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Personal growth: Is everyone reading self-help books these days? April 13, 2018

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in personal development ideas.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was recently reading a newspaper interview of a novelist, and one of the questions was, “What is the latest self-help book you have read?”, which struck me as significant because it implies or assumes that everyone is reading self-help books as part of their regular routine.

And maybe it’s true: I just got a personal development book, The Happiness Equation, out of the library a few days before I read the article.

The question we might ask, however, is that with all the self-improvement material we have already read, how much more advice do we really need to manage our lives effectively?

I suspect that most of us actually don’t need more information in order to know what we need to do; it’s more a matter of inserting an action component into our existing knowledge, and then taking concrete “do” steps towards our goals.

I tend to think that many of us read books about self-actualization, listen to podcasts on the topic, and watch videos with similar content, because we enjoy reading about the topic as a form of lifestyle philosophy, much as we might like reading mystery novels, or adventure stories.

Maybe we don’t actually need as much life-guidance as the abundance of personal development books might seem to indicate.

Maybe we’re all OK just as we are.

Dennis Mellersh


1. Sassy - May 11, 2018

I agree with this – I used to be that person, especially during my former job. I would watch my coworkers get promoted or move to another team, while I was stuck. And it was incredibly depressing. I was so convinced that it had to do with my personal development, goals etc. Of course I ended up buying a self-help book every month just to catch up with them, to finally understand what they got right. Then it hit me. Nothing is fundamentally wrong with me, and if there was an area that needed improvement, I could meditate, shut down my brain, then brainstorm on that area to see what I could do better. That’s helped a lot. Good post though.

Dennis Mellersh - May 11, 2018

Thanks for sharing, Sassy, and for your detailed experience-based comment. It is strange how so often, when things do not go well, that we tend to think that the fault is ours. I just did a post today (May 11, 2018) about “positive thinking” and how our low and high moods can seriously influence our ability to think clearly. The post is based on the ideas of Richard Carlson…DM

2. ACoutinho - April 13, 2018

Maybe its just to keep reminding ourselves about some important things and continue motivating to be better/stronger etc every day:) nice post

Dennis Mellersh - April 14, 2018

You make an excellent point. Like playing the piano; if you don’t constantly practice you can lose the skills you have previously developed. Thanks for the comment…DM

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