It’s fascinating to me that we use a term “self-help”. If you look closely, you’ll see that most “self-help” is designed to help the author, the coach, the guide, the consultant. The more they can convince you to buy the next thing they have to offer, the more of your money they can acquire.
I once asked “if it is called ‘self-help’, why do we need someone else’s book?“. During my own journey of discovery, it’s become clear that asking for, and receiving, help from others, is a key strategy. We don’t have all the knowledge we need. We were not taught “life” at school. Other people have become specialists in areas we are not, and in topics where we need help.
That led to a discovery of a concept I call “taste”. We often don’t know who might cross our path when we need their guidance. And in the world of “squeeze” pages and sales click funnels, we are bombarded with more “get rich quick” and “be amazing now” schemes. Self help books are a taste we can consume without committing to the full meal. We can taste some principle, concept, snake oil, scheme, without sending our bank account details to the guru.
If we don’t like the taste, our parents are not breathing down our neck pushing us with “if you don’t eat your broccoli, there’s no dessert for you”. We can taste something else, try a few more samples, and enjoy the experience.
I have discovered that I have a few walls when it comes to “gurus”. They may believe and promote one thing or another that I am not fond of. I have found a lot of my friends who love to indulge in one form or another of snake oil practices, where the practitioner is making more money than the subject is benefitting. In the past, I have avoided their self-help books and materials. In recent times, I have pushed through my personal walls to taste their wares, knowing that they will not be my self-help chef, but some of their side dishes may suit my palate.
Keeping an open mind about your personal well-being, mental and emotional health, and even physical standing, will ensure you find all the methods, tricks, tips, and techniques that suit you.
You’ll soon find which delights and inspires you, and then you can construct your own “self-help” meal. As you grow and evolve, you’ll find new treats, new meals, new sustenance.