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Self-Help (Vintage Contemporaries) Kindle Edition
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~ Samuel Smiles from Self-Help
Self-Help by Samuel Smiles.
I hadn’t heard of this book until I was watching a Big Think video featuring Tal Ben-Shahar. (Highly recommend those, btw. Google “Big Think + Tal Ben-Shahar” or click here). In the interview “In Defense of Self-Help,” Tal discusses the modern self-help movement and the fact that, unfortunately, a great deal of the books these days share the latest quick-fix solutions to life’s challenges rather than teaching us how to develop our character.
Big Think asked Tal what he considers classics in self-help and he mentioned this book.
So, I immediately got it and read it over the weekend and here we are.
I’m thrilled I read it. It’s packed with mini-biographies of many of history’s greatest scientists, artists, business leaders, generals and political leaders plus Big Ideas encouraging us to develop character, perseverance, diligence, patience and other noble virtues.
I’m excited to share a handful of my favorite Big Ideas:
1. Diligent, Patient Industry - Is where it’s at.
2. Indefatigable Industry - Is also where it’s at.
3. Comfort & Happiness - True necessities.
4. Time Well Spent - Use it or lose it.
5. Moving Ourselves. - Be the change, yo.
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
Moore writes with an intensity and originality about women (and men) grappling with the fallout of postmodernity. It's been said, and sung, that there is a thin line between love and hate and all the relationships in "Self Help" come under the microscope and are found to partake of both. A sense of alienation and melancholy pervades the protagonists of "Self Help" as they are swept along on the vicissitudes of emotions that are never less than complex and laced with the mystery of growing pains and the pains that diminish us as we grow older. Moore writes about mothers, daughters, lovers, husbands, and, ultimately, about women as creative people at the mercy of never-ending stages of transition. If Alice Munro is the great modern classicist of the short story, Moore is the next-generation's candidate for writing of a more experimental nature, mirroring the increasing fragmentation of our world where the biology of women is at right angles to their need for self-expression. These stories do not provide easy closure on the fate of any of the protagonists, but in their courageous free fall and protracted states of inquiry lie their snippets of liberation and moments of epiphany.