Virtually everyone wants to improve their lives: more money; more beauty; more influence; more love; more adventure. It’s a truly rare soul you can’t sell to. But even as sharky advertisers seek out and exploit our insecurities, spiritual or self-help gurus command us to “appreciate” what we have. We learn that being ungrateful equates to missing out on the best things in life, but in the same breath, we also learn to aspire to the lives of American billionaires. You’ve seen those annoying memes on LinkedIn: a photo of Steve Jobs or Elon Musk accompanied by a byte-size piece of entrepreneurial wisdom. The media pushes us to reach for the stars and strive for their kind of earth-shattering vision — or at the very least worship them for having pulled it off.
The land of self-help and success literature can be an exhausting and alienating place, friends.