July 27, 2011
I'm not into self-help. I don't buy self-help books, I don't read productivity blogs, and I certainly don't subscribe to self-proclaimed self-help guru newsletters. Reading someone else's advice on the rather generic concept of helping yourself always struck me as a particularly misguided idea.
Apparently I'm not the only person to reach this conclusion, either.
I spent two years reading all the self-help books I could find. As of a year ago, I had read 340 self-help books. Because I’m insane.
My conclusion from all that reading?
95% of self-help books are complete bullshit.
To be clear, I am all for self-improvement. Reading books, blogs, and newsletters by people who have accomplished great things is a fine way to research your own path in life. But these people, however famous and important they may be, are not going to help you.
Unfortunately that's not the answer he wanted. To him, my answer [that nobody was going to help him become successful] was really discouraging. To me, if I was receiving that answer from someone else, it would be really encouraging.
I like being reminded that nobody's going to help me - that it's all up to me. It puts my focus back on the things I can control - not waiting for outside circumstances.
Take it from The Ultimate Productivity Blog:
Reading self-help advice from other people, however well-intentioned, is no substitute for getting your own damn work done. The sooner you come to terms with this, the better off you'll be.
Get out there and do stuff because you fundamentally enjoy it and because it makes you better. As a writer, as an analyst, as a techie, whatever. Learn to love practicing the fundamentals and do it better each time. Over time, quality does lead to success, but you have to be patient. Really patient. Turns out, "overnight" success takes years. Maybe even decades. This is not a sprint, it's a marathon. Plan accordingly.
For example, I don't care if anyone reads what I write here. I'm writing to satisfy myself first and foremost. If others read it and benefit from it, fantastic -- that's a welcome side effect. If I worry about who is reading, why they're reading, or if anyone is even reading at all, I'd be too paralyzed to write! That'd be the least productive outcome of all.
That's not to say that some introspection about the nature of your work isn't useful. It is. Even the weary self-help student I quoted above concluded that 5% of self-help advice surprisingly wasn't bullshit. The one book he recommended without hesitation? 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot.
Despite my deep reservations about the genre, I ordered this book based on his recommendation and a number of credible references to it I noticed on the Skeptic Stack Exchange.
Why does this self-help book work when so many others fail? In a word, science! The author goes out of his way to find actual published scientific research documenting specific ways we can make small changes in our behavior to produce better outcomes for ourselves and those around us. It's powerful stuff, and the book is full of great, research backed insights like this one:
A group of participants were asked to select a negative experience. One group of participants were then asked to have a long chat with a supportive experimenter about the event, while a second group were invited to chat about a far more mundane topic - a typical day.
Participants who had spent time talking about their traumatic event thought the chat had been helpful. However, the various questionnaires told a very different story. In reality the chat had no significant impact at all. They might just as well have been chatting about a typical day.
In several studies, participants who have experienced a traumatic event have been encouraged to spend just a few minutes each day writing in a diary-type account of their deepest thoughts and feelings about it. For example, in one study participants who had just been made redundant were asked to reflect upon their deepest thoughts and feelings about their job loss, including how it had affected both their personal and professional lives. Although these types of exercises were both speedy and simple, the results revealed a remarkable boost in their psychological and physical well-being, including a reduction in health problems and an increase in self-esteem and happiness.
The results left psychologists with something of a mystery. Why would talking about a traumatic experience have almost no effect but writing about it yield such significant benefits? From a psychological perspective, talking and writing are very different. Talking can often be somewhat unstructured, disorganized, even chaotic. In contrast, writing encourages the creation of a story line and structure that help people make sense of what has happened and work towards a solution. In short, talking can add to a sense of confusion, but writing provides a more systematic, solution-based approach.
Therefore, the real world change you would make based on this advice – the proverbial 59 seconds on the book jacket – is to avoid talking through traumatic experiences in favor of writing about them. Not because some self-help guru said so, but because the published research data tells us that talking doesn't work and writing does. Not exactly intuitive, since talking through our problems with a friend always feels like the right thing to do, but I have certainly documented many times over the value of writing through a problem.
59 Seconds is so good, in fact, it has rekindled my hopes that our new Stack Exchange Productivity Q&A can work. I'd love for our productivity site to be founded on a scientific basis, and not the blind cult of personality I've come to expect from the self-help industry.
Remember, nobody's going to help you … except science, and if you're willing to put in the required elbow grease each and every day – yourself.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
I agree completely, and this has manifested itself many-a-time when I'm posting a question on SO. Eventually my mind solves the problem and SO never hears of my issues.
