We’re in our early 30s and have failed our way through enough self-help material to write a Coldplay album.
Seriously, we’ve consumed it all.
In fact, of everyone we know, we’re the most self-helpy. So damn self-helpy that we can’t help but self-help other people. WTF does that even mean, you ask? It means that there isn’t a single aspect of your life or anybody else’s that we can’t self-help. And now it’s time to make that a reality.
If this is your first self-help attempt, then buckle up buckaroo because you are in for a serious disappointment. But if you are a grizzled vet, you know that with every scroll of a finger comes self loathing so powerful it makes Gwyneth Pout-row look like Kimmy Schmidt on Field Day.
But fear not good people of Internet Explorer! Because we have cracked the code to self-helping. And we’ve come all the way to your electronic device to self-help the fucking shit out of you.
Here is a list of best selling books that constitute the canon of the self-help universe. In a very particular and mysterious order, they are:
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- The Power of Now
- Rich Dad - Poor Dad
- Daring Greatly
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Man’s Search for Meaning
- Own the Day
- The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit
- How to Stop Worrying and Start Winning
- Awaken the Giant Within
- The Power of Habit
- Oh the Places You’ll Go
These books are god-damned amazing (lowercase ‘g’ there is for you Sam Harris). They are so amazing that they come extremely close to having tangible and lasting impact. If you see them on someone’s shelf, you immediately know that you are in the midst of someone Great. This is an individual who cares more about what you think of them than they care about donating books that might help someone else. And in the end, that’s what self-help is all about. Narcissism.
So what makes us so special? Why should we think we’ve cracked the code to self-help writing? Simple. We are the most narcissistic people we know. There isn’t anybody who cares more about helping us, than us. What’s that you ask? What about all of the other narcissists who care about themselves even more than we do? Let that thought float away on the crisp Zen breath of Leo Babauta, my friend. Because we know for a fact that we are more important than those people. And because of THAT, whoever cares the most about us would, in turn, be the most important narcissist. Go ahead, read that back. It’s poetic logic, plain and simple.
OK, but how does our self importance help you? Well, because we have more experience in self-help (we read all those books!). We’ve seen our own shadows. Been lost adrift in the darkness and lived to tell the tale. Have stared into the abyss. Faced the great nothing and spat on its nonexistent face in the name of life.
Can you do the same? Perhaps. But you must crawl before you can walk.
Here’s a good analogy for you: You might recall that in karate, each new student is given a white belt. This belt signifies the blank canvas of an untrained gakusei. It represents the potential that lies within you. The purest essence of you. A starting point. The uncut slab of marble waiting to be transformed into a god (S.H.).
But even before you receive a white belt, you are first verbally berated by your mother to get your shit together and do something productive this summer. Sure you’ll fight back, but eventually she will stop buying you bagel bites and hide the PS4 controllers. So begrudgingly you’ll get in the mini-van - ready to phone in whatever the hell this is about to be - and slam-slide the door.
This book is that mini-van drive. These 30 marginally transformational steps are so simple that even the most reasonable expectations can be surpassed. Look, everyone who shows up gets a white belt. Provided Jan paid the $40.
And though it pains us, we leave you with a more serious note:
We believe in change. We believe that big changes happen though many incremental small changes. Which means we believe in momentum.
We believe that if you aren’t moving forward you are dying. Actually we believe that you are dying no matter what, so you had better be moving forward or else what the in the actual fuck are you doing. You get a certain number of days to matter. You don’t know how many. And therein lies the beauty. You could be dead tomorrow, so what are you doing today? Are you going to live a life of self-seeking pleasure? Are you going to be a net-negative impact on this planet and existence in general? Or are you going to define your purpose? And then meet it.
Transformation is hard. Really fucking hard. And that’s why we almost always fail. But if you really want to, we think we might be able to help. That’s it, just help. Not tell you what to think or how to live. Just help.
Radical transformation always happens at the margin. It’s always about pushing just a little bit. And sure as shit, those marginal gains end up changing your life entirely.
We believe in the best parts of you. And we believe that you can overcome the shit parts. And we damn sure know there are shit parts. That’s a prerequisite for existence. It’s your job to find them and fix them. Not ours. We just give a shit that you do, so we want to help.
So if you’re ready to get this thing started, let’s do it. If not, that’s totally fine. We all work on our own time tables. And some of us are better off alone. But always know we are here. If and when you want that little bit of marginal change.