From Self-Help Addiction to Self-Mastery

The Self-Help Addict by Daniel Gefen
The Self-Help Addict by Daniel Gefen

From Self-Help Addiction to Self-Mastery

Podcaster Daniel Gefen’s book shares how to transition from compulsion and perfectionism to mastery and joy
 From Self-Help Addiction to Self-Mastery
From Self-Help Addiction to Self-Mastery

I heard of Daniel Gefen through his podcast, Can I Pick Your Brain?. I found his interviews engaging, open, vulnerable, and funny (especially his interview of me).
His guests range from billionaires to mixed martial art champions to world-class marketers to celebrities. Somehow he gets them to be vulnerable, open, and engaging.
The more I listened, the more I learned that he wasn’t always that way. In fact, he started off picked on and made fun of. We’ve interviewed each other. I’ve been impressed with how he led his guests and wanted to make that personal development available to others.
He just released a book, The Self-Help Addict, that put all the stories and results of his ten-year journey from disaster–such as getting evicted from his home with his wife and family–to hanging out with billionaires.
I asked him to share about the book.
Josh: “Addict” sounds bad, like a problem. Is it?
Daniel: It could be, but it doesn’t have to be. This book was ten years in the making. In the first part, I just read and read and read. I consumed books like crazy. I took courses. But I didn’t actually improve my life. I didn’t do.
A lot of people do the same thing, sometimes not realizing it because they consume so much and think they’re changing.
I still have the urge to improve myself. Now I act. I wrote the book for people who also feel those urges, to share how to channel them to work for you.
Josh: In the book and on the podcast you’re vulnerable and raw. Why? Isn’t that scary? What do you get out of it?
Daniel: In the book I share myself to connect with people like me who could use a hand, some warmth, some sense of where this hard, scary process leads. Many authors and even gurus give advice they haven’t lived.
Can you imagine if you lost a loved one and someone who never experienced a loss said, “I understand what you’re going through”? If they didn’t experience it, they can’t really understand.
On the podcast, I share everything because I’ve learned that it creates better relationships. If I bring everything I have and don’t hold back, then so will my guests. I don’t prepare questions. I prepare myself emotionally. I never know what to expect.
Naturally, this way of being is most valuable with my wife and family.
Josh: Being evicted, leading your father to say he loved you, business struggles, … were these things hard to share?
Daniel: Living them was hard, but they were part of growing. Stories like those, and ones of guests (such as you), are what I wish I had heard when I was struggling to make all the self-help material I was addicted to helpful.

I had to share them for myself, but more importantly, I had to share them for the reader, so he or she knows where I’m coming from, one hundred percent.Josh: There are a lot of self-help books. What makes yours different?
Daniel: I wrote The Self-Help Addict because you have to transition from reading to action to make this stuff work and all the books and courses I read didn’t help me do that. This book shares how I did it. It includes exercises so you can, in your personal way, follow that path of acting and doing.
The story has to be compelling, from someone who lived it. That’s why I share my struggles. You didn’t ask about my triumphs, but I shared them too.
Josh: Is the result that you’ve arrived? Are you done?
Daniel: Yes and no. I will never be perfect in the sense that a self-help addict gets stuck on perfectionism. Instead, I’ve learned to handle my emotions so they work for me.
For example, fear isn’t bad. It’s like a child that wants my attention. I’ve learned to handle it like I handle a child. I don’t let it’s tantrums override me, but I don’t ignore it either. The same with other emotions. I can’t control them perfectly, but I can use them to improve my life.
Josh: Will the book lead readers to start podcasts too?
Daniel: It will lead them to their versions of it. I love talking, so a podcast was right for me. They’ll find and do what’s right for them.

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