I also read 59 seconds recently and was very impressed by it, primarily because it's straight-to-the-point, although writing the problem seemed to be one of the primary things I got from it.
This blog post kind of sounds like self help :)
Yah I agree but these support you to make some conclusions. But practice it self some time requires these books and blogs e.t.c. :) yes I think these are in those 5% while I think those material is actually more than 10% good.
I'm not familiar with doing scientific researchs unless they're listed in Google results. How else can I find quality material?
I've read a few self-help books in the past (Ferris, Carnegie, Godin, etc).. The things I am looking for are real-world examples and ideas. I completely agree, 99% of these books are crap; however, the 1% make for an interesting read.
@Renan Akamine - Same here! There are things you can do, though. For example, do your own research! Want to learn how to talk to people? Talk to people! Curious about what it takes to be a leader? Be a leader! Sure, there's a cost of failure (maybe you'll be ignored, maybe the team/event/etc you try to lead takes a down-turn), but with the right tools, friends, and associates (especially those that can actively act as mentors) you'd be surprised what you can accomplish. You are constantly presented with opportunities: company meeting? Out with friends? Hanging out with the family? Practice your communication skills (listening, complementing, understanding, and encouraging).
Over time you start to understand what it takes to do it right, and why you might have been getting it wrong all this time.
@Kieran, I also find the same thing. Often just writing out the question leads you to the correct answer. However, once I've written out the problem, even if I've already solved it, it's often beneficial to post the question. Firstly, because others can now benefit from what you have already learned. Even if nobody knows the answer, you can just post the solution you came up with. Also, you can get solutions that others have come up with that you didn't think of. Thirdly, sometimes someone else will post the solution you had already come up with, and it's just a little bit of extra reassurance that you were doing things right.
Reminds me of a quote from Chuck Palahniuks book "Invisible Monsters":
Now," those Plumbago lips say, "You are going to tell me your story like you just did. Write it all down. Tell that story over and over. Tell me your sad-assed story all night." That Brandy queen points a long bony finger at me. "When you understand," Brandy says, "that what your telling is just a story. It isn't happening anymore. When you realize the story you're telling is just words, when you can just crumble it up and throw your past in the trashcan," Brandy says, "then we'll figure out who you're going to be."
While it's true that "Nobody is going to help you," I'm amazed at how much help I've received recently, as I was transitioning from completely-not-a-programmer to professional-software-developer.
Free blogs to understand the culture. Free books and tutorials to understand the technology. Free tools and technology. Free Q&A websites for when you are stuck.
No one will help you pick a direction, or to put in the work, and it's up to you to find a way to make yourself worth someone's money. But if you are moving in the right direction, the help will come.
Which is good, because you can't do it alone.
I couldn't agree more, these books are mind poison.
Self help books, business or personal, seem to appeal to individuals who need to identify with whatever psychological malaise is currently doing the rounds. They buy these books, satisfy that desire to "identify" then move onto the next one. They never get a proper fix, they generally don't want to or don't have the will power. I watched this up close and personal.
Unfortunately there is a large market of lifestyle hypochondriacs that these vampires^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H authors appeal into, sadly these books don't get put on the Fiction shelves in the bookshops.
Success is about personal ambition and will come about of your own ingenuity and inventiveness, not some quack telling you what your ambitions should be.
Are you saying that my forthcoming title "Highly-Effective Chicken Soup for your Parachute from Mars (Awakening the One-Minute Manager by Eating That Frog To Win Friends With Mood Therapy for the Real You, incorporating Lessons from the Art of War of Sun Tzu)" doesn't contain valuable information that will change lives, allow you to overcome procrastination, low self-esteem, heartbreak and psoriasis (you don't know the meaning of heartbreak, buddy), and give you richer, glossier hair in just 30 days?
Because if so, sir, you're turning your back on the product of literally weeks of intensive investigation, incorporating the very latest in pseudo-psychological babble wrapped up in a healthy helping of folksy "aw shucks" writing and extensively illustrated by a gifted dropout from Mrs Phipps' prestigious second-grade drawing class. Are you sure you can afford to do that?
Remember, nobody's going to help you … except science, and if you're willing to put in the required elbow grease each and every day – yourself.
