Contrarian—And Useful—Views on Self-Help

Writers of self-help books can be mindful of comments such as these (warts and all):

Sure I’ve read tons of self-help and spiritual books too but they’re useless without application. 

My advice: take a 6-month vacation from reading anything. Don’t let yourself absorb any more theory until you’ve hit certain milestones. Like: 

  • Make a new friend by striking up a random conversation on the street
  • Start a major new project at work that you’ve been thinking about for a while
  • The next time you get a crazy instinct to do something spontaneous, do it, whatever it is. Skip work. Ask somebody out. Whatever.


By the way I have never tried myself but I seen some guys make a total 180° after using cognitive psychology methods to alter their behavior. This is not the bullshit from your self-help books, these methods have been developed by psychologists after decades of experimentation and data analysis, not by some highschool dropout in a trailer writing buzzwords.

See here for context.