Lucas Brenner » Articles » Reading Self-Help Books Correctly

Self-Help Is a Craft

Some knowledge cannot be transmitted by words alone. That Berlin is the capital of Germany can be communicated through words and writing. But how to develop a healthy attitude toward change cannot be learned by rote.

Words can help transfer knowledge, but you still have to live your own life. One must actively apply self-help to receive the benefits. Self-help is meaningless without application.

Self-Help Is Individual

The techniques and principles described in self-help books usually help only some people. There are no tips that help everyone – because everyone is different. Self-help techniques have different target groups.

This means that you should keep only what works for you and what is useful. You should not confuse what is useless and what is difficult to apply, but still you do not have to (permanently) implement everything you read.

Self-Help Means Taking Advice

Self-help is taking advice from strangers and integrating it into your own life. Of course, you should learn through your own experience, but you should not disregard the experience values of other people.

Making unnecessary mistakes just because you refuse to accept help or advice means wasting energy. Accept that some people know things better than you and learn from them.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't question other people's lessons, but at least engage with and think about them.

Those who read self-help books with this attitude will not only gain more from them, but they will also better integrate the insights into their own lives. Also, keep in mind that self-help seminars are pointless.

Of course, there are still bad self-help books – but even these can be identified better and faster with the techniques presented here.