The Harm In Self-Help

Andrew Sullivan —  May 1 2012 @ 8:52pm

Robert Grant immersed himself in self-help books and blogs. He wasn't impressed:

[I]t becomes your job, a burden: always be positive. You maintain positivity in the hopes that success will follow. That is, underlying this mind-set is a real feeling of hope; hope that it will "work", that this positivity will pay off. And as this hope builds and the results don’t appear, it can become extremely difficult to know how to deal with failure… [T]his anti-negative stance also doubles as a useful tool for disregarding critics and making it difficult to reject the teachings once you’ve made a commitment to them. In order to move past the superficial philosophy of Personal Development, you first need to examine and criticize it, but to do so would be to break the cardinal rule: be positive.