I recently had quite a big argument with someone really bright over something really trivial: the importance of self-help books. My position is/was somewhat a skeptical one, since I was born in March. Therefore, a list of reasons why I believe they seem to gather supporters (not to say proselytes) by the thousands, even on a slow working day.
- Advice comes from someone who is apparently rich and obviously successful (he/she must know what he/she’s talking about, isn’t he/she?). We all want to become that when we grow up (i.e. obvious and apparent).
- The advice does NOT come from (your) mother (a mother, The mother, etc.) and does not smother you with the unpleasantness of agreeing with your relatives.
- Sounds better than common sense things people say over dinner, as the context is usually broader than talking dirty dishes and taking out the garbage.
- Your mindset is already ready to accept the authority of someone’s speaking in your earphones (otherwise, admitting you hear voices wording THE TRUTH could in itself present as a problem to be solved – with more self-help books).
- SERIOUSLY NOW – since we are prepared to see and understand things only within the limits of our previous knowledge and capacities, what self-help books do better is organize and proofread the information already in our possession, but hidden under tons and tons of daily routine from the conscious part of the functioning brain.