DO SELF-HELP BOOKS HELP?
This is Part 14 in a series of articles about the “self.”
It’s a multi-billion dollar business and the sales are increasing.
ANSWERS TO SOME PROBLEMS?
We look to self-help books for answers to our problems.
Thousands of titles exist on a broad range of topics. Weight loss, diet, personal relationships, dating, loss, grief and finding love are some of the big topics.
IT’S AN OLD GENRE!
Self-help advice dates back to the writings of the ancient Greeks.
Around 600 B.C., the first of the Greek sages, Thales of Miletus, made the observation that the most difficult thing in the world was “To Know Thyself.”
Difficult, yes; a life-long project yes; but rewarding, exhilarating and fun!
Also, about the most important thing you can do as a human.
The British newspaper, The Guardian, credits the emergence of self-help literature 155 years ago to Scottish author Samuel Smiles, who sold 20,000 copies of his self-help book in 1859.
Do you remember hearing of the phrase,”Day by day, in every way, I’m getting better and better?”
The idea was you were supposed to repeat this to yourself 20 times a day or more.
That was coined by the French psychologist, Émile Coué in 1920.
Optimistic auto-suggestions they were called and they have morphed (but not much) into affirmations today and some people live by them.
This concept lot positive thinking has increased into an aspect of positive psychology and is a common theme of self-help authors.
I AM A SELF-HELP AUTHOR
I am such an author, by default, and although I’m not big on endless affirmations, I do know that positive self-talk is a helluva lot superior to negative self-talk!
The Great Depression (1929-1941) was a time of economic and social crisis.
It was in those dark times that Norman Vincent Peale brought his “power of positive thinking” to the public, initially through his radio broadcasts during the depression of 1929-1941.
Dale Carnegie introduced his book and seminars. “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” in 1936.
I saw a TV interview tithe self-help author and a critic who pooh-poohed the whole genre and suggested authors were basically fooling people.
The man being interviewed was one of the authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Mark Victor Hansen.
His reply was accurate I believe.
He said that if a person bought a $30 book and they got even one little thing that improved their lives out of it, then the book and the purchase was worth it.
That makes sense to me.
My own book is called: Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here? The way to know yourself and get what you want.
It will be available here soon as well as its companion workbook (one for the general reader and one for at-risk students.)
It will also be available on Amazon. No price or date yet.
For now, you can get a core chapter of the book as a gift.
It’s FREE on this site just for registering (also free) with us at Self-knowledge College.
It will be on Amazon soon for around $3.
You can also get a free consultation with me on any problem that might be driving you nuts.
If you have a problem with time management, personal goals, choosing a career path, the inability to choose a life partner (maybe you consistently date the wrong people) or any other troublesome area, you can help solve it with self-knowledge and I can teach you how to do that.
For a 20 minute–FREE— introduction, please email me: frankdaley@ rogers.com or call me: 905-584-0617
I’ll be with you.