Kamis, 25 Agustus 2011

The Self-Help Industry Is Dead - Long Live Self Help!

A few short years ago, for many people, the word 'essentials' may have meant a luxury home filled with designer gear and high-tech toys to go with expensive facials and spiritual indulgence.
Advertisers told us we deserved it and we were worth it. With more than a little encouragement from so called self-help gurus, we were also led to believe that we could have it all - just by thinking about it.

Fast forward to now and we're all paying for it. The ongoing global recession has caused many of us to take a long, hard look at our lives and focus on the true essentials in life.
Gone are the unrealistic expectations that we can all be pretty, rich and famous.
Gone too, are the personal development posers who had jumped on the bandwagon of an economic boom to con gullible people out of their money for what was basically giving common sense advice.

The credit crunch seems to have squeezed the life out of the self-help industry and I, for one, think this is a good thing. Being an avid reader and owner of dozens of personal development manuals, I'd become increasingly bewildered by the wordy, confusing and pseudo-scientific claptrap that was becoming the norm.
Having spent a considerable amount of money, and reading energy, on various self improvement books, to the point that my head was cluttered with psycho-babble jargon, I came to realise that this self help overload was actually preventing me from experiencing the changes I needed.

When I was faced with what appeared to be an impossible situation, or emotional challenge, I would instinctively reach for a self help manual, seeking help and guidance. The sad fact is that more often than not these personal development products and their pompous, pious and patronising tones and conflicting messages left me feeling cold, confused and certainly none the wiser.
Overall, I believe that the self-help industry is generally well-intentioned, but it is open to exploitation by unscrupulous people. I've also come to believe that these pseudo-psychological methodologies can actually prevent people from achieving their goals.
The simple truth about self-help is that the 'the answer lies within'. We all have the power to change our lives with a little guidance. I believe if we all stopped looking for complicated, impressive-sounding solutions to everyday problems, in favour of commonsense solutions and simple answers, we'd all be much happier.

Faybird33 produces quirky, thoughtful art that reflects the human condition, especially the themes of self-help, sex, men and society. Her graphic art book, and the Moral of the Story is, uses a scarf wearing frog to illustrate how innovative thinking and perseverance can help anyone overcome life's challenges. For more information, visit http://www.faybird33.com/.

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