Self Help ?

20 Times Happier When I Stopped Bothering To Read It…..

Self help really can enable some of us to develop, change, or discover our ‘true selves’. Personally, I am finding that self help books are nothing but a load of old bollocks. Do the self help, ‘experts’, truly offer any practical tools to implement these changes? Is there anything already written that hasn’t already been said or that subsequently created some kind of miracle breakthrough or epiphany?

Does anyone truly expect or wish to wake up every day dancing on sunbeams with unicorns and rainbows, or watch cartoon bluebirds chirping and circling around your head like some kind of acid induced Disney scene in your magic mushroom morning circle? Fuck no. Should we continue to expend energy cheering people up on WhatsApp with jokes when we have no energy or feel depressed? Fuck no. Put the world back down, it’s not your problem. You are your own problem and you have every capability to resolve that.

If I genuinely want to change aspects of my life, then I am more than capable of examining the more nefarious aspects of myself, or whatever routine behaviours and habits are not working out for me. Self help is exactly that – you do it yourself. In order for me to find purpose and achieve my goals, I had to delete WhatsApp, Instagram and TikTok from my phone. I might even have to bury said phone in a not so shallow grave.

It horrified me to learn that I had spent eight hours out of twenty four on my phone recently. EIGHT HOURS, MAN! Checking, checking again, doom scrolling, half hearted laughing, half-hearted-zero-calorie-pseudo-conversations with fellow zombie friends, all while being bombarded with advertisements for shit I don’t even want or need or like. The lure of a dopamine hit from the carefully constructed algorithms of an App slow drip feed our frustrated brains with exponentially decreasing or intermittent rewards – like a huddle of heroin addicted lab rats – we never really quench the thirst that was never there before we were captured and this pandemic started.

We need more realness. More meaning. More fulfilment. More joy. More intimacy – and not of the romantic kind. We also need to get comfortable with feeling bored. When I was a kid, being bored was good for you. It developed an imagination. It developed your conscience.

In eight hours, I could have felt intellectually stimulated by reading a book in one sitting. In eight weeks, I could have written a book with the energy I have pissed away on the wrong people or the wrong perspective. We are losing the very essence of what truly matters. And why – seriously why – are we doing this to ourselves, and to each other?

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42 comments on “Self Help ?”

  1. I agree 100 percent with this post! We (our society in general) are ADDICTED to our social media. The biggest self help would be if we could un-addict ourselves.

  2. I’ve found that I have to “unplug” for several hours a day. Just walking away from electronics – all electronics – and taking a walk, going for a swim, working in the garden, or taking a nap, is so good for the soul.

  3. Perfect advice. Do you switch your phone on first thing in the morning? I have found this to be the worst mistake to make for me. Being grounded in nature as you say, giving to yourself first and directing focus into your own evolving reality by committing to that despite the want or need to be distracted, is the only route to feeling whole ❤️

  4. I usually take at least an hour to enjoy the morning and coffee before getting on my phone. Usually it’s two…when I do pick up my phone it’s to check facebook notifications and see what’s new, then I’m back outside for a while.
    Facebook can be a great time waster, but I only allow myself to be on it a few minutes at a time. On Twitter, I only share nature photos, so I don’t really get drawn in to whatever is going on in the world. I do pay attention, and am concerned – but I focus on me, my family and our needs first.

  5. I think you are very sensible, wise and have your priorities in order. Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate it ❤️🤗

  6. I went down the self-help addiction-rabbit hole much longer than I care to admit. I finally realized that self-help is an industry unto itself.

  7. Yeah I agree❤️. We’ve all been there. Self-help is more like ‘let me help MY self to YOUR bank account’. Extraordinary! 👎

  8. I had a very large patch of invasive blackberries that I spent five years getting rid of by hand. It was the best form of therapy! Actually, being in NATURE is the best form of therapy, but you knew I was going to say that didn’t you?

    I refuse to use social apps on my phone. It’s strictly for looking up answers to random questions and helping me find my way through city streets. Grudgingly, I must also occasionally answer calls on the damn thing. I’ve never been one much for phone conversation.

  9. I’ve tried to read self-help books, even those recommended by my therapists. I couldn’t get into them. I have always felt like I had things figured out, even when I didn’t (yikes). But it kind of goes along the same lines of why I can’t do books on audio; I can’t stand hearing another person’s voice in my head. It’s my voice or nothing.

    I was a very sick kid who grew up to be a very sick adult. I used to absolutely demolish books. My aunt/godmother got me into the Andrew Lang fairy books – the Lilac Fairy Book, the Yellow Fairy Book, the Orange Fairy Book, you get the idea. But at around age 8 or 9 I was reading about four grade levels above because of those books. The internet didn’t exist in everyone’s house in the ’80’s. Thank goodness for books and Legos and our imaginations. But now that I am where I’m at, I have a hard time reading books, and it’s because I’ve got scar tissue in my brain, and I’ve got crazy pressure, and nothing can be done. So now I’m grateful for the internet. I try not to feel like I’m being anti-social or wasteful. Maybe that’s okay for a few other folks out there too.

