8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

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Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

We hardly ask our newcomers why they join YoYo because it is a no-brainer. “To improve my English conversation skills” is most likely the answer: a calling for self-improvement!

Furthermore, just for YoYo’s meeting topics this year, would you like to make a wild guess on how many of them were related to “self-betterment”? You may be surprised to know how high the percentage is!

Many YoYo members are already overachievers in the eyes of our society but pursuing “self-improvement” is still on the top of their life’s agenda. This phenomenon doesn’t just exist among YoYo members; more and more people are also lingering around in the “self-help” arena, and they are even willing to pay whatever it costs to become the best version of themselves!

“Self-help” is an umbrella term which includes life coaching, personal development, self-improvement, and self-optimization. It can be delivered in many formats, such as motivational books, videos, speeches, mobile apps, personal coaching, organized support groups, conferences, expensive seminars, luxury retreat camps in holistic institutes, or any religious quest for enlightenment, etc.

As technology advances, the self-help craze only seems to grow. On the one hand, technology has made people more vulnerable mentally, on the other, it offers channels for self-empowerment gurus and seekers to connect. Self-help is becoming ubiquitous. Based on the market research, self-help has blossomed from a genre of books into a full-blown industry. Why are people so obsessed with self-help? Does it shine a bright light on the path ahead for all the seekers?

Recently I came across a video talk, “The Toxic World of Self Help”. It got me to rethink the whole self-help realm and the practice of personal development. I am not trying to downplay the value of self-help. I think it is only fair to listen to both sides of the argument. Besides, anti-self-help may be another kind of self-help as well!

[Reference Materials]
The Toxic World of Self Help: Hustle Culture, Toxic Positivity, Addiction, and Fake Gurus.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmLTLkCBSN8

Why Self-Help Might Actually Be Making You Less Happy
https://www.gq.com/story/why-self-help- ... less-happy

[Additional References]
5 PROBLEMS WITH THE SELF-HELP INDUSTRY
https://markmanson.net/self-help


Session I Questions:
Q1: Why do people need self-help/self-improvement? Why is it so pervasive and why are some people obsessed with it?

Q2: How do people benefit from self-help? Please share a successful personal experience from a good self-help book/video/seminar/workshop/meetup/retreat and how it had affected your thoughts and life.

Q3: What image would you like people to have about you? What would you do to live up to the image you try to maintain?
  • Q2 Hints:
    For the experience, you can share
    - Which area of improvement? (health, skills, relationship, or general life coaching, etc.?)
    - What were the delivery methods: a book, speech, seminar, workshop, retreat center, etc.?
    - In what way did it impact you?  thoughts, behavior, lifestyle?
    - How long did the effect last?

    If there is no particular thing you can think of, you may want to check out this TED Talk, “The Person You Really Need to Marry” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3fIZuW9P_M (TED Talk)
    https://singjupost.com/tracy-mcmillan-o ... ranscript/
    Share your thoughts on who that person is and why the speaker thinks you should marry that person.


    Q3 Hints: In the first 1:20min of the video (“The Toxic World of Self-Help”), the film maker describes his motivation and the onset of his journey into the self-help world. He filled his life with hustle and bustle to maintain the image that he wanted people to have about him. Are those images you want people to have about you?]
Session II Questions:
Q4: What do you think about constant self-optimization? Do you think it is human nature or it is a business model created by the self-help industry to lure the help-seekers into the self-improvement trap?

Q5: “We've had 100 years of psychotherapy— and the world's getting worse. How could that be?
What would be your answer to the above question?

Q6: “Stop expecting others to change. The only thing you can really change is yourself.” vs.
“Stop obsessing with personal growth you want to achieve – and start collectively addressing and tackling group (i.e. family, workplace and society) issues.

Between the above two completely opposite attitudes, looking inward because not much you can do in the external world vs. searching for external collaboration to take up issues, which one is a better solution? How would you put it into practice?

Agenda:
3:45 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
4:10 ~ 4:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
4:50 ~ 5:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:10 ~ 5:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
5:15 ~ 5:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:00 ~ 6:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
6:20 ~ 6:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements


Meeting Date: As shown on the Subject Line
Meeting Time: 4:00pm – 6:30pm
Meeting Venue: 丹堤咖啡 Dante Coffee (Minimum Order $80)
Address: 台北市濟南路三段25號[MAP]-捷運忠孝新生站3號出口步行3分鐘

Important Notes:
1. We advise participants to print out the discussion questions and bring them to the meeting for reference. As for the supporting articles, feel free to print them out, as well, according to your preference.
2. We suggest that participants read the articles and think about the questions in advance.
3. Newcomers should prepare a two-to-three minute self-introduction in English to deliver when called upon by the host before the start of the discussion. The host may also ask you to give brief feedback about the meeting at the conclusion of the meeting.
4. We conduct the entire meeting in English. All participants should have at least moderate English-conversation skills and be able to articulate your ideas for each discussion question.
5. We welcome newcomers and other guests to attend the meetings and join the discussion freely for three times. After that, we hope you will consider becoming a YoYo English Club member. We charge a NT$1000 lifetime membership fee.
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Rock
YOYO member
文章: 1955
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Rock »

Q5: “We've had 100 years of psychotherapy— and the world's getting worse. How could that be?”

