The self-help section in bookstores must be one of the largest sections. Shelves are groaning with advice on changing your life, your image, your finances … Some of these books can be very useful, especially those dealing with practical issues like money. However, there are good reasons why it’s not wise to depend too much on self-help books …
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Relying on a book to change your life won’t achieve much. The responsibility for change lies with you - you need to work on yourself. If you are not prepared to make the effort, then you won’t get very far.
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Many people dream of a new life, being a different person, making a fortune … Yes, some changes are achievable, but it is important to be realistic. You may get some good ideas and philosophies from these books, but applying them to your actual situation is a lot harder.
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The books are written from the point of view of one person. Who can say that they are right? I’m particularly incensed by ‘The Surrendered Wife’ – what is this, the 1950s?
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These authors, like any other, want to make money. They’re not sharing their ‘secrets’ just to be altruistic. Besides, what are their credentials? Are they really qualified enough to give advice?
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The self-help section is bursting at the seams with a plethora of titles. Which one do you choose? It’s so hard to know. Plus, if any of them were that good, why would there be a need for even more?
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Sometimes it is better not to intellectualise things too much, and just get on with life. Books can be useful, but can also hinder progress, in that you can think too much but still not act on that.
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Self-help books are full of advice and suggestions, but where are the authors when it comes to feedback? You won’t get any comments on how you’re progressing, or advice on the next step.
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Many people feel strongly that they want to make changes, but make the mistake of looking to others to do that for them and show them the way. If you really feel that you need to change your life, the only person who can do that is yourself.
Self-help books can be useful but must be chosen with care. You can have too many expectations of the book, and expect it to make amazing changes to your life. Such changes can only be gained through hard work and efforts to develop. Have you ever found one of these books to be useful, or do you consider them a waste of money?
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