Self Help Drivel
You know - there's so much drivel written in the
area of self-help, especially at this time of year.
I stay keyed in to a lot of newsletters and other
professionals' stuff, so I know what the market's doing and because
of that, I, perhaps like you, am getting a flush of it now, hoping
to tap into the new year marketplace.
What makes so much of it drivel? Well,
for me, the common failure mechanisms are:
- To entertain without educating - you spend some time amused,
but you walk away as you were
- To ignore external realities - all you have to do is tell your
family to go to hell and you'll be free
- To ignore internal realities - "first, you have to stop
drinking and smoking". Great - well, what next??
A rule of thumb I always use is, having read some alleged pearl
of wisdom, I ask myself:
"Exactly what can
I see myself doing, now,
to apply this lesson to my own life?"
If I can't find the answer, then the pearl could well qualify as
drivel. I call this my where's the meat? rule.
Let me show you what I mean with some examples. Yesterday I was
reading some new commandments and they were things like: "People
are stupid, self-centred and sometimes cruel - love them anyway".
- Well, I agree with the sentiment, and I can see the value of
having done it, but how do I do it? Where's the meat? How do I bury
or dissolve the apparently-natural tendencies I have to resent those
tendencies in others? Presenting such a lofty goal without a how-to
just leaves people feeling inadequate. Now some of them will buy
the book, thinking some adequacy will rub off on them, but you know
- it won't.
Another snippet in this morning's IN BOX is based around the revelation
that I am, it seems, remarkable. "You're Remarkable!"
- it says. Wow. You know -I had this inkling...but now it's official,
huh? Apparently, everything will be OK if I'm simply me. Really,
what a crock! What if the ME I am prefers to sit on the sofa watching
TV eating Quavers all day (have I said too much?)? I WON'T BE OK!!!
Now I do have a similar quote I rather like: "who I am is good
enough is only I can be it fully" - but that's about self image
and being OK with who you are. That's necessary, but it's not sufficient,
to take your life to the next level or give you what you want in
2011. You need other stuff. Real stuff. Things to do, that make
things happen out there in the real world of bills, rain, relatives
and redundancy. That's my canvass. That's what I help people with.
So - rant over, but I Counsel caution when taking up with these
people. Don't be tied to the past by your own pessimism, but don't
be sold a false future through blind hope either. How will you know?
Ask the magic question:
"Yes, but - where's the meat?"
Oh yeah. Happy New Year!
Yours, Mr Meat :o)
PS: Here are some more bits and pieces you may find very useful.
Bizarre Rituals & Monkey Brains
I often observe that human beings can "do"
logic - we know that two plus two equals four - but logic does not
usually determine our behaviour. We eat the wrong things, resist
exercise, keep dating the wrong people, and so on. I've likened
this to being sat in the passenger seat of a car with a maniac behind
the wheel. You can keep screaming at him "YOU'RE HEADING OFF
A CLIFF!!!" - but he doesn't listen. To a large extent this
is the human condition. But why?
Find out, then join the online debate & read about exploding
pens,knotting carrier bags and the colour red