  10. Wow, did you make loads of jam? That must have been one mother of a blackberry bush! 🤣 Engaging with nature sure beats the insight timer meditations any day ❤️👍

  11. Sorry to hear. If you’re intuitive and have a strong sense of self, you will be way ahead of anything that self-help offers anyway. That sucks about the reading, but you can definitely still write and write you must ❤️👍

  12. They were so-so blackberries, and you had to drowned a lot of little white worms out of them in vinegar and water if you didn’t want the extra protein. They also fermented quickly and made the birds drunk. It’s both comical and dangerous to have a bunch of drunk birds flying around…and the occasional drunk bear. Makes you want to come visit doesn’t it? Ha,ha,ha.

  13. I quit social media over a year ago and have so much more time to spend on things that matter. Not that my friends don’t matter, but to sort through all the ads, memes and everything going on in everyone’s life was a huge distraction and time suck.

  14. Thanks for much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it. You sound very grounded, sensible and wise. The world needs more of you! I’m pretty sure your friends are there for you if you are struggling and vice versa – as they should be – and also appreciate a more meaningful exchange. For me, connection to one’s friends is built not only through the mind/soul but through shared experiences and laughter. We are all missing that as a result of this pandemic but still, it’s uplifting when people do reach out to each other in a genuine, heartfelt way and communicate properly. It’s also lovely to spend time alone without all the pinging of memes, etc! Social media has a danger of making everybody antisocial. I’m old school ❤️👍

  15. They sound yum! 🤢😂. Sounds hilarious, I’d love to see that! In the autumn here, the inebriated wasps are an issue in the apple orchard if we haven’t bothered to pick everything up in time and my god, they definitely need a ticket for drunk and disorderly flying. Or an ASBO. The ‘cider’ makes them extra irritable. They fly in slow mo, with menace. I take a tennis racket 🎾 👍❤️

  16. Thank-you – the world needs more of you too! 🙂 I do think we are headed in that direction because I hear more and more of people that think like us regarding social media. I completely agree that connection is built not only through the mind/soul but through shared experiences and laughter. I’m old school too.

  17. Thank you 🙏 That was really uplifting to read, not only that you are like-minded, but to learn that many other people are actually changing their behaviour too ❤️👍

  18. I loved this post! It made me laugh. I keep my phone off most of the time. I might spend a few hours one day a week catching up on Telegram, Instagram, etc., but not always. Besides, my husband yells at me if he sees me on the phone.

  19. Thanks so much for the lovely comment 🙏😆. You sound very disciplined. And yes, being engrossed in our phones is hardly conducive to healthy personal relationships. I’ve noticed the phone – not being used as a phone – made me feel really lonely. Without distraction, we are more capable of nurturing ourselves and those in our lives who truly deserve our time, attention and energy ❤️👍

  20. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and say. I really appreciate it ❤️ And yes you are quite right. The tricky part for all of us sometimes is remembering how or making it our priority 👍☺️

  21. I grew up without electricity and no I am not 180 years old *smiles, I just grew up in a remote part of Central America. I became very creative and learned to make fun things out of no-things..Being bored was so important..It was my creative mother of invention:) Loved this the way:)

  22. Awesome reflection man. We’ve all been there… one of my issues was bloody video games believe it or not…🤦‍♂️ As for self help, I think you might be mostly right. by the way reading and or watching self help can also be a useless addiction.
    anyway thanks. great post.🙏

  23. Thanks so much for taking the time and thought to stop by, read and comment. I can imagine with video games – I’ve never been tempted for the very reason we are all so easily sucked into the vortex of technological alternative realities. Strange how we avoid the more healthy means of escapism….

    It looks like you’ve channeled your time and energy into your creativity and writing, which is brilliant! Poetry in particular gives us a chance to delve deeper into some of the more unpleasant aspects of our reality, and yet the end truth can still be beautiful somehow. This is a healing art. Keep writing, we can all relate and learn from each other ❤️👍

  24. I feel the same. I’m at the point where I MUST be doing something with my hands when I’m taking a break from work, and all too often my hands reach for the phone. Doom scrolling, putzing, looking for rabbit holes…what good does it do me? Nothing at all. That could be valuable writing time!

  25. Thanks so much for reading! I think technology addiction is similar to food addiction. It’s not like you can completely erase either from your life and so we all struggle to manage our urges with technology given that we depend on it to stay connected.

    The irony is, for me anyway, the less connected I am to my phone, the less lonely I feel and the less I feel let down by people who are no good for me. Without my phone, I engage more with nature and am more present for learning and sharing life experiences with others. There is also an element of escaping reality, uncomfortable feelings or avoiding oneself which all of us do when buried in our phones.

    The writing does take discipline, but you must know from experience that you derive much more fulfilment when looking back over your work, rather than having nothing to show for it other than that empty zoned out feeling you’re left with from scrolling.

    Whenever possible, keep your focus and write! Your thoughts and feelings and imagination are far more important ❤️👍

  26. I love the thoughts you share here–thank you so much for the encouragement! It is a struggle, day in and day out, to find that balance, but as you say, what makes us more present in our lives? Doomscrolling merely blankets all around us with despair. When we follow the light of imagination, we leave that despair behind.

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