The Daily Walk with Love
— “Every self-help book ever, boiled down to 11 simple rules,” a summation from Mashable, with commentary. Ladies, this sort of article from me means I am incredibly lonely and sure could use a friend to chat with… Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 29, 2020
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Aarrgh! “Every self-help book ever,
boiled down to 11 simple rules”
Good People, if you will only take
Mashable’s dark summation seriously,
together we might bankrupt an $11 billion industry!!
The first self-described self-help book was published in 1859. The author’s name, improbably, was Samuel Smiles; the title, even more improbably, was Self-Help. A distillation of lessons from the lives of famous people who had pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, it sold millions of copies and was a mainstay in Victorian households. Every generation since had its runaway bestseller, such as How to Live on 24 Hours a Day (1908), Think and Grow Rich (1937), or Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (1997).
The 21st century has seen a measure of self-awareness about our self-help addiction. There’s the wave of sweary self-help bestsellers I wrote about, such as The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck?. They hover somewhere between parody and dressing up the same advice as their forebears in earthier language. More recently, there’s a trend you might call meta-self-help: books in which people write about their experiences following self-help books, such as Help Me! (2018) and How to Be Fine (2020), based on the similar self-help podcast By the Book
Paul: I remember a few of these myself, mainly from the late 70s to about 2,000, back when I read such stuff (before I gave up).. How about Talk to Your Plants, (and this was waay before science found out that plants communicate with radio waves). Or, from about the same time, Erma Bomback’s If Life is Such a Bowl of Cherries, What am I Doing in the Pits. And then there was Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World, about the time I worked a few jobs
Proverbs 13:7 – There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing:
there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
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