25.2.14

Self Help


When I was in my twenties I spent a lot of time in the company of people who loved self-help books. In one case there was an entire shelf of the things on their book case. Not content with reading the books, these lovely, well-meaning people would go to seminars, discussion groups and talk endlessly about improving their sense of well being.

This all comes from a good place. Who doesn’t want to feel better, be more successful or more loved? What made this love of the self-help book more noticeable was that many of the people who owned and read the books were completely fucked up and miserable. Quite a lot of them were successful in their own field, but screwed up and sad with it.

I was reminded of all this last year when forced to go on a one day course which involved arrow breaking, bar bending and a day of time wasted on mumbo-jumbo, adrenaline boosting tosh. I may come across as a little negative so, in fairness, I should say almost everyone else who attended enjoyed the day, even if it seems to have had no long term benefits for them. I was sceptical and instead of being caught up in all the positive energy, I became angry and annoyed.

Recently I started pondering on whether I was wrong to be so negative. Maybe there is something fundamentally blocked or closed within me that stops me progressing. Perhaps the seminar wasn’t full of bullshit party tricks and short term nonsense.

So, in order to get another hit on my 50 at 50 list I’ve decided to (deep breath) read a self-help book all the way through and maintain a healthy, positive attitude while I’m doing so. The book I’ve chosen is ‘ShiftYou Thinking. Change Your Life’ by Mo Shapiro. I chose this because my highly motivated and successful sister-in-law gave me her copy (years ago) and it’s only 80 pages long.

Let’s see what happens. Oh, if you’re interested in all this stuff I suggest taking 30 minutes out of your ay and watching this.

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