A Dose of Dijana: Self-Help Books – The Magic Formula for (Un)Happiness

Human beings are *very* impatient beings.

I don’t even need to look much further to back up my statement – I only need to take a look in the mirror. While I’m pretty far away from a brat, patience is definitely not my strongest virtue.

I want things – everything – right now.

My willingness to compromise has been declining so fast as time goes by, I’m starting to believe I’ll definitely annoy every breathing & living thing in my radius by the time I’m 60.

If I don’t get things the way I want them right now – which is usually very ideal & unrealistic – the perfectionist inside me starts kicking and screaming and starts a whole self-sabotage dance that annoys me – and others around me – quite a lot.

Hey – no one is ideal! At least I get a lot done to hush down the screaming. *hehe*

While I’m ready to publicly admit my social media addictions (Instagram jokes on the horizon) and flaws – and my efforts to control the little kicking-and-screaming parade in my head – I’ve noticed most people are impatient like myself when it comes to dealing with problems.

As I’ve stated far too many times on a Dose of Dijana, we’re living to become a generation that wants things fixed right here and right now.

We love quick fixes.  We hate waiting – we consider it a waste of precious time.

When was the last time you patiently waited for something?

We want being comforted in the knowledge that there’s an easy solution to the problem giving us far too many sleepless nights.

We love being told that there’s this eternal happiness land we can reach if only we do this or that – something preferably simple that will give us what we want now.

And someone – pretty smart – out there realized that apart from quick fixes, people love one more thing only: being told how to get to the solution faster.

And I believe that’s how self-help books were born.

While Victoria and Omar are discussing self-published books, I chose to dig deeper under the surface on the self-help books.

See, the thing is that somehow, we ended up in an era where there are not only dozens but millions of self-help books, promising to solve whatever has been troubling the little monsters in your head and take you one step closer to eternal happiness.

Now, as a pretty big non-fiction fan, of course, I’ve got my hands on more than a few self-help books. I’ve read some of them and marveled at the advice in the book while I’ve tossed some of them under the bed, never to open again.

My opinion is completely split on the matter – and the perfectionist is kicking and screaming inside my head as I struggle to reach unity on the matter.

On one side, I can’t deny that out of thousands and thousands of self-help books, you can’t help but get at least one useful piece of advice.

For example, I have to admit that I’m much more productive when I get up early in the morning, have some breakfast, follow with some coffee, meditate for 10 minutes, and get to work. It’s the morning routine I follow on most days.

In all fairness, I believe I read the ‘create your own morning routine’ advice in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

But on the other side, I get irritated by the fact that self-help books are made to fit everyone – and everyone’s different.

And every day is different – some days you end up oversleeping, some days you don’t feel like meditating and other days, you’d much rather have tea than coffee!

And you often might end up feeling guilty if you’re not following the advice given in the book or if you’re following it and things don’t work out for you.

So while it’s true that I may be at my best in the mornings, I know more than a few successful friends who get things done at night.

Does that make me better? Does that make me worse?

No, it just makes us different – and different things work for different people!


While I always – always! – appreciate some healthy advice when it comes to tackling the kicking-and-screaming incidents in my head, I get irritated by the fact that the self-help books are trying to sell you the one-size-fits-all story.

The one-size-fits-all magic formula for happiness is what makes me close a book.

I am a firm believer that we are the creators of our own happiness – and happiness can’t be calculated by a magic formula that will always be the same for everyone.

While it’s true that my not-so-little perfectionist in my head hates seeing slow, imperfect things, what I hate even more is when things are forcefully being put together so they seemingly fit – and create the illusion of happiness, not real happiness itself.

So whenever I get my hands on a self-help book that tries to convince me and everyone else that it’s possible to live life and experience happiness, success, love, and every other pleasant emotion EVERY SINGLE DAY by following a pattern suggested by the author, I simply close it and put it under the bed.

I’d much rather gain some life wisdom from reading Harry Potter all over again – at least there, in the fiction world, you’re allowed to be sad, miserable and very much human, whenever you want, wherever you want.

And surprisingly, feeling human, just like everyone else, makes you happier and more content than you ever thought possible.

Next time, I’ll be talking about how much we’re willing to spend on books!  Is there anything YOU would like me to talk about? Drop us a comment and let us know and I’ll try to include it in some of my future posts! 

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