Here’s the prompt I gave ChatGPT: Please write an 800 word opinion piece on why self-help books are a waste of money. They all say basically the same thing and are usually filled with extra text and stories. Most of them could just be a short blog post. Also, summarize the basics of most self-help advice. I think they’re something like focus on fewer things; do more planning; spend less time on distractions; get more sleep and exercise; take it easy on yourself. The title could be a pun about “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” something like “Overpriced Chicken Soup."
When it comes to self-improvement, there’s no shortage of advice out there. Everywhere you look, there’s a new book, blog post, or podcast telling you how to be your best self. But here’s the thing: most of this advice is basically the same. It’s like a never-ending game of “telephone,” where the message gets distorted and diluted with each person who passes it along. And yet, people continue to buy self-help books by the thousands, often forking over big bucks for the privilege. But here’s the truth: these books are a waste of money.
First of all, let’s talk about the content of most self-help books. If you’ve read more than a few, you’ve probably noticed that they all seem to say basically the same thing. Whether it’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” or “The Secret,” the core message is always the same: focus on what’s important, do more planning, spend less time on distractions, get more sleep and exercise, and take it easy on yourself. This isn’t exactly earth-shattering stuff. In fact, it’s pretty common sense. And yet, these books make it sound like they’re sharing some kind of secret wisdom that only a select few are privy to.
But even if the content of these books isn’t particularly groundbreaking, at least you’re getting a lot of it, right? Wrong. Most self-help books are filled with extra text and stories that have nothing to do with the core message. It’s like they’re trying to pad out the book to make it look more impressive. But the truth is that most of this stuff could easily be condensed into a short blog post or even a tweet. In other words, you’re paying for a lot of fluff and filler.
But here’s the biggest problem with self-help books: they often don’t work. Sure, they might give you a temporary boost of motivation, but that’s about it. The fact is, real change takes time and effort. It requires hard work and persistence. And no self-help book can give you that. In the end, it’s up to you to make the changes you want to see in your life.
So why do people continue to buy self-help books? Well, part of it is the allure of a quick fix. We live in a fast-paced world where we want everything now. And self-help books promise to give us the answers we’re looking for, even if they can’t deliver on that promise. But there’s also the issue of branding and marketing. Many self-help books are written by “gurus” who have built up a following and a reputation. They know how to sell their message, and they’re good at making it sound appealing. But in the end, it’s all just smoke and mirrors.
In conclusion, self-help books are a waste of money. Most of them say the same thing, and what they do say could easily be condensed into a short blog post. And even if they do provide some temporary motivation, they can’t actually help you make the changes you want to see in your life. So if you’re looking for real advice and guidance, skip the self-help section and look elsewhere. Your wallet (and your soul) will thank you.