“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish, and he’ll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.” – George Carlin

There’s an old comedy bit by (the legendary) George Carlin about how — his words, not mine:

“People who read self-help books ought to be killed.”

(remember, it’s just a joke…)

He goes on to explain:

“If you’re looking for self-help, why would you read a book written by somebody else?

That’s not self-help, that’s help.

There’s no such thing as self-help… If you did it yourself, you didn’t need help!”


That may sound funny coming from me, as a teacher of inner development, which often gets lumped into the dreaded “self-help” genre…

…But Carlin is speaking to a critical difference between the rah-rah self-helpers and the inner development work we do here:

While self-help points you outwards, to gurus and experts who try to help you to succeed at the social/survival game…

Inner development points you inwards, to your own deeper intelligence, and creating a life of your own authentic design. 

Following others vs guiding yourself: 

That is the core difference Carlin is pointing to, and one of the core differences between self-help and inner development. 

There are others, of course, like how:

Self-help is about feeling better about yourself, while inner development is about transcending yourself.

Or, if you prefer:

Self help is about making the illusion prettier, while inner development is about destroying the illusion and getting to the Truth.

But that’s a story for another day 🙂

Here’s the bit, if you’d like to watch it.– TP.S. A gem from the comments section of that video:

“I bought a self-help tape the other day. It was called ‘How to handle disappointment.’ When I opened the box, it was empty.”

What a metaphor…

By admin

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