I loathe self-help books. I’ve tried to read more than a few, as I am the person self help books are written for after all. “Screw it, Lets do it”…Im a sucker for punchy titles, they get me all worked up and gung-ho for about 4 pages of totally unrelatable lucky coincedences that certainly didn’t show themselves to me before my twelfth birthday. After which, my blank mind ready for the new attitude adjustment clouds over whilst I frantically scan through the rest of the book looking for the Chapter that starts with “Step 1 – Make Yourself a Cup of Coffee”. “Step 2 – Sit Right On Back Down and Drink It”. And so on, until I have successfully completed all 100 steps and can smile down on my children who are playing ‘I Spy With Absolutely No Fighting or Swearing’ in freshly cleaned pyjamas and brushed hair. And the next morning, I make 20 new friends at my new job doing what I LOVE (which obviously will become clear as day to me around chapter 6 or so, and will surprise me in a good way because it wont be just drinking wine, but a how-to point by point reference on turning that hobby into a lucrative business) which in turn will have the banks endlessly phoning me offering me credit, as opposed to the current offer of an ultimatum, due to finally reaping the rewards of following my passion. Or, none of that will matter, and I will struggle along to make ends meet but will be gloriously happy and content because happiness is not about smoked salmon salad if you can imagine your baked beans to taste like that, which is a mindful state that can be reached through meditation, if you try hard enough (I would even read this chapter twice to fully grasp these concepts). Occasionally like Paulo Coelho’s books, the subliminal sub-text is where the philosophy lies, which makes it easy to read and enjoy the story, but very difficult to relate to my own life. Except maybe the view of the sea from my bedroom window, which is supposed to blow in winds of change rather than winds of gale force hair extraction, and the rolling tides mean more to me than a more accurate weather check than SABC 3. My point is, that if those books aren’t just shameless self-promotion by the author, then there are vital chapters missing between “You are Here”and….”A Flowery Description of Where I am and Where You Want To Be”. I just don’t understand them.
Edward Monkton on the other hand, is philosopher extraordinaire, insightful, truthful and highly, highly relatable. Also, can be read, and applied in the same amount of time it takes to curse the universe for your lot in life. Honestly, he pretty much says what the others are saying, but in a couple of lines with pictures. Read these and I guarantee you a brief moment of happiness, although your baked beans will taste the same as they’re supposed to. They won’t really help with that.
See more of his greatness here: www.edwardmonkton.com/