“Self-Help” Programs Don’t Help 

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I remember when I was really young, probably my early teens, I read an ad in a magazine about being able to do or be anything I wanted.  So, like many other people, I decided to give it a shot.  Guess what?  It didn’t work.  I was out about twenty dollars, but even worse, my wallet was open.  I pursued these programs, buying new ones as they came out.  After all, once a publisher or distributor of “self-help” programs sells you one, you are then on their mailing list and you begin to receive catalogs describing how good things can be, if you only spend a little more money.  Like most people, I spent a ton of money, but got nowhere.   

“Self-help” programs do not work!  They never have and never will.  I am sure there’s a small percentage of the population who have used these programs and have gotten results, but for most of us, the problem with traditional “self-help” programs is, you guessed it, they rely on “self.”  Remember, “self” is what got you into your current mess; “self” most certainly can’t get you out.  Stop relying on “self.” 

“Self-help” programs are created by “experts.”  My experience has been that “experts” have a way of taking the extremely simple and making it extremely complicated.  Sit down with any accountant and discuss taxes with him for just a little while; you will be sorry that you did.  Also, step into any gym and watch the personal trainers instructing people on how to exercise.  It is the same in virtually any field.  We humans have a way of doing that.   

Photo: Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha at flickr

If a squirrel could talk, and you asked him how he was preparing for winter, he would tell you that he was going to build a nest and store some nuts.  Ask a zoologist the same question and you’ll get a 300-page textbook.  All you need to do to find proof of this in the measurement of human success and happiness, is to look around you at all of the people seeing psychologists and therapists.  There are more of these professionals than at any time in human history.  At the same time, there are more unhappy people than ever before.  They make problems where there are none in an attempt to be important and relevant.  In fact, I believe that there are experts in almost every field, including the so called “self-help” experts who, in an attempt to sound intelligent or relevant, will make statements that are so bizarre and outrageous that others assume they are true.  Don’t rely on “experts!”  I’m not saying you shouldn’t take advice from others, you should.  Seek people who are getting the results you want and listen to what they are doing.  It is clear that you should “listen to advice and accept instructions, and in the end you will be wise.”vi 

In other words, don’t accept marriage advice from a relationship “expert” who has been divorced 10 times!  Traditional “self-help” programs tell you that your success or failure in life, mostly referring to material possessions and money, is up to you and you alone.  What these programs fail to acknowledge is that your “success” or “failure” is about far more than you – If you only work hard, if you only think positively, if you only fill in the blank.  Yes, you need to work hard and think positive thoughts. Ultimately, your success or failure is far beyond you.  Remember, most of the problems in the world are caused by self-seeking.  Self-seeking causes your pride and ego to kick into overdrive.  Self-seeking causes fear to bubble up to the surface because deep inside of you there is a realization that you aren’t capable and need something bigger than yourself. 

I propose something different.  I know it may be difficult, but learn to rely on something bigger than you.  I am not saying that it doesn’t depend on you at all; I am simply saying that your success or failure depends a lot less on you than you ever thought or were led to believe and a lot more on forces outside of your control.  Yes, you need to do the leg-work and supply the willingness, which we will discuss in much more detail later, but for now you just need to stop relying only on yourself! 

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Most of the traditional “self-help” programs I have seen and tried myself are based on greed and selfishness.  You are told that if you follow the prescribed program, at some point in the future a big house, a new car and a suitcase full of money will fall out of the sky, land right in front of you and BAM you’ll be happy!  They play into our fears and greed.  We think these things fill the voids in our lives and they do, temporarily, until we are no longer satisfied and we want more.  These programs talk very little of real and lasting success. 

