Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I love the introductions to self-help books. They're always so positive, always so promising of a "new" self that will emerge at the end of its reading. I think what's most attractive is that we all have an image of who we want to be in 5 years, a year, a month, maybe even tomorrow. Smarter, thinner, richer, the list is endless, but the only commonality between them is that they are different from who we were when we first picked up the book.

Most of the time, we never reach that ideal reformation that we visualized. Somewhere along the line we give up. Echoes of "loving yourself as you are" begin to grow louder, and soon enough it turns from an affirmation to a justification. That's pretty much how the self-help business stays in business.

"Eh, I don't need to be (fill in the blank)er, I should just be happy with how I am."

If it's a sincere sentiment, I admire the stance of those more confident than I am. But it's important to distinguish whether it's truth, or an excuse. You can usually tell by how you feel 5 days after you've given up.

Change is hard. Change is painful. Sometimes we underestimate the struggle, and overestimate our ambition. And sometimes the fantasy is better than the reality. At the very least, it's easier.

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