I’ve read some good self-help books that essentially say that — specifically:
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
- The Road Less Traveled
- Straight Talking
- When I Say No, I Feel Guilty
Everything you do, you do yourself (otherwise you’re not doing it), but if you want to do something well, you’ve got to learn how. If I remember correctly, the best way to learn is to study theory, and practise, and teach. Good self-help books are part of studying theory, and give hints on practising.
Jeff, I trully respect your opinion, but this is just none sense. I know you come from a scientific/engineering background being a programmer, as am I, but coming to a conclusion because of a scientific research done on something that is not a science like self help is very ignorant on your part and the book's author. People are not robots and the human mind is way too complex to come to a conclusion like the one you mention just because of a group of people. Some people will feel better writing and others will feel better talking about it and I don't think you, a scientist, or anyone else can come to an overall conclusion on which one is a better approach in general. Only one self can come up with the answer as to what is better for themselves.
"I don't care if anyone reads what I write here" reminded me so much of this exchange that I laughed out loud (literally not just, lol)
Brian: I am NOT the Messiah!
Arthur: I say you are Lord, and I should know. I've followed a few.
Only you can change yourself, that's absolutely true, BUT ...
You can't discount the importance of others in helping you figure out the things you want to change and how to best go about changing them.
Science can explain the basis of everything, but it can't incite action the same way human interaction can. Alcoholics and addicts know they are killing themselves and continue without regard; however, once they see the impact it has on their family and friends the chances of change are much greater. With the proper support system and counseling successful change is possible.
I know that is an extreme example when compared to productivity but a lack of focus and/or motivation (ADHD, Depression, etc.) is just as serious a disease.
The fact is, we are interested in personal grow. But there is also so many self-proclaimed self-help guru that take advantage of the needs of the people, and each one of those have invented the "ultimate method-wayofthink-religion-process" to fulfill this necesity.
Its not bad getting ideas from books, but i think life its more than a
process-method-religion-motivational-stuff, and is something not so simple to understand.
The truth is, you have to try, you have to bee prepared for mistakes, learn from experience getover and continue.
I agree with the subject of this article ( not for the book it recommends) that noboby will help you, in fact, because no one cans.
Its personal stuff, is personal experience and that depends only of you.
I think you (like many people) miss the point of most self-help books. They're motivational, not instructional. The measure of success isn't whether they tell you anything you didn't already know; it's whether or not you are reminded or inspired to do what you already knew you needed to do.
99% of the wisdom in the world boils down to "take care of yourself and others." Love thy neighbor, the Golden Rule; it's all restatements of the same wisdom. There are even several variations within the motivational poster "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." But people don't just learn this stuff as kids and become angels. They need constant reminders. (Some more than others.) And even good people need their own hypocrisy pointed out to them regularly.
You're offering self-help advice...kinda hypocritical no?
Sorry, forgot to add. Good advice though - only b/c I happen to agree with it ;)
I agree, there a loads of crap books out there, but if only a fraction of them is good it should be sufficient.
The main problem I think is that you already need to have the right attitude BEFORE reading such a book. People thinking they would gain the right attitude just by reading hundred of books will miserably fail. Second problem is that many people aren't able to "implement" stuff to practice. Mainly because humans are resisting to change. It is like all these boring New Years resolutions people are making.
What I have seen so far, above points also apply to all these millions of trainings, seminars and courses.
One book I can really recommend is 'The Power of Less'.
As to the top of your post where you talk (a la The Donald) about doing what you love, I find there are three kinds of people:
1. What they love to do has inherent economic value.
2. What they love to do could have economic value if someone else who understands the value in what they do continually assigns them tasks with value.
3. What they love to do has no useful economic value.
People in the first group have a clear path. They are not guaranteed success but they can pursue it independently.
People in the second group depend on effective managers to be successful. They could become millionaires or go from low paying job to low paying job, depending largely on whether they are fortunate enough to hook up with the right people.
People in the third group will either do something they don't love or live off the productive output of others.
Often people in the first group have "advice" for people in the other groups. They should STFU.
5% of self-help advice surprisingly wasn't bullshit
I think that applies to any genre doesn't it?
For example, I got into commodity options trading in the early 90's, bought almost exactly 100 books and when people asked me for book recommendation, I recommended exactly 5 books. The other 95 books were repeat info, stuff that doesn't work, or just plain bullshit.
