All the Self-Help You’ll Ever Need

In a thread on Metafilter about The Verge‘s Scamworld takedown, a commenter reveals the ulimate secrets to personal empowerment:

Yes, you can live a better, happier, more fulfilling, wealthier life. You actually can do that.

Want to know how?

It’s really simple, and I’m going to tell you. For free. This is how.

Decide to actually do, that which it will actually take, to actually achieve what you want.

There you go. I just saved you $10,000+ each for seminars and prayer breakfasts and self-empowerment weekends and whatever. However, like most people, you probably think that’s way, way too simple for you. It doesn’t appeal to your inner attraction to complication, and you need it explained in more detail. I’ll throw that in, ‘cos I like you and want you to succeed. (Yes, I really do.)

Think about yourself in five years. Where do you want to live? What do you want to be doing? What do you want to have? Who do you want to be? Now write all that down in detail.

Next, back-port that, a year at a time, to a year from now. If your life plan doesn’t make sense, or there isn’t enough time to achieve what you want, or whatever, edit it. It’s only ever a draft. Stuff will come up that necessitates re-drafting it; inability to accept that we cannot precisely determine the course of our lives is one of the major barriers to self-improvement. It will help with this if you subdivide your life plan into areas such as family, career, fun, money, health etc; whatever makes sense to you. You can google for example goal-setting lists.

The purpose of this exercise is to clarify what you want, and in turn, clarify exactly how, as in by what real actions, you are going to get what you want. If there’s a logical gap, fix it.

Having done this, frequently review your plan. You need to become somewhat obsessive about it. Your subconscious is powerful but it is lazy; unless you become subconsciously driven to achieve something, you probably won’t. You’ll find excuses to avoid it.

The “Law of Attraction” is a mystical name for what are basically three real things. The first thing, is clarity of intention. If you’re sitting around wondering who you are and what you’re going to do, thousands of opportunities and possibilities will pass you by unnoticed. The second thing is confirmation bias: if you’re clear that you want this, any opportunity that you see that in some way approximates to this, you will notice. Same way that if you drive a red Honda, you will see red Hondas everywhere. They were there all along; you just didn’t care. The third thing, is motivated action. The scope of your possible actions is enormous. You are overwhelmed with choices and consequent analysis paralysis. If you just pick something you want, even if it’s a bit silly, and it’s motivating enough to prompt you to some action, then you will greatly increase your chances of getting it.

There you go. Simple as that. If you don’t get it, or having got it, wish that there were some “easier way”, by all means pay the snake oil salesmen to re-explain it to you with different metaphors and in greater detail and including money. Also it is a proven fact that most humans value their experiences and possessions more, the more they paid for them, regardless of their actual utility, and accordingly paying a snake oil salesman thousands of dollars to receive advice you could get from reading an internet forum, may actually have the genuine and real effect of making you more likely to take that advice.”

Full thread on Metafilter.






2 responses to “All the Self-Help You’ll Ever Need”

  1. Maryam Webster Avatar

    Succinct, accurate, and virtually un-doable by 89% of the population due to limiting beliefs, attention deficit, over-busyness and perception that they cannot or must not have one or more of the things they desire.

    But the thread is essentially correct, take an outcome and work it backward in doable chunks, forward pace to success and review often. Standard NLP practice as well. Thanks Andy, for bringing in a very pragmatic look at a prone-to-woo-woo topic.

    What it leaves out is the ease of accomplishment possible when one factors in the rich resources from un-mined dimensions of one’s life, the huge amount of work it takes to be able to perceive and finally use these transformational tools, plus the gains to be had from either formal or informal spiritual or secular discipline and creation teachings.

    For instance, those who have learned how to manipulate their body/mind’s energy through meditation, yoga or tai chi, and practice it daily stand a far greater change of becoming masters at having what they want in their lives.

    If they choose to focus in that direction.

    Discipline of the mind and habits is essential to the success of this model however, it’s not one that can be leveraged going ninety miles an hour minding every Tweet, email and call on one’s personal attention. Without some form of discipline and practice, dissolution of focus, limiting beliefs and doubt can scuttle even the most passionate of efforts.


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