Self-help for dummies

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#Tryharder to be perceptive and have the patience to utilize your takeaways later on down the road (Be prepared! That could be years!). There is no true timeline and your mental DVR won't delete this knowledge based on a specific date as long as you continue to work on applying it.

Whenever I feel like I need a shot in that arm, albeit a need for a boost of confidence, knowledge, or just a reminder or refresher on something I'm struggling with, I buy a book.

Most of the books I read are based in betterment. "How to be a better..." (Fill in the blank) kind of stuff. I don't always read the book all the way through and many of the books I just pull out whatever I need at the moment from the guidance provided in the pages and apply it to the situation.  I do also enjoy cookbooks because they provide guidance and ingredients.  I don't love novels or books that don't provide my brain knowledge. I will probably never read a Harry Potter book, but because of my wife and 9 year old daughter, I've seen all the movies.

Although I love a good quote or sound bite, it's rarely about that when it comes to what I take away from these pages. Sometimes you need a 20 page pep talk that gives you that kick in the ass to help get you through something or help to apply needed perspective and sometimes you need to read the whole book and just marinate on the words provided.

Book chapters help you get through chapters in your life and sometimes, just like any point of reference in life, you need to revisit the pages of a particular book as a reminder of where you need to start or start over. If you are wondering if I have read the bible, the answer is yes. However, I have never actually read it cover to cover. I have consumed the words and the teachings over the years, but I have never consumed it all at one time or as part of a book binge. Most likely, it is something I will do before I die.

We live in a blurb, blog and podcast society. We are Twitter readers and crave some sort of knowledge or quick understanding. We don't have time to wait till page 256 to get to the point of education. This is why all of my books are done on chapters that end up being around 1000 words. That, and I don't think I can stretch any of my stories of life experiences out any farther than that. My blogs and chapters don't require too much dialogue and there is never a soap opera storyline with a hunky Christian Grey character. Besides, if I would write romance novels, they would last 5 minutes...just ask my wife. "They made love during the commercial break and then he passed out as she began to tell him about what happen in the school pickup line"...just isn't romantic enough to make a movie out of.

Never look for a Hail Mary when it comes to books or life. Books will give you a launching point and perspective, but unless it's a book that tells you step by step how to build something (make sure to buy an Allen wrench) they rarely provide a timeline on how to live your life. I was reading this one book that got bad reviews from people on Amazon because it didn't give readers a list of steps or instructions on how to be better people. That's subjective. Also, it's called "self-help". That means you use these words to help yourself. The millennial society is looking for the abridged answer to life's mysteries and they only want to fast forward to the good parts, as if the book was on their personal DVR. The book and the author don't know what you need fixed in your life and they don't know about the obstacles that have been place, or you have placed, in front of you to get to this point in life where you need help.

Your timeline is your timeline. Your life is your life. You live by your rules and roadblocks and not the framework of pages crammed into something printed and later purchases at Barnes and Noble or online from Amazon. I have read books and then months later the information finally clicks. A current moment finally clicked and the knowledge from months prior could finally be applied and then used for guidance.

This goes beyond the teachings of books-think bigger.

Take mental notes in your life. Life tests you and those notes you took, and hopefully consumed in an honest way, may finally give you a platform for application. #Tryharder to be perceptive and have the patience to utilize your takeaways later on down the road (Be prepared!  That could be years!). There is no true timeline and your mental DVR won't delete this knowledge based on a specific date as long as you continue to work on applying it.

No grouping of words will ever change your life, but the investment in those words will.

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