Why You Must Read This Self-Help Book

Today, I’m here to show you why you must read a self-help book. I believe in the irrepressible power of the self-help message.

This is the subject of my self-help book titled The Self-Support Guide, TSSG for short.

CHAPTER ONE

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THE SELF-SUPPORT GUIDE – INTRODUCTION

Self-help, to me, is simply the act of relying more on one’s own resources.

This could be mental, physical, emotional, material and spiritual – even if inadequate – to attain one’s personal goals.

When we talk of self-help, we are by no means talking of self-indulgence. Neither are we referring to the unwillingness on the part of the individual to seek and obtain or even accept a helping hand from elsewhere.

Every self-help book carries a message based on a simple fact of life as you and I have come to know – so painfully.

For the majority of the people of the world, it has, throughout human history, been always difficult to obtain the needed resources from government, relatives, friends, or even schools to assist them to also achieve whatever they desire out of life.

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And this fact is never going to change. But people who have gone ahead of us have shown, through the ages, that there is another fact of life.

Miracles happen to those who refuse to allow lack, deprivation and scarcity to bury their dreams and make sure they get rotten under the earth.

Yes, it has been proven time without number that the greater number of great achievers have mostly come from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Universal Laws

How did they do it? It was through the application of the universal laws and principles which form the basis of that miraculous thing called self-help.

It is a miracle for someone who was born poor, grew up in a poor neighbourhood, spent much of their early life in the dark alleys of a rural cottage, saw, smelt and experienced hunger and deprivation, could not boast of attending the most prestigious institutions of learning in their country or elsewhere in the world (and the list goes on) to go ahead, brushing aside all these limitations to become a shining star in their families, communities, occupations, countries or on the global stage.

It is indeed a miracle for so many to replicate the achievements of these shinning stars. They do so in their own way, big or small, just by following the examples and teachings of these great warriors.

For sure, it will remain a miracle to the other multitudes that hear or read the stories that these “social and economic upstarts” have to tell but find so difficult to believe.

How could one just use their almost non-existent personal resources to achieve so much?

Is it really possible for one to just employ their seemingly insignificant personal assets to rise out of a family history of poverty, starvation and embarrassing deprivation to a better standard of living in one generation?

Wouldn’t that feat be only in the realm of the miraculous?

Surely, it cannot be. But yes, it can be.

You don’t need to believe in these stories in order to make them the reality that they always have been.

Miracles do happen.

So, the self-support miracle has been busy happening for some. It will continue to happen to others who are willing to learn the lessons and apply the principles.

Would you allow this miracle to happen to you too?   

Why the Self-Help Message Can Never Be Silenced

… You can change the style of reggae.

You can change the rhythm of reggae,

But you can never, never change the message…

Nobody can stop reggae

‘Coz reggae is strong.

– Lucky Dube

The self-help message is like that of reggae. It is timeless, universally true and powerful.

As my number one favorite musician, the late Lucky Dube puts it so eloquently; it is resilient, unchangeable and unstoppable.

I have conducted extensive research on this subject of self-help. Because it is dear to my heart. I have learnt a lot from other thought-leaders on the do-it-yourself concept and from its detractors as well.

One writer whom I find to be highly critical of the self-help message and its apostles is Tom Tiede, author of the book, Self-Help Nation.

My reaction? I’m most grateful for the ideas expressed by critics of the self-help message such as Tom Tiede.

Such criticisms, rather than make me lose faith in the power of the self-help message have helped in no small measure to strengthen my belief that each individual, including you, my dear reader, can do so much personally to improve their life circumstances.

Just take your time and patiently consider the coming five solid reasons why no one can succeed in wishing away the crucial role the self-help or self-support message will continue to play in the individual’s effort to go higher and become a better person than they previously were.

THE HUGE POTENTIAL OF PERSONAL POWER.

There are too many people in the world who are ignorant or are refusing to realize the potential of their personal assets. These people need to hear the message and perform their own miracles in their individual lives. Miracles similar to or even greater than what those before them have performed with the help of the self-support message.

