The human body and mind has limitless potential, and most of it is untapped in a majority of people.
The naysayers who ridicule self-help books are viewing a human life as a static pond. A person is a river which has the potential to go and merge with the ocean. The self-help books, then become a guiding path for a person to go beyond their prescribed limits and blossom into what nature truly intended them to be.
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The redeeming truth is that the world has always required guidance to become something other than a clerk, a doctor or an accountant.
Any person has a potential beyond just being raised by a family, getting educated, finding a job, getting married and then retiring (though all of that needs guidance too), and self-help books elevate our understanding in many aspects.
The literary world is filled with self-help books written by people from all walks of life, promising greatness, success, riches and manifestation to people who have happily lapped them up.
The repetitive and patronising words in the books are ridiculed by the cultural elite, who think that one can navigate life with ease using intuition and original intellect.
Philosophers in the west wrote self-help books almost 2000 years ago, whereas in the eastern world, The Bhagavad Gita and the Four Noble Truths Of Buddhism are essentially self-help for having a better, more fulfilling life, and are not simply old religious texts as many assume.
Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.
"When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."
This is a branch of philosophy that deals with the questions of being and identity.
Ontological psychologists and social scientists start with examining our self in social, political, economical, cultural and psychological terms, knowing the base value, before any self-help advice can be dispensed out by them.
Philosophy, for the deep thinkers, was a daily discipline that put an end to the anxiety and suffering.
Great men like Socrates, the many Stoics, Epicureans and many others knew about the fundamental flaw in our judgement that is the reason for our misery: Valuing superficial things like money, prestige and material comforts.
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