The first half of the book is devoted to highlighting some of the major self-help profiteers such as Dr.
It teaches people in the most visceral sense that they can change, they can grow, they can stretch themselves, they can do things they never thought possible. I didn't get burned. Because charcoal is a poor conductor of heat, particularly through the dead calloused skin on the bottom of your feet and especially if you scoot across the bed of coals as quickly as fire walkers are wont to do.
Think of a cake in a degree oven--you can touch the cake, a poor conductor, without getting burned, but not the metal cake pan. Physics explains the "how" of fire walking.
To understand the "why," we must turn to psychology. In I attended a bicycle industry trade convention whose keynote speaker was Mark Victor Hansen, now well known as the coauthor of the wildly popular Chicken Soup for the Soul book series that includes the Teenage Soul, Prisoner's Soul and Christian Soul but no Skeptic's Soul.
I was surprised that Hansen didn't require a speaker's fee, until I saw what happened after his talk: I was one of them. I listened to those tapes over and over during training rides in preparation for bicycle races.
In his recent book Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless Crown Publishing Group,he explains how the talks and tapes offer a momentary boost of inspiration that fades after a few weeks, turning buyers into repeat customers.
While Salerno was a self-help book editor for Rodale Press whose motto at the time was "to show people how they can use the power of their bodies and minds to make their lives better"extensive market surveys revealed that "the most likely customer for a book on any given topic was someone who had bought a similar book within the preceding eighteen months.
One would not expect people to need further help from us--at least not in that same problem area, and certainly not time and time again. Surrounding SHAM is a bulletproof shield: More of the same self-help--or at least the same message repackaged into new products.
SHAM takes advantage by cleverly marketing the dualism of victimization and empowerment. Like a religion that defines people as inherently sinful so that they require forgiveness provided exclusively by that religionSHAM gurus insist that we are all victims of our demonic "inner children" who are produced by traumatic pasts that create negative "tapes" that replay over and over in our minds.
Do these programs work? The law of large numbers means that given the millions of people who have tried SHAMs, inevitably some will improve. As with alternative-medicine nostrums, the body naturally heals itself and whatever the patient was doing to help gets the credit. Patient, heal thyself--the true meaning of self-help.According to self-help guru Tony Robbins, walking barefoot across 1,degree red-hot coals "is an experience in belief.
It teaches people in the most visceral sense that they can change, they. Jan 15, · But there is one squishy sector that just keeps on growing: the self-help industry. Americans spent $11 billion in on self-improvement books, CDs, seminars, coaching and stress-management programs% more than they did back in , according to Marketdata Enterprises, an independent Tampa-based research firm that .
After stumbling across some Parodies of the self-help industry on you tube, and a few books like "Sham", "shut up, stop whining, and get a life", and "How to lose friends and infuriate people.
Many different self-help group programs exist, each with its own focus, techniques, associated beliefs, proponents and in some cases, leaders.
Concepts and terms originating in self-help culture and Twelve-Step culture, such as recovery, dysfunctional families, and codependency have become firmly integrated in mainstream language. Surrounding SHAM is a bulletproof shield: if your life does not get better, it is your fault--your thoughts were not positive enough.
The solution? More of the same self-help--or at least the same message repackaged into new products. Self-help gurus are really just parasites, preying on the weakness of the social organism.
Exposing gurus as shams won't make them vanish. They will only be out of a job when we get our heads.