Want to know how to change your life, achieve pretty much anything, and make yourself rich to boot? There is a huge “self help” industry out there eager to help you do it.
I bump up against this world frequently when researching and writing about lifelong learning, and I have to admit a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. On the one hand, so much of the advice that gets peddled seems hackneyed, poorly written, and derivative of concepts already established hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago.
On the other hand, there is obviously a deep human need to return again and again to the issues and concepts that pervade self-help literature. Some current writers do a very good job of returning to these issues and examining them in a fresh way. And I have to assume that many people do learn and grow from it – or at least try. Repetition, as they say, is the mother of learning.
So, I started thinking about the key themes and lessons that seem to show up in the self-help literature with which I am familiar. Knowledge of them can certainly be of use to the average lifelong learner.