I’m thinking of writing a book. A self-help book. Why? Because sales of self-help books went up 14% last year compared to 1% for fiction plus I have stacks of them on my book shelf (which I’ve written about before) And do I need help? Obviously I thought I did, but not any longer, not now, now I am beyond help! Now, as I near the exit end of middle age (and I don’t want any forensic analysis of what exactly that means) I feel that I am in a position to OFFER help. I believe that I am in a position to dispense advice coupled with a sprinkling of wisdom and a dollop of common sense.
How wise or sensible it is for me to be making a statement like that, I’m not too sure, seeing as how I never actually finished any of those self-help books bar one (which I will get to later) and seeing as how common sense is not exactly my greatest asset or so my good missus tells me when I arrive home from town with a bag of toys for grandchildren that I don’t even have! Okay, so that may not be practical or pragmatic but it’s positive – and self-help books are all about positivity. ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, I think that’s the title of one of those self-help books on my shelf.
Come to think if it – I’m not that positive either, at least not when things like magazines and books go missing (which, I notice, happens a lot of late) Take for instance that Sunday Times magazine that I left in the paper basket (all of three weeks ago) and cannot locate. It’s not in the paper basket (where it should be) in fact it’s nowhere to be found. No positivity now. Now it’s negative me: ‘Who threw the magazine out?’ ‘It wasn’t thrown out. I never throw your magazines out’. That’s the missus. ‘So where the hell is it?’ That’s me. That’s angry me. Negative me. Frustrated me. That’s me in need of help actually. ‘You need Anger Management, dad.’. That’s my children. They know everything. Well, more than me, which wouldn’t be difficult. And then the magazine turns up in the boot of the car – precisely where I threw it, when dashing out of the house one morning. Three weeks ago.
And now, on mature reflection, I’m thinking that I might not be quite qualified, as yet, to write that self-help book. I’m thinking now that maybe I should revisit those books on my shelf and actually read one or two of them – to the end. In short finish them. Oh, the name of the self-help book that I did actually read through to the end? ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie. All of which reminds me of something I came across on Facebook the other day; something about how to make friends the Facebook way, as opposed to Mr. Carnegie’s way, and it goes as follows:
‘I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the Facebook principles. So every day I walk down the street and tell passerbys where I have been the night before, what I got up to, and with whom. I give them photographs of my family, my wife, my dog. photographs of me at concerts, photos of me on holidays, I tell them jokes, read them some wise quotations and even prayers. I also listen to their conversations and tell them that I like what they’re saying, I even comment on what they say. I also tell them that I have ‘updated my status’. And it works. I now have ten ‘friends’ following me including two garda sióchana, a store detective, my brother and sisters and a very, very worried wife! Try it – it’s great fun’.