free markets, free culture

help yourselves! the self-help factor

with one comment

Fuzzy cameraphone shot, sorry. And yes, I thought Ben Franklin's bio might be a good self-help book.

The other day, a friend mentioned that self-help books are actually behind many success stories. Cheesy as they are, self-help books can provide the [motivation, epiphany, inspiration, what have you] that help people accomplish…. whatever it is they bought the self-help book to accomplish.

I admit, I’m a periodic self-help junkie too, often in my battle against dirt and time. (Recent titles: Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain, The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play).

Right now, I’m obsessing over alternative forms of work, and how we can escape the 9-to-5 grind as independent workers. I’ve got a healthy reading list this year, as people keep churning out books about how technology and globalization can let us work anytime from anywhere. Some titles are published traditionally and available easily at Amazon and other big bookstores (The 4-Hour Work Week, My So-Called Freelance Life).

Other titles I’ve heard about word-of-mouth, and are published by people I’ve met through networks. I’m Outta Here! is a book about the futures of work. It’s marketed and distributed by Lulu, a printing operation that lets you self-publish your own books, ebooks, music, and other materials on-demand.

Like fortune cookies and horoscopes, I take self-help books with a grain of salt. Keep what works for you and is relevant to your life — trash all the rest.

What are your self-help guilty pleasures?

FYI: Shelfari is an interesting web 2.0 way to track your reading consumption and keep up with others’ reading lists. My bookshelf’s here. It will look more impressive once we tackle this semester’s reading…


Written by @hellopanelo

February 17, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Posted in, good reads

One Response

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  1. I also have “clear your clutter with feng shui”! I got it at the used bookstore in the east village.

    -secrets of the millionaire mind (really hard to read due to crappy writing. Really good concepts that’ll make you think about your beliefs about money
    -the places that scare you (pema chodron)
    -the athlete’s way
    -train your mind, change your brain

    Have you seen Whole website devoted to selfhelp reviews


    February 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm

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