Fri Apr 10 14:20:57 PDT 2015

Need Motivation?! Try a Self-Help Author with a Different Take on Life

A while ago I wrote an article or two for Associated Content. Then Associated Content disappeared and the articles came back to me. So I've decided to put them online here. They are quite disparate in nature - but I figured why not make use of the content? This is the first such article that I am posting...

Need Motivation?! Try a Self-Help Author with a Different Take on Life

There are the folksy writers, who focus on principles and values, and have colorful anecdotes, about changing perceptions, sharpening your tools prior to commencing work, and making sure that you are working on the right tasks. These authors, who can trace their heritage to Franklin (of the Benjamin variety), are effective at building a strong common sense foundation.

There are the serenely pragmatic writers, like David Allen, who teach you to have and love a clean desk, and have a list of tasks and dreams, and methodically take time to plan your weeks and years. The self-help gurus in this category have worked as management consultants and are supremely practical. They typically have an interest in at least one martial art and effortlessly and permanently turn the lives of their clients into the regimented precision of an efficient working machine.

There are also the lifestyle gurus who work first and foremost on your inner sense of well being and bring you to a spiritual state of equilibrium. These writers focus on diet, exercises, your connections with others and nature, and are frequently concerned with the skillfulness of your meditations and breathing. In their realm of self improvement a successful practitioner is effortlessly able to observe their emotions and reactions and despite their now only observed ambition succeeds anyway.

Then there is Steve Chandler. Steve is a self help guru with a different take on life, motivation, and success. As the author of 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, Steve provided a generation of under achievers with an insistently driving set of written instructions on getting out of bed in the morning and getting things done. However, the majesty of Steve's approach is best appreciated by listening to 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself in audio book form. The reason for this is simply that Steve's vocal delivery is strangely and monotonously toneless. You get the impression that Steve is joining you in the pits of laziness. However, once you have tuned in to the monotonous drawl, you realize that Steve is making sense, and you pay attention, even if it is a little grudgingly at first.

Steve's message in words, if not tone, is that you need to take responsibility for everything in your life and not paint yourself as a victim. In that respect, the message is similar to other self-help gurus.

The essential difference is that although Steve preaches a message of change, he gets that message listened to by starting slowly. He relates how much he hated motivational speakers in his past professional life in marketing. He relates how a several year long stint in the army saw him maintain the steady and monotonous rank of private.

Then Steve relates how he has subsequently taken more responsibility, or ownership, for the events in his life and has achieved much more. All of this is done, in the audio books at least, in the same dry monotone, without a trace of emotion, and that dissolves the modern, technologically interested person's resistance to overly emotional self-help.

Steve, it has to be said, appeals particularly to the geeks, who all too happily wile away too much time developing software and reclusively tinkering with new technology. The monotone delivery helps in communicating with this crowd.

Once the defenses have been dissolved, however, Steve's message is human and passionate. His anecdotes present stories of his daughters' childhood, his time spent in jobs that he did not enjoy, and Janis Joplin, concerts.

A refreshing theme which Steve returns to regularly is that personalities can be readily changed. They are not the immutable entities one expects, particularly when confronted with an unappealing fixed example of personality. This position provides hope for change and that is certainly a key ingredient for any successful self-help program.

So, if you are looking for motivation, and, like Steve, cannot stand traditional self-help gurus, why not take a look at what Steve Chandler has to offer. A quick Google will take you to a site or two which provide sample chapters of his books (see www.stevechandler.com and follow the link for podcasts, for example) and you will then be able to determine if Steve's delivery is for you. Good luck with your listening, don't be tempted to speed up the mp3 files, it spoils the delivery!

And I should state, for the record, that I am not associated with Steve Chandler, though I have been impressed by his recordings...

Comments are closed


If you would like to get in touch with me, please mail zfs at themolecularuniverse.com

recent comments

Posted by ZFS | Permanent link | File under: general
[StumbleUpon] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google]