Self Help

Lives of living forms started aeon ago.

Timeline of human evolution outlines the major events in the development of the human species, and the evolution of humans’ ancestors.

Self-help, or self-improvement, is a self-guided improvement—economically, intellectually, or emotionally—often with a substantial psychological basis.

Many different self-help group programs exist, each with its own focus, techniques, associated beliefs, proponents.

Self-help often utilizes publicly available information or support groups, on the Internet as well as in person, where people in similar situations join together.

Note: According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, potential benefits of self-help groups that professionals may not be able to provide include friendship, emotional support, experiential knowledge, identity, meaningful roles, and a sense of belonging.

(Extract from Wikipedia)

In this page, I would like to focus on the self improvement techniques and strategies advocated by Self-help  Authors and well known Practicioners of self-help books.


Brief History of Self Help Movement in Modern Times

1733      Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac (with content both original and borrowed) under the pseudonym Richard Saunders, on which much of his popular reputation is based. “Poor Richard’s Proverbs”, adages from this almanac, such as “A penny saved is two pence dear” (often misquoted as “A penny saved is a penny earned”) and “Fish and visitors stink in three days”, remain common quotations in the modern world.

1828      George Combe’s “Constitution[1828], advocated personal responsibility and the possibility of naturally sanctioned self-improvement through education or proper self-control, largely inaugurated the self-help movement.

1841      Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay entitled “Compensation”,  suggested that “every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults” and “acquire habits of self-help” as “our strength grows out of our weakness.”

1859      Samuel Smiles published the first self-consciously personal-development “self-help” book—entitled Self-Help. Its opening sentence: “Heaven helps those who help themselves”, provides a variation of “God helps them that help themselves”, the oft-quoted maxim, in popular self help literature.

1902      James Allen published As a Man Thinketh, which proceeds from the conviction that “a man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” Noble thoughts, the book maintains, make for a noble person, whilst lowly thoughts make for a miserable person.

1936      Dale Carnegie’s remarkable success as a self-help author further developed the genre with How to Win Friends and Influence People in.

1937      Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich described the use of repeated positive thoughts to attract happiness and wealth by tapping into an “Infinite Intelligence”.


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