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LornaLove's avatar

Has a self-help book ever helped you?

Asked by LornaLove (9931points) September 12th, 2016

I’ve always enjoyed, what one would call, self-help books. Lately, I have begun to suspect that self-help is all a bunch of hogwash.

I have been reading a book by a very well known author and personality who claims that by thinking young you can remain youthful.

Not only in mind but literally in the physical body. We are talking vanishing wrinkles and general body rejuvenation.

I liked the books premise because it is fascinating to me, that some people live very long lives and remain youthful whilst other’s don’t.

I decided to look the author up and to my horror I thought she appeared very ‘aged’ for her chronological age. Which, to my mind is contradictory to what she is saying?

I have no idea why I like the idea of reading a book and getting some life-changing advice or inspiration. No matter which genre.

Have you read any book, seen an inspirational movie, heard a motivational speaker or other, that totally changed your life? Or, at the very least imparted wisdom that you carry with you today? If so, do share?

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14 Answers

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I’ve been helped by some medical self-care and first aid guides. Both types of books can provide very practical, objective information; they might promote wellness over the long-term and relieve suffering, perhaps even save lives, in an acute situation.

As for change-your-life books, no. I’ve found them to be nonsense.

I once bought a book titled, “Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.” No, I’m not a big procrastinator – I generally do things on schedule and somewhat efficiently – but everyone has room for improvement. The book was badly-written and unhelpful, a complete waste of $12.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Can’t think of one. I’m inclined to think hogwash too.

Mimishu1995's avatar

A single book can’t change my life. It may have an impact on me but a drastical change requires time and experience. I always think of self-help book as a person giving me instructions on how to do something. You don’t get what you want by listening to them, you have to actually do it yourself. And as you do your thing you will realize there are more suitable ways for you to do it apart from the instructions.

I also found out that something tends to leave a bigger impact on me when it is first hidden from my sight, not obviously presented to me. During my high school time there were many motivational speakers coming to my school. I attended all of them, but none of them left me with as much impact as one hour and a half sitting alone watching this movie, because the movie’s message is very subtle btw you should check it out. It’s a great movie :p

I got much if not most of my help from surprisingly this site. I can see myself changing with a much faster speed than any period of my life since I became seriously involved in Fluther. I think Fluther offers me an enlighting environment to learn and grow, and I’m exposed in that environment everyday. That’s how experience changed my life.

zenvelo's avatar

The books that help are ones that tell you change is possible, but it requires time, patience, and work. Books that tell you a quick re-thinking will change your life are false prophets.

Since I am in recovery, a number of books on recovery have helped, and a few on spirituality. The Four Agreements is one I reflect on three or four times a week. And Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled taught me quite bit, but became more important to me after I heard him speak.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No, not me.

I can tell you that my (ex-)wife read one and that led to the breakup of your marriage. So I have a rather negative view of them.

ragingloli's avatar

The Anarchist Cookbook really helped with my Widerstand.

monthly's avatar

Yes, the book “Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child” saved our life. Our daughter, at 15 years of age, still goes to bed by 8:00.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, there have been some works that I have learned from ,found beneficial.
Eckhart Tolles The Power of Now and other works of his. The Four Agreements is another favorite that @zenvelo mentions and doing some codependency work years ago as well. However, that said, while I do believe and know that trying to keep a good attitude about life events is helpful, the fact remains that some things just suck the big banana and all the positive thinking in the world won’t change the facts.

A good outlook will make you feel better, from a psychological standpoint.
It will help keep you smiling which lends some radiance to your face but certainly is not going to keep you looking like you are 25 when you are 65.
That said, the opposite is actually very true. Stress and depression absolutely ages you beyond your years.

I can say I see the difference in myself from going through a lot of stress and unhappiness the last few years. I feel like I have aged 10 years or more in the last 3 and a half years.
My cheerful vibrancy is simply not there anymore, and I miss it tremendously. I have moments of laughter and feel almost happy again, but they are fleeting compared to the joy I lived for many years prior to crashing and burning in the economic blowout a few years ago.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, like with anything else I take away what seems logical and helpful to me and dismiss the rest.

When I was raising my kids I was a Christian. I read Dr. Dobson’s “Tough Love.” One thing that really stuck with me, is he said, “If you set a rule, and the kid flops one hairy toe over that line, they have broken the rule! Don’t wait until they get all the way across the line to discipline them.” That was helpful to me.
I don’t remember the rest. Well, except Love doesn’t mean you always make your kids happy. I used to tell them, “I wasn’t put on this earth to make you happy!”

flutherother's avatar

Almost every book I have ever read has helped me in some way but I don’t read self-help books. I am suspicious of them and of their authors’ intentions.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The books on the enneagram were helpful. A Course in Miracles helped me too.

FlutherBug's avatar

The Four Agreements is an amazing book. Someone else mentioned it on here. If you haven’t read that book yet, I suggest you do. It’s really great and has great advice/helpful tips. It’s life changing for the better if you practice what it says.

LornaLove's avatar

@Coloma Weird I feel the same as you and also over the last 3 years. I feel like I’ve aged ten years. I also had to move and in some ways it was positive, but I’ve never felt joy, inspiration, happiness or any of the things I used to feel. I used to be bubbly, humorous, funny and find delight in small things, like sunshine. I find the weather has been the hardest. Last summer I counted 4 days of sunshine during summer. Weather really affects me.

It’s strange one does things for the right reasons, but are they? I don’t know.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I read books about time management, productivity etc. I’m not sure I’d say they’ve helped me, but they haven’t hindered either. I’d say they usually reinforce ideas/concepts I’m already aware of. I can’t recall reading one with content that’s surprised me or taught me something I didn’t already know. Often we have forgotten what we know. So a self-help type book can just take us back to basics and remind us of what we need to do to achieve our goals. I think anything the reinforces good habits can only be helpful. Of course, some books are more useful than others.

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