I'm So Enough Of All The Self-Help Bullshit

Don't Get Trapped Into This Industry, Do This Instead

Hey everyone, and welcome to Mindful Guerilla!

If you want to join the great community of 146 subscribers learning how to live their life intentionally, subscribe below:

This week’s piece is a 7-min read.

In the past years, I’ve been really into self-development.

I come from afar. Starting from reading the dumbest self-help books on positivity and happiness or whatever the fuck they were about.

I went through most of the popular self-help books as well, The 5 am Club, High Performance Habits, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you name it.

I tried a lot of self-development advice, frameworks, and productivity hacks:

  • waking up at 5 am to meditate, workout, and grind,

  • implementing shitloads of frameworks, like GTD and all that jazz,

  • even filling out dozens of pages of self-evaluation from different aspects.

Did I become better by those?

Absolutely not.

I’m not saying that they are all wrong. GTD* is cool. If it works for you.

*if you don’t know, GTD refers to the Getting Things Done productivity method. You can check it out; it might be for you.

But this whole self-help-productivity-hack-whatevertheshit industry can be toxic and addictive.

You step in, you get mesmerized by one book, YouTube video, or Twitter thread.

You get hooked into an online course that pushed down on your throat a three-letter acronym productivity hack.

Then you get steered toward several other self-help books and three-letter acronym frameworks.

Because you cannot stop.

You just want to be better, more productive, do all the work faster, more efficiently, and grind more.

But you don’t do the work faster or more efficiently.

You spend the most time doing what? Being high on the self-help drug.

Because it’s a legal drug that serves a $10 billion industry.

It's no surprise that so many people want to do self-help and get sweet cash from it.

What’s the actual problem with self-improvement nowadays?

Let me share with you three problems I identified.

But before we move on, let me clarify something:

Self-improvement is good! It’s important.

The healthy, genuine way of it.

I’ll talk about it later; stick around.

Problem #1: Self-Help Can Become A Form Of Procrastination

YouTuber Joey Schweitzer has an excellent analogy for this.

It’s important to have a sharpened sword to go out and fight a war.

But if you stay inside your castle, keep sharpening your sword, and just focus on getting more jacked, you won’t win the war.

We are so afraid to try & fail.

So we procrastinate.

And by consuming all the self-help content from books, videos, and podcasts, we create an illusion that we do the necessary work.

Don’t get me wrong, we all need to learn from quality resources, but those notions shall be implemented.

If we want to spend our mornings with more energy and action, we don’t need to study the morning routines of 1,000 successful people.

It doesn’t matter if Mr. Billionaire wakes up at 6.00 am to do his 30-min meditation, 30-min journaling, 60-min workout, and 30-min self-mantra with a bongo before 6.15 am.

What matters is to try, experiment and find a solution that works for you in the long run.

Just get the first glimpse of inspiration and start trying out things.

Problem #2: The Self-Help Industry Doesn’t Embrace Being Unique. Even If It Tells You A Similar Bullshit

One of the most popular YouTube videos on self-help covers “How To Be Ahead of 99% Of The People.”


Of course, you want to be better than most people.

But the solutions these videos provide are annoyingly general:

  • Disappear for six months.

  • Work hard. Hustle.

  • Oh, and buy their course. Of course.

If you watch ten of those videos, you will rarely hear anything drastically different.

But are you gonna be able to be ahead of 99% of the people?


Source: Tenor

However, those general tips likely won’t help you significantly improve yourself.

Because those might not be true to yourself.

Or some of your habitual issues come from a deeper level.

Most of these self-help narratives don’t transmit the message of becoming unique.

They provide you with generalized frameworks that some people came up with.

It may work for many, but it might not work for you.

Problem #3: The Internet Self-Improvement Industry Is Lying To You To Make You Miserable. So You Become Their Captive.

The deeper you go into this industry, the more you realize that you are not enough and your progress is not enough.

You are still not there yet to be happy.

You just need to keep learning about the new framework or hack.

You still don’t earn enough money because you didn’t learn enough self-help.

Buy the next course. The next book. Those will lead to where you shall be.


And that’s also a problem with this industry that promotes an unhealthy form of self-growth.

