If you’re reading this article, you’re probably like me. Someone who seeks positivity. I love reading self help books and watching inspirational videos. And that’s actually great!

Who wouldn’t love to take a shot of some good old-fashioned willpower and determination to get us out of any sadness.




But, that said, did you know there’s a dark side to it?


Why You Should Actually Just Do It Yourself & Why Self Help Books Suck

How Humans Work

Before explaining this dark side, I’ll go over a bit of biology on how we as humans work. we full on biologists now

5 Steps to Just Do it and Why to Stop Reading Self Help Books - The Sum Of Life


There are several neurotransmitters (warning: highly technical article in that link) in our body – chemicals that are used to send “signals”  from one neuron or nerve cell to another. They are pretty important in the day-to-day functioning of our bodies. There are more than 200 uniquely identified neurotransmitters in our body each with their own functions. But out of these 4 of them we define as “happy” neurotransmitters because of their part in influencing our happiness levels and mood.

These are DopamineOxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphin.

You might be familiar with some of them. Out of these mainly Dopamine is relevant to this article. But if anyone wants to read more on each of them, I’ll leave a link here. And this.


So what is Dopamine, sometimes called the “Feel Good” hormone. It’s a chemical that when released from neurons in our body, it gives us the feeling of want or motivation and makes us enjoy things.

Remember how you feel good when you do something great, like winning a sales target, or getting a good rank in exams, or getting a promotion, or eating your favourite food? Yep, that’s because of the dopamine being released.


5 Steps to Just Do it and Why to Stop Reading Self Help Books - The Sum Of Life


It’s our body’s way of making us feel happy and satisfied. Without it, life would be pretty depressing to be honest. We wouldn’t even feel like doing anything big because we aren’t getting any happiness out of it.

And that is something I wouldn’t like at all, no sir.


Why Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad

Dopamine gets released during a variety of situations in our lives. Many a time, we seek them out to feel good by getting more and more of this release.

But here’s the thing, we don’t need to actually do anything to get this rush of dopamine. We can watch anyone else like our family or friends do the same thing and it would still trigger the dopamine rush and make us happy.

And that, my dear friends, is the inherent problem with reading too many self help books and watching motivational videos. I can watch other people reach their goals or read a lot of tips on how to improve our lives. And I can get that rush of dopamine and feel good even though I didn’t actually do anything for it.

This dopamine rush only lasts a short while, and after that we’re back at square one. If we don’t actually do anything meaningful for our own dreams, we end up feeling regret eventually. And we’d probably look at more articles and videos and try to feel happy again.

This could potentially repeat infinitely and we can actually go our whole lives not achieving our goals.


5 Steps to Just Do it and Why to Stop Reading Self Help Books - The Sum Of Life


Which would suck. A lot.


So it’s pretty necessary to be careful. It’s good to watch these and learn tips that you can use to improve your life. It can teach a lot. BUT take a step back once in a while and actually try to follow them yourself.

Years from now, looking back, what would we rather say? We felt good by actually doing and reaching our dreams or that we watched someone else reach theirs?


5 Steps On What to Do Instead


5 Steps to Just Do it and Why to Stop Reading Self Help Books - The Sum Of Life


If it’ll help, try what I do today.

  • Watch 1 video (or 1 article). And then stop.
  • Go over it in your mind. Think if any of that were useful or if you learned anything good. Take your time.
  • Then try them out. If you learned many different tips, don’t get overwhelmed. Just do 1 or 2 of them for a few days or a week and see how it goes.
  • When you’re sorta comfortable with it, try the next tip.
  • Once you’ve tried them all out or most of them, then move on to the next article or video.


This helps stop my brain from just seeking out the next rush of dopamine by watching or consuming more and more content, and I get to try the steps myself and get satisfaction that way.


Don’t let any sudden rush of dopamine distract you. It can potentially stop you from getting where you want. Feel good by actually doing good yourself. Anything else is pointless in the long run. If you’re not careful, it could potentially stop you from reaching your goals. As weird as that sounds.


Your life is yours. Take effort and make it the best it can be.



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