Friday, April 30, 2010

Why people fail At Self Help; Don't Talk About It, Be About it.

I have a dirty little secret to share with you...

95% of the guys reading this page, will NEVER get better with women.

But it doesn't end there 90% of people who buy a self help book NEVER finish the book, let alone implementing any changes the book suggests that would change their lives.

95% of people who join a gym in January, will never come back starting in February. When I used to work at 24 Hr fitness a lifetime ago, we used to laugh about this and call them the New Year's Resolutioners.

97% of people who purchase a course or book on wealth building/Investing NEVER even set aside a portion of money to get started.

What I'm trying to impart to you dear reader, is that changing yourself is difficult, and there is no magic membership, product, book, or idea that is going to do it for you.

Most people just are not going to be able to stick to a program long enough for it to become a habit and to ignore doing that which they are used to.

This used to astound me. I mean I knew patterns extended to the parts of our lives that we were not consciously aware of ( Dating Patterns, Coping Strategies,) but you would think that once someone made the decision that they wanted to turn their life around 180 degrees they would understand what that meant.

Turns out it's actually the opposite, and I used to buy into it. Being somewhat of a self helper no matter how much I try to deny it, when my friends would talk about how his screenplay would be in Matt Damon's hands by 2009, or tell me about how they were going to make millions by getting a shortcut in business through a "friend" they had just met a week ago. I'd listen and try to be supportive and then when the failures would inevitably come, I'd pretend they didn't happen. Because that's what a good friend is supposed to do.

But somewhere along the way, it hit me...

I had friends who were kicking ass at life. And they didn't really feel the need to CONSTANTLY talk about what they were doing and get reassurance and support that they were going to make it.

And not to toot my own horn too much, but I have finished and implemented EVERY self help product or book I've read(Except for the Mind Your Brain Program by Doug Bench but I defy anyone to finish it when you have to write an hour of standards a day and if you miss once you have to start all over). I make notes, I summarize them in my own words and if there are not exercises that come with the product I create my own so that I actually get something out of them. Same thing with business goals, Game goals, and fitness goals. I'm also proud to say that at 25 as a full time smoker I run a faster mile now (5:17) than I did when I ran track and didn't smoke in high school (5:24) plus I didn't get fat by 25 as various fat people told me I would :P

I never once thought about talking to my friends about all of these things though, because it wasn't being done so other people would think I was awesome, or so that I could tell people about how hard I was working or how busy I was.

I do self help, because I believe in consistent evolution as a person. As soon as you stop improving yourself, you become stagnant and bored, and life loses it's challenges and fun IMHO.

So here's a fw tips on how to not become a self help statistic.

1. Don't read more than one self help thing at a time. If you're focusing on Game, focus on Game, if you're looking to make more money focus on that, etc... The more you pile on the harder it is to make real changes.

2. Start small, but start the day you begin reading. It could mean saving $5 in a drawer or saying "hi" to a girl on the subway but if you start when you start reading/watching/listening to the material you'll have a much higher chance of sticking with it.

3. Figure out what the bare minimums are and then do a tiny bit more. If you have to work out 2x a week try to workout 3. If you need to cut back your spending by 15% try for 20%. By setting the bar a little higher, but not unrealistically so, you are actually 5X more likely to achieve your goals.

4. Create short, medium and long term goals for yourself. Most people only set a long term goal and then quit on the road to attaining it. Instead you should set easily achievable goals that you can reach within a month to build some confidence for yourself.

5. Don't say shit. The more you talk about what you're going to do, the more pressure you're putting on yourself to actually deliver. Most of the time people are scared to take action so they discuss they're lofty goals in order to feel like they are actually doing something to make progress. You aren't.

As I said in the subtitle: Don't talk about it, be about it.

JS- The King Of Content and a proud NON Self Help Statistic


  1. I like what you say especially the part about simply growing as a person. Ironic that we invest less in our most important asset - ourselves - than we do in other things. The only thing I really question is the statistics - I've read similar facts elsewhere but do the numbers come from a study or observation..?

  2. Anonymous12:17 PM

    Nice post.. but you smoke now but didn't back in high school? Perhaps you should try quitting smoking. Now there is a self help challenge...

  3. Anonymous3:09 PM

    ah that's actually contrary to antohny robbins

  4. Anonymous9:51 PM

    dude stop smoking its disgusting

  5. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Great post...totally agree with you on the 'don't say shit' post - great stuff Sinn!!!

  6. Great post man... I make a habit of finishing every book i read and implementing at least one good idea from it...

    It's funny, some people see self help as a spectator sport... something to read about, and watch other people use...

  7. Gotta go with the 'start as soon as you read about it' point. Learn a bit, do a bit. That's by far the best way, outside of full blown mentoring to acquire any skill.

  8. James5:11 AM

    I do think it's important not to waste your time. If you're reading a book and don't enjoy reading it or see how it could help you, it may be more efficient to cut your losses and get another book. Don't use this as an excuse, but most people refuse to stop because of the time they've already invested and it just means wasting more time which could be used more usefully.

  9. James5:14 AM

    Oh, and as for number 5 (sorry about double post), telling someone else can make you more accountable to your actions - you feel you must or you'll a) let the other person down, b) be embarrassed/feel pathetic etc. Also people can ask how you are progressing towards your goal, and nobody wants to say "I gave up".

    That said, great post. Especially like the start small and one thing at a time bits, I often break the latter (and end up not finishing either).

  10. Anonymous8:16 AM

    smoking gets you laid, bitches!

  11. Anonymous9:38 AM

    put up a replay of the day game call pronto

  12. I think people need a balance between coming up with their own insights and reading other peoples.

    I also like to use metrics for goals. By tracking how many days each month I go to the gym, I can tell if I am slacking. Same goes for other things, rather than being subjective, the numbers don't lie.

    I also agree with reading only one self help thing at a time. At one point I was reading two books at the same time that had two drastically different approaches. One was about going with the flow, the other one was about going after what you want. Those different mindsets cannot coexist, and can lead to insanity.

  13. Here's something all men should live by, Real men talk with their actions, not their words!

  14. Anonymous10:40 PM

    Good read. Would be great if future posts could have similar content as this as well