There are currently 579,701 self-help books in Amazon telling you how to live a better life.
We are told to get more productive and make every minute count, but to meditate first and fill our bodies with protein rich, low carb, gut-friendly smoothie so when we smash glass ceilings with our fists, our mind and body will feel no pain.
The self-improvement industry is worth $12 billion annually in the US alone. We laud these life coaches and gleefully place them on a better-living pedestal. Oprah. Sheryl Sandberg. Tim Ferris. Tony Robbins. All multi-millionaires who have made a fortune out of telling us to live our best life, to take what we want, to strive, and run, and keep moving this rat wheel of expectations and promises and manifestations.
The built narrative now in pop culture is, if you’re not progressing or striving for more, if you’re not working hard on yourself, then you’re hardly working.
And what’s the result of this human “progress”?
We are more depressed than ever.
Depression is now the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide. The World Health Organisation is calling it a “global crisis“. The last ten years has seen an increase of another 18 per cent, the rate of antidepressant use in the US alone rose by 400 per cent between 1988 and 2008.
The more we’re sold self-help, the less happy we are.