Hard skill tech books don't fall into this problem because it's so binary; it either works or it doesn't. The soft skill tech books would probably fall into this trap, if there weren't so few of them (relatively speaking).
i agree that you have got to get off your back side and take RESPONSIBILITY for your life and for making things happen in it. But I wholeheartedly reject the idea that no one but science is going to help you. Many people have helped me. People that had nothing to gain from it, but they cared about me and I would never be where I am today if they hadn't.
A rel="nofollow" for 'self-proclaimed self-help guru' is utterly awesome, made my day, thanks.
From my experience most people forgot that mastering something needs plenty of time (years).
One sign proving this fact is that you find a lot of books with titles like "become something within few weeks" or "the truth about ...".
But receiving true mastership lasts for a long time. And this is true for handcrafting, education, martial arts, etc.
To become a master might last even decades.
Why does this self-help book work when so many others fail? In a word, science!
And what do you do when you find the science isn't applicable either? To look to science for the problems behind procrastination and unhappiness with your work is folly. It has to be about a deep life philosophy (some of which you outline above).
The truth is most people in any given career are deeply unsuited to it, and many of those are deeply unsuited to any career, especially one that demands you spend 40+ hours a week in front of a computer at work to be competent and another 20+ outside of work to be good.
Psychologically, we are not suited to work this long, motivate ourselves this far and concentrate on one thing so intensely. Of course we have plenty of famous examples that buck this trend; you are one Jeff, I am not. The view from a (dare I say it) enlightened sodomite is that I enjoy programming, but not enough to be an all-singing-all-dancing-guru, I cannot motivate myself enough because I want to be working a twenty hour week and spending the rest of the time with family and friends.
That's me, but before you try to find out what's wrong with yourself and why you cannot motivate yourself, take a look at whether computers are for you, or if the rat-race is for you, and if you wouldn't rather be doing lots of varied things with your life rather than banging your head against the wall in a mode of life that is deeply unsuitable for the vast majority of us.
I read this book a week ago and thought it fantastic. Based on some excellent psychological research, it was an engrossing read (especially as a follow-up and supplement to a hefty tome on the history of psychology I'd just finished).
Unfortunately, I didn't find too much that was helpful, as I was already doing many of the book's suggestions, though I've been going back to the "In 59 seconds" sections over the past week as a refresher and to maybe incorporate a few little extras.
Finally, I'd just like to say I think you have a fantastic blog, Jeff. It's one of the few sites I don't have to force myself to check; it's always a pleasure to stop by and read the latest post or two by you. For whatever reason you do it, I hope you continue to write for a long time.
You wrote, "I don't care if anyone reads what I write here. I'm writing to satisfy myself first and foremost." Nice post, but I'm calling bullshit on that one. If you're writing for yourself, then why post your thoughts to the universe? Nobody blogs just for themselves. I'm tired of people saying they do.
Some of the comments here are pretty funny. I especially like the ones that basically imply (or outright say) that "science doesn't apply here." That's a bit like saying "reality doesn't apply here."
I would, though, agree with the people who say that most self-help books don't offer any help, but instead aim to motivate people. Unfortunately, they mainly motivate people to buy more self-help books, because reading about other people's successes is a pretty compelling substitute for experiencing actual success.
Get up, get out of bed and immediately work on doing something extremely difficult for an hour. You might not finish the thing you set out to do, but you will finish other things, more so than you might have otherwise.
The "self help" books just regurgitate common sense with a wisdom flavored icing on top, just like the guy who has chicklets for teeth on late night infomercials.
The only science in improving yourself is studying yourself honestly. I'll read the book, however - it does sound interesting. Since most of the new stuff on the shelves in stores here comes from the UK, I'm pretty sure I'll get a copy with a jacket that doesn't suck :) And, well, writing is always fun.
You make some great points Jeff. There's no substitute for practice in your field, whatever it may be.
For example, I was really bad at math growing up and never had anyone to encourage me to do better. I relied on teachers and friends who helped me. Turned out, I knew very little despite spending so much time in school.
I recently became motivated to self-study math and learn because I actually want to know it, it feels so good.
This goes for development as well, which I'd been doing for years. The continual and deliberate practice is the only thing that can teach you the inner-workings of any mechanism that belongs to a complex system.
I think following blogs of practitioners is awesome and I use it to supplement my knowledge of whatever new is coming out. But I'm always practicing, basically, you can't depend on others to do your work for you. No effort = no reward in the most satisfying sense of the meaning.
Upon getting to the end of this blog entry, I felt kind of like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story" after he finished decoding the secret message:
"Be... sure... to read... Stack Exchange Productivity Q&A"
Stack Exchange Productivity Q&A?
