The Problem with Self Help

self-help1Self help books are constantly the top of many best seller lists.

Constantly, someone comes out with a new book that promises to make you better or make life easier. But my experience has always been we can only help ourselves so much.

Honestly – The problem with self-help is self. We think that alone we can unlock the secrets to the perfect life we long for.

You can’t do it all alone. You aren’t the only one how can help yourself. And sometimes because we are unreliable narrators, we are actually unable to help ourselves or really see where we need to improve.

As good as Russell Wilson is, he needs a team to win. As good as Jake Arrieta pitches, he still need others to score runs. As good as Serena Williams is, she needs a coach to make her the best. As good as Jordan Spieth is, he still needs his caddy’s counsel to make the best shot.

We need others to become the best version of us. We need others to help us reach our goals. Doing it by yourself is lonely. Life is better together.

Life List

This is not a bucket list… I have one of those. This is a Life List. What is a life list then, you may ask?

Things we should do more than once. You don’t do these things then cross them out like a checklist. Things that will exponentially increase our joy and satisfaction in life. And the more we do them, the more and more they will add to our lives. Seriously, start doing some of these things, and see how much of a difference they make to your life.

1.) Laugh more. You can always laugh more!
2.) Preemptively say “I’m sorry.”
3.) Volunteer. give your time to something bigger than yourself. Help out a cause that you believe in.
4.) Put your phone down. Just put it down. Do you realize how much of life you are missing out on?
5.) Love unconditionally. You can start with a dog or a cat. But work your way to loving someone
6.) Watch less TV. Nothing is wrong with TV. But there is something wrong with parking yourself in front of one for hours on end.
7.) Play, like you did when you were a kid. Maybe play with a kid, your own, maybe with nieces or nephews, maybe with a friend’s kid.
8.) Extend grace to others. We all need a little grace at some point.
9.) Compliment someone else. You can make someone’s day
10.) Try something new
11.) Take photos. Don’t endless take selfies. Don’t let your camera be your only window to the world. But if you see something beautiful or amazing, soak it in then take a pic. Capture those moments so you don’t forget
12.) Tell someone “Thank you.” You didn’t get to this point on your own. Someone helped you, lead you, invested in you, thank them
13.) Find pleasure in the simple things. Not everything in life is big
14.) Give. And be generous about it.
15.) Get rid of stuff you don’t need. Because that is all it is stuff. You don’t need it as badly as you think, and more than likely most of it is something that doesn’t add anything valuable to your life
16.) Pursue your goals.
17.) Stop being so busy. That absolutely doesn’t mean don’t work hard and stop being productive. What that does mean is is you don’t always have to be doing something.
18.) Travel. You don’t have to travel the world or take several days off to reap these benefits. For most people there are so many amazing thing only hours from where they live, take a day trip somewhere you haven’t been.
19.) Be kind. There are no small acts of kindness. Every compassionate act enlarges the world.

Better Together

BetterTogether
Law #25: Life is better when shared

In 2007, a movie adaptation of the book Into the Wild was made. The popular story had a very quotable quote – “Happiness is only real when shared”

The root of Law #25 was formed from this movie quote. Sharing happiness and experiences is better than not.

But there was always something that didn’t sit right with me. To me, it implies that happy isn’t real when it’s not shared. While there might be some truth in the intent of this quote, I have done many things and travelled places on my own and to say the happiness I experienced isn’t real would be false. I’ve loved it in fact. The places I’ve seen, the culture I’ve experienced, these things have created great memories and brought me a large amount of happiness.

BUT… I would be lying if denied the fact that sometimes I wish I had some one to share some of those experiences and memories with. Someone to take pictures with. Some who I can sit in a coffee shop with in 10 years and laugh about our adventures together.

So while happiness is real when not shared. There is NO doubt that life is better when shared. Life is not about what we get to do and see, it’s about the people who we do and see those things with. It’s just better together.