Self-help programs just don’t work.  Yes, you can improve by carefully selecting and implementing a self-help program.  What I have found though, is the improvements are usually temporary and most people return to their old behaviors shortly after trying the program.  The reason is because most of these programs focus only on the surface stuff.  They don’t dig deep into a person’s character to uncover and fix the character issues that are holding them back from achieving their full potential.  If you are reading this right now, I am sure that this is probably not your first attempt at trying to improve yourself or become “successful.”  If you follow this program and continually work at it, this will be the last program that you will ever need.  Give yourself permission to try as you go through this program and you will be amazed at the results.  This program works!   

It’s important to realize that this program is not “self-help!”  You must admit here and now, that up to the point where you started this program, your self-run life was not really working out the best that it could.  You may have been “surviving” or “getting by” but as for real success you have not really seen too much.  Without that first admission and initial honesty, you may as well give this program away to someone else. 

Image by Hermann Traub from Pixabay

“Self-help” programs simply do not work for real and lasting results in your life.  I said this before: I researched many “self-help” programs and admit that there are many good insights and lessons that can be taken and learned from some of these programs.  In this book, I did the research for you.  I sorted through the good and the bad, the great and the horribly bad lessons and advice.  The information and advice that is worth applying in your life is in this book. 

Self is what got you into your current circumstances and situations.  While they are not all bad, you must first admit and realize what brought you to the starting point of reading this book.  Now is the time to really begin leaning on something bigger than yourself.  You will be doing things along the way to make your life better and you more successful, but you are not the cause of any success you may enjoy.  It is God!  When you first realize this and then accept it, you will see how you receive guidance and direction, but you take the actual steps.  If you do believe, then there is no convincing needed.  I simply ask that you place your trust in Him and allow good things to follow.  

The information here, if followed and acted upon, will have a tremendous impact on your life and for many people, it will introduce them to real success.  Before I talk about all of the positives, let’s take a moment to discuss what reading this will not do.  There are many people looking for a “quick-fix” for all of life’s problems.  This is not that “quick-fix.”  There is hard work ahead for you if you expect to achieve real success in your life.  Yes, it’s worth it!  You will not lose 300 pounds in the next seven days, nor will you become a billionaire in the next thirty.  Your life will not become problem free nor will you make all of your relationships stronger than ever before, when you wake up tomorrow.  You will not be an Olympic athlete in the next 6 weeks; you will not move your family into a mansion on the beach in two weeks and buy the yacht you always thought you deserved in three weeks. 

So, what will happen?  You will get more than you ever dreamed possible.  I talk to many people who are not even clear about what they want.  You will help you clarify what is really important.  Most of the time what you thought you really wanted is nothing in comparison to the plans God has for you and your life.  Yes, you will gain material objects such as a new house and more money.  Your relationships will get better; your health will improve and the list goes on and on.  It’s safe to say that every area of your life that is worth improving, will improve.  However, it’s important to remember that it will take time and patience. 

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You will have direction and guidance.  Your priorities will change and so will your goals and dreams.  I can only tell you from experience, that my life is nothing like I thought it would be, and my life is better than I could have ever dreamed possible. 

Until writing this book and living by the principles set forth, I had no idea how good things could get.  In spite of the difficulties and hardships, things are GOOD!  They can be for you too.  Are you ready?  It has been said that, “whoever accepts guidance and seeks God will be blessed.”vii  If you are doubting this statement, just give it a try and you will see that it is true. 

The best thing you will gain from this program is “the peace that passes all understanding”viii  You will have peace and serenity in your life regardless of what is happening around you.  Many programs out there claim that if you only do what they say, you will have no problems or challenges and life will be perfect.  If that is what you are aiming for in life, then you don’t understand real success.  Real success is moving forward, in spite of difficulties.  Although you will still have problems and difficulties, even if you work this program perfectly, (which is impossible), I can tell you that your problems, difficulties and challenges will change.  As you conquer your present ones, you will grow.  As you grow, you will be presented with new problems, difficulties and challenges.  Through all of this, if you maintain your focus on your desire to grow, you will maintain peace and serenity in your life.  This will spread to everyone around you and you will be a force for positive and good in other people’s lives, as well as your own. 

Michael at R2W

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