Headline Jan 26, 2016/ ''' THE VERY KINGS OF SELF-IMPROVEMENT ''



BUT EVERYWHERE I LOOK there is evidence of a pathological obsession for being richer, tougher, prettier, smarter, fitter and  -above all  -better.

As fallible, neurotic, profoundly messed-up human beings, we all have an insatiable appetite for  self-improvement.
Or is that just me?

I am shocked to discover that for every  Penguin Classic  or slim volume of poetry on my shelves, I seem to own many more books on getting rich, getting fit, losing weight, stopping smoking, learning a language and treating in one's knees.

I am a sucker for  self-improvement, a junkie for self-help, a crack agent of self-motivation. Or is that just my library?

There are books by world-renowned experts here. Captain WE Fairbairn's 1942 martial arts classic : Get Tough! How To Win in Hand-to-Hand Fighting. And How To Get Rich by Donald Trump.

There is The Prince by Machiavelli and Sun Tzu's  The Art Of War. And books about neurolinguistic programming and creative visualization and how to end a street fight with just one blow.

*But do I really need all this stuff? Has it done me any good? Does it actually do anyone any good?

Captain WE Fairbairn invented the Fairbairn commando knife and is the father of modern  hand-to-hand combat. Every student in the world with fire in his blood should own a copy of Get Tough! But Fairbairn takes a chapter to tell you how to tie a German soldier to a tree  -with his own legs.

Even If I learn how to do it really well, how often is that going to come in useful to me?

And as much the world may admire Donald Trump, can I really learn the secrets of his success in his chapters entitled  ''Bullshit Will Only Get You So Far''.  ''Look Closely Before Changing Careers''  and  ''Think Big and Live Large''?

As with most maharishis of motivation, you always feel that Trump can't explain the secret of his success because he doesn't really know it himself. 

The most interesting pearl of wisdom is Trump's revelation that while most big swinging bums believe in a firm handshake, he personally believes in no handshake at all.

So try it, why don't you? People will think you're a weirdo. And it will certainly not make you as rich as the Donald. 

Not all the self-improvement texts I own are by experts in their field. I also have a large collection of books by charlatans, nut jobs and nobodies. I own books about getting rich by people who are not rich, but in jail.

But when it comes to improving myself, I seem disturbingly willing to suspend belief. I am like a country hick queuing up to see the bearded lady, the mug punter who can't see when the cards are marked, a sucker for that snake oil.

A Lot of self-improvement industry promises  ''short cuts to success''. Short cuts to the richer, tougher, fitter man that we all want to be. This is especially true in the money end of the market-

Perhaps because we want to be rich more than we want to lose our love handles, or master the elbow strike to the temple. But of course there are no short cuts to anything worth  having.

If you are losing weight or learning martial arts or building a property empire worth billions of dollars,  ''you do not do it in ten easy steps''. 

It takes a lifetime,   ''not a lunch time'' . 

And yet,  -and yet, we just can't help believing that it is possible to learn wisdom of the ancients in a $ 9.99 paperback. Even those who would sneer at the costly banalities of a non-book such as-

Spencer Johnson's  Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way To Deal With Change in Your Work, And in Your Life {the one with the mouse who gave up, and the mouse who didn't} are likely to quote knowingly from: The Prince or the grandaddy of them all, The Art Of War.

 The Honour and Serving of this delightful Operational Research continues. Thank You all for reading and see you all on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society  and Ecosystem 2011.

''' The Art Of War '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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