Do self-help books help? Here is all you need to know about personal development and self help books.

A rich father on his death bed in his mansion lay feeble, spent, and withering with his twin sons on both sides of the bed. His sons, Ralph and Raphael looked on devastated and hopeless. Their father had been everything to them.

They didn’t work a single day. Even though they had the fortune to be left behind by the dying old man, the thought of having to be the one in charge and working all day to keep the businesses running sent them into great worry.

‘My sons’’ the old man calls them. ‘’I will leave only a house and a book to each one of you. The rest of my wealth you will have to work for’’. He pulled out an envelope and books then handed them over to the boys.

‘’These books contain a guiding manual to guide you through life. They will help you through your businesses, your marriages, your relationships, and everything in life’’ said the old man. If each of you reads and follows the book given to him, you will be a rich man, emotionally, socially, and financially.

The father then passed on.

Children adopt reading when they see parents reading

Devastated and broken, the boys cursed and cried out to the heavens asking why their father acted that selfishly.

After five months, their bank accounts were depleted. They took on jobs to survive. They got fired wherever they went for laziness and incompetence.

With no skill and expertise to them, Ralph sunk into drinking. Raphael got depressed. Addicted to alcohol, Ralph got arrested for drunk driving and was sentenced to a year in prison.

His brother got heavily indebted and had to work hard remote jobs to pay for the debts. Both brothers got into tough life situations that they had never been through.

In prison, Ralph sent for his father’s book which he read every day. 20 pages into the book he landed on a pencil written message saying ‘’my son if you picked up this book to read it immediately after my death, you are a wise man.

But am certain you didn’t. Life had to take you through tough experiences for you to be ready to receive the message in this book. If you are ready enough you won’t have to read the book again. If you haven’t opened your heart up again to learn please keep the book safe, you will still need it.’’

Ralph read the book, overwhelmed by emotions, he started understanding the life lessons that the book was giving him. He invited his brother to visit him in prison. When Raphael visited, Ralph shared with him what he had discovered. Raphael went home and opened the book as well. The same message lay in his book. They read it to the last page.

The last page had two simple instructions. Message one “Thank you for reading every page of this book. Use every part of it to make yourselves better every day. Self-growth is very important in this world’’.

Message two, ‘’you want my businesses, make your first million US dollars then my lawyers will give you the 200million USDs I have left behind’’ Raphael visited his brother in prison every day until he was released.

Part of the book taught them how to love, the other taught them how to find themselves, and many more lessons. By the time Ralph was released, the twins had built a strong bond which enabled them to enroll in college to acquire business knowledge and start a business that became worth 2.5million USDs in four years.

Their uncle Eric who always monitored them from a distance after the death of their father called them to his house and handed them ownership of all the wealth their father left behind.

A mind that reads travels to places others can not.

A self-help book is one written with the intention to provide a solution to a challenge or help one achieve something they desire. Self-help books help. They do help. A lot. The question is, which book are you reading? How are you using it? And most of all Are you ready to receive the message? Let’s break down those questions.

Which book are you reading?

When picking a self-help book, it is important to mind the kind of book you are reading. The self-help industry has grown so fast lately. With people realizing that they can earn money from it, many have come up with uninformed and unresearched books that promise unrealistic gains to readers. Check the actuality of the book.

Chances are high that a published book from a publishing company is well researched. If it is self-published you will need to research the author and the authenticity of their experience and expertise.

Otherwise, some self-help books are biased and written based on personal experiences whose opposite side of the story we do not know about. We all know cases of authors like James Frey and Dan Malory who wrote lies in their books.

Also, ask yourself if it is the kind of book you need to be reading at that moment. If you are having problems controlling your emotions, a book about emotional intelligence will do you much better. A book about Working out wouldn’t be the right choice.

It is also very important to choose a book that is narrowed down to the kind of help you are seeking. Ralph and Raphael needed a book that would open their minds up to seek knowledge of how to deal with the different challenges in life.

They were two spoilt green twins who knew nothing about challenges in life and how to face them. The book gave them a new lens through which to view life from a real man’s angle which letter made them rich again.

How are you using it?

Ralph and Raphael didn’t just read the book their father gave them. They put into action everything it asked of them. It asked them to keep in touch with each other and be friends even though they were siblings. Raphael visited his brother every day in prison to build that friendship.

To benefit from a self-help book, you do not just read it and put it back on the shelf. You have to put into effect what it says.

You would rather read one self-help book whose instructions and advice you follow than fifty books that you just throw away after. For every self-help book, you read, have a journal with you to note out all information that resonates with you.

If it has action steps to follow, try them before you proceed to another. I read Napoleon Hill’s ‘’Think and grow rich’’ for fourteen weeks. Four every week I had to read a chapter, internalize it, and put it into practice where need be. That book has changed my life in ways I can’t fathom. Thanks to Bob Proctor that recommended it.

For every self-help book you read, you must pick a lesson from it to remember and bring change to any aspect of your life.

Are you ready to receive the message?

Socrates once said, “Intelligent individuals learn from everything and everyone; average people, from their experiences. The adamant already has all the answers.”

Ralph and Raphael at some point were adamant people. They refused to read the book their father gave them thinking the money they had in their accounts was all they needed. When it was all done, the life experiences made them wiser or according to Socrates, average people.

They then picked up the book to read.

Some people learn from other people’s experiences and from the books they read. They do not wait for situations to shape them. Others just don’t care. They never learn a thing. I have been through all these things in life.

”When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”

Sometimes it’s hard to be ready for a solution or lesson whose problem you can’t see coming. The best person to receive a solution or lesson is the person who is experiencing the problem.

There is a Buddhist saying that ‘’when the student is ready, the teacher will appear’’. It is also important to check how ready you are to receive the lesson from the self-help books.

Some intelligent people are always ready regardless of what they are going through. Then the average wait for experiences to be ready. I waited for my first heartbreak to read about moving on from being dumped.

It is also very important to pick that book which you are very interested in. The more interest you have the easier the lessons in the book will sink into your head. Interest usually comes from the experiences, needs, challenges, and desires we have in life. Pick the right book that resonates with your interests and you will surely change your life.


Yes, self-help books work. Blessings to all authors that take the time to write books that save and change lives. I have learned a lot from reading self-help books. When you know that someone took the trouble to write a great number of pages about a problem you are facing, it gives you the assurance that you are not alone. Someone faced what you are facing. Got through it and is willing to show you how so you can become the best version of yourself.  Share with me which self-help book changed your life perhaps there is a reader with a similar experience who will be guided. Thank you.

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