The box arrived in the mail and H explained it was a delivery of three books purchased on Amazon. His company is encouraging employees to seek ways to broaden their perspective, allegedly in an effort to expand thinking and inspire new ideas. Desiring to stay in management’s favor and possibly embracing the notion that he may actually benefit from this exercise, he has been reading such books as “Drive,” “Power of Full Engagement,” “Getting Things Done” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” essentially self-help books for the business professional. Today was a lazy, rainy Sunday; in other words, the perfect reading day. During a reading break, our conversation went something like this:
H: I read a whole book today, “Who Moved My Cheese?”
Me: Strange title – what’s it about?
H: It’s about how some people adapt to change while others resist it and why people need to be open to change.
Me: Does it advise on how to learn to change?
H: I didn’t get that out of it .
Me: What did you get out of it?
H: Mr. A at my company will not change. No matter what ideas are presented to him, he wants things to remain the same.
Me: But what did you get out of it personally? The whole point of a self-help book is to help yourself, not to evaluate the characteristics of others; hence the term, self-help.
H: Then these books don’t do anything for me.
Me: Do you feel there are areas where you can become more flexible; change with the environment you are in?
H: I’ll make dinner tonight.
Well, I couldn’t argue with that, though it won’t do anything for his boss unless we invite him to join us for chicken scaloppine.
Have you read any self-help books that changed your life? My favorite is the one that drew my attention to feng shui: “Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life.”