There are two possible reasons, one is...

In his TED talk "The happy secret to happy work", Shawn Achor mentioned that "Because our business model is, if you come into a therapy session with one problem, we want to make sure that you leave knowing you have ten, so you will keep on coming back...." It's a joke, but it's true more or less. We now have more kids tagged with all kinds of mental problems than before. In the old times, we just beat them up and they became normal (or worse). Now, if a kid gets distracted or talks too much in class, we send him to a hospital and diagnose him as hyperactive, and we have one more on the list.

The second reason is: maybe we have used too much of our brain so it's gone nuts? :lol:
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Janice Wang
YOYO member
文章: 69
註冊時間: 週六 3月 25, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Janice Wang »

For those elite athletes, successful actors, and distinguished scholars who have never ceased to go the extra mile to enhance their skills, ability, and expertise. I do not understand what motivates them to keep the way forward and how they get themselves to step up to the mark. I am sure the urge to excel requires a certain amount of stamina, tenacity, and perseverance. For an ordinary person to go after a better self stands a chance of turning over a new leaf and going a long way towards achieving something we have been longing for, a life with no regrets!

It is never easy to really “know oneself.’’ Luckily, nowadays, things have changed -with a plethora of avenues, tools, and approaches that have paved the way into the depths of the human mind; learning something unique about oneself is much easier than it used to be. No one likes to exert efforts but end up in a blind alley, nor affords to have our backs against the wall. We all strive to steer ourselves in the right direction. As we all know, the power and the key are both held by the person. Only if the very person is ready to change, there is no quick fix!

One never gets a second chance to make a first impression. It is the awful truth about leaving a proper image of oneself to others. After dancing at the Yoyo anniversary party, I have no luxury to talk about “image” at all. In hindsight, I might not have done that if I had come across the “image” question before the party. It is no use crying over spilled milk, but I would like to convey a contrite apology to the trio (I have apologized to Julian already) and the audiences whose interests were spoiled by my dance. I always think to be the most genuine self is the best image a person could live up to oneself. However, I am also aware that not everyone can handle or put up with the most authentic other-self. One's image is important, but it is definitely not everything.
最後由 Janice Wang 於 週四 8月 13, 2020 8:08 am 編輯,總共編輯了 2 次。
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Rock
YOYO member
文章: 1955
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Rock »

Dear Janice, the dance thing of yours is all good. It was the right time to dance, the atmosphere was perfect to dance, your dancing skill is great. The only regret of me is that I don't know how to dance, or I would definitely dance with you then. Your image is nothing but positive la!
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Michael-liu
YOYO member
文章: 608
註冊時間: 週五 4月 24, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Michael-liu »

Yeah, Janice, come on

You just did a few of chia chia moves in the party. You were not doing a strip dance!
What "image" problem would it cause? And you did not dance the whole song, so you did not steal Julian and Stephen's thunder!

Look at thoese westerners in the party. They are always willing to dance no matter they are good or not. We oriental people are just too shy and too conservative, including myself. You set a good example of how we should not only learn English but also behave like English native speakers!

Sorry about it if my tone sounds sort of condescending. ^.^
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Rock 寫:
週一 8月 10, 2020 9:31 am
Q5: “We've had 100 years of psychotherapy— and the world's getting worse. How could that be?”
There are two possible reasons, one is...
In his TED talk "The happy secret to happy work", Shawn Achor mentioned that "Because our business model is, if you come into a therapy session with one problem, we want to make sure that you leave knowing you have ten, so you will keep on coming back...." It's a joke, but it's true more or less. We now have more kids tagged with all kinds of mental problems than before. In the old times, we just beat them up and they became normal (or worse). Now, if a kid gets distracted or talks too much in class, we send him to a hospital and diagnose him as hyperactive, and we have one more on the list.
The second reason is: maybe we have used too much of our brain so it's gone nuts? :lol:
Haha! It sounds cruel to laugh about beating the kids up, but it did remind me that my previous co-worker said he loved to go back to cavemen era, because it was so easy to get a wife back then. They just knocked a woman unconscious and dragged her home, period!
Nowadays, we need a truckload of consultation before and after we settle down a relationship.
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Dear Janice: The image question was not designed to trick you! :)
You have a very sunny disposition and that’s the image we have about you, well, at least after your dance in the party!

