Self-helping Others


Encouraged by a friend of mine I took a look at this new title called Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless by Steve Salerno. It’s currently on my to-read / to-buy list (BTW, there’s at least one other title of similar nature).

The fact that a book like that was published in the first place triggered enough thoughts already. You see, I’m not a big fan of “the self-help industry” myself – in the sense that [1] some person [2] tells others what to do.

[1] Some person

Do I know what the author is really like? Do his/her actions speak as loud as his/her words? What’s the person’s background? What is his or her make-up, traits of character?

“Did you ever stop and wonder who decided that these people had all the right answers for you? Have you taken business advice from a former Mormon missionary (Stephen Covey), or relationship advice from a woman on her fifth marriage (Barbara De Angelis) or one of her ex-husbands (John Gray)? (When asked on the Howard Stern show about her recurring trips down the aisle and likely skill at smart relationship advice, De Angelis retorted, ‘At least I know when a relationship should end!’)”


[2] Tells

You cannot build a bridge between what is and what you’d like it to be just like that. Changing takes time and persistence for one thing. Secondly – why would you believe time and persistence were enough anyway? After all, we don’t know how much of who we are is really… changeable in the long run.

Besides, instead of simply being told, I’d rather have a look.

There is one thing though. Inspiring books can be just that – inspiring. They can provide insight in the same manner as we look into others to better understand and shape ourselves. Reading is never as efficient as acting out, mind you. But it shouldn’t do much harm. I hope to accomplish a similar thing with entries on Increase my own awareness, learn, rethink, share & inspire. And hopefully – grow.