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The Only Self-Help Advice You Will Ever Need

by Darryl Brooks 9 months ago in advice

Wisdom of the Ages Applicable to Every Situation

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

I remember back when they had things called bookstores. I would wander through, gaze at the different genres and be amazed at how many books there would be on a single subject. There might be twenty books about alpaca farming. How did anyone ever sell the second book about alpaca farming? Was there anything new to learn?

Or history. How could there be more than one book about World War I? Did history change at some point? Okay, maybe there are unique perspectives. “All Quiet on the Western Front,” comes to mind. So two books. Throw in the Japanese and maybe three. Total. Italians? Nah, fuggedaboutit.

There were two sections, though, that always blew my mind. The first was weight loss. In my mind, there should be three books on weight loss. How to Eat Less. How to Exercise More. And for the more advanced or ambitious, How to Eat Less While Exercising More.

That’s it. Get off your ass and go for a walk. And it doesn’t matter what you eat, as long as you eat less of everything. You can’t just eat less of one thing. For instance, eat less broccoli, but eat more chocolate ice cream. I believe you can eat anything you want, as long as there is less of it.

Except Kale. Don’t eat that shit.

Then there is the self-help section, and that’s what I want to talk about. Looking through the massive number of self-help books, you assume that everyone is bat shit crazy. I think you’re bat shit crazy if you read some of those books. Or you will be when you finish How to Love Yourself if You Hate Everybody.

Nowadays there are almost no book stores. You do everything online. You want to know something; you google it. It’s become so pervasive, that not only is google a verb, you don’t even have to capitalize it anymore. At least, that’s what I read in the book, “Live a fuller life with lower case verbs.”

The problem with that is, instead of the 200 books they had in an entire section, you get 10,000 results from one search. And most of them are crap. You click on what you think is an article about alpaca farming and it turns out it’s trying to sell you a book of kale recipes.

So, I want you to forget about the self-help section of the bookstore. I want you to never search for any self-help topic on the Internet. Just follow this one piece of advice in everything you do, and you’ll have no problems.

Don’t be a dumbass.

That’s it. It covers all subjects and solves all problems. It could have put Dear Abby out of business.

Dear Abby, I’m thinking of having sex with my son’s fifth-grade teacher’s girlfriend’s father.

Don’t be a dumbass.

If you apply that single philosophy to every decision in your life, big or small, you will need no self-help advice. How to Achieve Success in Business? Don’t be a dumbass. How to Save Your Marriage? Don’t be a dumbass.

There should be a course in school taught in each grade: Don’t Be a Dumbass 101.

“Hey, who do you have for 4th period Don’t Be a Dumbass?” I don’t know, but I hope he’s not a dumbass.

They should teach it in kindergarten and daycare. You don’t need to teach kids how to stack blocks on top of each other or put the crayons back in the box. Just teach them don’t be a dumbass. It covers all.

But to be really effective, we need to begin at infancy. Teach this life skill from day one. Stop constantly telling babies over and over things like, “Say dada,” or “wavy bye-bye,” or “Pick those fucking Cheerios off the floor.” Just repeat the one life lesson they will always need.

Don’t be a dumbass.

And it’s not just for self-help. It could replace so many things. Every warning label you have ever seen could just say one thing.

Replace don’t drink the gasoline from this pump with, Don’t be a dumbass.

Replace don’t put your hand under a running lawnmower with, Don’t be a dumbass.

Replace don’t eat raw chicken, with Don’t be a dumbass.

You could even put it on containers of kale at the market.

And how about instruction manuals? You buy a new product difficult to master or assemble. It comes with a 97-page manual. The first 96 pages are safety warnings. Now, it could just be two pages.

Page one: Don’t be a dumbass.

Page two: Put this shit together.

I hope you’re with me on this. I’d like to start a movement, a revolution. I’d like all of us to wear t-shirts that say, Don’t be a dumbass. We need bumper stickers that say Don’t be a dumbass and put them on all of our cars. Unless you own a Ford Pinto; that would be redundant.

I’d like us all to rise up every day, fling open our windows, and shout at the top of our lungs:

“I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

Except we’ll use the quick version.

Don’t be a dumbass.

So please share this advice with everyone you know. Or at least that dumbass you’re thinking of right now. Get the word out. Make the world a better place.

Don’t be a dumbass

advice

Darryl Brooks

I am a writer with over 16 years of experience and hundreds of articles. I write about photography, productivity, life skills, money management and much more.

Read next: The Heart of an Artist

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