5 reasons why everyone should read self-help books
Do you know what is your biggest asset? You! There are several benefits of reading self-help books that can make you a better person than before. Here are 5 reasons why everyone should read self-help books.
Although the beginning of modern self-help books may be said to have occurred in the mid-nineteenth century, its evolution into a prominent genre including multiple bestsellers is better gauged as a part of the postmodern culture since the late twentieth century. I used the word 'modern' because guides to improve everyday behavior existed since the earliest days of human civilization. In ancient Rome, some of Cicero's works like On Friendship and On Duties were popular guidebooks of the day, severely competed in terms of popularity by Ovid's Art of Love and Remedy of Love, Seneca's On Anger, as well as Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Plato, Aristotle, and Plutarch also wrote self-help books. Similarly, in medieval Europe, we had Conduir-amour or Love-Guides, and Giovanni della Casa during the Italian Renaissance published his famous treatise on etiquettes called Galateo: The Rules of Polite Behavior. The modern genre of self-help books probably borrowed its name from Samuel Smiles' phenomenal book Self-Help, which was published in 1859 and almost instantly became a bestseller, flagging off the history of a new genre to emerge.
The dismissive attitude towards self-help booksNevertheless, despite their fairly long history, self-help books as a genre are usually frowned upon by the intelligentsia. Although they often secure their places in the bestseller lists, you would not usually find a self-help book being taught in a university curriculum, or reviewed by a scholarly journal, or honored with a prestigious literary award like the Man Booker, the Pulitzer, or the Nobel Prize for Literature. In the vast world of books and bibliophiles, the self-help genre is often dismissed as second-class. Nevertheless, despite the negative attitude towards self-help books as a whole, there are certain benefits of reading them that cannot be dismissed easily. Let us see what are the advantages of reading self-help books, and why everyone should be reading at least some of them.
1. Self-help books are great to inculcate reading habitsSince self-help books come under the aegis of popular literature, they are usually written in very simple and lucid language. Hence, if you did not have a reading habit beforehand, self-help books are great tools to kick start your journey as a bibliophile. I know several voracious readers who have picked up their reading habits by reading self-help books in the beginning. On the other hand, even if you are an avid reader of books or engage yourself in serious academic pursuits all day, self-help books are great to take a break from your heavy schedule and do some light reading.
2. You feel positive and energizedSelf-help books charge you with positive energy. And not only you feel that energy yourself, but also start spreading it all around. You create positive vibes and charge up the environment wherever you go. And who does not know that a more focused and energized worker is always more productive? There are several businesses that provide their employees with complimentary self-help books or keep those books in public areas of the office, like the canteen or the lounge. Those companies do have a point.
3. Self-help books are a great bargainSelf-help books are usually inexpensive. Most of the time, they cost less than what you need to shell out for a dinner for two at any standard restaurant. Some of them are even as inexpensive as your regular Caffe Latte. At that kind of price, there is a lot of necessary information to absorb. And if you get to pick the right self-help book, you can learn tips and techniques that can change your life forever for good at a bargain price. Is that not a great deal?
4. There is nothing like investing in yourselfThere is an ancient adage where two woodcutters were competing regarding who could gather more timber by the end of the day. One of them started cutting the trees as soon as he reached the forest, while the other just kept sitting and sharpening his ax. The sun was shining on the top of their heads, but the second lumberjack kept sharpening his ax. His mate, who was cutting the trees down right from the morning, now started mocking him. The man, however, kept his cool and kept sharpening his ax. Finally, when he was sure that the blade of his ax was satisfactorily sharp, he went to chop the trees down – and since his ax was sharp, he could significantly reduce the time and energy required to cut the trees down and chop them into logs. At the end of the day, he managed to pile more wood than his friend.
In our everyday life, too, we are often so busy making use of every minute to chop the trees down, that we forget to sharpen our axes. We forget that the ax is as crucial an asset as time. For example, every human being has the same hours per day at his disposal – but while a daily wage earner toils hard to earn a few dollars per hour, a successful businessperson makes millions. A major difference between the rich and the poor is that the former knows how to increase the per-hour cash inflow by creating passive sources of income. And that is possible only when you know how to upgrade your skills and enhance your abilities; in other words, when you know how to sharpen your ax so that cutting woods become less strenuous and less time-consuming. Since you are your biggest asset, investing in yourself will always fetch the biggest return. Self-help books will help you achieve that goal over time.
5. You get to develop all-round to skillsSelf-help books not only help you develop or core skill (in other words, help you be better in something you are already good at), but they can help you pick up and develop other skills you might not have had so far. For example, you may be a great academician achieving excellence in every front of scholasticism, but your financial life is a mess and you are stuck neck-deep in the quagmire of debts. If you go through some of the top personal finance books, that can help you significantly improve your financial life; and if you can liberate yourself from monetary problems, you can always invest more time and effort in your academic pursuits. From motivation to management, from finance to fitness, from soft skills to spirituality – self-help books cover a diverse array of subjects, offering you a plethora to choose from. Whatever is the Achilles' heel of your life, you can always find a good self-help book to work in that area.
What are some good self-help books to begin with?While it is difficult to summarize the benefits of reading self-help books within the span of one short article, it is perhaps even more difficult to make a list of the best self-help books. There are so many good books around that it is easy and normal to feel overwhelmed. However, it is always better to start acting than procrastinating things forever. So, find some good self-help books to read, and start enhancing your life right away!
A good article from the author bringing out all the advantages of reading self-help books. By reading such books our way of thinking will change. These books are very useful to the people who are having doubtful mentality about their abilities and capabilities. We can't say this book is good or that book is bad. The book selection will vary from individual to individual. These books help the readers to know their deficiencies and how to overcome them.
Many of us might have heard of Shiv Kher, a very well known Indian writer, who writes self-help books. His book 'You Can Win' is the best book for a person who is not able to nurture positive thoughts. Once you read that book your entire mindset will change. I read that book and it is excellent. This is an example only. There are also other books by him that can make you mentally strong.