I was reading an article written by a guy named Peter Vadja titled Is Self-Help Helping. His basic premise is that no self help books ever help anyone because for true change to occur, one has to dig deeper than any book can get you to do, thus you're doomed to failure most of the time.

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I hate calling out books like that when their intention is to help people out. Sure, there are some books that are just garbage, and if Peter had decided to pick one book in particular I might have either agreed or disagreed with that book in its own right. But calling out the entire industry; no way.

To me, when someone does that there's an ulterior motive. It's either hate for the entire industry, which I've seen a lot of people have, or it's an interesting sales technique that says the only real way to get help is by going to someone else for it.

As a consultant, one would think that's how I should think, and in some things I would agree that having someone to work with you can be a great benefit.

And yet, I'd have to say that over the years there are a plethora of books I've read that I feel have given me perspective and helped me to a degree. For instance, the book Get Clients Now by C. J. Hayden has been invaluable as a resource for those times when I need to concentrate on getting projects completed in a certain amount of time. Then there's the Millionaire Maker by Loral Langemeier, which has helped me stay focused on my self employment and the work it takes to remain independent. Of course there's the DVD The Secret, which boosts my morale and helps me remember not to give up whenever I need something to get rid of a bad mood.

Obviously this lets you know that I believe self help books do help. I also believe that anything positive helps. What doesn't work is if a person isn't ready for the message. The first time I read the book Illusions by Richard Bach it meant nothing to me at all, even though a friend of mine gave it to me because it had always inspired him. A couple of years later I read the book and got a totally different feeling from it, thinking it was a wonderful book.

That's the thing about self help, motivation, positive feelings or anything else you can think of. If it's not a text book or a book giving you specific directions on things you just might not be ready for it. And even if you are ready for it, you might need it to be reinforced a few times before you truly embrace it into your being. As Zig Ziglar says, 'Sure, you might need to be motivated many times, but you also need to eat and bathe all the time, two things I highly recommend."

Where do you stand on the self help / motivational books and tapes thing? You know where I stand now.