DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on Odyssey.
What I mean is that I do not think that SELF-improvement exists, because we as human beings are not as individualistic as much as we think. George Carlin once said a similar idea, that if you are reading a “self-help” book written by somebody else, than it is technically not “self-help,” it is just “help.” Indeed, help requires another person’s assistance, since the remedy is not always internal for problems such as mental or health disorders.
The phrase “self-help,” while one that is marketable, makes negative implications. It does not conjure in my mind medical professionals who actually know what they are talking about and are always making new discoveries, rather I think of scamming gurus. On the part of the consumers, it also creates an image of them as narcissistic, even if they have good intentions. However, there are definitely consumers who would be misguided into believing that the solutions to their problems are simple, when they take time to solve.
I have been actively trying to lose weight ever since I hit 196 lb. To put that into perspective, I am 5’11, so for someone my height, according to the Body Mass Index, I would have been considered overweight. Although I managed to slowly lose weight and still have a long way to go, my motivation for losing weight has nothing to do with “bettering myself,” rather it has more to do with analyzing my current problems with my weight and contextualizing it within ten or twenty years. Considering how ever since I gained a lot of weight, my feet have become sore easily, I find difficulty in standing up straight, and I struggle to fit into my pants, I try to think “Would I stay the same or get any worse?” I also put into perspective the idea that almost 40% of the United States population is struggling with obesity and I do not want to become a part of that statistic.
I may sound bleak, but I attempt to explain my position in the most direct way. It also always me to think about how truly important healthy foods, supplements, vitamins, and exercise are to overall health and adopting my mindset makes their values increase, at least in my case. So, basically these types of life choices are not simply an improvement to health, rather it would restore health back to the entire country. If they can help one person, they can at least help multiple people.