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Why Self Development Articles Can Suck

This is the last in my series of self development articles. There are a number of reasons why I have decided to withdraw from writing about self-development. Firstly, I’m not at all sure my loyal readers want to read about it. Second, the articles attract no feedback whatsoever. Third, I have overstretched myself lately in terms of writing and blogging commitments. Something has to give.

But the final straw came when I discovered this article in researching self development articles on the web. Please don’t carry on reading if you are offended by strong language. In fact I will place an image below this sentence so you can avert your gaze and get the f*** outta here 🙂 No, I’m serious! Please don’t read on if you are easily offended by swearing.

self development articles

The article I found is titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. It’s written by Mark Manson. I had never heard of him until I found this article.

This is what one site says about him –

His real name is Mark Manson and was born in Austin in the year 1984. Entropy was always considered as a bright student. In the year 2007, he completed his graduation from Boston University and started his journey in the field of PUA. His website turned out to be extremely popular among thousands of guys who seek dating advice. As a result, he quit his day job in the year 2008, so that he can completely focus on his website and internet business. After getting fruitful results, in 2009 he started to travel all across the world. In fact, he visit around 40 countries and even learned four different languages.

Apparently a PUA means ‘pick up artist.’  So, so far we know he professes to know about the art of seduction and that he is now 32-years old.

Now, I don’t have an issue with a guy writing about seduction. I don’t have a problem with anyone who writes about dating advice.

I do have a problem with phony people.

I have a problem with people who write about self development who are full of shit. I find this article of Manson’s to be entirely phony. Why?

In parts it’s funny. I love the references to The Wire. One of them is worth repeating now –

Essentially, we become more selective about the fucks we’re willing to give. This is something called ‘maturity.’ It’s nice, you should try it sometime. Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy. As Bunk Moreland said in The Wire (which, fuck you, I still downloaded it) to his partner Detective McNulty: “That’s what you get for giving a fuck when it wasn’t your turn to give a fuck.”

See what I mean about the strong language? The whole article, (a 12-minute read) is littered with the word ‘fuck’ and the phrase ‘not giving a fuck’ and many variations on that theme.

Initially, I was taken aback. Not because I am a sensitive soul but because it irritated me. But, I took a deep breath and re-read it. [Note to Mark Manson – I don’t suppose you give a fuck what I think]

He does provide some useful information and advice. But, and it’s a big but, he’s a phony!

In any sphere of life credibility is a useful trait. It’s essential if you are writing as a so-called expert. Here is my problem with Manson. Stick to what you know and don’t bullshit. Here are examples of Manson’s BS –

Then, as we grow older and enter middle age, something else begins to change. Our energy levels drop. Our identities solidify. We know who we are and we no longer have a desire to change what now seems inevitable in our lives.

Excuse me! Thirty Two now, 30  when you published the article! Middle aged my arse! It gets worse –

Then somehow, one day, much later, we wake up and we’re old. And along with our gum lines and our sex drive, our ability to give a fuck has receded to the point of non-existence.

Bullsheeeeeet!!!! What a crock of …

To borrow a word from Manson’s lexicon, how the fuck does he know?

Without revealing any details about my own gum lines or sex drive (what a relief, I hear you mutter), I can assure Mr. Manson that at 69-years-old I must not yet be old! Why? I still give a fuck about many things and hope I always will.

The trouble with the personal development industry, self development, self improvement, call it what you will, is that it is full of phony people. They are all trying to relieve you of a buck or three. They don’t give a fuck about YOU!

One of Manson’s exes also had something to say about his character –

To read his blog, you would think that Mark Manson has grateful former virgins all over the world bowing down and kissing his feet. You would think Mark Manson has harmonious relationships with women. It’s fantasy, my friends, it has nothing to do with how nasty Mark Manson really has been to women. Would it surprise you to see this email Mark Manson sent to me, acknowledging his LONG list of angry ex-girlfriends? In his own words:

Do you want to read what he wrote? Course you do!

“Right now, you’re #1 on my ‘unpleasant fallout from angry ex’s’ list… First place out of about 80… Considering the sample-size of my sexual history, that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment. You have to be seriously batshit, persistent AND obnoxious to take that spot. You beat out the girl who broke into my apartment, the girl who faked being raped to get me to come over, and the girl who intentionally gave me an STD.” – Mark Manson

The ex then wrote –

I have to wonder reading this, did Mark Manson lie to all these women also? Does this really sound like a man who should be a “role model” for people all over the world?