But since you brought it up, I guess the question has served its purpose.
I meant to put the image issue under the microscope and see if maintaining images is a kind of "analysis paralysis" as well?
(As the speaker expressed in the video, he wanted to maintain certain images, so he worked hard on his self-improvement but ended up being trapped in the never-ending self-help.)
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Hi Gloria: This is to reply your comments in the main LINE group.

I am glad you like the TED Talk: “The person you really need to marry” (listed in Q2 Hints)!
To be honest, that was my original topic for this meeting, but I could not come up with good questions for discussion, I switched to the current subject, however I could not help sneaking it into one of the questions and you unearthed the jewel in the crown! :)

It is quite a powerful speech, isn't it? The essence conveyed in the speech along with many self-help and anti-self-help messages all boil down to a very essential core element. To avoid spoilers, let me wait for your comments and thoughts in the meeting (if you are coming)!
Luis Ko
YOYO member
文章: 911
註冊時間: 週三 6月 06, 2007 10:18 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Luis Ko »

Q5: “We've had 100 years of psychotherapy— and the world's getting worse. How could that be?”

i would like to answer this question too.

guess that's because most of those who got problems don't tend to think they have problems. psychotherapy to them will always be a total stranger. these people might be self-conceited but look very smart so, with no psychotherapy experience, under the system of democracy they will be able to run for elections with perfect health history. chances are they will run a country, if not the world. at the end of the day, the lunatics have got the chance to run the asylum. right, that's the root cause if i may say so.

then again, if that's not the case, then it might be just like what Rock said psychotherapy is kind of a business. it simply cannot crack hard nuts. :lol:
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Luis Ko 寫:
週四 8月 13, 2020 10:16 pm
Q5: “We've had 100 years of psychotherapy— and the world's getting worse. How could that be?”
guess that's because most of those who got problems don't tend to think they have problems. psychotherapy to them will always be a total stranger. these people might be self-conceited but look very smart so, with no psychotherapy experience, under the system of democracy they will be able to run for elections with perfect health history. chances are they will run a country, if not the world. at the end of the day, the lunatics have got the chance to run the asylum. right, that's the root cause if i may say so.
It is said that the sensitive, intelligent people have been working on therapy for the last 100 years and the world has since been run by psychopaths. :)
It may be exaggerated, but the critique of psychotherapy for causing caring people too passive and introspective rings true.
Michael-liu
YOYO member
文章: 608
註冊時間: 週五 4月 24, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Michael-liu »

Q5: “We've had 100 years of psychotherapy— and the world's getting worse. How could that be?”

After we read the book "Factfulness", we now realized the world is actually getting better, not worse.

Also, just because the US has a president who may need psychotherapy help doesn't mean the world is getting "worse". Haha....
Kooper
YOYO member
文章: 2589
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Kooper »

Hats off to Iris for making such a nice and readable piece of writing yourself rather than asking would-be attendees to read or watch on-line materials. As a host, you took the road less traveled and it must has taken much time and effort! This serves as a clear testament of your persistent pursuit of self-betterment even in retirement. I am not being sarcastic here. The self-help trap that the YouTuber James Jani warned us against is never a problem to you. :drink:
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

I am very thankful for your kind words, Kooper!
It means a lot to me from you, a person, as we all agreed upon, so calm, wise and nonjudgmental!

I am in the middle of practicing with our music group. Let me get some more thoughts together later.
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Kooper 寫:
週六 8月 15, 2020 9:35 am
Hats off to Iris for making such a nice and readable piece of writing yourself rather than asking would-be attendees to read or watch on-line materials. As a host, you took the road less traveled and it must has taken much time and effort! This serves as a clear testament of your persistent pursuit of self-betterment even in retirement. I am not being sarcastic here. The self-help trap that the YouTuber James Jani warned us against is never a problem to you. :drink:
Though I selected these reference materials, it doesn’t mean I totally agree with their viewpoints, especially those very biased and deceptive ones. I believe most of the self-improvement “service providers” are with good intentions, and the results from this type of services rely on the help-seekers’ wise choice, discipline, and practice.

Working on this topic is merely a way to remind myself if I am in the trap of “analysis paralysis” (I mean, overthinking and overanalyzing instead of simply “being myself and being present”).
For this part, I really feel you and Janice are role models. You do not waste time and energy in non-productive thinking, which is something I need to strive for!
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 8/15 (Sat.) Self-Help: Popular, but Effective? (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Attendees:
David Jr., Tashi, Michael, Laura, Shirley, Edward, Rosie, Jerry, Kooper, Julia, Leon, Rock, Ramesh, Janice, Sabrina, Lewis, Jeff, Timothy, Kat, Jason, Winston, Gloria, Thomas, Sunny H. Julian, Iris (Host)

Thank you for your participation!
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