The popularity of self-improvement books, tapes and seminars is a reflection of the universal interest we all have in overcoming our limitations, or “being the best we can be” or “achieving our full potential.”
Popular applications of self-improvement programs include motivation and confidence, personal relationships, sales and job performance, enhancement of sports performance, public speaking, weight control and smoking cessation.
Here are some basic principles to help you determine whether such products or programs are worthy of your time and money.
There is no book or program that will be an exact fit for your needs and interests. Books and group programs are necessarily general in nature. Some of the ideas and concepts may apply well to you, but others may be irrelevant or just plain wrong as applied to your own personality and life situation. Use good judgment and discrimination in following advice offered in any self-improvement program.
Be wary of any program that is highly authoritarian and that tears you down, or attacks people who question what is being done. There have been many group self-improvement programs that have enjoyed a temporary burst of great popularity over the years that have been extremely damaging to some participants.
The most effective program or tape would, of course, be one that is designed specifically for the individual, addressing his or her unique goals, motivation and personality. Obviously this can be done only in personal consultation with a professional person such as a psychologist and involves the cost of paying that professional person for the time it takes them to provide the individual attention required to design a program or tape tailored exactly to your needs.
Suggesting a link to which you can seek for help can make things easier for you to achieve your goal. Help is on its way. Here are links that I can suggest you can visit.
• Psych Web by Russ Dewey:
The content of this awesome and well-organized site might be described as half-way in between the sites “Self Improvement Online” and “Mental Health Net.” Although its modest self description on the home page is “This Web site contains lots of psychology-related information for students and teachers of psychology,” it is that and much more. The links on its self-help directory page alone are worth the time of the trip to this site: http://www.psychwww.com/resource/selfhelp.htm.
• Internet Mental Health:
In their words: “Internet Mental Health is a free encyclopedia of mental health information. It was designed by a Canadian psychiatrist, Dr. Phillip Long, and programmed by his colleague, Brian Chow…Internet Mental Health is for anyone who has an interest in mental health: -Mental health professionals -Patients who want to learn more about their illness -Friends and families of patients -Mental health support groups -Students -Members of the general public who want to learn more about mental health” This is an impressive site with many helpful articles and resources. If you are interested in mental health from any point of view, you’ll be happy you visited.
• Life Mentoring:
Because of the demand from our clients we started this site Life Mentoring for individual visitors, in
1998. It’s mission is to provide you with the best collection of thoughts, ideas, philosophies and practical concepts for leading a truly meaningful and successful life. It is not linked to any school of thought, but rather wants to give you an overview of all different approaches – and so you to choose and pick whatever suits your needs best.” The site has a number of very good articles, excellent collection of links, a free newsletter, a bbs/forum. Lots of enthusiasm, but no commercial hype.
A group program or a general tape is, of course, less costly. If it does in fact does come close to fitting the goals, motivation and personality of the individual reasonably well, it may prove to be a useful self-improvement tool. It is a less costly approach, but it could not reasonably be expected to be as effective as a program or tape designed specifically for you.