Skip to main content

The Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

There's something about always learning, always getting better and always trying your hardest that creates a background hum in your mind of inadequacy of the self and resentment of others far away.

Today I'm bringing you a blog post on this dead website for two reasons. The first, because I need to get this out of my system for the sake of my mental health and second because creativity is a reflection of self and there is nothing more sacred to the human soul (that just means I want to do this for the sake of expressing myself).

At some point in my journey to FIRE I've realised the entire point is to live long and happily. Therefore, FIRE is incredibly similar with the projected values of individuals and society as a whole but of course what people project is much different from what they actually do. Society may want to live long and happily but the individual actions of people taken every day are quite contrary to this. As a society we smoke, drink, gamble, rest, eat and spend far too much. I'm sure there's more to add to that list. I think each of these things in proper moderation is an optimized life but we simply don't moderate - therefore self-help enters the equation.

I pick on society for that very reason - I want to be better than it. By pointing out the various flaws of people around me and especially far away I get to feel so much better about myself. And when this hypocrisy inevitably crushes me in a certain sector of my life (lets say eating junk food) than I hopelessly squirm against the grain of mainstream society to seperate myself from the pack and become better. "I don't eat Skittles but I bet you do you - you must have no self control." That kind of crap.

I don't need to describe to you how stressful and pointless this form of thinking is. It's even more damaging when you idolise influencers in the self-help category who never watch TV, never work a job they don't enjoy, never finance a car, in fact, they've portayed a life where they never lose (except when it leads to winning anyways).

The problem with following such self-help authors is this: they are perfectionsists describing their version of perfection to aspiring perfectionists who relate on some level. The aspiring perfectionists like you and me will then feel crippling defeats over a minor slip up because we temporarily weakened ourselves by surrending self-control. As a FIRE walker, you might feel this defeat every time you make a consumer purchase outside your pre-determined budget. If so, no wonder people drop like flies in this movement.

So it's time to confess. To trying to be perfect. To trying to be somebody I'm not. For attempting to emulate my life to be someone I can't possibly hope to be happy with. To looking over my shoulder far too often for the sake of self-gratification.

The most difficult part of rationalising all of this is simply: change is hard. Improvement is hard. Training and conditioning new habits is hard. Overcoming the hurdles of imposter syndrome and anxiety is very likely normal and incredibly common when you're on a journey to learn and improve. It's also normal to shed relationships in the process even though cultural it's very damaging to do so. 

So is all of this a normal step in the self-improvement process? Am I blowing up for nothing? Or am I a self-help junkie? Until I'm on the other side (for better or for worse), I won't know. I might never know. Same goes for FIRE.

My strategy right now is to take one day at a time and remove the big picture from my head. I'm not building a company with 10k employees. I'm not writing extensive complex code nor am I trying to explain the origins of the universe. My goals and systems are not that complex.

I'm just trying to be happy. It's really that simple.

Ryan Myricks

P.S. Writing this did help me in a tremendous way. I'm going to keep doing it. I have many unreleased articles and I'm considering picking up where I left off.


  1. Hey Ryan,
    Reading this post and your "This is the End" post, it appears to me like you are trying to satisfy the expectations of others (FIRE bloggers, family and readers) as well as a set of rules that you have defined for yourself. And you are beating yourself up when you don't meet these expectations. IMO setting FIRE as a goal is admirable, but the pressure that comes from RE (Retiring Early - and who gets to define what early is?) takes away from the true value of this movement.

    Its true value to me has been about self improvement and being intentional about what I do in my daily life. Its about setting realistic goals and about making continuous small improvements. And the most important aspect for me is about simplicity – simplifying life brings inner peace and calms my mind.

    You have something to offer your friends, your family and your readers. Be true to yourself, be clear about your motivations and be honest and transparent with your readership.

    1. Wow. What a fantastic comment. I think I needed to hear all of that. I have always been a people pleaser and I can recollect many times my wife has told me I'm being too hard on myself. Two things to consider before going off the deep end again.

      I'm glad FIRE has brought simplicity to your life, it has to mine as well. I guess that's why I make these rules for my self and for my readers, so you can gauge the success of your systems/goals. Creates a sort of balance between whats necessary and what's perhaps going to far.


