STOP Reading Self Help Books!

You’re making your life worse — I’m deadly serious!

Bill James-Wallace


Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

You think you’ll find the answer! The golden nugget that solves all your problems.

But it won't, it’ll be worse! 😱

I’ve been reading these books for years. I’m a recovering productivity junkie!

I have my favourite (affiliate) which I will revisit from time to time, but for different reasons. (review coming!)

🧪 Solutions Looking For a Problem!

The self help industry (worth a cool $10.5B in 2020 according to the NPD Group) is based on helping people grow and be better. But it can prey on people’s fears and insecurities. It focuses on the gaps in people’s lives and personalities and infers a failing in some form.

This is how most people use self help books.

  1. I feel I could be more organised. I know, I’ll buy a book on organisation!
  2. I can’t seem to get on top of my work. Hey, I’ll buy a book on time management.
  3. That last brain surgery didn’t go the way I planned. I wonder if Amazon has a book on it.

The problem with self help books is, we use them as a solution to a problem we haven’t defined. As we read them, so much resonates, we find we have more problems than when we started!

📚 “Read These 12 Books Every Year”

I recently watched a YouTube video with the above title. I love a good book so I dove in to see what this fellow recommended!

All the books are great.

But as I watched through, I got this feeling that, yes, I could buy the books. I know I’d get value from them. The books themselves are fine.

But what problem am I trying to solve?

After watching the video, my takeaway was this:

  • buy the 12 books ✅
  • each book will highlight opportunities for improvement ✅
  • let’s assume 12 per book (low average) 🤷‍♂️
  • at the end of the year, I’ll have 144 more problems! 😳

🎥 Take the “YouTube” Approach



Bill James-Wallace

I write about growth, self improvement and success! | Facilitator | Consultant | Tries to play golf. Runs a bit. | Interested in helping make life better.