered in dirty money into her.

I didn’t know it at the time, but know I do. The biggest problem with self-help books is that they are fairy tales for the most part. They are written by wannabe spiritual gurus who want to appeal to the mainstream public. Those books are half-lies half-truths sandwiches designed to spread wishful thinking and point the obvious. However, the biggest problem is not the book itself – it’s the hype. There is no doubt that a lot of the material actually contains some truths, but those are often just a bait – a cover up.

We have been convinced that by reading a book and thinking ”positively” our lives will transform. ”Do you want to be a millionaire? Visualize it and one day you may join the club.” This is a line that many pointless self-help propaganda booklets contain. Sadly, even stupidity like this is often accepted thanks to the sheep effect and the media pumping fake success stories.

The dishonest character of self-help books has two main sides. First, some books are complete mainstream soap opera – work hard and you will one day become a billionaire living in a house on the beach. The truth is that you will never be a billionaire unless money runs in your genes. I don’t care how hard you work. It just doesn’t happen for the ordinary people. On the other hand, I also have to admit that if you are in a position where your hard work can be appreciated, you will experience more success if you invest more effort. However, if you are one of those hipsters reading the biography of Steve Jobs while riding the bus on the way to school, remember this – you see what they want you to see. #make-the-sheep-believe-the-dream-forever #milk-the-sheep. Hard work can help you get more, but there is a limit to it.

The second misleading element of self-help books is the soft and politically correct language. The authors always sugar coat everything. ‘

‘No, it’s not your fault. You weren’t the one inserting burger after burger in your mouth for years. It was someone else. It wasn’t you. Don’t blame yourself. You are good. Be positive. Imagine that you are not a whale anymore and one day you won’t be. Arnold used to visualize that his biceps are mountains and they became a whole mountain chain. Why can’t the same happen for you?” This type of softness has become the symbol of our politically correct world. People are taught to never point the finger at anyone. ”Keep your voice down. Avoid confrontations,” is the mainstream motto.

Your problems have two main causes – the system and your personal actions. It’s true that sometimes the system should be blamed for most of troubles. Nevertheless, there are times when our actions or inaction are the main cause of our personal misery. You can’t blame the system for everything, which is a concept that the ”only think positive” self-help books always hide because they want to feel like a delicious candy – they taste good but if you overload the dentist bill wouldn’t make you happy at the end.

The soft and pleasing to the ear self-help books are written in baby language protecting the feelings of the 40 something guys living with their moms and wearing gym pants pulled up all the way into their butts. The rules of the authors writing this garbage are as follows: you never want to offend anyone because you are going to lose clients; you can’t take over the bookstores with your face printed on posters when you are not accepted by the grand mechanism. It’s impossible; #sellcandies;

The mentioned negative qualities are always part of the mainstream self-help books. Those are the books promoted on morning TV shows, which are a common playground for charlatans. The TV format allows frauds to reach a vulnerable group – the lonely people who only have a TV for a friend. All popular books in this category are written in a way that appeals to this crowd.

One time I saw a clip promoting the so-called ”Secret book” in which a guy said that every time he is about to park his car, he just imagines that there is an empty spot waiting for his BMW. When I heard that my mind almost went full reversal. What the hell? That’s on mainstream media? What’s next? Imagine that you have wings and you will be able to fly tomorrow? Seriously, those people should learn how to pull their pants up. Even my non-English speaking cat (R.I.P.) felt insulted from this statement.

With that said, I have to admit that self-help books can also have a positive side. I really hate to say it but it’s true. However, that only happens if the person who has written the book is honest. I am not talking about ”let me see your emotional underwear” type of honesty. That’s not needed. What’s needed, however, is to talk about a topic without hiding crucial facts that can change the game entirely. All essential elements must be part of the report or otherwise it becomes worthless.

It’s true that there are people who have had problems similar to yours and you can learn from their mistakes and improve. This is the only way for similar material to be helpful. Every other form is nothing but sorcery.

The best way to avoid scams is to stay away from books promising fast results without much work. If it’s too good to be true and the corrupt cold blooded reptile like TV hosts promote it, it’s literally venom from which you should stay away. Why? If the stuff is that good and so many people are following the plan, the world would have had become heaven by now.

By the way, I see wannabe positive people almost everyday. I can’t stand similar individuals and their fake grimaces. It’s obvious to me that they are trying hard to always smile and surround themselves with ”positive people”. Here’s the problem – you can’t avoid negativity. It’s unnatural. It’s like having a day without a night or a night without a day if you are Batman. You can’t have one without the other and always suppressing negative emotions leads to explosions. I am not saying that letting your anger go wild will do you good. It won’t. But you can’t expect to always feel great. Sometimes you just have to admit that something is bad and sucks. This is a fact that the phony guys doing yoga in the park have hard time understanding. They think the world only exists to make them happy. Wake up, wannabes! You are sucked deep into the vacuum of illusions.

In case you are wondering what happened that day, I will tell you.

I felt even more disgusted and left the book store. It was still raining and I was a wet puppy, but it felt good. The poodle’s face was no longer in front of me. His pretentious advice was about to be forgotten too.


  1. Nvine

    Awesome article. The other type of scam is religious hagiography books full of supernatural events and directions from heaven.

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