There’s no shame in wanting to better yourself. After all, that’s pretty much your goal on this planet: to journey towards your most evolved self. Ideally, to become someone that’s a huge step-up from the whiny, slimy human you were when you first set eyes on the world.
There are different routes to reach that goal. Some pursue higher studies. Others do charity work. Those who do not have the luxury of time and money buy self-help books. If that last statement resonates with you, there’s no shame in it. Trust us. You are not alone.
Many people clamor for self-help titles. A high level of demand means supply has to keep up. Between 2013 and 2019, self-help books increased from 30,897 to 85,253. That’s a lot of helping the self. And if you’ve read too many of them, chances are you’ve reached your maximum tolerance. That’s most true if even after you turned the last page of the latest self-help book you purchased, you still feel like, excuse our French, a douche.
Now, you’re probably looking for alternatives. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of things you can get instead of this season’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
The sight of a body of water does things to your soul. Remember your last visit to the ocean. There’s something quite visceral about the experience. It’s akin to coming home. It’s like you have once again gained access to your mother’s womb and the world’s womb in general. In front of the sea, the last thing you want to be is a horrible person. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford a beachside property.
As an alternative, you can buy a pool. It does not have to be something grand. It only needs to be calming and well-maintained. The latter you can do by using a muriatic acid substitute with a balanced pH.
A dog won’t teach you How to Win Friends and Influence People. But it will surely win you lots of friends. If your dog’s cute enough, it might even help you influence people. That’s the magic and charm of a doggo right there.
And a dog won’t ask anything in return for its love and loyalty to its human. Of course, you need to provide its basic needs such as food, water, and regular exercise. And that right there is your ticket to being your better self. Taking responsibility for another living creature who’s entirely reliant upon your kindness can only make you kinder.
A Netflix subscription
There are sitcom classics on Netflix you need to watch. Not just for the LOLs but for self-improvement too. Think Friends. The show’s final season aired in 2004. That’s more than a decade ago. Still, Friends has stayed relevant and relatable even for the Gen Z crowd who never knew how it was without cellphones and the internet.
That’s because Friends tackle something fundamental to humans: friends and family. Yes, there will be squabbles. Yes, there will be misunderstandings. But those are part of the deal. And you have to be forgiving enough to laugh about them and shrug them off and choose friendship and family at the end anyway. How self-help can that get?
A yoga mat
Yoga mats have evolved. They’re not just pink and blue anymore. Some yoga mats have psychedelic colors that will go well with your psychedelic personality. However, keep in mind that yoga’s purpose is to calm your mind. Ideally, for a while, you eschew psychedelia and focus on finding your center. Once you find your center, the rest will follow.
A happy-go-lucky friend
Sometimes all you need to shake off the blues and feel better about yourself is a friend who knows how to laugh and grab life by the horns. If you’ve met such a friend, lucky you. If you’re still waiting for them, stop biding your time. Get out there and mingle. Your next best friend is just an introduction away. As they say, strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet. Who knows what this stranger can do for your personal journey? And vice versa?
This piece does not hate self-help books. Whatever works for you, you do you. And, in all essence, this content qualifies as self-help, too. Therefore there’s no moral ascendancy here to warrant judginess. Yes, you may think of this list as our way to be of help to you. That is, if you’re ready to graduate from self-help books and explore other ways to catapult you to your version 2.0.