Sometimes I’m amazed at what people share and retweet. Namely, when some self-help guru offers some basic advice about how to live, and people fawn over it.

You want some advice on how to live? Stop listening to self-help gurus.

Everything you need to live your life to the fullest is currently within you. It’s called a conscience. A conscience is the little voice inside of you that tells you right from wrong. And it’s in you as much as it’s in me.

I think what’s happened over time is that we’ve become so saturated with information, that we can’t tell good information from bad. So we skim off the top assuming that if there’s a person out there who has 50,000 followers or more, then they must have something important to share and that their advice is gold.

You know what I call people who make a living giving other people advice? Snake oil salesmen. That is unless they’re a PhD, in which case they’re less likely to be on Twitter and Facebook, and instead are actually helping people who need the help.

But the people I see pushing this nonsense around don’t need the help. They’re just looking for an easy way out of having to do the work themselves. “If I retweet it, it means that I believe it and practice it and maybe it will help someone else.” Bullshit.

Look, everyone has issues. Every. One. Hell, I’m an alcoholic. And here’s what I know about life – money doesn’t buy your way out of having issues. Neither does a PhD. Neither does 50,000 followers. Do you know the difference between people who overcome (or even tame) their issues and the ones who don’t? Doing the work. Not just talking about doing it, but actually doing it.

And it all starts with listening to the little voice inside of you.

You want to live a better life? Follow your heart. Yes, it’s cliche, but it’s true. Your heart is where your conscience lives. And from the moment you’re born, your conscience has been trying to show you the way. It’s often kept me up at night. And no, I’m not perfect. Sometimes I don’t want to acknowledge it–especially when there’s something else I want that doesn’t align with my conscience. Only I’ve learned that life, despite what they tell you on television, is not always about what you want. But rather what’s right. And my conscience has never failed me on right and wrong.

The best advice I’ve ever heard about living life came from a cartoon cricket in a Disney movie.

And he’s not on Twitter.



Jim Mitchem

The Year in Tweets 2014
White Horse

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.