Summary of The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need

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The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need book summary
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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Fat? Unhappy? Looking for love? With 20,000 plus self-help titles on the shelves, people are still overweight, suicidal and unfulfilled. Neuropsychologist Paul Pearsall debunks the promises of the self-help genre. He exhorts you to treat it skeptically, being mindfully aware of whether its counsel fits your life. This is probably not the "last self-help book you’ll ever need;" it’s certainly not the last self-help book Dr. Pearsall is likely to write (and he writes well, so that’s fine). However, it will make you think and help you gain perspective on "self-helpism." Quit obsessing about the future and what you don’t have. Seize the moment. A life well-lived must, in fact, be authentically lived, not just contemplated. getAbstract advocates Pearsall’s contrary point of view as the antidote to way too much positive thinking.

About the Author

Neuropsychologist Dr. Paul Pearsall speaks widely on psychological issues and has written other self-help books including The Pleasure Prescription and The Beethoven Factor.

 

Summary

Who Put the ’Pop’ in Pop Psychology?

Do you think you’re worthless? Do you need more self-esteem? Must you love yourself before you can love someone else? Are guilt and worry harmful? If you’ve ever felt that the standard self-help book’s version of happiness and fulfillment defines a hopeless goal, good for you. You’re developing the "contrarian consciousness" that leads to greater well-being.

Nineteenth-century Freudian views still shape pop psychology’s general principles. Today’s self-help books rarely think twice about set ideas on childhood’s supposedly powerful influence over adult behavior or question whether emotions actually do build up "steam" until they are released. Yet, it should challenge these notions and more. As self-help booms, the science it used to depend upon has become less important. Today, academic psychology focuses on more narrow, pathological subjects, while ordinary people listen to celebrity gurus and TV show hosts. Such advisers use modern media and marketing to sell advice that may not fit you. Self-help is an industry, so buyer beware. Kick the tires before you buy into it.

Not Just One Good Life

There’s "not just one ...


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    S. G. 3 years ago
    I read this book minutes after reading a sacred cow self help book and then positively commenting on it.

    A lot of teachings in this summary contradicts what I read in most self help books and yet the author gives a good plausible defense for what he writes.

    I recommend this opposite side of the coin summary to be read right after reading a traditional self help summary.

    The $100,000 take away I got from reading this is rather than thinking positive, think with full awareness.
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    K. M. 5 years ago
    No one could have said better than this