A lady came to see me recently. She reads my musings and had braved the freezing cold weather to come over to the stables to give me a carrot. Yummy!
I could hear her chatting to Elizabeth. The gist of the conversation went along the lines of: there is such an overload of self-improvement information out there, not only from professionals in the field (no pun intended) to non-professionals in the field (pun intended). If horses are offering their advice, where will it end? Soon even goldfish will be giving advice to people. Do I really need all this advice? Am I really so broken?
Well, I’m not a goldfish, I observe and muse from my field only, not from an aquarium, so you will have to look elsewhere for advice from Goldie the Goldfish Guru!
BUT, my observations from my field tell me that many, many people wear themselves out (and with the domino effect their family, friends, and animals) by repeating the same old, same old time and time again. Sometimes they do it without realizing it, and sometimes they are still waiting for a different outcome and are amazed when it never happens.
They have a poor ability to understand or to profit from experience.
I do realize that there is a self-help overkill going on. But this is what I think: Do I really need to work so hard on myself to fix myself? Am I that broken? Maybe, maybe not.
Self-help books, videos, DVDs etc. are not there with the intention of trapping you on the treadmill of self-help gurus. Nor are they there to make you focus on what is wrong with you (this usually backfires and creates more problems along self-loathing instead of enlightenment).
I believe self-help is not to be viewed as a tool to fix something that is broken, but more as a tool to provide motivation for you to master your life. That is your choice.
I see it as a tool which provides you with the power to know that you are not a victim of random fate. It is for those who do not seek to blame others for their short-comings or perceived ill-fortunes, but who wish to rid themselves of their problems thereby living a better, fuller lifestyle – whatever their definition of that might be. Whether in personal self-development or improving their dog training techniques!
It isn’t always necessary to repair what isn’t broken – i.e. what is wrong with me? Rather, it helps to provide a shift in perception of “what is wrong with me” to how can I do this differently to get improved results? This shift can help you rid yourself of repeated negative lifestyle choices which might have limited your success in the past.
This can apply to personal development, dog training, horse training (believe me, I know what I’m talking about on that score), and so on.
This shift in perception or awareness is the challenge you face if you wish to improve and free yourself of types of behaviour which might have held you back from successes in the past.
The bottom line is: ask yourself how much value is being added to your life by the advice of others!
Enjoy your ride.
(Photo: Mittinger www.babystorkz.com)
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