Self Improvement Books
Learning is built into our genes else we’d remain like babies without discovering the means to clothe or feed ourselves. Through early childhood we mimic and explore and play and try. In our teens we become opinionated, it is a means to break away from our parents or mentors and strike out in new directions looking for our own path. Maybe then we settle down. Maybe we are happy – maybe not. There are always challenges.
As adults – self improvement is a journey we choose to take.
Or not. Having the Life You Want means waking up to it!
Depending on those early influences – we soon develop an attitude to our self and to our choices and our ability to learn. Depending on our personalities we choose to learn in different ways – like strictly on the job, or at uni, from mentors, professors, instructors or normal people, or not at all – or we choose to learn by our selves, simply by reading.
Pop Psychology Self Improvement Books
Self improvement books are a way for people to learn almost anything there is to learn. Psychology and motivation are prime topics. Popular self improvement classics like Psycho Cybernetics were especially about the fields of psychology and motivation philosophy. Written for people who have a need to know so they can improve their concentration and organization ( but without having to struggle through the dense high definition intellectual language that educators use in order to be specific and understood.)
Improving Appearance, Income and Happiness
But self improvement books are also about diet and exercise, about falling in love and coping with death. They talk a great deal about success, but although many of us initially find this genre via books like “Think and Grow Rich” we discover that faith and hope and religion and ethics are a big part of the advice in these books. Happiness it appears isn’t bought with greed, but often inexplicably appears during unselfish acts of kindness.
I love to read and I feel sorry for people who don’t want to read. I know there’s more to life than books and that books can sometimes be a substitute for action, but how else could I have been privy to the conversations of so many smart people unless I read their books.
Improve your hearing, eyesight or cure a disease
Can I heal myself with a book? Maybe so.
I probably cannot fully diagnose myself, but I can certainly get much more information about treatments and cures from self improvement books, than from a 20 minute consultation with a busy doctor I just met. It may be I’ll go along with what my doctor says – or I may try alternative things to effect a cure. That’s my choice if I choose to read and inform myself of different medical treatment options.
Mind. Body. Soul. Emotion.
One complex human being connected to a family, and a race, and the earth. One individual trying to make sense of their small life and their big changing world. The only tool we have to improve our self – whatever life throws at us – is our ability to learn.
Relationships – how we interact with our siblings, our parents, our children and most especially our partners are a big slice of the self improvement pi.
Einstein wrote e=mc2 which means nothing to most people other than that Einstein was the genius who wrote the theory of relativity which has nothing to do with aunts and uncles!
Einstein also said – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something to change. He was enthusiastic in attempting to bring about world peace in his later years, you can see it in his eyes…
We all have a little OCD – a few little superstitions to keep us safe – a few repeated actions that revert us to our comfort zones when we become too overwhelmed and too scared and in need of some denial to tide us over.
Psychology studies why some people self sabotage and some succeed. Other sciences measure physical data like brain activity when we are scared or when we are happy. Philosophers try and blend all this information together like a recipe to come up with something palatable and meaningful. Sometimes psychology is really useful, sometimes it’s just thought provoking.
Culture and Traditions
Self improvement books are not all doom and gloom, overcome obstacles, get better health, forget bad experiences. They are also for people who have led normal if uneventful lives that want to exercise their creativity. Art and music can bring us much joy and happiness and learning to play a tune on the guitar is as much about success as getting rich is.
So self improvement books are also about style and fashion, about fine appearance and good manners. This can be as an individual but it can also be for a group of people. A people’s culture does not spring from the ground like an oak tree from an acorn, it grows from a family and what the families matriarch and patriarch choose to recognise as important. Traditions develop because people want to continue them. Culture grew out of traditions that dominant people wished that all people did.
Wealth and Power
Successful people lecture about what they did to achieve success – (circularly becoming successful by lecturing? ) Marketers jump on the band wagon and one meaningful book becomes 20 more word juggled bestsellers. The authors continue to succeed and you read but don’t change. IT’S HARD NOT TO BE CYNICAL but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The best advice bar Zen I can give is just “Try before you Why” . We over analyse and argue and act smart – and DO nothing. As Nike says – Just do it! And truly one book is usually enough! FOCUS – follow one course until successful – I don’t know who said that but it’s a good one too.
Judgement and Perception
So much of our brains is pre programmed so that we can just get on with life. Life is so short. Sometimes it all seems pointless. Overall – wherever we are in our heads, someone else has been there already and written down what they did. When we are scared or stumped, what they have written sometimes helps us to overcome our own formidable obstacles.
I believe self awareness is important and that knowledge is a route to it and books share knowledge. It’s NOT the only way but its one way. For me it’s a good way. I review self improvement books to help people discover new ways to do or improve things. Negative thoughts can’t thrive in a mind that is busy thinking and planning, experiencing and being.
There is nothing worse than feeling helpless. When we have something to try, that we can act on – there is always hope.
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