Donations to Discovery

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Self Help vs Helping Yourself

What's the difference?  Sounds the same - right?

Huge difference.... and this is important so listen up.

As usual, I'll go through this discussion with anecdotes and experiences cause that's the best way to convey an idea.

Tell people facts, figures and information and you've lost 'em in 2 minutes.

Tell them a story.... and you put 'em to sleep!   Nah.... just kidding.... everybody likes a story.

First, let's talk about Self Help....

Self Helpers are those folks that can't figure out why they're so screwed up and why their life is so messed up and why they're so unhappy and ___________ (you fill in the blank), so they read books and websites and seek advice from exterior sources (counselors, psychiatrists, church, share groups, horoscopes, Dear Abby, you name it) to figure out what to do to fix it.

And, almost without exception, they are predominantly women.... least that's been my experience.  You find a few guys reading self help books but..... Ok I'll just stop right there. Ok - one more stab.  Most men just blame it on the women and keep going through life oblivious to their own problems.

And, almost without exception, the insecurity, lack of confidence and poor self-esteem of these Self Help women stems from their poor relationship with their dad or other significant male figures in their past or some significant negative event associated with a man or men.  In other words, the historical root cause was some guy not doing what he was supposed to do..... and then all the other men in these women's lives have to suffer because some stupid asshole didn't do his job way back when...... Ok Wills, down off the soapbox.  Stay on point here.

They don't trust their own instincts and knowledge of themselves enough to make the necessary adjustments to improve their lives, so they pore through books and watch TV shows and listen to inspirational speakers looking for something to explain how they got into the mess they're in.... and you know what?

They always find the answer.... cause that's how the self help soothsayers make their living....

These self help gurus have studied the stats and social profiles or developed their own edge in terms of topics and solutions and explanations that touch the most people and they write or talk about it.  They gotta eat too you know.

So there's poor Sally..... she got herself in some predicament with a guy and it didn't work out and she's trying to put a label on it or figure out what it means..... so she spends hours reading her horoscope or reading through some book that makes you cry when you watch the movie and BOOM!!!

There it is.... some words of wisdom from the author that explains it all away.... and you know what.... it's not her fault.... it's the other person's fault or it's a neutral explanation of circumstance..... a learning in life.

So Sally feels better.... cause somebody else figured it out and gave her the answer..... too bad..... she missed it.... the most important thing.


I never have figured this one out..... People avoid Pain like the Plague!

We've been conditioned in Life to believe..... If it Feels Good Do It and if it's Painful, Avoid it.

You gotta ache here.... take a pain pill.

You feeling a little down.... take an anti-depressant.

You got high blood pressure?  God forbid you exercise a little self discipline and push away from the table and exercise that fat ass of yours..... Nooooooo..... go get some high blood pressure medicine.  Please - No Pain.

Oh yeah.... every once in a while, you see a shirt with "No Pain.... No Gain" on it but it's usually attached to some steroid-stuffed dude that things the secret to life and happiness is a 20" bicep and 5% bodyfat.

But for the most part - Pain is Verboten.

Let me tell you something folks..... Pain is a Necessary Evil..... It is a Visitor that comes to your house unannounced and uninvited and here's the most important part.....

Most People don't open the door to Mr. Pain.....

And they missed the opportunity to....

Help Themselves.

Let me ask you sumpin.....

You ever make any significant positive change in your life without a whole lot of Pain coming your way first?

Ok.... Fine.... You are the Immaculate Self-Improvement Expert Exception.

Me?  I have never experienced any sort of Positive Change in my Life without a Lot of Pain culminating in a Crisis!

Pain gets your attention.... It demands your respect.... It forces you to reprioritize.... Suddenly all the little insignificant shit in your life takes a back seat, because Mr. Pain will be heard and he will not be ignored.

So - How do you Help Yourself?  How do you ease the Pain?

First of all, accept the fact that you were likely complicit in your own demise.  Ok. Stop. I'm not talking about the cases where somebody was sitting at a red light and got blindsided by a drunk driver or some poor woman got raped by a piece of trash or all the other cases like that.

I'm talking about the majority of times when Life Slammed Your Ass as a result of a long line of bad decisions and choices you made.  It may have begun years ago.... it just now came to the Point of Unbearable Pain.

So - first step - Own the Pain and What Got You There.

Second - Ask Yourself Why You made the Bad Decisions you made.... What are you afraid of? What are you angry about? What are you missing?  What are you seeking?  What makes you happy? What are your bad actors?  What causes you to make those bad decisions or exhibit that bad behavior? Is it work or career related, financial, physical, mental, historical, sexual, food - diet - exercise related, substance abuse related?

Third - Once you've identified the Cause - Effect, make a plan that includes steps for change to Manage Your Risk.  My life becomes much easier, my relationships are much better, I am happier when I manage my lifestyle - Eat Right, Exercise Hard, Get Enough Sleep - I have had to make those things priorities above other things because it is so important to my Success in Life.

Fourth - Communicate Your Plan with the Significant Others in Your Life and ask for their help and support to succeed.  Without their cooperation, it will be difficult for you to make the changes.  If they won't help, they are likely Changes you need to make in your life.

Fifth - Be Consistent with Your Plan and Make it a Habit and then Make it a Critical Component of Your Lifestyle. 

You've probably heard all this stuff before in some form or another..... from a Self Help Guru!!!

Oh well - at least you didn't have to buy the book or see the movie.

No comments:

Post a Comment