We must keep telling them till they see the light, seize their moment and become what they’re capable of becoming.

NO MESSAGE AIMED AT THE GROWTH OF THE INDIVIDUAL CAN EVER BE OVERSTATED.

There remains a large number of people across the globe that need to be reached with this all-important message.

I, for example, heard of, and began to read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Napoleon Hill’s masterpiece, Think And Grow Rich and many others when I was well past the age of thirty. And oh my, what a profound impact they have had on my life! Belatedly?

What would have happened to me otherwise? Well, no one can tell really. But one thing I know for certain is that I have benefitted immensely from the ideas of all these self-help apostles.

The mere fact that others in the developed world have heard or read too much of the same message cannot take anything away from reality. Multitudes of both young and old people in Africa and other parts of the developing world are just beginning to discover this wealth of wisdom, thanks to the new age of information explosion.

This is enough to convince you and me that the message of self-help is as relevant today as it was in the recent past.

And don’t forget. Many in the developed world are also just beginning to wake up to the fact that there is so much more they can accomplish just by taking hold of  their personal assets – big or small- believing in them, cultivating them and investing them in a brighter future for all those that they care about.

YOU CANNOT  DO MUCH WITHOUT EXTERNAL SUPPORT – INCORRECT.

There is an abiding widespread belief which needs to be killed before it sinks more people and communities of the world into the pit of debilitating poverty and underdevelopment.

This belief is a killer fallacy. It has killed many ambitions. It has succeeded in sending too many to their grave with their music still in them – unsung. It is the number one reason for the lack of progress in many rural and even suburban communities in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

Here it is. No individual, family or community will ever be able to do much for themselves without external support from the government, from so-called rich family tin-gods or from some benevolent Good Samaritan.

So, otherwise well-meaning media people in my corner of the globe are seen needlessly parading images of needful, deprived communities who are begging politicians to bring them classroom blocks, classroom furniture  and other school materials lest their children stop going to school having got tired of writing in the sand while lying on their bellies under the village nim tree

I live in a society where it is a common phenomenon to overhear young people, in particular, chatting away their time complaining about the lack of opportunities and the refusal by this or that relative to give them “a push”.

Before you know it, these same seemingly helpless youth manage to get hold of large sums of money which can be used to start profitable businesses ( because  there are a few others who are helping themselves with a lot less) only to squander them on dangerous journeys across the Sahara Desert to places like Libya hoping to cross over to paradise in Europe.

For the sake of such people, the self-help message cannot afford to die off. It must reach them. They must learn to believe in themselves and in the possibilities of their immediate environments.

This is how people grow wealth. This is how communities prosper. And this is exactly how nations achieve affluence.

BECAUSE WE ARE EACH CREATED AS UNIQUE MASTERPIECES.

Look across the way of any individual who is moving forward in spite of their humble beginnings and you will find that somehow, they first discovered their special strengths and accepted their weaknesses.

What happened next? They refused to offer any more excuses (such as “I don’t have anybody to help me”) for their predicament. Because they chose to lead themselves, they gradually began to find others to hold their hands along the way toward massive or even modest success. All success is success, right? That’s how it works.

Each human self is a unique and powerful success machine, ready to perform wonders with the help of the right habits and principles. This is one of the truths the self-help message teaches and will definitely continue to propagate.

THERE ARE TOO MANY EXAMPLES OF THE SELF-HELP SUCCESS STORY TO IGNORE.

Talk of the many great African sporting personalities like Abedi Pele, Azumah Nelson and George Weah who started from nowhere but managed to make great names and riches for themselves. They’ve been able to achieve a great deal due to that singular decision they took to lead and support themselves first before attracting external assistance, if at all, later.

Talk of the titans of American business of yesteryear. Talk of John D. Rockefeller and the media moguls of our day like Oprah Winfrey. Think about great political leaders of centuries gone by like Abraham Lincoln.