It wants you to become permanently dissatisfied.

So you won’t stop your self-growth hustle for even a day.

Source: Monster Box

But your life isn't like running a corporate hungry for more growth & profit.

No matter what frameworks or systems you implement to be productive, you are still human.

With good and bad days.

If you get trapped in this unhealthy and addictive self-help bullshit, you will try to deny the nature of being human.

You will end up discontented, anxious, and lost.

You don’t always need more. You just need enough.

Tip #1: Dare To Try, Fail and Learn

You won’t progress in life without taking the leap and trying.

Even though Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try”, that’s bullshit.

We often underestimate our attempts' results and overestimate the potential failure's magnitude.

Always ask yourself: “What’s the worst that could happen?”

You can apply this to job applications, starting a side project, approaching a person you are interested in, etc.

In most cases, the worst thing to happen is getting rejected, losing money, or going through heartbreak.

But the lessons they teach you will make you evolve and grow.

Remember: muscles grow when their fibers sustain micro-injuries and damage.

It’s similar for you as a whole.

Tip #2: Embrace Your Human Nature

You are not a robot or a production line.

Productivity is great, but you cannot hustle & grind 24-7.

You also have good and bad days.

And most importantly, no matter how self-confident, mentally stable, and powerful you are, you will always experience days when you are just down for no particular reason.

It’s part of our human nature.

As well as our emotions, intuitions, and creativity.

Often we tend to be too rational and try to mute our intuitions.

As Steve Jobs said:

“(…) have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

Steve Jobs

Tip #3: Dare To Take A Break & Breath

Some say that life is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s true.

At a certain degree.

But life is not a marathon.

Life is just a freakin' and exciting journey through which you might do some literal or figurative marathons.

And since life is not a marathon, per se, you should embrace breaks and take some deep breaths.

You don’t have to struggle and fight every single day.

Working, managing relationships, and taking care of our bodies, finances, and others.

It’s so damn exhausting.

You need days when you say, “screw that,” and just listen to your gut, body, and soul to do what they desire to recharge.

A car doesn’t run on an empty fuel tank. Your iPhone doesn’t work when the battery is dead.

You shouldn’t push yourself when your “batteries” are low.

+1 Tip: Read Some Classics That’s Carrying Wisdom For Centuries And More

While there are a few great self-improvement books these days, I tend to turn more toward classic ones.

Stoic philosophers from thousands of years ago.

Classic fiction from 18-19-20th century.

These books have so much wisdom that’s still accurate for centuries or even millenniums.

It’s simple.

Human nature didn’t change dramatically.

Read Marcus Aurelius and Seneca.

Read Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

Read Camus and Freud.

You will learn way more about human nature, behaviors, and your own self than from any self-help book that shouts “BESTSELLER.”

But most importantly.

Learn by going out and living your life.

Máté - The Mindful Guerilla

💡 My Weekly Recommendations 💡

🔥 Stuff I Recommend You This Week 🔥 

📹 Video: Cole Hastings explains why many of us might feel lonely and isolated when it comes to self-improvement. This video resonated with me so much as I was writing this piece. Watch it here!

🗞️ Article: Ryan Holiday, one of my favorite Stoics these days, shared 31 lessons on money. Read his article to get enlightened!

🐥 Tweet: I recently turned 29. I gathered 9+2 short thoughts that have been on my mind lately. Check it out here.

👓 Newsletters I Read Every Week 👓

🪷 Overthoughts by Akta: Lately, Akta’s newsletter has been my go-to weekly source of notions on how to feel less overwhelmed in the world of constant noise, social pressures, and overthinking. The perfect complement to my newsletter.

💵 Young Money: Jack writes inspirational & insightful posts on finance, career, and life. I learned a lot from his work, which motivated me to start my newsletter.

🌍 International Intrigue: The best source to get quick & quality updates on recent global affairs. A 5-minute read delivered every weekday. Read this, rather than all those shitty clickbait articles on mainstream media.

How did you like this week’s piece?

Please take 10 seconds and quickly add your feedback by clicking the following button. 👇🏻

This way, you contribute to making this newsletter so much better.

Thanks a lot & hats off! 🤠 

Join the conversation

or to participate.