The Dark Reality of Self-Help
(The 3 BIG Lies)

Table of contents

‘Self-improvement’ is a great idea, I mean who doesn’t want to feel better, learn new skills , advance in their careers, and look as good as god damn handsome I do?

But if we can just take a step back for a second and look with our own eyes at the territory that surrounds us, we can clearly see that this good idea is an absolutely disastrous reality. A rapidly expanding multi-billion dollar industry marked by masses of people who are no more capable of improving themselves than they were before they devoured their first self-help book or walked bare-foot over flaming coals.

We know who these people are because they’re all over our social networks, frantically seeking external validation for the idea of an improved version of themselves that doesn’t really exist.

In this articulo I’ll show you exactly why self-improvement has become such a breeding ground for self-delusion, and more importantly, the 3 critical lessons that anyone seeking authentic personal development need to understand. Let ‘s begin!

Lesson 1: Understanding why we are so dependent on the external

The most important thing to understand when it comes to why the overwhelming majority of people who embark down the path of self-improvement don’t actually improve can be boiled down to a single word: Assgoblins. 

For some reason everyone thinks that’s two words, but I can assure you it’s one. Just kidding. The actual word is profit. 

To illustrate this point, I’m going to share with you guys a fun thought experiment that I designed a few years ago. I’m going to describe two types of people and as I do that, I want you to consider for yourself which one you think is more “profitable”. 

Person A is gullible, weak, impulsive, and unhealthy,  all of which are beyond their control and can only be remedied via external means such as products, services, and medications, or whatever promises the quickest fix. Person A believes that everything is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and as such, they believe that struggle, discomfort, and even human emotions such as sadness, loneliness, and rage, all belong in the ‘bad’ basket, which must be avoided at all cost. 

Now let’s consider Person B. Person B is informed, strong, resourceful and healthy, all of which they are in control of. They fix problems by addressing their underlying root causes. They see ‘good’ and ‘bad’ as two halves of the same whole and as such, they perceive struggle, discomfort, sadness, loneliness, and rage as necessary and important parts of the human experience. 

Now I know this is going to blow some of your minds, but Person A is more profitable to society. Far more profitable. 

Can you imagine, just for a second, what a disaster it would be for industries around the world if everyone was like Person B? 

The reason there are 99 of person A for every 1 person B is because we exist within societies, where profit is the highest goal, and so the system is designed and continues to evolve to become more and more efficient at getting us to consume, which ironically, is the process by which we are consumed. 

This is why when it comes to our own personal development, we don’t ponder the deep questions of life by ourselves, we ask Google. We don’t spend time alone with ourselves (which is where actual growth happens) because we’re afraid to be alone. 

We fill our every waking moment with some external form of distraction because to us, being alone carries with it the risk of possibly having to confront those thoughts and emotions that reside deep within our internal world. 

The system programs us to fear our internal world because there’s no profit there.

The ‘industry’ of self-improvement only cares about profit, and for every 1 person that truly  understands the complex psychological mechanisms behind authentic personal development, there are 99 good looking, charismatic, self-help zealots with relatable rags to riches stories who will happily forego the difficult required to have original thought, and instead choose to recycle the same tried and true, superficial self-help ideologies that are guaranteed to generate garner massive praise (and subsequently revenue) from the masses of consumers desperately seeking to confirm an interpretation self-improvement that allows them to develop confidence, learn to love-themselves, and become action-takers, without doing any of the actual work required to earn those things. 

Lesson 2: The dark paradox of self-improvement

Ok so what exactly happens when we manifest this idea of self-improvement, when we try to become our best versions, within a system whose primary goal is profit? 

Well for most of us, the process looks something like this:

We spend most of our lives just sort of following the ‘script’ that’s been laid out for us. We go to school, make friends, work 9-5 jobs, and then at some point we have a ‘revelation’ that we don’t have to follow someone else’s script, that by taking control of our actions we can actually take control of our destiny. 

This revelation manifests itself as a desire to improve, and that’s precisely where the problem begins, because at this point the overwhelming majority of us don’t do what we should do, which is to descend into silence for a while as we begin to exercise this newly discovered control by taking more and more action based on what we inherently know to be best for us. 

