Are you a self-help book fanatic?
As a general rule, self-help books can help you gain new insights, perspectives, and solutions to any problem, situation, or opportunity that you normally don’t think of. However, if you rely exclusively on self-help books, it may not work for you most of the time; it may cause over-expectations and disappointment.
How did self-help books come into existence?
The first piece of self-help was found back in ancient Egypt called ‘Sebayt’ which means “teaching”. The book discusses the instruction of life. Then, another piece which was a letter of a father to his son, The Maxims of Ptahotep, which recommends moral behaviour and self-control. (Shapiro, 2013)
The 18th century should have been a boom of self-help in which people looked for advice in weight-loss, marriage, parenting, time and money management, self-control, success, and many more aspects in life that raised concerns (Shapiro, 2013). Time by time, the self-help industry has been so profitable that in 2018 it was worth $10 billion and expected to rise in the future. (LaRosa, 2018)
The Characteristics of Self-Help Books
Self-help books generally help readers solve their own problems regarding a particular topic, as I mentioned above. But most of those topics I learned about were how to become rich, how to not procrastinate, and how to stay in routine. It is expected that self-help will reshape a collapsed belief system and become a valuable resource. From the perspective of self-help, I see that it does help readers to take the advice and guide themselves accordingly. Taking the title of the book as an example, “How to Get Wealthy?”.It would list out steps to build your own wealth by following their recommendations, shifting your mindset from normal people to the wealthy, etc. Other topics may or may not follow a similar structure, depending mostly on the authors.
Why I Also Not Encouraged To Read A Lot of Self-Helps?
On the journey of reading books and trying to make it a habit, I was first attracted to self-help by their appealing title. Some of the well-known Think and Grow Rich, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People do all have such titles that catch readers’ attention to read. But then, with reading a few chapters, I found it wasn’t appealing to me and pretty much dragged me down the feeling of excitement. It’s just my personal opinion among others still going well with it and rate those books as “highly recommended” and “must read ”. Therefore, I became more selective and careful in choosing books to read. I also discover novels, thrilled genre, iconic, all-time favourite reads, fiction and nonfiction, sci-fi, etc. And life with books actually feels beautiful with stories of life, love, friends, values and nature. Self-help can also discuss these areas in life but its dryness, hard structure seems to lack gentleness and cohesiveness.
In my opinion, self-help may not be applicable to all the readers exposed to it. Here we have more than seven billion people on the planet, yet a few of the standards noted in the book can apply to all of them without consideration of our setting, circumstances, or opportunities. Isn’t that bizarre?
Generally, self-help is effective at some points of a problem. It would be better for readers to choose self-help books that will empower them rather than setting unrealistic expectations that may lead to disappointment. Hike your Hike.