Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Self Help

Growing up there were a lot of self help books around the house- Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, End the Struggle and Dance With Life, Life is Short- Wear Your Party Pants. I did then and do now love a good self help book. And while many can be trite and obvious actually they can be very helpful indeed. Every now and again a phrase will float into my mind at the appropriate moment and really resonate. One that I'm trying to remind myself of often at the moment is a paraphrase from one of my favourite books (that sadly I can remember nothing about except (I think) it had a green triangle on the cover). It went something like this: This thing you're worrying about- can you do anything about it? Yes? Then do it. No? Then stop worrying about it. Not exactly reinventing the world as we know it but incredibly useful none the less.

I have a particular soft spot for the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People too. Yes it's full of marketing wank and exercises that you're never going to do. Yes he makes his family sit down and talk through and write out a family manifesto every year. Yes it's cheesy as hell. But fundamentally it's about being a good person and remembering what's important and getting on with things. And whilst I'd never subject anyone else to it, I did a few years ago sit down and write a manifesto of the person I wanted to be. I read it today and it was good. I'm not there yet (There's a bit about dealing well with change I'm still a long way from) but largely I'm getting there.

There's lots of things in the world I want to fix. There's lots of things about me that I'd like to change. But it's good to remember every now and again that you can do things to improve both yourself and the world around you. You can mock all you want but you know life is short, and these party pants aren't going to wear themselves.

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