I am fascinated by all things psychology, always have been. I grew up in a household with a domineering and often time’s volatile mother and a quiet and reflective father. My parents had very different approaches to child management. My mother (a nurse) subscribed to the “rule with terror” method and my father (a retailer with a degree in psychology) was partial to the “Jedi mind trick” approach. As a child I was either getting yelled at or threatened with eternal punishment to do as I was told, or I was coerced via mental trickery to believe that what I really wanted was to do as I was told. As you can imagine, I was a pretty messed up kid. I never knew if I was going to get a verbal beating followed by “restriction” or a deep psychoanalytical mind probing followed by “restriction.” More often than not it was both, at the same time.
I learned a lot from my parents methods of motivation. I learned that my mothers approach, though effective in the short term served only to breed animosity that would later lead to “fighting back.” From my father I learned that by reading “Psychology today” and “Omni,” I could make other people do what I wanted them to, just like Obi Wan Kenobi. This realization had a tremendous impact on my youthful desire to “score” and inspired me to spend hours at the public library reading psychology books. It also caused me to spend countless hours in my room trying to move objects with my mind, but we won’t get into that. My interest in the psychological dominance of others continued until the seventh grade, when collapsed like a house of cards under the weight of “love.” It was in the seventh grade that I met the woman I was destined to spend the rest of my life with. She was pretty, funny, smart and she had larger than average breasts for her age. It was true love. Unfortunately for the psychology world, she also had a love of break dancing or more importantly, break-dancers. Naturally, I became a break-dancer until we broke up a few weeks later, and I moonwalked my way into another chick magnet hobby.
My love of psychology faded like the memories of child hood and I grew into a normal messed up adult like everyone else. I would have stayed a normal messed up adult like the rest of the populace, were it not for the meddling of my best friend’s father. During the summer of 1997, I approached my best friends father (a college professor and business owner) and asked him to teach me how to start a business. He agreed, and gave me a book which he claimed held the keys to success. That book was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Reading that book re-awakened a new version of my inner psychologist. Now, instead of wanting to control the actions of others, I wanted to control myself, to reprogram my mind for success in all areas of my life. I began to utilize the tools for success as outlined by Mr. Hill and quickly realized the power of his teachings. I went from being a single and poor college student with no car and my parents for roommates, to being a college student with his own place, a 40K annual salary, a car and I was getting laid on a regular basis. The car, the house, and the job were great but I did not want to stop getting laid, so I read with a voracious appetite, any self-help book I could get my hands on. I read more Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, John Grey etc. etc. etc. I felt like I had the world in my hands, I was getting information that few others would ever get. I was a player in the underground world of “self-help,” a private world that was unknown to and protected from the masses. And then Anthony “Flippin” Robbins did an infomercial and let the cat out of the bag for the whole world!
With Anthony Robbins infomercial a revolution was born, a self-help revolution. With that one little infomercial, the whole of America woke up and said, collectively, “My life sucks!” This collective realization changed late night television forever, gone are the days of “Joe Bob Briggs up All Night,” and cheesy 80’s movies hosted by Gilbert Godfry. In the place of such classic programming is the “Self-Help Infomercial.” Late night is now the domain of Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, and John Grey.
Self-help is no longer exclusive to used bookstores, small ads at the back of magazines and seminars at the Holliday Inn. Thanks largely impart to Anthony Robbins, the self-help revolution is now a billion dollar per year industry that makes use of all media. Self-help is on TV, CD, Internet, Magazine, Books…. In case you did not know, the self-help section is the fastest growing section at Barnes and Noble. Americans are obsessed with the self-help revolution, obsessed with the desire to improve their crappy lives. Some are even addicted to self-help material. They listen to self-help CD’s during their commute, read self-help books on their lunch breaks, watch self-help DVD’s while they lay in bed at night and surf self-help forums on the net every time they sit down at the computer. I am one of these addicted souls.
I read at least one self-psychology (sounds better than self-help) books per week and listen to no less than two in my car. My self-psychology collection consists of over one hundred books and just over one hundred CD’s. I am obsessed, but I am also successful.
I have formed this blog to serve as an in-depth review of the strengths and weakness’ of the various self-psychology programs available today. I will rate each system based on its value to me as well as my perceived value of it for others. Between my reviews and the comments of others, we will quickly separate the “rip-offs” from the “sweet deals” and become better success addicts in the process.