Help Yourself

This may seem somewhat hypocritical coming from a blogger whose unsolicited advice is sometimes reminiscent of that coming from a motivational speaker, but the self-help industry is a total scam. I and many of my friends have held that belief for quite a while now, and the reason I’m bringing it up is that the CEO of the company I work for has a minor obsession with it. He even uses the entire company as a captive audience for his blog on the topic when he hosts the morning meeting, where he parrots his favorite self-help authors and motivational speakers. Rarely, if ever, does he have his own ideas to share.

To be fair to him, though, most self-help authors and motivational speakers don’t have any original ideas of their own, either. They didn’t come up with journaling, meditation, gratitude lists, or manifestation on their own. They took the ideas from religion and actual psychologists and marketed them to the masses.

Oddly enough, Satanism has a strange similarity to the self-help industry – at least it does in the way I practice it. When I became a Satanist, I was looking for a change, which is the whole purpose of self-help. I was in a bad place and needed help. The things I had been doing in the past were not working the way they once did, so I changed my behavior and mindset based on the advice and proclamations made by an author in a book.

The main difference is that, while Satanism is a religion, the self-help industry is just that: an industry. Self-help authors are not writing to help you or anyone else. They are writing to make money, and they are submitting their work to publishers who are publishing books to make money. Whether the methods described actually work or not is not the point. As a matter of fact, many of them have little, if any, scientific basis. The people writing and publishing those books aren’t concerned with peer review; they’re concerned with making sales, and what sells are cosmic secrets that have been sitting in front of you the whole time.

A good rule of thumb when getting your shit together is to avoid anyone with a secret method that can be known for a price. That’s a good way to get scammed or unknowingly join a cult. The reality is that there is no secret. Barring being the sole inheritor of an obscenely rich, heretofore unknown uncle, there is no quick route to getting the things you want. Even if there was, I don’t think I’d actually want that. Being a real-life Mary Sue sounds boring as hell.

The truth is, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get the things you want in life, be they money, romantic relationships, the ability to unabashedly be yourself, or even to simply not feel like shit at every waking moment of every day. Becoming a Satanist was the start of my own process to becoming the person I saw myself as, but Satanism didn’t do it for me. I was the one who put myself out there in a position to meet the man who is now my fiancé. I was the one who quit my job so I could get out of the shitty East Texas town I lived in and moved to Houston. I was the one who took a risk and took time off of my shitty job to interview for the slightly less shitty job I have now. I had help and encouragement, and I’m grateful to those who offered it (you will be remembered when I descend to my hellish throne), but I still had to fight and work my ass off to get where I am now. Even then, some of my plans didn’t work. There will be more failed plans in the future, and I will have to continue to fight and work my ass off to get where I want to go.

The good news is that you can too. You don’t even have to do what I did.

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