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Self help?

Help yourself to realise your true potential. crack

My next book is out in the Autumn and over the next few issues I will be serialising it in the Cheltoninan so that you will get a preview glimpse.

The book is called “The Happy Handbook “ and is a compendium of modern life skills.

When I first came up with the idea for the book and began my research, I was sharing the concept at lunch with a group of colleagues and someone piped up.

“So is it going to be another one of those self help books?”

Quick as a flash, before I even had time to respond, a fellow diner interjected.

“Well, what other kind of help is there?”

The lively debate that ensued was enlightening and entertaining and certainly highlighted some of the cynicism that is attached to the plethora of “self help” books that are available to us now in the twenty tens.

My colleagues debated the merits and pitfalls of books that profess to solve all the problems of modern living and provide a quick fix solution to stress, depression and our increasingly demanding life styles. The views and experiences were broad, the attitudes eclectic and the conclusion inconclusive.

For what it’s worth having now digested a virtual library of this genre of books for my research, I can honestly say that I don’t bear any real scepticism towards any of them.

I keep an open mind.

Surely, if the content of any self help book resonates for someone and helps them to move in a more positive direction, then who are we to criticise something just because it doesn’t necessarily work for us?

In a world gone slightly mad it seems that there is an increasing need for us to turn our lives around in pursuit of making them happier, healthier and altogether more sustainable. With more options available to us on a daily basis, it is little wonder that we become confused about what is best for us.

Consumerism has, of course, jumped on the band wagon and seemingly without shame profiteers on the back of the weak and vulnerable. Quick fix solutions are immensely fashionable in a world where speed is of the essence and instant gratification is the way to our hearts and depleting bank accounts.

Personally I am not convinced that there is a single silver bullet solution to health, happiness and the greater good of our long term sustainability on Planet Earth. I believe it is more about making intelligent choices and each day learning to progress in a more positive direction.

Oprah Winfrey describes herself as a woman in progress and a school of psychological thought that I absolutely buy into is that we are all like acorns and have so much potential within us.

Self help is all about self-guided improvement whether it is physical,mental,spiritual or material .There are many different self-help movements and each has its own unique focus, techniques, associated beliefs, proponents and in some cases leaders.

Self help often uses publicly available information or support groups where people in similar situations join together. According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, potential benefits of self-help groups that professionals may not be able to provide include friendship, emotional support, experiential knowledge, identity, meaningful roles, and a sense of belonging.

We now live in a world where there is so much choice and also support. Once you have made the decision that you want to improve the quality of your life there are indeed many support available. A good starting point is this website which supplies a large database of organisations that offers guided support.

Top Ten Tip for Self Improvement

• Be positive about change
• Take personal responsibility
• List everything you want to improve
• Start with the most important thing
• Take one step at a time
• Try not to overwhelm yourself
• Reward yourself for your successes
• Believe in Yourself
• Never give up
• Start today ..NOW


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