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Is the Self-Help/Self-Improvement Industry a Fraud?

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Is the Self-Help/Self-Improvement Industry a Fraud?

Postby Banano » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:10 am

http://drjimtaylor.com/2.0/personal-growth/personal-growth-is-the-self-help-industry-a-fraud/

Did anyone actually benefit from self help industry (guru seminars, books, dvd, etc)

It works on the same principle as PUA but its much bigger as it appeals to more people

I know quite a few people who are addicted to self help books and seminars but I cant see them having any improvements,

I watched 'the secret' and read a few other self help books but to be honest i cant report any lasting benefits, it may be entertaining while you reading it; if hyped 'the secret' was all you need why theres new materials coming up all the time?

Are these self help gurus con artists who promise you world and deliver little.
No doubt these guys are good businessmen and great public speakers

These new age self help gurus are the same as pua teachers

why people fall for it and spend 000s of $$ on hyped products

Women in particular love self help material which breeds individualism, narcissm, selfishness...you need to reach for the stars, deserve only the best attitude, dont settle for 2nd best

One could argue its even detrimental for mental health and society and perhaps dating
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Postby abcdavid01 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:05 am

It's bad if they market themselves as the one solution to all your problems. There is no one solution because people's problems are so personal. If it can help some people out, great. But each person is different and will respond to different programs and institutions. It's like why people have different religions, just whatever they respond to.

That said, I just watched the film Angel-A for the forth time. It almost single handedly woke me up from severe depression. I can't recommend this enough.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRrFvapV4ms[/youtube]
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Postby publicduende » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:33 am

abcdavid01 wrote:It's bad if they market themselves as the one solution to all your problems. There is no one solution because people's problems are so personal. If it can help some people out, great. But each person is different and will respond to different programs and institutions. It's like why people have different religions, just whatever they respond to.

That said, I just watched the film Angel-A for the forth time. It almost single handedly woke me up from severe depression. I can't recommend this enough.


Yeah I watched it too, and it is an inspiring piece of cinematography. And let's not forget Jamel Debbouze is a very successful actor despite being short, not particularly handsome and of clear Arab descent. To top it up, here's his wife, gorgeous anchorwoman Melissa Theuriau.

Image

Image
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Postby abcdavid01 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:46 am

Not to mention deformed! Man, that guy's a real inspiration.

Image

I'm a huge Besson fan though.
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Postby ladislav » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:54 am

Like with religions, the core contains great ideas and great truths but most people who market them distort them, add all kinds of ad-libs and fables so that they could commercialize them. However, if you want to be inspired and are able to glean out some good, positive ideas, many such books contain them.

Just like with the Bible and other such books ( which are original self help books in a way) you need to be able to read between the lines and eclectically pick the ideas that make sense while discarding the slough.

I would say some 20% of stuff in them is good but it needs to be tweaked to your own case and it adds up to the same truths taught by most major religions- by visualizing things and concentrating hard ( praying) you bend the fabric of the universe to attain better luck and improve your chances and by making consistent efforts with your goal in mind and deciding to do whatever it takes to attain your goal and never straying from it, you make most of your dreams come true.

I believe in the same principle and those books have helped me. They are just pep talk. I get the same rush from watching action movies where people overcome great odds.

As with any advice, you need to thoroughly filter it and take a piece here and a piece there and then collect them into your own formula. Then work like crazy, visualize and pray and make effort after effort until the law of averages starts working. It's a no-brainer but a book like that helps.

As long as you add your own experience and common sense and use your own nuggins.
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Postby Rayn » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:10 am

Funnily enough, the only Self-Help book that actually helped myself is a self-help book titled....Self Help by Samuel Smiles. Historically, the first self-help book in the self-help category but no doubt the most useful one until today.

http://www.amazon.com/Self-Help-Samuel-Smiles/dp/1463524889

This book is all you need for pretty much any kind of self-help you need: Finances, Business, Relationships, Happiness, Motivation, Education, anything you can think of.
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Postby publicduende » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:43 am

ladislav wrote:As with any advice, you need to thoroughly filter it and take a piece here and a piece there and then collect them into your own formula. Then work like crazy, visualize and pray and make effort after effort until the law of averages starts working. It's a no-brainer but a book like that helps.


What's the law of averages?
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Postby lavezzi » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:50 am

dropping the idea of oneself as being a person is the solution to all personal problems. of course it seems we have a personal self, but what is the criteria to assess whether this is true? there is no such criteria, revealing it is an illaborate illusion; one caused solely by the fact that when we move the earth does not move with us. all problems stem from this false perception and they too are equally illusiory.

whether you live in a bed-sit or a mansion, work at mcdonalds or dont work because you are rich, live in the america or asia etc. its all the same outside of your mind. observe ones thought processess and give up all ones senses of dependencies. this is how to experience the fullness of life.

self help cannot work because the self is the manufacturer of problems.
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Postby lone_yakuza » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:05 am

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Last edited by lone_yakuza on Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ladislav » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:12 am

publicduende wrote:
ladislav wrote:As with any advice, you need to thoroughly filter it and take a piece here and a piece there and then collect them into your own formula. Then work like crazy, visualize and pray and make effort after effort until the law of averages starts working. It's a no-brainer but a book like that helps.


What's the law of averages?


