I recommended a title to a friend recently who seemed to be restless with complaints and thought it would be a soft introduction into using self-help books correctly.
She hates previous ones she tried saying “it’s just an author venting about their own life and then bragging how everything magically fell into place because they were lucky unlike the rest of us – the book doesn’t offer any actual solutions“.
I carefully explained “some self-help books aid in giving new perspective and ideas to take away – not necessarily handfuls of exercises to specifically/perfectly fix your individual concern. You may need to try a different approach and mindset while reading them.”
Basically me saying – “True, but you need to put some effort in yourself“.
I have read a few over the years that have drastically different tones and approaches – yet they still open my eyes to identify which areas of life bother me subconsciously and how I could work to improve my faults.
Keyword: work! It takes work to change yourself whether it is your thought process, self talk, daily habits, goals, outlook in life, etc. You have to put in some amount of effort to get what you want – just like anything else in life! Without effort, no change can be made or expected to be made.
While you may already know why you are unhappy at this very moment – do you know what led up to that or effects it? What might always lead you in a cycle back to unhappiness during certain times? How you may be holding yourself back from reaching the things that could bring you happiness?
The books are not going to magically solve your problems. They may simply cultivate new epiphanies or bring ideas to the forefront of your mind.
They aren’t meant to be an author diagnosing and treating a million strangers’ issues with the same set of words on 300 pages! Do you see how asinine that actually sounds?
This genre can aid in reflections and (possibly) examples .. but most people I believe read them for inspiration and support. If you’re looking for a specific set of solutions to magically solve your specific individual situation … try therapy. Seriously. That is individualized attention with a professional suggesting methods to improve your mind, life, relationships, family drama, etc.
Give the self-help books a chance as a great starting point … from there think about how you can put effort in to improve your faults or create your individualized plan towards happiness. The only person who knows how to make you happy and how best to change your current situation may be…. you.