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Surya Rajendhran

Why I now use reddit for self-development

self-help2 min read

For the longest time I've been a self help and self development junkie. Like many others, 'Rich dad Poor dad' was my humble beginning into this genre and I was hooked. Over the years I've consumed from various creators and sources. YouTube, Books and Podcasts have helped me make changes in my daily life that made it better.

But if I'm going to be honest, I probably use about 10-20% of those principles in my life right now. It's only a small niche group of people that can simply read a book make a change and have it stick for the long term. Many of these failures could be attributed to circumstances, poor execution, perhaps even laziness. Or so I thought.

And when I least expected it, I came upon this beautiful community called reddit. It first looked like Yahoo answers (which no one should trust!). But then I realised that they had subreddits that were more than just categories. They were communities of their own. The followers actually cared about the quality of the content posted there.

Then I realised they had a subreddit for just about anything. Fantasy writer? There's a subreddit. Developer? Got your back there. Love Makeup? Try r/makeup. Into home decor? Welcome to r/homedecor. Love productivity? There's r/productivity, r/selfdisciplined and so much more.

Most active subreddit are well moderated and incredibly useful while being endlessly entertaining.

Then I realised what was missing from the self-help books I've read.


Yes, atomic habits might have worked for James Clear or the 4 hour work week might have freed Tim Ferris from the 9-5 cycle but that cannot work the same way for everyone. But what did help me was regular people posting on subreddits who have tried to customise these self-help advice shared their successes (and failures). More importantly these were normal people who have had to manage peculiar issues that you had to face.

This has changed my life and my approach to productivity, especially when it comes to trying out new things. Hearing from people who have failed and succeeded has helped me appreciate a more trial and error process (even if there are a lot of errors!). So perhaps it might help you be a little less critical of yourself when you fail or maybe you might find that important piece of information needed to make a process or productivity hack work for you.

Here are a few subreddits to check out if you don't know where to start (in increasing order of goofiness):

  1. r/productivity
  2. r/getdisciplined
  3. r/help
  4. r/programming
  5. r/relationship_advice
  6. r/cscareerquestions
  7. r/investing (or r/wallstreetbets if you dare)
  8. r/india (if you want to have a dialogue with fellow indians)
  9. r/lifeprotips (you're gonna love this!)
  10. r/Naruto (if you're in the mood for some anime-style motivation)

I have found reddit immensely helpful but it is also fairly hard to land on a subreddit that works for you and while there is r/findasubreddit I think a simple tool might be time efficient. I am planning on building a web app for that purpose, something that perhaps uses a decision tree for logic. While I am full stack developer, it would be fun to work with someone on this project. Hit me up!

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