Self-Help (Without the Magical Bullshit)
I try to read a variety of different books, including the occasional “Self-Help” book. While reading The Secret, one thought repeatedly crossed my mind:
Wow. This book is full of magical bullshit!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think the book contains a lot of empowering ideas. But, reading this book was like listening to a 4-year-old explain how computers work. Sure, they seem to grasp that computers have incredible potential, but their understanding of the inner workings are a bit fantastical.
This mysticism can be a non-starter for many people that would otherwise benefit from the book. That got me wondering: could I write a self-help book without the magical bullshit?
Now that I think about it… I probably could. Here’s an initial outline of some of the topics I’d want to cover:
- I’m not a billionaire who buys a new mansion instead of mowing the lawn.
- I’m just somebody who seems to be doing OK at life.
- Here are some of my strategies.
Some easy wins to get us started:
- Stop making self-deprecating remarks. (Reminder to self: tie back to this in Echo Chambers chapter)
- Spend 2 hours cleaning your workspace / home.
- Get some sleep. (Reminder to self: only 24 hours in a day)
- There’s a good chance that you’re already doing a ton of things!
- Listing these out on a daily basis can give you a sense of accomplishment, and thus help to reduce anxiety.
- Once you’re feeling less anxious, you can then review these lists and figure out what to change.
- Brainstorm first. Organize later.
- Strategies for organization.
- Strategies for prioritization.
- Pick 2-3 things. Table everything else.
- Oh, and leverage things like Trello or Google Keep!
Overcoming Decision Paralysis
- Picking things at random
- Don’t allow an irrational fear of technology to become a barrier to opportunity!!!
- Must-Have apps: TODO lists, calendars, document sharing, etc.
Investments and Efficiency Gains
- There are only 24 hours in a day. Work vs Value.
- Reevaluation and Accelleration.
Echo Chambers and Seeing Reality
- Most people don’t see reality. They are just sleep-walking through a dream.
- Noticing unconventional paths. (Reminder to self: sidewalks)
- Assertions, Accreditations, and Capabilities. (Question everything. The world is full of misinformation and useless noise.)
- Devise 2-3 solutions to every problem. (ie: “alternative plans”)
- Always be prepared to fallback to another plan.
- We’re not all wired for multitasking. But, there are some basic time-savers that many people are able to do.
- Exercising while listening to audio books.
- Talking on the phone while walking to your destination.
- Find people who inspire you!
Taking care of yourself
- You might not be in a position to do some of these things right now. But, make these a priority ASAP!
- Eating right.
- Getting plenty of sleep.
- Respecting yourself. (ie: make time for yourself. Don’t let others stretch you too thin, etc)
Okay — not too bad for an initial brain dump. But, it’s a good thing I didn’t include a section on “motivating yourself”. Otherwise, I might actually have to write this book!