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Can self-help books really change lives?

Have you ever read a book that has had a profound effect on your thinking and made you change your life?

The book market is flooded with self-help books written by those that aim to share their life-changing tips with the reader and hope to make a positive influence on them. The self-help industry is a multi-billion pound industry. It’s made media celebrities out of people and capitalised wildly off the growing self-consciousness of recent generations. And although it’s changed the lives of millions of people does it still lack certain credibility?

Books can be incredibly powerful.  They have the ability to suck us in, take us on adventures, and influence the way we think.

They can teach us, move us, give us new perspectives, and help shape us. They can change one’s way of thinking, which ends up changing their attitude, behaviour, and decision-making. Even small positive incremental changes in those areas, end up with cumulative effects resulting in a better life.

And the most powerful ones change our lives forever, or do they?

What are your views? Have you read a self-help book that has changed your life for the better? Would you recommend any to your best friend?

Can self help books really change lives?

177 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Lionel
23rd Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
By my mid-twenties I'd been a church goer for ten years and a chorister before that. I knew many bits of Bible text and some of it's stories but I'd never got to grips with reading it right through.

A couple of years into a farm-working career I knew winters were short hours and basic pay. One evening I sat down with my Bible, reading it word for word trying to grasp what it allegedly was saying to both me and mankind. By early Spring time the second reading was well underway.

Endless questions Chinese philosophers, Greek theologians and European speculators had attempted to answer, but unsatisfactorily, were resolved by the God of the Bible. This existence I have took on meaning, purpose and direction. If it's not too great a thing to say, the Bible set me in the context of the great scheme of things. I had a place and a reason for living. A first cause for everything.

Since then so much of me has changed, the result of daily attention to God and His Bible. I know who I am and I know my final destiny.

I suppose, strictly speaking the Bible isn't a self help book. But however you pigeon hole it, the fact of it is, it changed me forever.
RosemaryF5
23rd Aug 2020
1
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I read them on and off all the time. For someone who lives alone I find comfort at times when I am very low. One has to have faith to make it and to overcome ones own personal problems
Tr1sh
23rd Aug 2020
0
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I can't recall ever reading a self-help book. I prefer meditation.
eddien4
23rd Aug 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I can’t think of any particular book that has made an immediate impact on my life but there are some that have made me change my view of the world, or have given me a different perspective. I’m always wary of those promising me a better life, career, etc but you can take bits and pieces from them that will help you to maybe be a bit more positive about life in general.
SueC62
22nd Aug 2020
1
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I have two 'bibles' that I read when I hit rock bottom with my career and romantic relationships at the age of 52. They helped me to see that I'd suffered from low self esteem all my life, and why. They both 'changed my life' by changing my perception of my life to date, helping me to understand and to move forward. It really was a dramatic change and in a short time; I just 'got it' and started to realise my worth. The end result was at age 53, I secured the best (and highest paying) job I've ever had. After a few attempts, I gave up on a romantic relationships as I realised that I actually happier on my own; I'm not an introvert or recluse but I'm happy to be selfish, pleasing just me, after years of bowing to partners' wishes. I have a large circle of friends and a number of hobbies so I'm always busy and I'm fortunate to solvent.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L Hay (my 'touchy feely' bible)
Overcoming Low Self Esteem by Melanie Fennell (my 'technical' bible)
GeraldineA92
27th Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree. Louise Hay had a profound influence on me and I frequently dip into You Can Heal Your Life. I have also been a follower of Jack Canfield for over 30 years. Someone gave me a tape of his on self esteem and it really resonated with me. I live by his Success Principles.

No book can change a person's life, only the person can do that. You can't read a book and expect it to be a magic wand, you have to do the work. The first time I read Success Principles, that's all I did read it, but the second time I worked through it and that is when change happened.
Retiredyorkie
22nd Aug 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Our parents and grandparents did not have self help books and they survived what ever life threw at them.
MaryF29
21st Aug 2020
3
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I could not say a single book, poem or picture has inspired me that much, but the correlation of a point of view and a viewing point has always stuck with me. And of course reading a book will not change anything, it is always the actions you take after reading that is going to make change happen. It is easier to hear something that is written down and can’t be considered a personal slight than when a friend or relative makes a comment.
Yodama
20th Aug 2020
3
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Yes, certain books can alter your way of thinking. When you live alone, the mind seems to behave in a disordered way, often dwelling on the things you can't do.
The Buddhists call it "crazy monkey mind."
Constant media bombardment of negativity, wars, famine etc, leave one feeling hopeless and filled with doom.

Certain books or poems, guru's and quotes have helped to jolt me out of my doldrums and opened doors to new ways of thinking. We are not all we seem, our brains can be re-programmed.

Dr Bruce Lipton - The Biology of Belief, is brilliant.
Dr Maseru Emoto - Messages in Water.
Lectures by Dr Wayne Dyer
Lectures by Buddhist monks such as Mingyur Rinpoche and Sadhguru.
The poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling that hangs on my wall as a frequent reminder.
The sayings of Lau Tzu, very profound.

There are so many others, great minds who we can learn from to alter our trajectories.
Lionel
20th Aug 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I most certainly agree with Kipling's If! So many times, not the least during a messy and painful divorce, Kipling's words stirred my heart.

But I'm surprised the thought police haven't raided your den, Yodama. After all, If is monumentally sexist!
Yodama
20th Aug 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Well, if "If" is monumentally sexist, it can be forgiven. Poor dear Rudyard didn't know he was being sexist, you know, forgive them for they don't know what they are being sexist about? in the days when men were men and did as they were told by women. 😉
He was just a bloke in "them" days. I know a few women who have all the attributes of a "real man." with huge brass invisible cajones. ( If that is an indication of strength of character.?)
Glad to see so many women scientists, philosophers, artists and poets being recognised today, they should have a poem of their own.
ecarg
21st Aug 2020
0
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Pretty sure you could write a good feminist poem Yodama
sure I could come up with a line or two as well.
Yodama
22nd Aug 2020
0
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I wouldn't dare...
I do think Rudyard wrote "If" for his sons. just wonder if he wrote something similar for his daughters?
Anyway, it is a fantastic poem as a guide on how to be a noble person, male or female.
Munsterlander
20th Aug 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
At my ripe old age I should be the one writing the books not some hippy "life guru" What does a 30 or 40 year old know about life-Four fifths of bugger all.........is my answer.
Lionel
20th Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Oh, come on Munsterlander. Four fifths? I's say bugger all!
MrsPat
20th Aug 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I have read a few in my life when I needed a perk up and a few were helpful-those that promoted good commonsense.

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