Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Motivational books: to read or not to read?

A motivational book is not a magic pill or panacea for happiness ÔÇô it needs to be understood and used right.

It is a tool that one can use to get ideas about how to improve one’s life, where they get the drive to carry on in life and works best when read with the desire to learn, rather than seeking change from it.

Harvey Henderson, an Avondale College student and part-time motivational speaker, says people tend to read books for the wrong reasons, adding that one needs to have good self esteem and not to seek esteem in a book.

According to Henderson, one gets ideas from a book to get a different perspective of things in life but the books that one reads have to be selected with care.

He warns that not all books are good, so they need to be chosen well, because some are written with the influence of a certain situation in a country that may not necessarily affect the entire world.
“You cannot read one book and expect motivation from it,” says Henderson. “You have to go through a wide selection of books.”

An English teacher who spoke on the subject but asked not to be named, says motivational and other inspirational books are great to read, but life is not going to change simply by reading them. She says many of the books she has read either inspired her to take immediate action or helped her to think bigger or even got her excited and passionate about her dreams. According to her, if you want to change your life, to have all that you want, then you need to read these self development books with the intention of taking action.

“These books do not work; people are just spending too much on books that do not benefit them, adding more cash into accounts of people that are extremely rich already,” says a business management student, who elected to speak without giving his name. He said he has long quit reading motivational books.

He is not intrigued by the common idea of motivational writers creating their own stories, criticizing The Secret by Byrne, saying it is contradictory to known religious and scientific theories.

“It talks about the ‘law of attraction’ saying that you are already attracting everything that is coming in to your life…you are the most powerful transmission tower in the universe and your transmission creates life and it creates the world,” he says.

This theory, he believes, misleads people because people are hungry for the right answer, they will believe even the most ridiculous theories, which will not work and leave them frustrated.

The business management student spoke bitterly about being disturbed by the fact that when it does not work out according to how one believed it would, then motivational authors tell you that you have done something wrong or you must have blocks somewhere in your subconscious and urge you to buy more books to help the situation.

And when you have tried everything and it has failed to work, you are told that you need to stop wanting things and instead become spiritual, believing that you already have all you need.
Stuart White, the Managing Director of HRMC Management Consultants, says people are constantly looking for answers, be it for success, personality change, weight loss ÔÇô anything. According to him, you cannot change or motivate a person.

White equates the word ‘motivate’ with movement.

“I do not know of a person that read a book that changed their life, but know people that read a book that influenced their lives.”

He adds that people have found a lucrative business in writing books; writers have noticed the constant need to find that spark of people and taken advantage of it. He gave the US as an example of one country that has people making big profits out of supporting motivational writers and motivational speakers who will command fees of over US $50 000 a night.

He warns that if you read in between the lines of all success literature, the real secret lies in diligence, hard work and consistency.


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