For most of my adult life I have been a Self-Help Junkie. I have hundreds and hundreds of books on the subject, most incredibly say the same or similar things and because of reading so many self-help books I tend to come off sometimes sounding in my writing like a self-helper. I cannot stop myself from wanting to help people to improve themselves and I cannot stop myself from wanting to improve me. My friends simply accept this as part of my personality and for a long while I have accepted that is who I am, doling out advice as if I have all the answers and God love me maybe I do, but who wants to listen to that shit all the time? People do come to me for advice and I love it, but what I have found is that people mostly just want to be heard. Because I have noticed big-time that most people don’t do as they are advised. I know I sure don’t! And let’s face it if I did follow the advice of every self-help book, manual or tape/cd set I own I would be the most enlightened puppy on the planet. You can read stuff, pay a therapist, go to an anonymous meeting or get a psychic reading and still never follow the instructions you receive, it’s called free-will. So if you know this stuff are you required to practice it or just take it all in and see what comes out at the end. I like the saying, “ignorance is bliss” because if I don’t know I don’t have to shit!
Lately though I have stopped main-lining self-help stuff and have in fact sold many of my self help books on Amazon. It’s a truly freeing experience and I have earned some extra cash in the process. But I’ll tell you what at first it wasn’t easy, parting with all those books, some I hadn’t read. Ugh. I hope someone else will put them to good use. So I have been going through this change in realization that I can steer my own ship, make my own way and find my own path without all of this extra-curricular activity and then today I open one of my email messages and this is what I find:
“The Disease of Self-Improvement”
“The very act of trying to improve ourselves causes us to believe that there is something wrong with us in the first place.”
It’s a free report by Dr. Robert Anthony and if you go to his website you can download it. And on his website he also takes comments so I read through them and found this, my favorite one:
“I really like the clarity of your thought and writing, Dr Anthony. This reminds me of an article I read called “From Self Help Addiction To Self Reliance” by Wily Walnut. It is kind of funny though where you start out this report saying so clearly that we have all the answers within and then end it by trying to upsell us to your Real Mind LIfe Strategy system! Hilarious too all the fuzzy-wuzzy SECRET stuff at the back end laced with all the hypnotic commands to ‘STOP RESISTING, START ALLOWING’ and to ‘put yourself into a non-resistant state of mind ! All while reaching for my wallet presumably!! I love it! You are such a rascal! You are really the best at this stuff, so subtle and skilled at it that I really like you even if you are hypnotizing the shirt off me! So, for me, A+ for the front and A- for the back! Thank you for the free report and for all your other ideas so beautifully expressed.”
I did NOT download that free-report since I quit my addiction, but I think that this comment proves that someone will use reverse psychology to sell another self-help book labeled as a non-self-help book as another way to part you with your money and the free report thing is simply a sales letter to hook you in. Great marketing strategy, but I still feel it feeds off of those of us who believe that if they can find the answer in a book life will be golden, but it just isn’t true. I did of course click over to read what Wily Walnut had to say and I liked it a lot and he wasn’t trying to sell me anything a big plus in my book nowadays!
I think the way I am feeling right now can be summed up in a quote, well I have so many:
“People say that what we’re all seeking is the
meaning of life…I think that what we’re
really seeking is the experience of being alive.”
~ Joseph Campbell
So let’s have at it!