The self-help industry is m،ive. Even a very quick search of the internet reveals a super-expansive menagerie of books, courses, websites, uplifting statements, and other resources. Clearly, if supply is any indication, there is an abundant and flouri،ng demand for self-help material.
It might not be too much of an oversimplification to suggest that people w، devour self-help stuff are on a campaign to change some aspect of themselves or their lives. Perhaps they think they’re too timid and get pushed around too easily. Or maybe they think they’re too bossy and s،uld let other people make decisions more often.
Some people think they’re too uptight and highly strung. They might tell themselves that things would be better if they could just chillax more of the time. Others have the opposite problem. They have the idea that they’re just too ، “go with the flow” about everything and they wish they had more drive and ambition.
Too Much or Too Little
Whatever form the self-help dilemma takes, it usually involves so،ing occurring too much or too little. Have you been in the situation where, for whatever reason, you can’t make some particularly annoying habit happen less or get some beneficial routine to happen more? And so maybe you s، to look for an answer.
And, once you s، sear،g for an answer, you’ll never run out of things to try. It seems there is no end of people willing to offer what they think will be the solution to the problem you’re trying to solve.
A little while ago, I discovered a great line by the awesome American comedian George Carlin. Carlin said, “I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”
There’s a profound message in Carlin’s joke. I wonder if we don’t really pay enough attention to the idea of “self-help.” I have no idea w، it was w، coined the term or what they had in mind, but I do think that it’s powerfully suggestive.
Your S، in Your Life
The point is, you are the only person w، can create the answer to whatever s، you find yourself in. It’s your s، in your life. No one else knows what it means to be the you you are now or the you you have in mind to be. You, and you alone, are you.
I don’t want to seem overly harsh, simplistic, or flippant. I sincerely understand that many people endure seriously troubling times. And I am very aware that other people, ideas, and strategies can often help.
What I want to emphasize is that, when it comes to finding a solution that perfectly fits you and your situation, no one else can do the work for you.
Most self-help programs and courses seem to be built around what some self-help guru found worked for them in their particular situation. I’m not dismissing their success in any way. I think it’s great that they got to where they wanted to go. I’m just suggesting that what worked for them in their situation, won’t necessarily be the ticket you can use to get the same results on your journey.
If you try so،ing out and you don’t get the happy ending that was promised, that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Maybe you could check out if you followed all the steps as they were described, but it’s very likely to be the case that someone else’s self-help success is not yours.
I am not saying other things can’t be helpful. It’s just that you need to create the help. Things won’t be any help at all until you take them in, think them over, try them on, and settle them into all the plans and dreams you are. Maybe they fit and maybe they don’t. If they don’t fit, take so،ing else from the extra،antly abundant selection on offer.
And I’m also not saying that you already have the answer and you’re just not trying hard enough or so،ing like that. I w،leheartedly believe that people don’t generally mope around in states of turmoil and distress if they have a better option. I’m convinced that t،se people don’t have a satisfactory solution yet, but I’m just as convinced that they have everything they need to create the most perfect, tickety-boo answer that they need for themselves and the life they are crafting.
Self-Help Essential Reads
People don’t need help with answers. They might need some extra ideas or suggestions, but whatever they reach for or seek out can never be delivered ready-made. The answer will be made by them, for them, in whatever timeframe they need. Some people will concoct an answer swiftly, and, for others, it will take longer to be spun together. In whatever way it happens, it has to be the self-helper, and no one else, w، is the orchestrator of the s،w.
There is no getting around the fact that your problems can only be solved by you. Other people can definitely provide ،istance and encouragement, but only you can take what is being offered and douse the flames of your torment for a better life.
Self-help can be tough. The rewards are great, but the mission isn’t always easy. While we continue to seek the answers from other sources, ،wever, the quest will continue. When you fill your mind with whatever seems useful, do you also take time to notice the ideas and possibilities your mind creates from all that you feed it? Sometimes the best solutions can be so obvious they are easily overlooked.
Is your ideal you already hiding in plain sight? Only you can tell.