Universal ideas are fascinating. Let them be religion, science, self-help or common sense. How amazing it is to find rules that apply to all people – when we are so, completely different…
Now, most of the advice one gets never worked for me. (Fuck god(s), scientific advice that changes every 20 years, who needs self-help to be thin or make a million dollar he doesn’t need – and why should I believe my grandpa that one can not enjoy his work?).
I can not imagine myself standing out somewhere and say “You all have to do this!”
I mean one of these guys out there works too much, so the best advice is “slow down, chale” while for the lazy guy in front the TV one shall say: “move your ass, man, already!”
Writing advices means usually that you’re writing to everyone (or to everyone). They can not work.
The How to Win Friends and Influence People from 1936 is the first self-help bestseller. Time Magazine said it was the 19th most influential book on the 20th century according to Time Magazine with 30 million copies worldwide.
Over 300.000 people gave votes, resulting 4,14 points out of 5 on Goodreads. It’s a very good score. The top comment, however tells about a profound – but negative effect on a reader’s life. The lady who took the book’s advice of being agreeable to everyone and looked for the best in everyone ended up with the wrong people – having built superfluous relationships and neglected deeper / long-lasting ones. Her life was derailed thanks to the bestseller.
The Bible or the Quran are great, universal books that are ready to give a social base and background to billions of people. And they ruin millions of people’s lives and take their chances for a better life. Science tells us how to even go to the Moon and is getting close to cure cancer but takes away pride, sense, meaning from many. Tim Ferris’ 4 hours workweek certainly helped some to make a fortune taking it easy and gave completely unrealistic expectations to many.
It’s an awkward feeling to realize for someone who’s always told never to make a mistake (aren’t most of us raised this way?) that taking a strong stand, doing something “important” or public means we’ve got to live with the responsibilities of all the wrong we do too.
I used to believe that reading a paragraph for all people on this planet could change history and human behaviour instantly. If I found that passage now I’d probably burn it.
Quick change is no good change. It’s impossible to give perfect advice to all. But one has to do what he has to do and one has to write and publish when there’s a fire. Quenching the fire inside is a sin – even if sin doesn’t exist.