Not to toot my own horn, but don’t I feel that I’m seriously in need of self-help. I’m far from perfect, but I feel pretty good about myself. I’m happy. I’m fulfilled. My few neuroses don’t generally get in the way of my day-to-day life and are, if I say so myself, rather endearing. None the less, a new project is what’s in order for a little bit of self-improvement, and this is what Self Helping Myself is.
The inspiration for this blog was a bizarre discovery at my local branch of the Vancouver Public Library. I live in an exceedingly small ( “cozy” or “bijou” if you prefer, I suppose) apartment and have been playing around with furniture arrangement for ages: I can never find a good spot for my wayward footstool, and I always question whether the bedroom really is the best place for a chest freezer. While perusing the graphic novels, my mind wandered to the ancient concept of Feng Shui, and a quick catalogue search resulted in the call number for Feng Shui in a Weekend – 133.333. I was embarrassed to discover that this particular call number resides not in the home decor section as I had first assumed, but under the big ol’ SELF-HELP sign. Ugh.
So there I was, looking for the Feng Shui books and getting distracted by all the self-help titles sharing the shelves. And that’s when the idea struck me: what if I – a reasonably well-adjusted, happy young professional with a heightened sense of irony and excellent punctuation skills- were to read a different self-help book every month (or so, we’ll play it by ear), distill its main points, and then chronicle a week of attempting to follow its tenets? How will this New and Improved Me affect my family, friends and coworkers? Will I gain any insights into myself? Will I be all that I can be?
Well, I’m in.
Today I went to the central branch of VPL, which has over two full shelves of self-help books on every possible topic. It was tough to find a starting point, but I selected three books that have some potential: How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have by John Gray; You Can Achieve Peace of Mind by Jerry Dorsman and Bob Davis; and (best title ever!) Discover Your Inner Sloth by Gillian Bridge. I am going to spend a few days skimming these books to see which one might be the best bet for a first experiment, as well as fine-tune my protocol and criteria for this project. Stay tuned.
By the way, Feng Shui in a Weekend was a total bust. That damned chest freezer is blocking all my chi. So much for that!