  2. Hey Ryan, just want to reach out and say that what you have done here is important. Every once in a while we need to hit the brakes and do a self check, review ourselves for the sake of our mental health. I have a bit of a challenge seeking goal oriented nature to my unconscious habits which I am sure is what compels some of what you are sharing here. The key for me is to have fun with this journey and do it for me. I will leave you with a quote and a reminder to be kind and gentle to yourself. Cheers ~ Chris

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost." ~ Dalai Lama

    1. Hey Chris,

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I know you mean it from the bottom of your soul. Thanks brother!

      I'll handle that quote well, it's a great one.


Post a comment

Most Popular Posts

Translating VTSAX for Canadians

Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  on  Unsplash Like most of you, I've read The Simple Path to Wealth and thought "Wow! Now to head to Vanguard and set up my account! Hey, WTF??" If you haven't read the book, feel free to read it in blog for m on the authors blog right here . Probably a proper rite of passage for any Canadian pursuing FIRE is to hear about the message from an American blog or podcast and then immediately google VTSAX only to realise that the mutual fund is not offered to Canadians. To add further insult to injury we can't even open a Vanguard account. ....well fuck you too, Vanguard. Just kidding! Vanguard is Canadian-friendly - very much so. They have superb products available for Canadians to buy in the for m of ETF's from the numerous stock exchanges around the globe. This certainly adds complexity to the average Jane or Joe trying to buy their first index fund but not greatly so. In fact, I keep it VERY simple in this blog post called the 7 Simpl

7 Simple Steps to Investing with Vanguard All-in-One Funds

Photo by  Elijah O'Donnell  on  Unsplash You've been thinking about investing for a while but you've been held back by several excuses. Some of these are legitimate (everybody says to do this or that... but is that right?) and some of them are pathetic (I'm not sure right now is a good time to buy.... just look at the news!). I have some very simple advice for you: Fuck the news and fuck the piles of noise everybody is "adding" to the "conversation."  It's simple, you already know you need to invest and you probably have the cash sitting somewhere else collecting a garbage interest rate. The more complex you make it, the more easily these websites, robo advisors, banks and mutual fund companies can profit from you. I have nothing to gain from you - so I have this really easy step process because I haven't been bought to make it more complex or sell you additional garbage. No must-use language from advertisers, no paywall and no book

The Requirements of FIRE

Photo by  Mark Duffel  on  Unsplash I'm here to fix the blurred line between what the FIRE movement is and what is isn't .

The Best Phone Plan in Canada

Photo by  Charles 🇵🇭  on  Unsplash We the community use Public Mobile . Let me tell you why. ** My referral code is at the bottom of the page. Please consider using it to help support my blog and my mission. Last Update: Jun 2020 ** You'll get $10 credit! Here's a list of why Public Mobile is the best phone plan out there. FYI - I'm not paid by Public Mobile, I just really like them and so does the FIRE community. Let us help you see the light. #1 They use the Telus network, which is very, very good. Check your phones compatibility here . For reference, I use a Google Pixel 2 XL and my wife uses an iPhone 6.  #2 Yes, you can port your number. #3 Three very cheap plans that should cover 99% of Canadians AND their businesses needs: *Ontario bias but I've checked and most provinces are identical* $15/month - unlimited international text, 100 minutes, unlimited incoming calls, 250mb of data $25/month - unlimited international text, unlimited nationwide

The Fallout of my FIRE & The End (revised)

Step back, this blog is about to be blown up! Okay, not just yet but you should be a safe distance when it does. If you've liked what I've written here so far, I regret to inform you that this will be my last post. More on that halfway down. Like my Vortex of FIRE post, I'm revisiting a past article and rewriting it from scratch to remove my previous podcaster bias. Since it's my last article, I'm intrigued to see what I come up with. The 3rd and final ending to the Requirements of FIRE: Before we get onto the main entrée that is this blog keeling over and dying, let's first examine one last bit of misconception in the FIRE movement. This little paragraph or two was inspired by friend of the now-deceased blog. Her name is Maria over at Handful of Thoughts , and she owns 3 cars and wants you to know that while it might not be very "FI"of her, she essentially says you can fuck right off. I enjoyed the aggression in the article and wanted to add a point