So you wonder about all these self improvement gurus – what makes them the experts on how we should live our lives? Why should you buy their books? Aren’t they just repackaging the same list of do’s and don’ts in new formats and selling them – is there really anything new in all this?
The answer may surprise you. Yes, it has all been said before, sometimes said better, sometimes not as well. Yes, self improvement experts in large part resell the same information over and over in new packaging. No, when you come right down to it there is little or anything new – truly new, in any of this.
“I cannot believe he just wrote that – he just admitted this whole self improvement business is a sham, a giant rip off!”
No, I did not admit that. I admit as I think anyone who is honest would, that as the French say, there is nothing new under the sun. Every solid principle of success has been discovered. It has been tested and demonstrated at some time by someone somewhere.
However, that does not mean there is not value in studying what good success and self improvement literature has to say. There are three reasons for this:
1. No one author has captured everything of value to you that there is to say about self improvement and success. You get pieces of the puzzle from each source, and despite some repetition you have to piece together what is different. Some have a writing style or thinking approach that really works for you, others may leave you cold.
2. While the basic principles have not changed their application in an ever changing world does change. Someone like Jeffrey Gittomer or David Allen, for example, can bring old ideas into a modern business context using modern technology and techniques. You will see the same principles written in books a hundred years old, but it won’t have the present day relevance that modern writers can provide.
3. Probably the most important reason to read success or self improvement literature, both new and old, is that we only truly learn things when they are repeated. We need repetition, and we need it in different forms and approaches, to truly learn them. The more abstract the concept, the more repetition and reformulation we need to internalize the information.
It certainly is wise to be selective about what you read and what you believe. However, most successful people read a great deal and they read a great deal of non-fiction literature about their fields of interest that include how people motivate, sell, succeed and thrive.
Now, what is your next excuse for not reading about success?
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.