Self-help books: Amazing, life-transforming manuals or load of old money-spinning guff? Discuss.
OK, we’re not really setting you an essay or exam question here, but we would love to know your thoughts on this – so please comment away! Can a book really change your life? Has one already changed yours? Have you got one in your bag right now? One of the first was ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie, which was published in 1937 and has sold over 15 million copies sold worldwide. Have you got one? What do you think of it? Has it helped you?
Many – particularly those much braver and cheekier than us – might say that Mr Carnegie hit the winning formula nearly 75 years ago and everything else since has been a variation on a theme. We wouldn’t dare make such a sweeping judgement – would you?! There are plenty of books that claim to be able to change your working life too, including those about some moving cheese, not sweating about the little things, and even how to deal with those from different planets in the workplace! But are they any good? What do they really help us achieve? Surely most of them are common sense at best, and at worst they’re presenting a dream that just isn’t possible in reality.
Well yes, they are common sense – but we reckon it won’t do anyone any harm to have a reminder of that (in or out of work) every now and again, ourselves included! Some, such as ‘Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire’ by Mireille Guiliano (also author of ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’), offer no-nonsense, practical advice about how to get ahead in the office. And she should know, she worked her way up in a male-dominated industry to become CEO of Veuve Clicquot champagne in the USA! The practical advice she offers, though, always comes with the guidance about being yourself, finding your own style and polishing it - not trying to live by someone else’s rules then feeling like a failure when you can’t. Success and happiness is about being the very best you can be, isn’t it? The best version of you that you’re able to be. We don’t mean it’s about being perfect, far from it, but if there’s a way to improve on what you’ve already got you’d like to know about it, wouldn’t you?
Good, we thought so! So here’s for the not-so-subtle segue way… If you’re looking to add some skills to your set to get ahead in the job you’ve got, or you’ve decided that 2011 is the year you’re going to change direction and start your dream career, then why not try our revolutionary new SpeedWriting course. In just six hours you can learn to increase your efficiency by up to 33% - which might go some way to reducing your stress levels too. It’s simple to study and you’ll learn about silent letters and vowels, phonetics and prefixes until you are reaching speeds of up to 40 wpm. You’ll also find studying SpeedWriting easy to organise around your work and home commitments as it is provided on a self-study basis, so you learn at your own pace. For more info about SpeedWriting or any other of our courses visit www.pitman-training.com/Courses and find out how you can be you, but better! After all, every journey starts with the first step (gosh, that almost sounds like a line from a self-help book, doesn’t it?!).