Do Self Help Books Work

The topic of self help is extremely controversial. There are many reasons for this controversy. One of the biggest is this question: do self help books work, or is this stuff a total scam? You see, a lot of people think that the self help industry is trash. These people wouldn’t be caught dead attending a personal development seminar.

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Funnily enough, these people also tend to believe that you cannot change your life. That trying to better yourself is a waste of time. On the other hand, you have people who are basically addicted to this stuff. They spend thousands on these books, but often have very little to show for it.

So, what’s the answer to this question. Do self help books work or not? Answering this is tricky and doesn’t have a simple yes or no answer. For example, you really have to look at both viewpoints.

To begin with, yes, a lot of these books are rubbish and no better than scams. This usually includes books which make wildly unrealistic promises. These books often claim that you can achieve anything with almost no effort.

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They might claim that you can quit smoking in 10 minutes (and never smoke again), or that you can make a million dollars a year simply by following their “system.” Any intelligent person will realize that this is unlikely.

And that’s really the problem with these books. A lot of the time it’s all about marketing and hype. In a lot of ways, the people who write these books are basically snake oil salesmen. They make wild promises to get you pumped up and excited and then fail to deliver on those promises.

That being said this isn’t the full picture. You don’t want to be too cynical, and fall into the trap of thinking that it’s hopeless. It is possible to change your life if you’re willing to put in the effort. And this brings us to the second point.

As mentioned previously, a lot of people are hopelessly addicted to this book. They read dozens and dozens of self help books, hoping to find the magic key to success. These people usually get nowhere in life, but there’s a good reason for this.

The problem isn’t always that self help books are scams or that they don’t work. Many of these books are incredible and do contain valid and helpful information. The issue is that most people are lazy, stupid, and never put this information in practice.

This brings us to the third point, which is that changing your life is a lot more difficult than most people think. It’s going to take massive amounts of effort for a prolonged period of time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Unfortunately, most people give up, get distracted, or lose motivation. They then turn around and blame self help.

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The point is this: it’s not really a question of asking, “do self help books work?” The real questions are these:

  1. a) are you taking advice from someone who makes realistic promises? Along with this, are you being realistic about your dreams and goals?
  2. b) are you willing to put in the time and effort needed to change your life? Are you willing to stick to a plan, discipline yourself, and do whatever it takes – for as long as it takes?

The bottom line is that change takes time and effort. Unless you’re willing to put in the effort, even the greatest self help book is useless.


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