I’ve noticed in today’s world everywhere I look there is a self-help book to improve every facet of one’s life. You can read how to lose weight. You can learn how to boost your self-esteem. How to be successful. How to make money. On and on it goes.
But there is one common theme that is harped upon by every self-help book I have ever read. It always starts by saying you can be anything you want to be if you set your mind to it. You know, don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t let others discourage you from becoming what you should be. Just stay focused and never, ever give up.
Well, these folks have obviously never met my group of friends.
I loathe the self-esteem movement. You know, “we just need to build self-esteem and then the children can become whatever they desire.” Please spare me. No, we just have a bunch of uneducated, rude, non-working, non-productive folks walking around with nothing but a load of self-esteem. The world needs many things; idiots with self-esteem is not one of them.
I hate to break it to everyone, but there are lots of things that many of you, or me, can never do no matter how much we set our mind to it, and the sooner you realize it the better off everybody, including yourself, will be. I doubt that last sentence will ever make it into a self-help book, but I think it should. These books have caused millions of people to waste their lives and tormented me in the process. Because of these books, I have to listen to some fool sing karaoke that thinks he’s only a step away from the big time, ‘cause he’s “following his dream.” How about getting a job and moving out of your father’s basement and give him back his credit card, too. Now that would be following somebody’s dreams ... probably your father’s.
Please don’t tell me you are an entrepreneur. “My self-help book said follow my dream. I dream of being an entrepreneur, which I can’t spell and don’t really know what it means.” Incorporating a fancy name and registering with the Secretary of State does not make you an entrepreneur. Neither does borrowing money from daddy.
Nothing, however, is worse than the sports self-help books. According to them, Michael Jordan is great because he worked so hard at it. I don’t doubt he worked hard, but being 6-foot-6 with a 40-inch leaping ability probably had something to do with it, too. If you are 5-foot-8 and weigh 145 pounds, you can practice ball like you are in a salt mine and you will not work your way into the NBA.
I tell you, most of my friends have a hard time just holding down a job. Third grade was the hardest three years of their lives. Their SAT score wouldn’t get them into a GED class, and these books have them thinking maybe they should go back to school and be a doctor. You know they just didn’t apply themselves when they were younger, but now with maturity and a 12-pack-a-day beer drinking habit, here I come, med school.
The final straw may be those books titled “You Can Find the Mate of Your Dreams.” How about one that says “How to Find a Mate after Four Divorces and a Suspended License.” Now that might be worth reading. Listen, most folks are not going to find a younger version of Sharon Stone. Don’t set these poor souls up with a “you can get any girl you want with this technique.” Encourage folks to settle before it’s too late. For every frog that caught a princess, there are a million frogs that died alone of old age.
Yep, I’m afraid my self-help reality book probably will not sell. So I guess I’ll keep on mingling with the self-esteem kings and grand illusion people. Who knows? But right now I have to get ready. It’s karaoke night.