For a few bucks anyone can purchase someone else’s idea on how to fix the woes of life. This is called self-help and this help can be found at any local bookstore.
Those same ideas can be downloaded to an e-reader—especially if the self-help involves a phobia of bookstores. Or if strapped for cash, this help can be borrowed from the local library.
But who are these folks to tell us how to be happier? To conquer our fears? To lose weight? Or to forgive the kid down the street who used to kick you in the shins on the way to school each morning?
How can anyone write and sell a manual for the human brain—even if it’s just one portion of the brain? How can we all be categorized and lumped together in a neat 324 pages? We are such unique souls—it would take mountains of pages, stripping the world of every last tree to actually explain the human mind.
I think a self-help book should be just that—it’s plain and simple in the description—self-help. Not someone else’s idea of how to help yourself. It should be the story of someone as they go on a journey to help themselves. Not useless pages of someone spewing the same old rhetoric,
You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.
I call bull on that one. I have loved plenty during times when I hated myself. Now I may be wrong—I’m no psychologist or day time talk show star—you know, the usual expert’s on the subject at hand, but I think I’m on to something here.
What if we all wrote our own instructions on how to help ourselves? I know many people journal and/or blog, but are we consistent? Do we go back and analyze those pages, and try to figure out the clues to us thriving in this world? I know I haven’t been very good at it. Self-help step one–just admit there is a problem.
The key may be to figuring out exactly what works for us individually. Maybe going back once a week and summarizing personal writings, a little recap of what could have been done better, or what was great.
Envision a cookbook style.
Breakfast: 45 minutes of yoga, one green smoothie, and a dash of conversation with the guy that always creeps on me at the bus stop—omit that last ingredient next time.
Lunch: one 30 minute walk through the park and then cappuccinos with an old friend at the café. Definitely a repeat on the menu.
Keeping it interesting and personalized with a unique flair will help it become a habit. Once patterns emerge, it will be easier to identify why the day was so negative, or why the past week was fantastic!
Record feelings, reactions, and emotions. All of this could be key to the inner workings of the mind and once you figure out what works for you, anything can be conquered!
My plan is to write my personal self-help book/article/blog on the back of a napkin and become disciplined in recording it each day. I can then put all my recaps together and come up with solutions. I think this is the secret to self-help—only you can help yourself.
I never claim to fix anyone or tell them how to solve their problems, but I can share my story, my mistakes, and my history of how I got screwed up in the first place. In my journey, maybe someone will find their own inspiration. This is my step number two—reaching out, embracing my passion of writing, and delving into my soul. And who knows, maybe I’ll get my own daytime talk show?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Jessica Sandhu/Editor: Catherine Monkman