No, instead, the second we experience that first flicker of a desire to improve, we immediately cast the nets of our consciousness out into the external world, because a lifetime of programming has conditioned us to ALWAYS look to the external world for the solution to everything. Google searches for ‘how to become my best self’, motivational social media posts designed to externally validate a version of ourselves that doesn’t actually exist, books and books and more books, fully believing that the next sentence we read will contain within it the sacred knowledge that will finally unlock within us the ability to suddenly take infinite, effortless action. 

And so the great paradox of self-improvement is that it promotes external solutions to problems that can only be solved internally. To me the most glaring example of this is how so many people try to think themselves into taking action, which is completely absurd, it is impossible to think ourselves into taking action. Action by its very nature requires us to stop contemplating it in order to take it.

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Lesson 3: The financial contradiction of self-improvement

The industry of self-help depends on us consuming its content to generate revenue, but what happens if we actually apply the teachings and ‘become our best versions’.

Well, what happens is that we no longer need self-help content,  and revenue is no longer generated, and that’s not good. 

Sure, they could just find new customers, but if you know anything about customer acquisition costs (and I promise you, the industry knows a thing or two about this),  it’s much more profitable to maintain a customer than it is to acquire a new one. 

While I would never accuse any individual ‘teacher’ of self-help guru of intentionally sabotaging the people who consume their content, the problem with when you create a financial motivation that runs counter to your own self-proclaimed motivations, well you can see how this might be a problem, right? 

There is very little profit to be made on someone who improves to the point where there are few things left to improve. 

Alright guys, I think it’s time to discuss the solution to all of this, but first, a quick summary

Summary

Lesson 1: Understanding why we are so dependent on the external

The primary goal of the world around us is to maximize profit, and so it conspires for us to be weak and pathetic to keep us in a state where we exist almost exclusively within the external world, which is where all of the profit is. 

Lesson 2: The dark paradox of self-improvement

The great paradox of self-improvement is that it promotes external solutions to problems that can only be solved internally, most notably by promoting the idea that we can think ourselves into taking action. Action requires us to stop contemplating it in order to take it. We can only think ourselves out of taking action. 

Lesson 3: The financial contradiction of self-improvement

The industry of self-help depends on us consuming its content to generate revenue, yet if we actually achieve our ‘best version’, revenue is no longer generated. 

Conclusion

Alright guys, so here’s my take on all of this and how to escape the trap of an ‘industry’ of self-help that is designed to consume us. 

True personal development must begin with a deeply internal process through which the ability to act on the information we consume externally is first established by repeatedly taking action on things, over and over again, until it replaces our old defective programming and becomes our new ‘default’ state. 

This is an absolutely critical first step because if action is not effortless, if it is not instinctual, then we are doomed to consume information without applying it, which is exactly what the system wants.

To consume information and to take action on the information that we consume are two entirely separate universes, because action is precisely the thing separating us from who we presently are, and who we could be. 

There is no book, no podcast, no seminar, no motivational guru, no YouTube video, no magical assgoblin, that can confer this knowledge onto us. 

To know the path is not to walk the path. To walk the path is to know the path. 

Hey guys as always, in the comments below let’s have some fun, try to identify the biggest lie you tell yourself, and post it in the comments below. 

I want to thank the sponsor of this video, FOCL, we do have control over what we put into our bodies and I only put the highest quality supplements into mine. As I’ve mentioned in other videos I love their day / night combo, FOCL day to keep me energized and focused, and FOCL night to help me sleep like a baby, use QUEST20  to get 20% off AND simultaneously support this channel.

You can also use my system Dark Mode, a productivity system that I developed for myself to help achieve difficult goals. It can also help you to create an environment where taking inaction becomes virtually inevitable, again link in the description below where you can grab it for free. 

Make sure to follow me on Instagram @NelsonQuest, there’s so much more I want to share in these videos that’s much easier for me to share there. 

And lastly, don’t just subscribe, but if you want to be notified first when I release new videos then make sure to click the notification bell, unless you’re too busy healing childhood traumas with one of those new straight to DVD Jay Shetty videos,  in that case I wouldn’t want to interrupt. 

This is the path. Cia and See you guys in the next article.

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