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May 7, 2021

Shelf-Help

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Recently I heard a term that I thought was really funny, and all too accurate, and I wanted to share it with you. It relates to the biggest issue people have with personal development, which is how easy it is to say it’s a priority but how hard it is to actually practice it consistently.

Sometimes, instead of these resources being true sources of growth and development through self-help, they become shelf-help. They’re the books and magazines that are really good at collecting dust and not so good at teaching you the lessons inside their pages. We’ve all been there where we feel motivated to buy a new book but never get around to reading it.That’s shelf-help.

But more broadly, I think this thought also comments on the importance of being an active participant in your self-growth. The learnings, lessons, and perspectives you’re seeking can only be incorporated when you put effort into educating yourself. It’s not the idea of trying new things that helps you grow, it’s the doing and experiencing it. It’s not the purchase of a book, podcast, or course that helps you create the life you desire, it’s implementing the practices and techniques into your own life. That’s the core difference between self-help and shelf-help - It’s using the resources you have access to versus merely having access to them.

Accessing resources doesn't need to be huge. As you know some short form content on a daily basis will serve you just fine! Reading a book summary gives you the general gist. It’s doing something, anything, that allows you to truly pursue your personal development.

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