The Bitter Truth about Self-Help

What if I were to tell you that, as a man, if you’re happily married then you failed? You betrayed your biological purpose.

The right strategy is to have as many partners as possible, to ensure the passing down of your genes. To have as many children with as many different women as possible.

Would you agree with this statement?

It depends, I guess.

That’s a simplistic truth. Most people think in simplistic truths, which is sad.

Because, yes, you can adopt that strategy and have as many partners as you can. But it’s not the only way. You can also take a different approach, and choose to be in a life-long monogamous relationship, and do your best to raise your kids in order to ensure they have the best chance at survival.

That’s the nuanced point. The almost-paradox.

What I mean to say is that there’s always more than one way to do something, and that the truth is never simple.

But what about self-help? What about all the gurus and their teachings? What are the simplistic truths they preach?

Well… Continue reading

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Fight for Your Dreams

Alexander the Great. Even though he only lived on this Earth for a total of 33 years, some 2,300 years ago, we have yet to forget his name and legendary battles.

During his short life, nothing stopped him.  Nothing. Huge armies with elephants, impregnable fortresses, vast distances over mountains and rivers and deserts, hunger, thirst, the sea itself, the uttermost extremes of physical hardship and war.  His body was littered with scars; everywhere that is, except his back.  That’s because the world’s greatest commander never retreated, and he never lost a battle.

Most of his portraits, sculptures, and coins reflect a kind of upward gaze as if he were staring into the very heavens, yearning for something unreachable.

He dedicated his life to the struggle against insurmountable odds. And he became great because he surmounted them all.

Continue reading

Warning: The “Work-Life Balance” Myth Is Ruining Your Life

Work-life balance. Financial freedom. Self-help. Motivation. Lifestyle advice.

The “ten minutes” this or that. The “five steps to” this or that. The easy way. The shortcut you never knew needed.

Building a life you’re proud of.

Somehow managing to come up with more than twenty four hours in a day, so you get to do all the things you want to do. Yay!

There are an awful lot of gurus out there telling you that life can be easy, if only… Continue reading

A long time ago…

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On a cold and dark night of December I wrote my first story. It was for the first time that I had the vision, that my eyes saw more than what was right there, in front of me, that my ears heard more, and my mouth wanted to speak in a voice that was louder than ever before.

I wanted to reach people, I wanted to share with them the same dream I had. It was happiness in a way that you know it can only last for a few moments, that kind of happiness you could never expect to last longer. I was happy because I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Continue reading

Smart Writing

Smart people use big words, right?

Does it mean that using big words makes you sound smarter?

Well, according to this study, the answer is no.

Irony: The title of the study’s title is Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly. 

In fact, using words no one understands makes you sound small-minded. To sound smart, you must stop trying to sound smart. Smart writing is simple writing, a relevant idea delivered clearly and directly.

Here are the best ways for smart writing… Continue reading

Do This and It Will Change Your Life

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In these studies, a child had to choose between receiving a small reward immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period, during which the tester left the room and then returned.

Pretty much a study on delayed gratification.

Do you want it now, or are you willing to suffer and wait for it? Continue reading

How Belief Influences Your Life

There are these two guys sitting together in a bar in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the guys is religious, the other is an atheist, and the two are arguing about the existence of God with that special intensity that comes after about the fourth beer.

And the atheist says, “Look, it’s not like I don’t have actual reasons for not believing in God. It’s not like I haven’t ever experimented with the whole God and prayer thing. Just last month I got caught away from the camp in that terrible blizzard, and I was totally lost and I couldn’t see a thing, and it was fifty below, and so I tried it: I fell to my knees in the snow and cried out ‘Oh, God, if there is a God, I’m lost in this blizzard, and I’m gonna die if you don’t help me.’”

The religious guy looks at the atheist all puzzled. “Well then you must believe now,” he says, “After all, here you are, alive.”

The atheist just rolls his eyes. “No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp.”

David Foster Wallace told this anecdote in his commencement speech at Kenyon College, which in turn went viral, and now a lot of people are using bits and pieces from his speech to add weight to their own beliefs and ideas.

What I mean by this is that I am not the first person who writes about the power of belief, and how our beliefs shape our reality. After all, even though few bother to look behind the curtains, you can notice kind of the same things.

Or do you? Continue reading