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Why Self-help Books Are Doomed to Fail

Updated on April 23, 2020
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We start with the premise that a product never yields its purpose unless the manufacturer entails why it behaves the way it does. The same tenet bespeaks the negligence most self-help principles have. Every year, Americans spend an average of $10B on motivational books alone — indicating an urge to succeed no different from a man precariously grasping a rope as he hangs on a cliff.

The thing is, self-help books are fundamentally erroneous.

That is, not to mention yet, the repetitive realities they depict, the queries they have failed to reply, and the mental havoc unanswered while they go on to instruct people to do things they don't even know how to do. It's almost demanding rice to cook by itself — a laughing stock of sorts that has only achieved a portion of success in a short-term span.

Really, how long does one intend to dwell in makeshift victories?

Permit me to elucidate. Self-help is self-centered, an attribute which contributed to a society of varying voices with every intent to imprint wacky philosophies down to one's system. Contrary to popular impression, personal success is not the prime aim of living. Common good weighs more than individual satisfaction. The world presents a consistently slanted veracity which often comes in the form of self-help books.

Here's a suggestion: think of your neighbors.

You probably know how to do that, but I still have to remind you. My point?

We are accountable for the people around — the mentally challenged, the financially troubled, and even those in the streets with a bottle of alcohol to waste. Your life is more than an attempt to display trophies in the desk, or doing what you want.

Engage your faculties to look beyond yourself, and be of benefit to everyone with your personal strengths. Start with your friends.

This perspective conjures an image of hands bent to help each other out.

It's not about you.

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    • Quijano Cavite profile imageAUTHOR

      Leroy Klauser Lee 

      11 months ago

      It seems to me that your motivation is driven towards yourself which further proves my point — that fundamentally speaking, self-help is only geared towards oneself.

      Say, how does a broken record fix itself?

      My intent is to reveal the purpose of self-help books shrouded from the observant orbs. Perhaps not all self-help books tell people tales of being themselves and following their hearts, but it boils down to the same principle that makes people glorify themselves as though they are sitting on a chair fit for a king.

      My point? Self-help books are not the problem, but the drive which makes one read them.

      Good day.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      11 months ago

      I really do not agree. Take, for instance, Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power Of Positive Thinking". That was the first self help book I read and I have tried to put the principles to work over the last 50 years. With Dale Carnegie's Book "How To Win Friends And Influence People", I used the principles in that book to (a) bring round a training course that wasn't going well and (b) get a comment on another training course I ran that it was the best course they had ever been on. Self help books do not, per se, try to make people happier, many try to help people achieve what they want to achieve. As a teenager in school, I hated it. I never wanted to study or learn the work, yet I knew I was capable of doing it. I wanted to learn how to motivate myself. When I got my degree, I threw the books out and swore I would NEVER study again and I din't for 10 years. Then I started learning about things I WANTED to learn about, including self help books. I went on to get a qualification in computers by evening classes (this was before Windows 3.1 or PCs, so probably before you were born). The I took another degree by part time study and then after I retired, I went on to do a PH.D. I learnt a lot from those self help books. Not just to be happier but to fulfil my potential for myself. My learning also helped my children because I was able to show them smarter ways to do schoolwork, for instance. Two of them have PH.Ds and the other has a degree.

    • Quijano Cavite profile imageAUTHOR

      Leroy Klauser Lee 

      11 months ago

      Yup, they can help. But to what extent? And to what avail? And after that, what now?

      Looking at the bigger picture, most self-help books intend to make people happier. Then again, it's just another one of those pitiable attempts to live a life centered on oneself with pure expressive individualist mindsets.

      In short, the practical tips may help — but the reason is shallow.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      11 months ago

      Self help books are very often a way of allowing their readers to look around them and find ways to help. Take time management, for instance. If you manage your time better, you will have time to help others. Alternatively, you may be able to improve your income and have extra to help others.

    • Quijano Cavite profile imageAUTHOR

      Leroy Klauser Lee 

      11 months ago

      It's about God — the Manufacturer.

    working

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