from Chris Wesley


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:

  1. To entertain without educating - you spend some time amused, but you walk away as you were
  2. To ignore external realities - all you have to do is tell your family to go to hell and you'll be free
  3. 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.

Yes or No - What's Your Style?

I love Jim Carey, and this is just a bit of fun, and a great way to start your new year with a new World Footprint.

>> Jim in Action

Staying on Track at Work

Hello Sam,

So you're organising your day but being unable to stick to your plan because of distractions. Here are some thoughts on that which you may find helpful.

>> Use the Stuff I Gave Sam in Your Own Working Life

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

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