She gets in on the act with the ‘fucked’ word –

I wish for Mark Manson to understand the importance of keeping his word and for him to make good with the people he has fucked over. And until Mark Manson gets that healing, he has no business giving dating advice or any other advice to anyone else.

self development articles

I could go on but I think she made her point. Who is ‘she’? She is no dumb blonde that’s for sure. This is her bio –

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world’s foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. ”

Erika Awakening is her trading name.

I am pleased I found the Manson article. It confirmed to me that much of this industry is baloney! Yet, I somehow doubt if anyone gives a fuck about what I think 🙂

Manson and I have one thing in common – a love of The Wire.

[sociallocker id=”3284″]The Epic Email[/sociallocker]


Featured Image: courtesy of Alexie Ganchoon of Frenxie’s Photography, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.

You can view all the previous summaries in the series by clicking on this category link. And here is a link to my Personal Development page for your convenience.

The series of summaries of self development articles works like this – I find an article on the web using the tag ‘self development articles’ and I summarize it for your convenience. It is intended as an aid to find worthwhile self development articles on the web and condense them for you. It saves you time!

I got the idea from using the Blinkist app. I can hear you saying “what the hell is that?” The clue is in the banner below. If you really as smart as you think you are, then check it out by clicking on the banner.

It helps you work smarter and be smarter! It is an aid to self development.

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To search for all personal development books at click here.

For a general search of click here.

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  1. G G

    LOL. Steve, I watched with interest your development of the Self Development articles. I wondered how much of a following you would get. Your articles are spot on. I liked that you didn’t mince words in your reviews.

    I use to do SD seminars in Sedona, Arizona – the land lends itself to being an excellent place for seminars. That was in the 1990s. Since then the SD market is saturated with self-development gurus most calling themselves LIFE COACHES. Most without any ‘life’ experience to coach.

    I was going to send you to Youtube for Penn and Tellers great vids called BULLSHIT about Life Coaches but they’ve been deleted. Guess someone got to Youtube LOL.

    Personally, I think you’d have a good niche in reviewing these SD gurus especially since your life experiences are way beyond any of what SD gurus could ever hope or dream to acquire.

    There is a model you may wish to study if you wish to continue with this niche by a guy called Ethan Vanderbilt – A good honest review of SD (SD sounds like a disease 😉 by you may go over well.


  2. Adam Lawrence Adam Lawrence

    Yeah, I admit I’m not a big fan of self-help articles, though I appreciate your expose in this summary.

  3. G G


    Your SD (sounds like a disease:-) articles were good. I feel that with your experiences in life you could find a nice niche in exposing SD gurus etc. I follow Ethan Vanderbilt when I want to find out if a biz opportunity is legit Perhaps, coming from someone of your experience people would be more inclined to listen to you then the other so-called SD exposés which are thinly disguised to promote their own SD products.

    I use to do SD courses in Sedona, AZ in the 1990s and the one thing I heard too often was how most SD courses are merely the opinion of the author or a regurgitation of another guru. I got out of the business when people were only interested in New Age woo woo and not the truth.

    I know I’d listen to a former barrister, and cop etc with life experience a lot faster than some unregulated guru that has all the answer and wants to charge me $495.00 for the privilege of getting spammed with their latest and greatest SD find.


  4. cathnealon cathnealon

    Okay, I had no idea who Mark Manson was or is. I work at a hospital and my co-worker had the The Art of the ‘F’ book and was just going crazy over it. I read the first 24 pages and decided to research the author. I always research the author.

    I came upon an article he wrote from his FB page on the American Dream. His ending paragraph where he trashes people who go online to buy products that will make them feel better made me spit coffee on the screen. Here it is and see if you catch the hypocrisy and/or irony:

    .”..people are turning to skimming a little bit off the top from the next guy over, to make it appear as though they are a success in which they’re not. Whether it’s selling penis pills on the internet or creating bogus websites that trick you into clicking on ads, or you’re a lawyer who tries to scare recent defendants into giving you money not to sue them, it all becomes not only more justifiable, but it becomes more necessary to maintain the same cultural belief that hard work always wins out.”

    Wow, well Aristotle did say ‘know thyself.’

    I googled his name and found your site but am not interested in inspiration, motivationor enlightenment just wanted to comment on Manson.

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