andrew burke





Self-Help For The Already Helped

Posted on: 2023-09-09

I've been on a reading binge lately. Instead of quality fiction or profound deep-dive essays, I've found myself reading self-help/lifestyle tips books.

It started with "Successful Aging" which I started reading after I got my first-ever glasses, since ironically it had very small print. I've then moved on to "Atomic Habits" which I ploughed through in just a few days, and now I'm on the "Steal Like An Artist" trilogy.

The thing is, I'm aging comparatively well, I've already got some pretty good habits, and my art has always involved stealing. In fact I think what I like about these books is that they mostly cover things I already know or do. Maybe that's weird? Or maybe that's actually normal? While the cliché of self-help is it's to motivate people change their lives in a big way, it can also remind you of how well you're doing while giving some tune-up hints and tips to help improve a few things.

In fact the point of "Atomic Habits" is to change your life around without doing a gruelling intervention.

Anyhow these are my summer reading, meant to be breezy and light, not to challenge me to uproot my life. There's a time and place for those more difficult kinds of books, but that isn't right now.

(This post took a lot of editing and revision - nearly every early draft came off as way too smug and/or the kind of thing I might ruefully re-read later after my life has completely fallen apart. Be happy you're not reading the much longer and much more annoying earlier version!)

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