I think we can safely say we’ve all had them, a Bridget Jones moment that is!
Looking back over my teenage years I lived with a mum who believed in self improvement in a big big way, she read the books, she did the courses, she read more books and was determined to find a better way of doing things for both herself and for others. This also meant that our house had a huge number of self-help books within it many of which are very well known and are still very relevant.
Not all of them were the types of self-help book that screamed self-help, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior quite literally changed my life and how I thought about many many things, it certainly wasn’t deemed as a self-help book and is recognised as enlightening and inspirational and I can confirm it certainly is
I learned so much from my mum and her passion for self development and self improvement was something that was with me from my teens onwards and I too became very interested in all written material that could assist or teach me to do things differently. That Bridget Jones moment I’m talking about happened to me when I was looking at my bookshelves and realised that there were certainly several shelves made up with various self-help books many of which were completely irrelevant but you just never knew did you, there might be a little gem in there that could help you change something?
I think one of the most liberating moments for me was deciding to get rid of them all and when I say get rid of them all what I mean was the actual self-help books not the books that inspired me but the more commercial but also very worthwhile books that help you through certain periods of your life.I boxed the books up and took them to my local charity shop where I hoped somebody else would get as much enjoyment and perhaps insight that I had?
So what happens next I hear you ask? Well, the long and short of it is I still am very attracted to all sorts of books that explore the psyche that come out every year and if I wasn’t incredibly careful it would be easy for me to buy them purely on a curiosity basis but then there is every chance I would be bankrupt with excessively full bookshelves. I still find myself reading through the new book lists, finding yet another book or teach me something and I still sometimes find myself making a note to purchase it or put it on my birthday or Christmas wish list.
The reason I’m bringing this up now is I have literally just walked away from what looked like an intriguing book about coping with the darkness of winter. This looks good, I thought to myself, how very interesting, the cover was beautiful, the description by the reviewer was intriguing and I felt myself drawn in and ready to make a purchase. HOWEVER… I managed to stop stand back and then I remembered I don’t actually have a problem with winter, in fact I love winter I’ve always loved winter and therefore any sensible person would conclude I certainly don’t need a book about surviving the dark winter months! The next was a book on creating memories. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have scrapbooks and memory boxes coming out of my ears, I’ve done things like this all my life – why oh why would I need a book to tell me how to create places for memories?
It made me realise what an ingrained habit this has been of mine and one that although is tamed considerably still pops its head up from time to time. It also made me think that there are actually quite a few things that I probably don’t need books for now, perhaps it’s more a case of trial and error and learning that way?
So, any of my friends reading this, next time you see on my wish list a book on Hygge, mindfulness, new ways to get organised, I want you to laugh, drop me a text and tell me to stop being so ridiculous – okay? For those of you out there ready to purchase another self-help book just make sure you ask yourself this;
“Is this relevant for me now? Was this more relevant to the person I was before and I’m just buying this because it’s habit?”
You’ll know what to do next……..