Posts Tagged ‘self help’

Some people scoff at self-help, associating it with fake optimism and mental horn-tooting.  I get it.  I know it’s not possible to always feel happy, present, and fulfilled; to never feel tired, jealous, or afraid.

But for those who would find it altogether risible, I would ask them not to dismiss the forest because of a few rotten trees.  Just because Isaac Newton spent much of his life chasing the philosopher’s stone, doesn’t make bunk the rest of his work on calculus, optics, and gravity.

To me, self-help has never been about earth-shattering discoveries and previously unknown magic-bullets, but rather the gradual accumulation of infinitesimal changes that can transform our lives when viewed as a whole.

I think another reason self-help gets a bad rap is that some of its proponents have a nasty tendency to dismiss others’ claims of disadvantage.  No, poverty is real.  Death is real.  Accidents, disease, and family dysfunction are real.  Self-help should not be a weapon to bludgeon someone into self-blame and censorship; it is simply a tool to improve one’s lot, even if by a little (but sometimes by a lot) despite your starting position.

Read Full Post »