I have recently discovered self-help books. For years I have avoided them like the plague however a couple have recently changed my life. I thought capturing this magical reading experience would make a good blog post.
For noting: self-help books can cover a range of topics, issues and ailments. For this post I am using my own issue that I resolved through a self help book.
Also not all self help books are magical. The point I am making with this post is that when you find one which you can relate and one which changes your life – it can be magical!
5 stages of this magical experience:
- Living with your issue. Your mind feels overcrowded and packed full of useless rubbish. You feel constantly wired and like you are plugged into an electricity mains. Your mind never sleeps. Even though there is a lot of activity going on inside your head your productivity levels are flatlining. Every time you sit down to do something your mind is engaged for a few minutes and then….whoosh off it goes onto the next task. The speed at which you chop and change tasks is terrifying. You wake up feeling drained and you go to bed feeling drained. You don’t do any exercise, you eat rubbish and there is no escape from your mind which seems to be running 24-7.
- Frustration. During this stage you start to get frustrated. As a writer this manic state leaves you with hundreds of unfinished stories. If someone was to look inside your head they would find a mountain of bits of paper and mental folders of half-baked stories. You want to change your ways, become focused and lead a calmer life but you don’t know how to. In this stage there are lots of desperate facial expressions, phases where you trawl through Google searching for a cure, a few attention seeking posts on Facebook (heavy use of sad-faced emojis) and viewing yourself as the only person in the world going through this crap.
- Self-Help Book Denial. Someone suggests reading a self-help book that they have read which has changed them. You roll your eyes – you do not need to read self-help books! What could they offer you? I mean just because some of the authors of these books have actually been through what you are going through and have taken steps to overhaul their lives means nothing. No. Why should you read self-help bools when you can put your time to better use by doing some frantic searches of Google and coming up with a load of nonsense? The frazzled feeling gets worse. Your mind creates your 106th creative project, the other 105 are still on the go. In a desperate state you buy the recommended self-help book and quietly creep away into a dark corner.
- Enlightenment. You start to read the self-help book and the author starts to explain how you are currently feeling – gasp! You stare in horror at the page as the author is writing about you. Did the author stalk you whilst writing this book? The author suggests some subtle changes to your life; exercise, meditation, start a diary, say some affirmations, read more and eat less sugar. Seeing as you are feeling desperate and this author seems to ‘gets you’ it’s time to try out their suggestions. Sitting in silence for 10 minutes is interesting, so too is Yoga’s Downward Facing Dog position and writing down your thoughts after a stressful day at work doesn’t sound ground breaking. You sadly pass on that cream bun, try some herbal teas, which are not that bad and you start saying some positive stuff to yourself. After a few days you start to feel different. Your mind doesn’t seem so busy, you feel energised but not wired and doing exercise doesn’t feel so bad. Wow! At night you start to sleep like a baby and wake up feeling refreshed. This must be a coincidence! It can’t be this self-help book.
- Hope. After a month of this new regime you feel like a different person. You have become focused on one writing project and there is no longer that feeling of having a mountain of bits of paper inside your head. You actually enjoy doing the Yoga stretches and look forward to giving the neighbours an interesting view with your Downward Facing Dog position. You can now sit in silence for 15 minutes which your loved one is calling a miracle. Life feels like it has been upgraded. Cue your blog post on self-help books and long lectures to uninterested loved ones about the benefits of meditating.
I accept that some issues in life cannot be resolved by self-help books but for my issue above reading them has changed my life.
The self-help books that have changed my life are:
- Hal Elrod’s ‘Miracle Morning‘
- Shelley Wilson’s ‘How I Changed My Life’
- The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle.
- How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh.
- What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey.
- Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life by Lisa Nichols.
- A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax.
- Insanely Gifted by Jamie Catto.
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