T Nation

Anti-Self Help Crusade


Who else here wants to tell the whole assortment of charlatans, knaves, rubes, liars, manipulators, and hucksters of the self-help movement to take a flying leap and to take their Law of Attraction and shove it up their asses?

This thread will be dedicated to ripping this disastrous, destructive "movement" apart.

In particular, I'd like to criticize the written work of Brian Tracy because when I was very young and naive, actually read a few of this man's books and actually fell for much of the crap in them.


Maybe you could write a self-help book on how to get away from self-help bullshit?

In all seriousness though, it's not worth it, they'll just start spouting all the miracles and success stories. It makes me sick how much these authors and lecturers take advantage of people.


Bricknyce: the TRUE self-help guru


I agree, but there's one thing I have to admit...sometimes I see Joel Osteen on late at night, and I watch 5 or 10 minutes and he can tell a pretty good story and maybe have a little pep talk thing at the end.

But anyway yeah...I see this at work too. I work with some mid-twenties American girls and they are frequently talking about books they read to improve their self-esteem and how they weren't respected in high school and how only their mom and dad said nice things to them etc. etc.

I think if you start saying stuff like "I need a vacation" or "I can't handle this!" then it will become true. A self-help book with all those check lists and places where you write in 5 great things about yourself are stupid.

I'm not sure if this was what you were looking for but that's my thinking.


How so?


Please explain how thinking about something positive, rather than just changing your outlook and perception (pessimistic ---> optimistic), somehow uses mind waves to distort electromagnetic fields in the atmosphere and manipulates electrons in order to somehow precisely interpret what you want and then give it to you.

I agree that mind science will dominate, but my operationalization of that is use of nootropics and diet to maximize one's potential neurologically, not wishing for something because you are too lazy to get it.

Anywho, I always though that the best self-help is to help yourself; in which all those books are contradictory in nature.


Because we don't look at science, get stuck in the past, and disregard all evidence because we are blinded by habit.

Oh wait... that's society in general, not us.


I don't know how I missed his first post...regardless I completely disagree with him. Once again, as I've seen numerous times with this site, he's taking specific incidents and making them universal. I completely agree with your assessment that that's society and not us as a whole. But like society, there are members who fit his description.

Let's get this thread back on track...


Glad you answered in depth...


Having read quite a few self development books, I agree that a lot of them are a waste of time and money. I think they often lead to paralysis by analysis, which is the same when you start to read too much unimportant training and nutrition information. I think a lot of the time the best form of confidence and development comes from choosing a plan, then going out and just doing it without overanalysing it.


Shut the fuck up or get the fuck out.


Somebody explain these laws of attraction.


I think that "The Secret" and such ilk is pretty silly but two books I have read are "The Power of Full Engagement" and "The Power of Story" both by Jim Loehr. I guess they would qualify as self-help books, but they are a lot more practical than what you usually see. "Full Engagement" basically just talks about learning to manage your energy instead of your time and discusses strategies for increasing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual capacity.

I like it because it applies a similar stress-recover-supercompensate model to building qualities such as patience as well as physical stamina. "Power of Story" is basically 200+ pages devoted to the idea of figuring out your goals, being honest about your actions right now, and figuring out what you need to change to make your actions match your goals.

I thought it was a little long-winded, but it was only like $5 more to throw it on the Amazon cart with "Full Engagement," which came highly recommended. I definitely recommend that one to anybody.

I think there are some "self-help" products that are useful, just like there are some good strength training books. However, it's less a matter of some magical method and more a matter of understanding principles and then actually applying them consistently and with hard work.

Ultimately, most people don't want to actually work to make a positive change in their lives, just like most people don't want to actually work to make a positive change in their bodies.


Self help books are worthless. I have never read one, but I can just imagine:

"Poor me, I need someone to tell me I am special, let me go buy a self help book."

Usually, if my friends have a problem, they come to me for advice. My advice is typically:

"Stop being a fucking pussy. Life is tough!"

And they get the point, man up, and go out an conquer.


What the hell are " masculine forms beyond our imagination"?

I'm going to assume English is not your first language from the phrasing and word choices you made. That's not meant to be an insult. It just makes your posts sound weird.


What do your self-help books say you should do about people like those on T-Nation? Fuck self-help books. If reading one changes your life, then you and I have nothing to talk about anyway.


Yeah you fucking bunch of snatches, quit all the book-learning and trying to improve yourselves. Fuckin losers. WTF is wrong with them?!?!


Seriously, if you need to read a book to improve yourself, then something is wrong with you.


Do you mean informative article on training? If not, can you site an example?


Some of the article's TC used to put out there on Fridays resembled passages from self help books and everyone raved about them in the discussions. I don't have an example on hand but I think anyone who's followed his articles might know which ones I'm talking about.