“There’s always room for one more self-help book” said every publisher ever. On the other hand, there are too many books and not enough time to read them all (especially if you read self-help books). Having never read one, I was interested in what all the fuss is about then I saw Forbes’ article on the core tenets of the genre.
Save yourself some time and check out this short list of seven things to think about.
7. Human needs: Accept your inherent irrationality and learn to fight it.
Human beings are neither robots nor computers â€“ and as it turns out, weâ€™re not even all that rational. Many great self-help books put forth the idea of a divided inner self: InÂ Carrots and Sticks, theyâ€™re Homer Simpson and Mr. Spock. InÂ Predictably Irrational, itâ€™s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The inner elephant and its rider represent the two selves inÂ Switch, and inÂ Thinking, Fast and Slow, the scientific terms System 1 and System 2 are used. While your rational side might be able to make a decision about whatâ€™s best for you, such as quitting cigarettes, eating healthier, or abstaining from social media, the impetuous irrational self who favors short-term gratification â€“ smokes, booze, and endless hours on facebook â€“ can derail you. To combat your inner Homer, set up disincentives for irrational behavior. The example that Carrots and Sticks offers is the following: if you promise to give 1,000 dollars to Scientology for every cigarette you smoke, you give Mr. Spock (Rational System 2), far more power than if the only motivation is a fleeting New Yearâ€™s resolution.