Is Self-Help Helpful?

Much of the self-help advice I see lately seems to emphasize feeling comfortable. Nice and comfortable. It is a premise that I refer to as the ‘Gospel of Lowered Expectations’. Apparently we can’t get enough of books that tell us how ‘special’ we are and that we should all ooze sparkling droplets of self-esteem based on this fact.

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Sand Castles

When people go to the beach, they often build sand castles. Which makes sense, because there’s plenty of sand at the beach. More sand than you would ever need to build those sand castles. Yet even with all of that available sand, so many people seem content to build small sand castles.

Our potential; to learn, share and love is like that sand. There’s far more there than we could ever use up. So go big. Build the biggest sand castles you can. Because, big or small, the tide eventually washes all of them away…

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Lists, Life-Lessons and the Top-Ten


Lists get right down to the essence of things. They serve to consolidate a lot of information into key points or actionable tasks. A list can be mundane, such as the necessary ingredients to make a meatloaf. Or, a list can be of biblical proportions, like the Ten Commandments.

What follows is a list of ten different events from my life. Some good, some bad and a couple that are somewhere in between. Every event is followed by some life-lessons I took away from each one. Of course, some of those lessons were not apparent to me right away. Sometimes it takes a while for certain lessons to make themselves clear. There were times I was taught something new and other times I simply “re-learned” things I already knew but needed to be reminded of. Life is about learning. And this list, though brief, taught me plenty.

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The Door Closed Quietly

Although I’m often pegged as a “tough-guy”, this is not a “tough”-seeming post. The night in question took place while I was still years away from manifesting strength in my own life. The intent behind this reminiscence is that none of us are mandatorily consigned to live out what our present circumstances might seem to dictate. Strength, oftentimes, is about what you can overcome.

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Just Think Positive?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people extolling the virtues of ‘positive thinking’… “You can do it, just think positive!”

A positive attitude, all by itself, is weak. It’s like a great book that you never actually read. It sounds good, but it can’t do anything. But a positive attitude, combined with a ferocious work ethic, has scary implications.

If you work hard… so hard that the fruits of your labor are so vast that their collective weight can crush the life out of any possibility of failure, you will have all the positive attitude or self-esteem you could ever want.


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