For years Journalist Marianne Power lined her bookshelves with dog-eared copies of definitive guides on how to live your best life, dipping in and out of self-help books when she needed them most. Then, one day, she woke up to find that the life she hoped for and the life she was living were worlds apartand she set out to make some big changes.
Marianne decided to finally find out if her elusive “perfect existence”the one without debt, anxiety, or hangover Netflix marathons, the one where she healthily bounced around town and met the cashmere-sweater-wearing man of her dreamsreally did lie in the pages of our best known and acclaimed self help books. She vowed to test a book a month for one year, following its advice to the letter, taking what she hoped would be the surest path to a flawless new her. But as the months passed and Marianne’s reality was turned upside down, she found herself confronted with a different question: Self-help can change your life, but is it for the better?
With humor, audacity, disarming candor and unassuming wisdom, in Help Me Marianne Power plumbs the trials and tests of being a modern woman in a “have it all” culture, and what it really means to be our very best selves.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
I started small on January 2nd – with a spot of parallel parking. Not exactly dramatic, but I hadn’t tried it since my driver’s test when I was seventeen.
At home my bold step into the world of fear-fighting was not greeted with excitement.
‘I just did a parallel park!’ I told mum, swinging the car keys on my fingers like a man of the road, an easy rider. She looked up from the sink full of dishes.
‘Does your book tell you to park?’
‘No, it’s just about doing scary things. Confronting your fears. And parking is scary.’
Mum looked bewildered. She didn’t find parking scary. She could fit a truck on a postage stamp and would make no big deal about it.
When she was my age she had three children and a house to run, she was not ‘challenging’ herself by parking or jumping into icy ponds.
She did not have time for self-discovery or, as she puts it, ‘I was not brought up to contemplate my toenails.’ Funnily enough, self-help wasn’t big on the farm in rural Ireland, where she grew up, the eldest daughter of seven brothers and sisters.
When I had told her about my idea at Christmas, she opened her mouth to say something, then closed it again. Then she opened it. And closed it.
‘Most people would say your life is already very good, Marianne.’
‘I know it is but what’s wrong with wanting to be a bit happier?’
‘Nobody can be happy all the time. It’s just not the way life is.’
‘Well that’s miserable.’
‘No, it’s not. It’s realistic. Maybe you would feel better if, instead of always looking for more, you were grateful for what you have.’
Table of Contents
The Life-Changing Hangover 1
1 Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway Susan Jeffers 13
2 Money, a Love Story Kate Northrup 49
3 The Secret Rhonda Byrne 76
4 Rejection Therapy Jason Comely 99
5 Rejection Therapy Take Two 116
6 F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way John C. Parkin 136
7 The F**k It Fallout 160
8 Unleash the Power Within Tony Robbins 171
Perfect Me - The 10-Day Tony Challenge 184
9 Broke 189
10 Angels, with Doreen Virtue 205
11 Sick 217
12 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey 226
13 Depressed 238
14 The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle 254
15 Get the Guy Matthew Hussey 277
16 Get a Husband? 302
17 Daring Greatly Brené Brown 314
18 You Can Heal Your Life Louise Hay 341
So Does Self-Help, Well, Help? 356
Author's Note 365