self help books

So my mum is reading the secret apparently its a great book and it will change my life. It basically tells you what the ‘secret’ to life is and it gives you pointers on how positivitely will influence your day to day life and make an impact on your future. Then a friend of mine is reading ‘A new earth’ this book apparently explains why people are the way they are, and it helps you understand yourself in order to change, she is also reading or rather she has also read ‘why men love bitches, from doormat to dream girl’this book is actually quite interesting, it gives you insight into how men think and it helps you learn how to act in order to keep a man.

Here is my two cents on self help books, i think that if you are going to read a self help book you need to realize that its not set in stone, i mean the concepts might be great and all but you shouldn’t close your mind off to everything else… Take a little from it and move on but don’t try one self help book decide it doesn’t work for you and then jump to the next one and forget all about the last one. I don’t think life has a formula, if it did then there would be one large self help book/encyclopedia and not the thousands that are on Amazon right now. These days self help books are almost like a religion… i mean i called my mum to complain about my immigration issues and she said ‘Njeri dont say negative things, say positive things and positive things will come to you… you should read ‘the secret’ Now maybe its just me but that sounded alot like ‘Njeri you should read your bible… pray to God and everything will come to you’… A few months later the secret was long forgotten and my mother had shifted her focus to a new book, so you will have to excuse me for being wary of self help books but from watching people who read them they couldn’t possibly have all the answers.

I do think that there are some very well written self help books out there like my personal favorite for years has been ’48 rules of power’ by Robert Greene... In this book he gives you 48 rules and he details them and gives you real life instances of where successful entrepreneurs used these rules and made millions… perhaps i like this book because it describes how people rose from rags to riches and perhaps i like it because he talks about the Rockerfellers, Donald Trump and how they rose from nothing… Either way its an involving read. Another book i like, which i think encompasses all the rules of governance out there is ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu, I would do this book a disservice if i tried to describe it…get it, read it! That is if you haven’t already..

I like Autobiographies but a friend of mine told me the other day that i have a particular kind of genre that i like reading and i assume everybody else does too… perhaps thats true in fact it probably is so i will give you some of the best books that i have read in this particular genre… ‘Sowing the mustard seed’ by Museveni…hmm thats weird this is the first book i haven’t been able to find on Amazon, i wonder why that is…‘Freedom at midnight’ by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins this is about how India and Pakistan got divided and how they achieved their independence, it sheds a lot of light on how the English influenced their colonies. ‘The long walk to Freedom’ by Nelson Mandela i think everyone has read this book, if you haven’t get it and read it. Thats all i can think of for right now but i will rack my brain trying to think of more books till then Adios!

PJ O’Rourke – “If government were a product, selling it would be illegal.”


8 thoughts on “self help books

  1. I personally don’t agree because I come at the self-help industry from an entirely different angle.
    The way I look at it, the number of people who recognize that they have a problem and realize they have the power and ability to solve that problem is very small.
    The number of people who commit themselves to solving that problem NO MATTER WHAT is much much smaller.
    The number of people who pick up stuff like self-help books, seminars, listen to sermons, go to school to deal with that problem is even smaller.
    The number of pe totally to applying them and only give up once they know they have fully applied every single principle within context as it should be, and adapted everything that can’t be applied to their particular situation is so small it’s statistically insignificant. Examples would be weight loss, one’s relationship to working life, relationships and divorce etc etc
    Solving problems takes time, effort and patience: to find folks who will commit to giving up all 3 till the problem is solved are extremely rare.

  2. Mwangi im with you on that but my problem with the whole thing is how one minute its God’s word and the next its just a book… I hate being preached to about something while the people preaching aren’t really practicing. Im all for the guy who reads the book and follows it to a T, but as you said hardly anybody does that.Its like i said, the thing about self help books is the only help when you want to help yourself…and you only want to help yourself when your depressed and searching for the meaning of life and youre only searching for the meaning of life because something went wrong and youre confused… if any of those books was the answer then they would have stopped writing self help books on the same topic over and over…I think if you want to change you can change with or without the book. the book just makes the things you know clearer and more defined. So if my mum or my friend wanted to change, they would change…. i think they change and then blame it on a book and then use the book as the escape route at the end when they conveniently toss it aside.

  3. @meek meek: I agree. I think that we should definitely develop a scale between “BS teachers” and “People who can be trusted” with criteria to be trusted being heavily reliant on whether or not someone practices what they preach and whether their teachings have positively affected their life.
    I also think that whenever we engage in conversation regarding self-help and personal development with each other we should strive to communicate the other person where we are in our journey, what we have and know and what we don’t so we can know where they’re coming from and not assume that their endorsement of a book will solve our current problems because our problems are so different.
    Finally, I think a lot of people will do anything to discredit self help books because they are either too scared to apply the teachings and/or enjoy being in a lower position either because they feel loved there or feel safe or comfortable or many other reasons.

  4. I think your right and i also think its important to remember that we read ‘self’ help books selfishly for our own personal gain… so if we do decide to share we should check first to see if the other party is interested… Im all for self help books…but what your reading might not be what i want to read so i feel like, to an extent, its pushing what you believe onto someone else…My mother has changed from being a Catholic to being a Protestant to practicing Yoga to Being a Rastafarian and she is currently A Buddhist [at least as far as i know, she might be a ‘secret’-ist too] and each time she changes she tries to convert me too… Like religion self help books seem to be a fad…Im not a fan, i read them i take what i think is relevant to me and i move on. I dont think they can be true in there entirety… if they were then life wouldnt be a journey…

  5. As I said before I am coming at this from an entirely different perspective and this response is no difference. I never ever like to dabble in things i.e. try to take a sample from here and take another one from there as I move along. I like to pick a path and stick with it to its fruition. It might be possible that the reason that your mother keeps changing religions isn’t necessarily because the religions don’t give what they are offering, some folks do stick to these religions their whole lives, but it could be perhaps because she might like the thrill of trying something new or just likes to dabble in things.
    Personally, after being a dabbler for the longest time, I am now at a place where I subscribe to the school of thought, do excessive research and find a path that is most in line with your personality and goals, take that path and stick to it until you solve the problem, correcting course if need be along the way. Is it possible to sign up to receive updates whenever comments are updated on wordpress?

  6. a book that is simple, has no preaching and a guaranteed life outlook changer, is “who ate my cheese”. 50something pages of self reflection and definite eye openner. I really really really suggesteveryone to read it (grecommended/given it to all my friends, workmates, and even about to send to my fam too, and i read it only 2 weeks ago!)

  7. 90% or higher of motivational books out there are rubbish. A large number of the people who write them do so only to motivate their wallets and in reality have no qualifications/skills/experiences. I shall be back to elaborate.

  8. Because such a large number of self-help books are nothing but get-rich-quick schemes benefitting the authors I don’t bother with them. I have better ways to spend my time than reading one!

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