I liked the idea of Help Me! I think I read it out of curiosity, I’ve read afew books that would be considered self-help, and I wanted to know about The Secret in particular and wondered if self help books really to work. It was only 99p on Kindle so I thought why not give it a try, I like reading books about people who do something to change their lives.
Description from GoodReads:
“Marianne Power was stuck in a rut. Then one day she wondered: could self-help books help her find the elusive perfect life?
She decided to test one book a month for a year, following their advice to the letter. What would happen if she followed the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Really felt The Power of Now? Could she unearth The Secret to making her dreams come true?
What begins as a clever experiment becomes an achingly poignant story. Because self-help can change your life – but not necessarily for the better . . .
Help Me! is an irresistibly funny and incredibly moving book about a wild and ultimately redemptive journey that will resonate with anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding happiness.”
My thoughts about self-help books (I promise there’s a review next)
I’ve read self-help books and you know I hate them. There are some don’t get me wrong that are good, if it helps you overcome anxiety or ease deblitating panic attacks them I’m all for it. But you can get stuck reading them and hoping that they will provide the answer to your problems. They might do but we are all different and what helps one person might not necessarily help another.
I don’t have anything against books about mindfulness and CBT but I hate it when they offer a miracle, a secret that can change your life.
The Secret? You write yourself a cheque that the universe will cash for you, and believe that you will get what you want, for example you believe you will find a £10 note and you will find it. And The Secret says not to worry about how, but I do. Someone had to lose that money, how do you know that by wishing for all this stuff that someone else will lose? Of course this isn’t about that but I hate it when they make outlandish claims. And will all this stuff you wish for really make you happy?
It annoys me that so many books are out there and so many people are making money selling something that says it helps, they are preying on venerable people. People like you and me that just feel lost and need somewhere to turn, something to help us.
“..self-help is a business – a big one. And it’s selling the same thing that clothes companies, food companies and booze companies are: happiness.”
“I worried about how much money vulnerable people were spending on these cards and books and how much they handed over responsibility for their lives to something that might not exist. Was this any different to the Church selling pardons and telling people they could buy their way into heaven?”
My thoughts about the book
Despite having friends and a good job Marianne isn’t happy with her life, she is searching for something, she needs to do something to change it. She starts reading a self-help book a month to see if they actually could change her life. And what a journey it is. Each chapter breaks down the contents of the book and Marianne tells us what she does to follow each one.
This book feels like a rom-com sometimes, escecially with some of the things Marianne does following the guidelines in the self-help books that she reads, life modelling for example.
There was one point I thought: you have a great job and family and friends, why do you feel like you need to change your life? And as soon as I thought this Marianne said the same thing. And how dare I think that! I believe that it’s not what we have or don’t have that makes us happy but how we think and feel. And Marianne didn’t feel happy.
Marianne felt like a friend and by the end of the book I could’ve cried out for joy when she has a realisation.
“But I see now that perfection does not exist and happiness comes not from getting what you think you want but from opening your eyes and recognizing that you have everything you could possibly need right now.”
This book reiterated what I think about self help. I think that they can help but you can read too much of it and if it still isn’t helping it’s time to stop. Do we need a book to help us?
‘Why on earth do you need someone to tell you how to live your life?’ she barked, slugging back warm white wine. ‘Can’t you figure out how to do it yourself?’
I enjoyed this book as a story and also in a way as a self-help book. I related to most of Marianne’s thoughts and problems. Marianne is right we are all running through life chasing things forgetting that we are all after the same thing. Sometimes just knowing that we are all thinking and feeling the same or similar can help.
I think in the end we need to figure out what’s right for us, read something that resonants or make a change that helps. I didn’t think I needed to read a self-help book, I’m doing ok, but there’s some great lessons to be learnt in this book.
If you’re thinking of reading a self help book don’t. Read this instead. Or at least first 🙂