I have always had a healthy scepticism for self help books, self help authors and generally anyone who purports to being able to tell you how to change your life and live it for the better. There is no secret to being a better person. None. Zero. Zilch. Certainly none that has not yet been discovered.
You’d like to lose weight? Put less in your mouth and move more. You’d like to earn more money? Look at getting more qualifications or seeking a promotion at work. You want more friends? Be a nicer friend. Remember people’s names, birthdays and generally bring sunlight into their lives. You’d like to have more confidence? Practise assertiveness. I’m not saying that any of this is easy, but I am saying that none of it is news to most of the living world.
With the exception of real problems like trauma, grief or ill health which may require the services of an expert, buying self-help book after self-help books only makes your wallet lighter and your neuroses worse. Now you’re out here giving your mum the stank eye because you think some undisclosed issue in your childhood might be responsible for why you’re a dress size 18, and not (I suspect) the real reason which is your indiscipline and inability to say no to the fifth slice of pizza.
Listen, I’m no slender waif myself but I know it’s down to eba and egusi and the odd portion (okay, maybe three!) of ewa Aganyin. It’s not down to that one time my classmates laughed at my drawing when I was in Primary 3 or any other such bunkum.
Which brings me rather nicely round to this juicy bit of schadenfreude: Yahoo News has just reported that Paul McKenna, the renowned hypnotist, general talker of gibberish, and author of the best seller “Change Your Life In 7 Days” is in a spot of bother.
His ex-fiancée and manager, Clare Staples, is suing and leaving him…wait a minute,whatever for?? If he can teach people how to be better in just seven days and he’s been alive for thousands of weeks, surely he must be near godlike status by now?! Anyway, there’s a bitter court battle going on and she’s letting rip into all sorts of nasty secrets.
The lady claims that the guru is addicted to prostitutes and porn; hallucinates and hears Jesus and Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, arguing in his living room. Not even close to being done, Staples goes on to claim the ‘Change Your Life’ guru was also addicted to cocaine, alcohol and prescription pills in a dossier filed at a court in Los Angeles.
Phew. Makes you grateful for your own problems, doesn’t it? Okay, you might be a couple months behind on your council tax but you’re not a druggie whose ex is busy telling everyone that you’re hearing Hubbard speaking to you. I mean, Hubbard, for chrissakes!
Look, it’s a Monday. Get a grip and make a resolution to change your life all by yourself. Don’t pick up a book, don’t listen to a hypnosis CD.
It’s not easy but it’s not rocket science either.
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