One of the best articles I’ve read this year is “We have no idea what a self is. So how can we fix it?” by Kathryn Schulz. She deftly captures three dilemmas at the heart of any effort to change behavior. Who resists our efforts to change? One is our tendency toward self-sabotage: Say you … Continue reading Where Is the Self in Self-Help?
Maybe you’ve heard the line from comedian Steven Wright: “I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.” Yes, it’s just a joke. And it makes a point: There is a lack of clarity around the term “self-help.” What does … Continue reading What Does “Self-Help” Mean?
Creating a proposal is simply a tool for thinking about your book project in a clear and thorough way. Write a proposal even if you self-publish. There are many useful guides to writing book proposals. Michael Larsen’s How to Write a Book Proposal is iconic. Michael Hyatt’s guides are shorter, useful, and popular. Write the … Continue reading A Simple Checklist For Your Book Proposal
I just finished reading Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil. This book is filled with practical insights. And, I still disagree with Weil’s tendency to equate happiness with pleasant feelings. There’s a more practical and powerful definition—acting in alignment with your values, moment by moment. As the body of literature on Constructive Living reminds us, feelings are … Continue reading Define Your Values in a Way That Makes a Difference
There are vast differences in the quality of self-help material that you’ll find in print and online. Don’t get fooled. Look for three major distinctions. 1. Books grounded in theory and research This is the gold standard. Go to this level whenever you can. For example, books that are based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are … Continue reading Won’t Get Fooled Again—Three Levels of Credibility in Self-Help Books