What About Self-Help?

May 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

EYE-4Just read an article by Deepak Chopra (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/when-you-help-yourself-wh_b_578892.html).  It’s a good post about self-help really being about self-discovery if it is to have lasting changes.

What he left out is that self-help is really an American phenomenon.  Somehow we have developed a society that needs to read about, having sex, loving, being in a relationship, being happier, finding ourselves etc. instead of just being.  Why is that?

I think one of the answers is our values as a society, families, and individuals.  In the United States we live under constant pressure to work and to succeed while the rest of the world uses work as a means to have more fun. To us work is an end unto itself and success defines us.  The result is that more and more we live in our own world of trying to succeed and less and less in actually living.  And we are in a hurry, so we want immediate answers.

We want to have good sex now.  So instead of communicating with our partners, spending the time to actually enjoy the intimacy, we read books that give us step by step ways to have better sex.

We want a better relationship now.  So instead of giving the time and attention a relationship needs we read a manual on how to make it better.  We don’t have the time to just be.

I’m not ditching self-help books but am saying the answer, as Mr. Chopra has written, lays within us.  It also lays in the way we live our lives, and in the ways we have constructed our societal set of values.

Work and technology are tools to allow us to have better relationships with others and ourselves.  Not the other way around.  So if we really want to have better sex, relationships, lives, we need first to set our priorities straight.  Once we do that, we are set to take the voyage of self knowledge and most likely will not need any self-help books.

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