Tag Archives: self help

Self-Help Myths

So I haven’t posted anything in over two months and my big questions now is, “Do I have any readers left?”

If the answer is yes then thanks for sticking around!

In case you were wondering, yes the club did continue to run last term. Unfortunately due to time constraints I haven’t had a spare moment to sit down and write anything. Hopefully I will be able to remedy this in the future and give you your weekly dose of whatever rubbish I put out.

Today was the first session for term 2 and it was a great start with around thirty kids present. I had been struggling to come up with a topic when Richard Wiseman saved my neck by sharing a link to an article that appeared in The Age last Thursday. The article was titled “Busting the self-help myths.”

Professor Wiseman has a wonderful book called 59 Seconds which is all about the bad advice given in self-help books. It conveniently offers some better tips and tricks based on actual psychological research. It’s the best book he’s written and one of my favourite non-fiction books.

The article in The Age briefly went over 10 myths and have been popularised by the self-help movement. Ideas such as positive visualisation, seizing the day and believing that anything is possible. While some of these ideas aren’t particularly bad (they’re just wrong), some of them are more likely to hinder rather than help. For example, in 59 Seconds Wiseman points out that visualising success can actually make you less likely to succeed. Better instead to visualise yourself taking the steps required to achieve your goal. Picture yourself actually writing your novel, training on the field or practising scale. For some reason, visualising this from a third person perspective is better!

I’ve put together a small PowerPoint presentation which is available on the Resources page.


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