The Business of Self-Help

selfhelpEvery morning (when I have enough time), I always read half a dozen blogs to start the day. Today, some of the titles of the posts struck me. Consider this:

On the surface, all of these articles promise good advice. It’s curious, though. Have we lulled ourselves into believing we can improve our lives in a few easy steps? Every magazine stand or book shelf is covered with such advice. The self-help book industry is massive, but yet humanity continues to make the same mistakes again and again. So, what’s not working? What’s the appeal of such books, posts, articles where we’re given a number of steps in order to improve our lives?

Perhaps we’re attracted to such articles because we’ve been duped into the idea that following such a regime is a quick fix in our “instant” gratification way of living. After all, who has time to meditate for hours on end to decide the best course? Right?

I like to simplify things even further. Consider this:

  • If you have bad stress, reduce it by changing your life. Much stress is self-induced, so live your life without the drama.
  • If you want friendships, be a good friend. Think of another person more than yourself. Believe me, it works.
  • If you’re a writer, go out and observe people and then write, write, write.
  • If you’re a photographer, go out and take pictures.
  • If you’re an artist, paint canvas after canvas.

I’m not saying you should never read a book on your subject or take a class to improve your technique. By all means, go and do it, but don’t think because you read a book or article by osmosis it will automatically improve your life. What I am saying is a person needs to actually DO something in order to accomplish something. It might take a lifetime to achieve the success you desire, but what else do you have to do?

So, if you think you will find success in three, five, seven or even thirty-six easy steps, you’re kidding yourself. Go out and LIVE.

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6 thoughts on “The Business of Self-Help

    • That’s me. I was always in the front row in school pictures, and once a boss said I was too sweet to make it in business. 🙂

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  1. This is something that I always struggle with. All I want to do is write advertisements, but I always find myself stuck. I get so stressed about doing something wrong that I trick myself into thinking I need to read another book until I can do it right. It is so difficult to take that leap of faith and just go for it and not care about the result.

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