The numbers game. If you want a good job, you study hard and keep applying. Until the good odds overwhelm the bad. Send out 2000 resumes. If it does not help, send out another 5000. You will get your job.

And I'm not sure why they put a brown Moroccan guy in the film. Brown is liked by most women so there is no reason he should be unconfident.


Because Moroccans are on the French sh-t list.

The most despised race/sex combination of males is East Asian males.


Not in France. Not in Mexico. Not in Brazil. Find countries on whose shit lists you are not.

Right now I'm just height challenged.


Among N Europeans you are. Not in SE Asia, not in L. America. Not in S. Europe.
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Postby publicduende » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:46 am

Look, there's nothing wrong in spreading hope as a balsam for the soul. Nothing wrong with finding powerful words and imagery to inspire people to take that extra step and effort towards changing their habits and moving towards a more positive and healthy state of mind. Nothing wrong in leveraging others'life experiences as examples to follow, or milestone to compare and constrast our spoiled lives. I have personally shed a few tears on a few of those incredibly evocative (when not cheesy) Powerpoint stories that circulate the Internet.

It all becomes a fraud when the balsam is sold as a medicine, a panacea, especially at more than a token price tag and especially with an implicit guarantee that results will come, plentiful, satisfying and lasting.

Ladislav says something quite profound in his post above. The sacred texts of any religion, at the lowest level of interpretation, are the original self-help books. Thing is, most of those religions have been wise (cunning? realistic?) enough to say that those who exercise the qualities of a good believer will have their rewards in the next life. Not this one. Anything remotely positive happening would be promptly attributed to the good Gods giving them a taste of the promised afterlife bliss, and anything bad would be seen as a sign that the same Gods wanted to throw them a challenge, a mountain to climb.

It's the same technique used by anyone who sells hope. Good results? My credit. Bad or no results? Not my fault. Finger pointed to lack of discipline, faith, effort, and the promise that, with the next product, change will be even easier, faster, long-lasting.

You guys in the US even elected that prime purveyor of hope, Barack Obama, only to notice that he did exactly the same stuff Bush Jr. did, and Romney probably would have done had it been elected instead.

The reality is always the same. Hope is good, but change can only start from us. Every problem has a technical, rational solution that works and is, in theory as well as in execution, far more effective and probably cheaper than the self-help option.

Do you want to lose weight? Get yourself a good gym membership and a good diet plan (or a personal trainer and a dietician, if you can afford it), not a self-help course. Do you want to get a better job? Find the right intersection of what you like to do with a good university qualification, do it on your own, be prepared to move to another location or even abroad since the labour market moves mind-blowingly fast. Do you want to find a better woman? Be a better man, more caring towards the others (men, children and elderly included!), more truthful to your personality. And look for cultures and societies where more traditional and feminine women can still be found (half of the world, at the very least). Turning up to get advice from a self-proclaimed womanizer isn't going to do much about that.

In a way, these self-help gurus have in their best interest to propagate the myth that change is difficult, tiresome and error-prone. Change can begin as soon as we want it to begin. We will only see the results after some time and some work, but the mere realisation that the machine of change has already been set in motion is enough lubricant to charge your mental/spiritual batteries with motivation, faith, and more hope. At least from what I have seen in my life, this kind of start work -> see a tiny change -> feel hopeful that change will happen -> feel motivated to work harder -> see a bigger change -> feel even more hopeful about success etc. is the only positive feedback loop that can bring about real change at the personal level.
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Postby lone_yakuza » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:18 am

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Postby publicduende » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:22 am

lone_yakuza wrote:My fashion designer cousin says Italy and most of Southern Europe also dislikes East Asians especially if you are only 5'6" like me, maybe look like 5'8" with shoes and because of my muscle mass, but still.


Well there are East Asians and East Asians. If you generally look like your current avatar, I personally know a number of very cute (Italian) girls who would DIE to be with a young man like you. Don't forget that Italy and France (and Belgium, and Spain to a lesser extent) have been inundated by Japanese mangas and cartoons for the past 30 years, with all the positive imagery surrounding "kakkoii" male heroes. Somebody like you would be probably ignored by many girls, but just as many will see you as some sort of exotic stud straight out one of those mangas. Then you really are a martial arts expert...then you speak fluent English. And finally you are a good all-round prospect due to your good education.

Last but not least, a lot of Southern European girls are short to start with (1.60 cm and less) and that doesn't stop them from being cute, when not hot.
Last edited by publicduende on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby publicduende » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:28 am

ladislav wrote:
publicduende wrote:What's the law of averages?


The numbers game. If you want a good job, you study hard and keep applying. Until the good odds overwhelm the bad. Send out 2000 resumes. If it does not help, send out another 5000. You will get your job.


Ah OK, another name for the law of large numbers. Well that's usually the "brute force" approach to the problem. If you send 2000 resumes and only get a handful of positive replies, it's true that persevering will definitely lead to an (average) job. Yet it's sometimes easier to see how the odds can be twisted to your favour without having to bang your head to the wall an excessive number of times.

I think that's the message behind "happier abroad". Move to a location where your personality and status are more marketable and your outcomes will be more skewed towards success.
Last edited by publicduende on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby terminator » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:00 am

Self-help is a waste of time because most people are beyond help. Most authors are in it for the money or attention whore-dom. I remember Tony Robbins and his tapes that didn't make me rich years ago.
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