Self help books will make you miserable.
90 percent of them are utter shite.
They reinforce feelings of inadequacy. With each new tome you digest you uncover more inherent weaknesses you need to rectify and, before you can say “self-realization”, you are addicted to self help.
There are two exceptions to this irrefutable truth.
How To Get A Grip is the last self help book you’ll ever need to read.
But once you’ve read it, be sure to finger a copy of How To Be Rich And Happy by Tim Brownson and John P. Strelecky.
Most self help books help the author much more than they help you. The Secret to a life full of abundance, apparently, is asking the universe for hugs, vodka and a decent credit rating. Then you’ll be rich and happy.
Dishing out dollars on books that give you The Secret to the life you want to lead will do nothing but furnish the pockets of the pseudo-psychologists who wrote the damn things.
(Incidentally, if you buy a copy of How To Get A Grip, I’ll be on my way to half a very cheap cappuccino.)
But if you buy a copy of How To Be Rich And Happy you’ll be directly contributing to the well-being of about fifteen other people who wouldn’t normally get to read anything, let alone a book that is genuinely useful.
That’s because the authors have made it their mission to use the proceeds of the book to give away a further 1 million copies of How To Be Rich And Happy to young people, poor people, homeless people and people in recovery.
That seems like a much faster route to happiness. That sounds like a route to INSTANT GRATIFICATION.
For. The. Win.
So why is How To Be Rich And Happy genuinely useful?
It’s useful because it’s practical. In place of the regurgitated, ephemeral bullshit that’s big on generalities and very low on specifics (“step into your true self”, “embrace your one-ness”, “master your destiny”), this book is full of specifics and examples.
It’s a WORKBOOK. Work through it: get a better life.
Particularly useful is the Value Ranking Tool. Instead of saying “focus on what’s important to you”, Brownson and Strelecky give you clear instructions to work out what is actually important to you.
If you think you already know, you might be surprised. I was. Whereas before I was convinced the secret to a happier me was flaming margaritas, massages from petite brunettes and a weekly blow-job, the truth was, in fact, very different.
You’ll be surprised by your results, too. Think you love your kids above all else? Perhaps you do, but perhaps you don’t. You’ll only find out if you buy this book …
I love the common-sense approach. The authors dissect some received wisdom, the kind of received wisdom that keeps you pumping gas or working at Starbucks and complaining about your life, and replace it with some FACT.
The book gives you the tools – exercises mainly – that allow you to very quickly differentiate between beliefs and facts, to be more optimistic (and the reasons why this is a good thing), to demystify money and your relationship with it, and the how to fail spectacularly and still make progress.
PLUS, while we’re talking about progress, therein lies the problem with most self-help tomes. You read them once, you get a temporary buzz, then you’re back to eating out of boxes and only paying cursory attention to personal hygiene.
How To Be Rich And Happy gives you a measuring tool so you can monitor your progress on the rich-and-happy-meter day by day, if you’re so inclined.
With chapter headings like “Congratulations! You’re Not Dead”, it’s very difficult to find anything to dislike about the book.
Tim’s a funny fucker to boot. The storytelling is clever. Not clever-clever, but clever-illustrative. The storytelling helps you get it. If you’ve ever read anything that’s pure theory (like the impenetrable and mystic Conversations With God) you’ll appreciate the usefulness of being given concrete examples of how other folk put into practice the lessons that the book gives you.
In a genre filled with unapologetic horse-shit, How To Be Rich And Happy stands out as an ordure-free call to action. Buy a copy, improve your own life, and make a difference to the lives of others.