More psychological revelations happen at beer-soaked urinals than at self-help seminars.
However, studies keep demonstrating the dangers of the amber-liquid, some even saying it can take years off your life. At the same time, new-age self-help gurus like Jordan Peterson and podcasters like Joe Rogan seem to be where the modern aspirational man seeks his advice.
We’re not here to convince you that alcohol is the key to a long and healthy life. But in terms of self-improvement it may be more effective than a Youtube video. Think about it: whether or not a profound mental breakthrough comes from getting a bit tipsy, or from a motivational speaker, the impetus for change is internal.
If you’re happy, drinking typically results in little emotional change (or if you’re celebrating something, euphoria). However, if you’re in denial about some aspect of your personality or life, drinking tends to get you thinking about it. The trick is to reach the BAC that allows you to self-reflect, but not continue on into a drunken stupor in order to forget it all. Easier said than done, sure. But at least it doesn’t cost $39.99 a month and involve listening to a self-proclaimed guru who’s less ‘spiritual guide’ and more ‘marketing genius’.
Scientists say men who drink beer daily reduce their risk of heart attack. As for livers, scientists said “fuck livers” and then high-fived.
— Chase Mitchell (@ChaseMit) March 28, 2012
Listening to a patronising twelve-step guide to cleaning your room will not lead to a promotion. Nor will reading a book about selling everything you own and buying a one-way ticket to South America solve your relationship issues. In fact, to get through either of these activities, one could be forgiven for knocking back a drink or 12.
The not-so-subtly named Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck aims to address this. However, in its attempt to present itself as the edgy, non-pretentious version of self-improvement literature (an $11 billion industry) the world so desperately needs, it relies on Charles Bukowski—an alcoholic—to make its point.
The introductory chapter reads, “This is the real story of Bukowski’s (literary) success: his comfort with himself as a failure… Even after his fame, he still showed up to poetry readings hammered and verbally abused people in his audience… Fame and success didn’t make him a better person. Nor was it by becoming a better person that he became famous and successful.”
The book was onto something here, but then it went and undermined it all by making the same steroetypical points that traditional self-help books do, like ‘focus your energy better’ (except appealing to its ‘woke’ audience by expressing it as ‘only give a f*ck about important things’). Now this is not bad advice, but it’s also not advice worth paying for. Everyone knows deep down what they could be doing to improve their life.
If a self-help book motivates you to actually do it, then great. But rather than pay for the trendy version of Tony Robbins, you might be better off trying one of Australia’s best value whiskies and trusting in Plato’s Symposium, which said that wisdom and happiness are supposed to come to you when you’re lying around comfortably with a glass of wine.