I once heard that self-help books are like instant cake mix.
Just add water, throw it in the oven and you’ve got a cake. Like instant cake mix, self-help books are supposed to help people change or become better instantly.
Apparently, the person who said this showed a particular dislike for self-help books.
He won’t go anywhere near them, scoffing that they’re like drugs (yes, another analogy). People just get duped into buying them, he says, because he knows nothing will ever change.
Give these people another 2 weeks and they’ll forget about what they read in the self-help books and they’ll be back to their old habits.
And thus the cycle repeats itself. Another bestseller self-help will come along and these same people will rush out to buy it, only to read and forget. No wonder this friend of mine is eternally swearing NOT to get into that lemming mode.
I think that happens with seminars too.
How many people have attended seminars on motivation and setting goals, only to attend them again the next year?
The moment the attendees get out of the seminar hall, their eyes are shining with hope, they feel different and perhaps walk different too – a little bit more sure of themselves, of knowing that they will make that change in their lives.
But (and here’s where I tend to be skeptical and rightly too) after a week or so, they’ll lapse into their usual habits. Nothing has changed. They believe that perhaps they have not had the right kind of seminar or books. They wait for a better seminar to come along, or the latest bestselling self-help book. Or worse, they forget what they were taught.
The problem is not that the seminar or book was not right.
The problem is that there is a lack of commitment.
That’s why in order to follow through successfully with a programme, be it weight loss or whatever, one needs serious commitment.
Commitment is not just saying, “Yes, I will try it and see if it works.”
Commitment means “Yes, I can do it and I will run one mile a day, five days a week in order to lose this excess weight.”
It’s the same with business. Business commitment needs a lot more than “yes, I can do it”. You need to be constantly reminded to be committed. And one way to do that is to surround yourself with good books, great role models and positive support system.
One of the best ways to be committed is to be reminded through articles and quotes about empowerment and motivation.
While I don’t discount the use of seminars and self-help books (unlike my very disbelieving friend), I believe we can all use some form of positive motivation to remind ourselves of our commitment.
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