When Self-Help Isn’t Helpful

Self-help is a big business, and it’s not surprising that advertising promises “amazing results!” for all sorts of self-help schemes and products. The challenge is how to separate out the stuff that actually works from what doesn’t.

I’m actually a big fan of self-help for the most part, but the industry is rife with BS and big promises. Self-help often fails, and sometimes it fails in a big way. How many people do you know (or perhaps it’s yourself) who bought some sort of expensive “abundance” program only to still have financial problems after the big purchase? (Or maybe they got worse!)

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Thankfulness vs. Self-Congratulatory “Gratitude”

I’m not sure what happened, but the meaning of “gratitude” seems to have changed over the years. Gratitude used to be about acknowledging and appreciating someone else for their help or service. Now, instead of being grateful to someone, we’re grateful for something.

“What are you grateful for?” is a question that turns inward on the self instead of acknowledging the generosity or kindness of others. What are we really saying here? Is the unspoken question really: “How lucky do you feel that you have all this stuff (or money, or relationship, or success) vs. that poor sap over there who is broke and alone?”

Genuine gratitude should not actually depend on what you have. You could have nothing, but be grateful to someone for being kind to you, or grateful to God for giving you life.

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