Self-help fatigue is real.
I run a newsletter that reviews popular self-help and business books for young professionals; My way of giving back to millennials. I’ve reviewed a book a week for the past three months and have one piece of advice to share with you: proceed with caution.
Listen, bright psychologists, academics, and leaders wrote these books, but, after a while, their messages blend — Like different windows all peering into the same TV room.
· What’s your why?
· How to not give a f***.
· Build upon small habits.
· Make your bed…
It’s Information overload gone haywire! A time-waster. A never-ending series of conflicting perspectives from people who look like they would die just to tell you about positivity.
What’s worse, millennials are the most vulnerable to the self-help trap.
We graduate from college unready for the world, work a low-level but high ceiling job, then discover how little we know about the career we just spent the previous four years studying.
Bills come in, taxes owed, and the pressure to find a mate before your hair thins mounts.
We need direction! And instead of talking to mentors, millennials internalize the struggle and read self-help. Think about that: A billion-dollar industry built off our misery.
The author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F***, Mark Manson, who technically falls under the self-help category, recognizes it’s downside.
“With self-help, god only knows where half of these people come from. It’s a market-driven rather than a peer-reviewed industry. The onus is on the reader to sift through the material and decide what’s credible and what’s not. And that’s not always easy to do.”
Don’t get me wrong, a few books, if read sparingly, offer encouragement, ideas, and hope.
I’ve found strength from Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life, Angela Duckworth’s Grit, and even a few amateur writers on Medium.
But let’s take it slow. The advice comes from the writer’s experiences, not yours. No one has had the same advantages and disadvantages as you, so why would a self-proclaimed guru have the answers to your woes.
Instead of devouring 10 self-help books a year, select one title, take notes, and meditate on the lessons. If the philosophy jives with your challenges, then implement it into your life.
I’m not saying it’s all bull, but let’s be smart about the advice we consume.