Self help books are not enough

I told myself if I could just read a little more, my life would radically change and I would become the person those books were calling me to be. Self help books had to be my saving grace, I thought. Having been disillusioned from the comforts of mediocrity, I was in a hurry to bring out the best in me and live better. Surely I could read my way into higher standards of living… or not.

Oden once wrote about how self help books are overrated. At that time I agreed, but from a different perspective. I had not ready any. It appeared to me that most writers regurgitated each other’s content and some of those books could have been blog posts — I digress.

I have read dozens of non-fiction books to date, but I don’t recall the first or the second book that made me want to keep giving them a chance. All I know is that someone wrote a book that helped me see past my bias and I promise to make the effort to remember whose book it was, so that one day I can thank them and mention their name.

Now hear this, writing is hard. Writing is life. Writing is holy grail. Writing is an art. The writer gives of himself when he chooses words and attempt to make sense of them for the reader. The process of creating a time capsule within pieces of writing is sacred. All I’m trying to say is that we ought to respect souls that dare to write.

So, I understand that those who labour in wordsmith industries are true legends. Nonetheless, the books are not enough. Writing is not enough. Neither is reading. There has to be a level of willingness in the reader’s heart to put into action that which they have read. I didn’t know this. For so long, I read with an attitude to merely consume great content with no desire to apply much of what I read. Hence I am saying that self help books are not enough to change a person’s life.

No matter how much you want to change and turn your life around, there’s no quick fix. Most self help books seem to sell the idea that once you read them — your life will drastically change. It’s a lie. You have to be hungry beyond just reading books. You can read all you want, but until you have a vision in your soul to feed — you risk being a knowledgeable person without results.

There are a few things you need to consider before or when you decide to engage brilliant minds through self help books. I made up a list of my own (things I wish I knew before reading self help books):

1. The writer is not God, so don’t replace God’s word with theirs.

3. Read to learn, not to just know.

2. Reading is good for the mind, but application of content read yield results.

4. It’s okay to miss out on books that don’t speak to your journey.

5. The “self help” part has more to do with you than the book.

6. It helps to learn what you can about the author to understand their heart for the content they write.

Well, that’s about it. I have a feeling someone wants me to recommend some books.

I am obsessed with a book I got for my birthday and as I write this I’ve only read up to page thirteen. To be honest I am excited to have this book so much that I haven’t found my calm yet… in order to start reading. Pray for me. The book is Relational Intelligence by Dr. Dharius Daniels. I won’t get into detail about how I think he’s the most brilliant person I’ve been following lately.

You can add:

PS: Reading is good for you. Become intentional about it.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. henhouselady says:

    You are right about self-help books. You can’t change your life for the better simply by reading. You have to apply the information to your life. This is a great post.


  2. Perth Girl says:

    So true that reading those books alone are not going to help unless we are determined to make that change in our life. From theory to practice.


  3. Great Post -May I recommend two books to your list?
    1. Faith in the Valley by Iyanla Vanzant. (passed to me by aquiantance, 1/2 way through, has helped me greatly)
    2. You are more Than You Know by Patsy Clairmont. (This book began my awakening, it was life changing. Got it free in a community share box)

    Now, I believe God ministers to us in many forms. Why not books. I never would have checked out these books nor paid for them. Yet when gifted to me, I chose to read them. To me that was God leading, but I still had to choose to read🙌🤩


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