A crummy commercial?!? Son of a bitch!
Some of the comments here are pretty funny. I especially like the ones that basically imply (or outright say) that "science doesn't apply here." That's a bit like saying "reality doesn't apply here."
That is an opinion. I like Carl Sagan's metaphor of science as a candle in the dark, it can illuminate only what it is directed towards - but it is not the only tool for uncovering truth. Science is the search for facts, philosophy is the search for reality, one can and should be informed by the other but not exclusively. You are conflating science, the pure theory of science, with our cultural scientific-materialism. There is a lot of arrogance in that, especially when you confuse that with reality.
There is a mistake, and you make it, in conflating what directions our society chooses to point scientific research with the nature of truth. Science is used to further our cultural values, and of course the truths therein continue to bolster that (and when, in the case of global warming, in contradicts it we furiously undermine it, or ignore it).
If you point science in the direction of more productivity it will scientifically tell you how to be more productive, in a particular area (though it's worth noting science's poor track record with social relationships, the economy etc.). If you start with the premise values that work "is good" and a career should be "developed" and come up with some "scientific" answers to achieve that, you will (and do) mistakenly believe that science is telling you to fix what you are doing wrong.
Knowing reality can only come from within the person, science is a useful tool but don't turn it into a God, and don't bastardize it to make you feel better about your own values - that's backwards thinking.
There is one book that is about 45% really great and actionable content.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
It combines lessons in listening, establishing rapport, negotiation, consultative and Socratic selling. I say 45% because about 5% is name dropping the names of well known people in the 1930's USA and about 50% is a set of standard business letters.
I have been to many courses on these topics, and all of what they had to teach is in that one book.
Don't read a self help book to become successful, write one! Who knows, you may score a hit and the profit$ start coming in.
A lot of people already knew that of course, hence the large amount of rubbish that's out there.
Seems that Jeff has come up to speed with things...
Wow.. Sound advice.. actually nonsense.. for great musicians who overdosed on drugs @ 27...
We should be doing everything for science. You monster.
Very interesting point of view, both from the author and those that read your post.
In the area of personal development I completely agree that without applying the knowledge you have to change the thing(s) you feel need to improve, you have a very low if not non-existent chance of changing.
As to your statement:
"Remember, nobody's going to help you … except science..." I have to disagree, God, our Creator and Father of the Christ and the embodiment of the Holy Spirit, can and absolutely will help us to improve ourselves.
The Bible is the original "self-help" book. All through it it links poor health and the effects that living with and by negative attitudes and behavior have on it. But it is not just physical health that it talks about but ultimately spiritual and mental health.
It was refreshing to see the scientific data you included from the book as it demonstrated that the ideas and concepts taught in the Bible are scientifically supported. Not, mind you, that I need that to support my belief, but I know there are those in the world that discount the validity of the Bible.
Have a great day and God Bless
Nope, I can't agree with you Jeff. Your statement about Self-Help generally is too broad.
The idea that only science can help me assumes that I a) fit a standard model, and b) that I am rational. I doubt anyone manages both of those. People are varied. People are irrational, and I suspect if we ever found a perfectly rational person we would see them as inhuman.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that most people here are problem solvers, and who view their lives as some sort of system to be optimised. I know that most of my life, I have. The thing is, lives are complicated, individuals are unique and have different goals, and while we can learn useful things about general trends across large populations, my life (or optimisation problem) is unique. Science can point the way, but sometimes you've got to do a little exploration for yourself.
I'm also interested that in your post the objective of 'Self Help' seems to be 'Productivity'. I studied a bit of Psychology at university, and we discussed some experiments that had shown that 'Happy' people were less productive than slightly anxious people. I also see that there are studies showing the reverse, too. Either way, I would sooner be happy than productive. Maybe I'm trying to reach a different goal.
I will agree that self help books are only really useful if seen as what worked for the author. However, I'd also suggest that science is only useful if viewed within the bounds of the experiment. For example, there is reasonable evidence that some of the forms of talking therapy are useful - but that they take time. Was the time factor accounted for within the experiment?
I guess the idea that 95% of content is irrelevant to you seems likely. But the thing is, for me, it might be a different 95%.
If limited to purely the question of Productivity, I might agree that science is the main useful approach - though only if we recognise that individuals are different, and we won't all fit the same model.
(That's not meant as a fluffy 'everyone is special and unique', just the observation that there is a lot of variation within the population)
I bought the 59 seconds book because of this blog.
