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The “Self-Help” Industry


Have you ever purchased a self-help book, watched a motivational video on YouTube, or listened to an inspirational podcast? I have a feeling that the majority of you have. Now, before I continue with this blog post, I want the reader to understand that I, too, have done these things. Actually, I do at least one of these things every single day. However, the point of this post is to warn the reader of what the self-help industry has become, and how to avoid being ripped off.



Ask my fianceé, I have a ton of books on mindfulness and meditation, brain cancer, Buddhism, and the like. I meditate every day using an app, that I absolutely love, on my phone. And I am constantly watching movies, videos, and the like on the these topics. However, I am careful when it comes to purchasing any of these practices.

My advice: the bigger the name and the higher the price, the less helpful the product actually is. There are books out there like The Secret that now have a net worth exceeding tens of millions of dollars. Read that book, or if you already have read it, it talks about how if you think about something that you desire as hard as you possibly can, the universe will respond and give it to you. When I think about that concept, I bring my hand to my forehead in disgust.

What many people are taking from this book, and other similar products, is that if you just sit on your couch and think unbelievably hard about that shiny, new car that you desperately want, you will be able to walk out of your house and miraculously find it in your driveway. Give me a break. What those types of products are really saying (which is no Secret at all), is if you truly want something in your life, you will work at it tirelessly until it is yours. So in other words, work really hard for something, and I mean REALLY hard, and you will most likely achieve your goal. You just spent $20 on Amazon for that advice.

Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t purchase self-help products. Just be careful of what you buy. Also, do not be dependent on them, thinking to yourself “I need this product or else I am going to fail.” That is being dependent on external materials. However, the drive is internal.

Have books on mindfulness and meditation changed my life? NO. Has the practice of this mindfulness and meditation that I learn from these products changed my life? ABSOLUTELY. There’s a difference there. I hope the reader is able to see this. Try to focus and trust in the authors that have scientific backgrounds, or people who have gone through life-changing events – not the people who claim they randomly woke up one day and were fully enlightened.

I suppose that is the only piece of advice that I am trying to portray here. Do not thank that self-help book for inspiring you. Thank yourself for incorporating the practice into your own life. Is the Self-Help Industry useless in my opinion? No, absolutely not. However, only buy into the industry as much as you are receiving it back in dividends. Never allow the money spent to exceed the returns.

Stay Mindful.


  1. Judy Parisi Judy Parisi

    Yes I completely agree about any self help gimmick. I have read articles & books regarding subjects that I needed help with for tips, but, i know being around people who are knowledgeable is so helpful. A little common sense goes a long way. Happy holidays !!

  2. Jeanine M. Harris Jeanine M. Harris

    This is the same as the “health and wealth gospel” preached (in error believing that God is some cosmic Santa Claus) and prayer is the method to twist God’s arm to giving you what you want. So, untrue…. God calls us to “step out in faith”…but the words into actions. Just reading self-help books or mindfulness meditation materials will not “improve your life”. It is the putting it into “practice” that is where the hope and healing begins.

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