A Letter to Self Help Addicts

This post is for the die hard personal development fanatics. For growth seekers with bookshelves piled high with Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Jack Canfield and Stephen Covey. For spirit junkies and soul based business owners hooked on Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo, Gabrielle Bernstein and Kate Northrup. For create-a-life-you-love-rs swooning over Chris Guillebeau, Tim Ferris and Leo Babauta. For get-shit-done-rs following Casey Neistat, Chase Jarvis and Gary Vaynerchuk like it’s a goddamn cult.

If you can’t get through a Tony Robbins video without wanting to take over the word, if your iTunes is flooded with Abraham Hicks talks (cough*me*cough), if you’re the first one subscribed to any blog, podcast or YouTube channel that offers to transform your life in five simple steps, or are currently signed up for a webinar of any kind…

Warning: you might be a self help addict.

It’s okay, I’m one of you. We’re a tribe. The first step is to own it. To accept and cherish yourself for the butt kicker that you are. Keep striving for greatness, ninja people!

Now for the tough love. This isn’t a pep talk. I’m not going to urge you to become your best self or encourage you to reach for the stars (anyway, I think that’s a Buzz Lightyear quote). In fact, I’m going to suggest taking a break from all that. Not a breakup, but if self help asks, just tell her (or him!) you need some space – you’ve earned it.

We get carried away. We get so involved in intention setting, goal planning, dream making and action taking that we forget to praise ourselves for where we’re at (which is ironic, because that’s the whole point). What if we were radically happy as the work in progress, not quite there yet, aspiring, ever changing imperfect beings that we are, present moment.

What if we stopped obsessing over self growth and celebrated ourselves for the super special, more accomplished than we think, miraculous individuals that we’ve become, no strings attached. What if we were ecstatic with the state of our lives exactly as it is. What if everything we have in this very moment were enough.

Dear self help junkies, put down your podcasts. Close your books. Hide your journals. Shut down your browser windows. It’s time to take a well deserved break.

I’m not going to ask you to make a list of everything you’re grateful for. I’m not going to ask about your dreams and big visions. All I’m going to do is remind you that when you take away the expectations, the wish list and the constant desire for more, we’re left with ourselves, as we are. And that should thrill us. We should be wildly excited by the idea of simply being alive. We should be explosively passionate, deeply loving, and totally in awe of the fact that we are here, now, living, breathing, observing, participating and soaking it all in.

Let’s choose radical happiness, as is.

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