Thursday, June 30, 2011

Helping Me Help Myself, by Beth Lisick.

So, it has been done.

Someone woke up one morning and decided to change her life. She'd consult the experts, write it up and sell a book.

It's a fast read. Lisick is compelling, but in the end, oddly dissatisfying. She gets off to a slow start questioning whether she has any faith at all in self-help gurus. Jack Canfield's book, The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You are to Where You Want to Be convinces her to suspend her disbelief enough to get started.

In each chapter she decides on an area to "fix" consults a well-known expert and reads a book or attends a conference (or both). She has thoughts about their ideas, their personalities, their work. She writes about that--and it's interesting, thoughtful and quite often amusing.

But, except for two chapters, one on Morgenstern and organizing her house, the other about her four year old son and discipline, the thoughts do not seem to be translated into any sort of lasting, ongoing action. That's where, I think, this book falls short. It may simply be because her life is a bit too far from the mainstream, it may be because she really couldn't get over her skepticism (except, oddly, for the chapter on spiritual medium Sylvia Browne). I wanted to know more about the process of implementing the ideas and programmes of the self-change gurus. I wanted to know more about how it would be to change. And that's not here. Not overtly, anyway.

I recommend it, though, for anyone going on the journey of self-change. It's good to have company, no matter how quirky.

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