"Self Help"

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24 Nov 2019 03:39 #346030 by Uzima Moto
Replied by Uzima Moto on topic "Self Help"
The Self help I've been indulging in lately is shadow work.. of course you have Robert Greene and his books.. they all teach mostly about the power of the mind or how to apply it in varying ways..

You can get all this info for free thanks to "the internet of things" lol

Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem
By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.

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24 Nov 2019 04:17 - 24 Nov 2019 04:19 #346038 by Skryym
Replied by Skryym on topic "Self Help"

Rex wrote: It's for people who get sucked in by the title and concept without the patience to do their due diligence and try to get a passable understanding of the subject.


With a twinge of humility and guilt, I looked over at the small library of self-help books I've assembled over the years. Most of these were gathered during high school, when I misinterpreted my teenage moodiness as depression. I have to admit that you are right. I was looking for a quick fix, and was captivated by any author who offered the fastest fix with the most flowery prose. While I think many other people fall to this same trap, I feel there is a more fundamental problem behind the self-help industry:

It perpetuates self-help. For some people, merely seeking "self-help" is a form of acknowledging that they are flawed1. Feel free to explore the source more - but keep in mind that the author ends by promoting his own solution to happiness. However, he highlights another interesting point that ties into some of Shinobi's ideas. "It's a market driven, rather than peer-reviewed industry"1. The self-help books that fill bookstores seem to rotate in "generations" where they all have the same market buzzwords. Popular today, forgotten tomorrow. A couple years ago there was a small spike in Stoicism, and there was a whole surge of books that applied snippets of Stoic wisdom to subjects as random as football and corporate life. There probably is a kernel of real wisdom behind all these books, but how can we sift through it? Anyone can write a book, few earn PhDs or survive holocausts (I'm thinking specifically of Viktor Frankl here).



I think questions 1 and 2 are answered, if somewhat haphazardly, in my response.

2a) Is that such a bad thing? - No! My initial response may have shamed the self-help industry, and a quick google search reveals legions of people who feel the same way. However, I think self-help books can introduce people to the source of their problem or questions they never thought to ask. However, there is a chance that people remain stuck in a hopeless loop of checklists and bullet points that perpetuate the problem I talked about earlier.

Should Jediism be reduced to this? It already has. Amazon is full of books that tell people how to sprinkle Yoda or Jedi mind tricks into their day. In the ongoing discussion about the doctrine, some members raised a good point that we shouldn't take the doctrine too seriously. Easily accessible, accommodating information is usually what brings people here in the first place. Nobody can force them to take the intimidating steps into the religion and philosophy beyond it - but that is the way it should be.

At this point I'm not entirely sure what point I was trying to make. I used to be so gung-ho about the self-help genre and felt compelled to weight in, but I don't think I contributed to the positive development of this conversation.

The self-help industry is an easy target, but it is not the problem. Technology has shortened our attention span and mass-media / self-publishing has created a million mini-prophets. We can cherry pick from unlimited schools of religion and philosophy, which decreases are ability to settle down and commit to something.

If I had Herculian faith and commitment in a random click-bait article written by a fraud, that random click-bait article could probably change my life.





(1) Manson, M. (2012). 5 Problems with the Self Help Industry. Mark Manson.
(2) Nemko, M. (2014). Stop with the self-help books already! Psychology today.

There is no bad weather, only bad attitudes and bad attire. - Gandalf the Grey

Skryym's Novice Journal | Meditation Journal
Last edit: 24 Nov 2019 04:19 by Skryym. Reason: grammar

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24 Nov 2019 07:22 - 24 Nov 2019 07:28 #346046 by JamesSand
Replied by JamesSand on topic "Self Help"

If I had Herculian faith and commitment in a random click-bait article written by a fraud, that random click-bait article could probably change my life.


I'm sure there is at least one motivation speaker, if not an entire self help book dedicated to the idea that patience, persistence and consistency wins out over the latest best idea.

In any case, I'm not sure how to take your response - I see all the points, but overall you seem to be standing where I would want to build a fence...
Last edit: 24 Nov 2019 07:28 by JamesSand.

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24 Nov 2019 12:29 #346055 by Skryym
Replied by Skryym on topic "Self Help"

JamesSand wrote:


In any case, I'm not sure how to take your response - I see all the points, but overall you seem to be standing where I would want to build a fence...


Hmmm.... I do have a bad habit of walking the middle ground even where a side should be taken.


Whatever "need" the self-help industry is trying to capitalize on, I appreciate that it exists. People are interested in being better (or at least more productive people), and I like that. Many self-help books probably aren't fulfilling this need, but I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.


There is no bad weather, only bad attitudes and bad attire. - Gandalf the Grey

Skryym's Novice Journal | Meditation Journal

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24 Nov 2019 19:34 #346072 by JamesSand
Replied by JamesSand on topic "Self Help"

Whatever "need" the self-help industry is trying to capitalize on, I appreciate that it exists.


I sometimes doubt that.
Some of the books come off a bit like they are identifying problems you never knew you had, but don't worry! they can fix them!

I'm getting distracted with my own loathing of salespeople, and I'm not sure that was the original thrust of my topic...

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24 Nov 2019 20:47 #346085 by Skryym
Replied by Skryym on topic "Self Help"
I understand you there. I meant to say that I appreciate the fact that people want to improve themselves. It seems like a much more popular notion today, and the presence of the self-help industry is a testament to that.

I agree with you in the sense that, while I appreciate the public desire for betterment, the industry itself is only here to profit from that desire, which leads to situations we talked about earlier, where they perpetuate existing problems or create problems they didn’t know they had.

I guess my opinion is that the self-help industry is a necessary evil? It wouldn’t be present if people didn’t want to better themselves, and genuinely helpful literature (for example, Man’s search for meaning but Viktor Frankl) wouldn’t be publicly available in most bookstores and libraries.

There is no bad weather, only bad attitudes and bad attire. - Gandalf the Grey

Skryym's Novice Journal | Meditation Journal

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04 Dec 2019 09:52 #346713 by Alexthecounsil
Replied by Alexthecounsil on topic "Self Help"
The point is in interesting feature of our mind. We can remember better everything that we bought ourselves or bothered to get. If we have any usefull information for free, we think that there is no need to remember it, because everyone and in any time can use it. But if you buy a book in a store, you appreciate it more then any other free one and try to get all the useful information from it.
It works like that with the major number of people, because it's just a psychological feature.

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