Monday, May 03, 2010

What You Need To Know About Self Help

The homie Cam, and I were talking the other day about the state of this industry and the institution of the self help industry as a whole.

As I've said before I'm a BIG believer in self improvement, and I have gone through a ton of self help, literally thousands and thousands of pages, audios and videos ranging from the Eastern Philosophy of Sri Nishargatta Maharaj to the suceed at all costs philosophy of Ayn Rand.

And I can honestly tell you that all of self help is basically the same, once you get past some very basic concepts.

Don't get me wrong, there are some really good ideas in there, but you'll hear them rehashed, reversed, and taught in various different ways in all self help. Only the name of the book, and the author change.

And another thing that doesn't get mentioned is that it's difficult to make the changes that actually will lead to progress and that you will have to continue to do them forever...

This is another in the countless reasons why it's such a bad idea to read EVERYTHING.

So let's look at what you will learn when you explore self help that will ACTUALLY help you improve your life.

1. Positivity. This can be annoying when overdone and you do need to temper it with realistic thinking, but in general the more optimistic your outlook on life and your future success, the better you will do. This is also sometimes discussed as self fulfilling prophecies or "The Pygmalion" effect.

2. Fixing your beliefs. Your beliefs really do shape the ways you filter the world around you and the results you get in life, as well as your general ability to be happy. When you have unhealthy beliefs about yourself, making money, dating, being fat, being sad, a loser, etc... It does impact the way you live your life to a major degree that can be paralyzing. You have to work on your beliefs CONSTANTLY to change them and then to maintain the changes, but it is well worth it. There are a million different ways people propose to change beliefs from affirmations, to NLP exercises. Beliefs are also sometimes referred to as your "self image."

3. Mental Rehearsal. This is one of the most powerful techniques out there for self improvement. The more vividly you imagine what your success would look like and feel like at an emotional level, the better prepared you will be for those situations in real life. Sounds crazy but there is a ton of science involved in this and almost EVERY successful person I've studied has talked about their marked use of visualization whether it's Michael Jordan or Warren Buffet. Mental rehearsal is also referred to as mental movies, rehearsal, visualization and Psycho-Cybernetics.

4.Self talk. The way you talk to yourself is a big factor in how you feel about yourself and what kind of actions you take. If you are constantly disparaging yourself or focusing on what you can't do, or reasons you can't succeed, you will eventually fail.

5. Goal Setting. Setting goals leads to higher achievement whether or not you actually achieve the goal 100%. They also give you accountability, and allow you to build confidence as you achieve them. Learning to set short, medium and long term goals is a big part of self development.

6. Modeling. The process of learning how to copy another person's success is a great tool for life improvement. If you get good at modeling others, you will soon be able to adapt almost any set of skills. This can be extremely helpful through out life in many areas.

7. Relaxation. This is sometimes called being in the moment or out of your head, but at it's core is about the ability to stay calm, cool and collected under pressure.

And that's basically it...

JS- The King Of Content


  1. Anonymous1:37 PM

    This is such a fantastic post, it makes me wonder if you'd do well to expand into marketing your own self-help material.

    I know you're not exactly a fan of Eben Pagan, but the guy has made a load of money by covering a wide array of subjects. You can do it too.

  2. Anonymous2:52 PM

    This isn't limited to self help either, in Psychology Cognitive Behavioral Therapy gets at a lot of these concepts, particularly how your thoughts and beliefs influence your outcomes and mental state.

    There's more to it than that, but it's funny to see how even in the more 'serious' side of helping people, these same concepts pop up.

  3. Sums it all up in a nutshell right there. I think a big draw of all the books and products out there is people often know what they should be doing, they just aren't doing it. So they buy the newest book, or course, in the hope that they'll magically change. When of course, they won't unless they take some big-ass action.

  4. Anonymous10:51 AM

    I prefer vague self-help books, that are INTERESTING and draw from real world experiences and examples. And that present an unique, new and insightful perspective on something. I stay away from "technique" based self-help. Oh, also the wrong way to read self-help is to take EVERYTHIGN as gospel, take what you like from it.

  5. Camilo Sánchez8:59 AM

    God post and I wouldn't add nothing else in your list of the main concepts in the self-help. Thanks from Bogotá, Colombia