These are all people whose shining examples continue to give credence to the power of the self-help message. They did so well for themselves not because the world came to their aid right from the beginning but because they believed in their abilities, took the bull by the horns and left lasting legacies.

Now you know why the self-help message cannot be stopped.

It is self-evident. It can work for you too if you take it seriously.

WHAT IS ACHIEVEMENT?

Achievement is a noun. It is built out of the word “achieve” which is a verb. So I want us to find out the meaning of  the word, achieve. Look what I’ve just done. I clicked on the green arrow to the right of the word in the research dialog box in MS Word and here are the synonyms I obtained.

Attain

Get

Realize

Accomplish

Reach

Do

Complete

Pull off

Now if you want to know the simple meaning of achievement, just add any one of the following phrases and clauses to the above synonyms of achieve. The next thing you must do is to add these same phrases and clauses to “achieve” too.

Here come the phrases and clauses

A dream

An ambition

My heart’s desire

A feat

A destination in my life

A task

A project

A goal

An objective

What I planned for

What I yearned for

What I dream of becoming

My vision

So it is an achievement for me whenever I am able to get my heart’s desire, accomplish what I dreamt of becoming, reach a destination, realize a dream, pull off a feat, attain a goal or complete a task or a project. It does not really matter how big that accomplishment is. The most important denominator must be that you have achieved by stretching your personal assets, talents, skills and abilities to their farthest limits possible.

WHAT IS NOT ACHIEVEMENT?

Failure to get what we want, realize what we yearned for, reach a vision, or attain a goal is not achievement. An underachiever is one who continuously scores way below the mark or the one who achieves so little given the potential that the creator has endowed him or her with.

We find underachievers in all situations. They come in the form of talented students who achieve much less than they are capable of achieving. They could be business people or employees whose productivity levels are much lower than what they should, in actual fact, be obtaining. Or they are athletes who may have aimed for the moon but fail to even land among the stars.

In fact, underachievers are everywhere.

Then comes the worst case scenario. The non-achiever. The non-achiever is the one who fails to realize his dreams (if at all he happens to have them), cannot achieve a goal or is simply unable to reach a destination or complete any life project.

Though the underachiever may often blame exterior factors for their low performance, the worst complainant who goes about perpetually blaming everything and everyone else including the day he was born for all his woes is  the perennial non-achiever. The non-achiever is always the maestro in the blame game.

To be an underachiever is unfortunate. But to be a non-achiever is a tragedy of life. It is this tragedy that so many have fallen into. It is this tragedy that this book seeks to address. Because, remember, so many are non-achievers not because they lack the capacity to achieve anything worthwhile but because they are still living in a dream land.

What is that dream land? That others owe them a favour without which they can hardly function. They are busy doing nothing. They are actively waiting for government to give them a dream job. They are waiting for an uncle to fund their education. They are waiting for a bank to give them a loan. And they are living in a dream land because, these favours from anywhere are becoming rarer by the hour.

So we shall discover, by the time we finish with this book, that each one of us can still do a lot and achieve a  great deal just by relying more on our unique personal resources and assets, however insignificant we think they may be.

How to Use this Self-Help Book

No. This is not going to be one more magic book for getting something. In fact, I don’t promise you any particular formula that you must adhere to in order to support yourself and realize the good life.

I believe that we each realize our dreams in varying ways. No one specific formula works for everybody. There will be straight lines but there will also be curves and even detours. But at the bottom of it all are general rules and guiding principles. It is these that I present to you in this book.

So what do I need to do? And how will this book help me. You may be asking.

Let me answer the second question first. My book is designed to be your trusted guide as you embark on your journey of destiny. It will assist you in your personal effort to rise to greater heights notwithstanding your inability to obtain much external support.

What you need to do with this book is simple. Just learn and apply what you have learnt. Make good use of the ideas herein to build transformational habits. Just do it, one day at a  time; never beating yourself up too hard, striving to reach for the best of you, and not the best of all.

I wish you success.

Photo by Bidvine from Pexels

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