How many self help books have you read? How many do you own?
The other day I was having a chat with a friend. She raised one problem after another and I said, “have you read …?”
“Oh Yes” she says, “I’ve had that book for years”.
“But have you actually read it?” I said,
“Well, bits of it” she replied.
I have met so many people who have every self help book under the sun, their shelves are lined with them. All of the usual suspects are there: Susan Jeffers, Louise Hay, John Graham, Rhonda Byrne, Joe Vitale, Jack Canfield, Bob Proctor, Gay Hendricks, Harv Eker… I wander over to the CD/DVD rack and there they all are in audio. “Have you listened to these?” “Well…!”
If the road to hell is paved with good intentions then the road to self discovery would seem to be paved with unread self help books (plus a smattering of audio books too).
I know lots of people who collect books on self help but never read them. Perhaps they buy one, flick through it and then put it to one side with the intention of coming back to it, but never do. They then wonder why nothing ever changes. These people appear to buy books in the same way that I’ll tend to join the gym. Good intentions.
A few years ago Rie and I bought a membership to a gym. They were doing one of those special offers for health workers. Like most people we went for a while and then i started using the usual excuse of being too busy and I gradually stopped going. Well, not quite, I did drop in on occasions with Rie, or for coffee, or to use the loo every now and then. It became the most expensive toilet I have ever used. We did eventually cancel the membership, but for a while it was as though the mere act of paying the subscription, or the knowledge that we were members, would in some strange way make us fit and healthy.
I think the same thing happens to people with self help books. There is some strange belief that mere ownership of the book, the fact that it is on display in the bookcase for all to see will, in some strange way, fill them with the knowledge from within the pages without them ever needing to read the words. It is as though there must be some form of spiritual osmosis that will transfer the lessons and the knowledge from the book to the mind.
I know people that will carry a book with them in their bag with the full intention of reading it when they are on transport or on a lunch or tea break. They may carry it for weeks, or even months, without ever opening it though the intention is there.
When you do actually make the space and take the time to read the ideas in any self help book they will, almost certainly, help you. They will make you think about things from another point of view and give you ideas, enable you to see the everyday issues from another angle and, direct you towards resources and services that may even change your life forever. Better still, read them over and over and the ideas within will seep into your mind and have a far better chance of sticking.
A Book is a Seed
The ideas in a book are like seeds. Ideas will grow in the creative recesses of your mind if you allow them to be planted there. The trick is that if you want the book to help you, you will need to read it, perhaps many times. All self help books should carry a disclaimer that states clearly that the contents of the book will only work if you read it. There should also be the proviso that you may need to read the same book again and again to allow the concepts to sink in. The point in the re-reading is not that the book changes, it will always stay the same. However, as you change and develop your understanding of what you are reading will be changing, so that you will see things in a re-read that you did not see the first time around.
Our self help book ‘Live In The Present‘ carries the following disclaimer…
It should be noted that there is no magic trick that will change your life for the better.
It is only through your CONSISTENT and PERSISTENT REPETITION of the theories taught within this book that you will achieve your aims.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get on with the job of finding true bliss for every living thing on Earth.
If you have invested your money in some self help books you will benefit even more from also investing some of your time in reading them. You will get even more benefit by investing some time in carrying out the ideas in the books that will change your everyday life.
Live in the present, be happy and read it don’t leave it