 This blog post kind of sounds like self help :)
Thank you for this advice highly interesting, it is really fun to come across articles as interesting as yours! I wish you health, longevity, success, happiness and peace of heart.
Thanks for the great post. When I started participating at StackOverflow I did not even knew how to indent code properly. Thanks to StackOverflow and StackExchange I feel a better programmer and a better writer :)
When I read this book a year ago, I thought it was crap. The problem with self-help "science" is that it's not actually testable. People run studies on small groups in artificial surroundings and then try to extrapolate to people's lives. I much prefer How to Win Friends and Influence people - that book has been popular for the last 80 years.
As with any learning, there's the instructional part and the "you have to go do it" part. Some people want a lot of instruction, some don't. Some people use instruction as a crutch (those who are addicted to self-help books), some don't. Some self-help authors are more hype the help, and some offer genuine value to the lives of their readers.
Ultimately, improving your life is up to you. It can't happen by reading a book alone, just like you can't learn programming by reading a book alone. You have to do it. Some books help. But you still need action.
Funny, in Germany, the book translates to "60 seconds", despite you "59 seconds" original title.
Sounds like the 5-minute-workout scene from "There's Something About Mary".
It's about doing, not reading about doing. The only thing you've really achieved at the end of such a book, is having read it. That should be the tell-tale clue. You picked up a book, read all of the pages within it's covers, and then put it down. Hence, you read a book.
Now apply that same philosophy to your goals.
Haha, I had the best result reading 59 Seconds. It talked so much about productivity and easy ways to motivate yourself. I got fed up with myself, picked up my home project and worked solidly on it. I never finished the book!
You have to take under consideration that ppl here are mostly IT guys, we are a nitche. 59 secs (I did not read it) is simply talking language of evidence and pragmatism i presume.
A marketing guy for instance would be most likely bored to death with this approach, he needs energy from book not facts.
The typical buyer of "secret" only needs to buy the book, this action itself fullfills in his mind the obligation to do something about it.
"How to win friends and influence people" - excellent and based off extensive studies of lots of successful people.
Four Hour Work Week = practical modern tips and tricks, lots of anecdotes and bragging.
Crush it - temporarily inspirational, minor tips and tricks
Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Semi useful, but anecdotal
Getting Things Done - Not my style of organization, but interesting stuff about his experience training several teams.
Your brain at work - Interesting but not worth it
Think Rich, Grow Rich - waste of time.
Crucial conversations - blegh
I like listening to these while travelling.
POLL: Are self help books a waste of time? http://www.wepolls.com/p/5631906
Jeff, have you *actually* read some of Steve Pavlina's articles? Looks like you just read the first 3 sentences on the 'About' page and overlooked the big 'self-improvement' (not 'self-help') sitting in the website's header.
Your article says the exact same things, Steve already said years ago. I think you picked the worst choice for pointing out an 'self-acclaimed self-help guru' ... ;)
Yes, writing encourages the creation of a story line and structure that help people to make sense of what they believe has happened - NOT what has happened. Read more here: http://danaide.typepad.com/blog/
"59 Seconds is so good, in fact, it has rekindled my hopes that our new Stack Exchange Productivity Q&A can work."
Even if 'self-help' was contained to the current cult of personality and anecdotal advice, I think the SE Productivity would still be successful. The industry is huge and has been huge for decades!
Saying that, 59 Seconds and similar books like this (there's another good one Creativity based on actual research: http://www.spring.org.uk/how-to-be-creative-ebook), I'm glad are popping up and challenging the so called intuitive avenues to happiness and satisfaction.
There's nothing like science! Thanks for the post.
did you spot the gorilla?
Very well said Matt ! I was thinking about the same thing the other day and taking a good hard look at what I was doing. I had all these grandiose ideas about my research but then I realized that the actual sweat-and-blood wasn't enough. That did it for me and I rolled up my sleeves and put in the bull-work. You might want to look at this video starring Will Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTyN0upf8Ws ... he truly is the Legend !
Also reminds me of a quote from "The World Is Not Enough" .. "... there is enough time to sleep when you are dead" :) ..
We do not see the time spent on this site, so everything is exciting ...what a great generosity of us share your knowledge for free ...
Perhaps another reason writing is more effective than talking in this case is that we may be more honest when writing down something that we don't expect people to read.
I was wondering if you could tell me how you accomplished putting that image on your info so when someone is searching self help advice and they see your blurb, they see that graphic?