Self-Help for Dummies – Chapter 5

In Self Help for Dummies I threatened to serialize the outline of this book. Here is the draft of chapter 5.


Chapter 5 What to do with all of those lists.

Well by now you should be feeling a lot better about yourself, and you’re probably thinking, “Really, what do I need all of these lists for?”

Well please resist the temptation to dispose of them just yet, because in this chapter, I am going to reveal a secret which I shall call, “The Fake Gun.”

If you want to rob a bank you’ll go off and buy yourself a gun and a mask, write a note and pass it to the bank teller demanding money. Soon thereafter you’ll die in a hail of bullets.


Alternatively, you could pop into the nearest toy store, buy a realistic toy gun and a mask, write a note and pass it to the bank teller demanding money. The result will be identical, and as you lie there watching your own blood form a little lake around you, you’ll think, “Gee, this fake gun worked just like the real one.”

And you’ll be right.

“There are strengths in all of our weaknesses, and weaknesses in all of our strengths.” Synaptoman 2007.

But a weakness (ie.the fake gun) works just fine if you want to rob a bank, that is, you still get shot. But on the other hand, if you were entering a target shooting competition, the fake gun would be useless. It is the circumstance that is important.

Now let’s take your problems and use them in pairs, because they can help each other. We have used the examples of procrastination and being overweight.

What if we could use our procrastination to help our weight problem, and our weight problem to help our procrastination?

Easy, here’s an example. If you continually put off (procrastination) eating between meals you would soon lose weight. If you set yourself a daily target to exercise because you need to lose weight, you’d condition yourself to set and stick to targets, and help your procrastination habit.

The secret is not to match two similar problems together eg. two addiction problems, or two social interaction problems. Match dissimilar problems together and the fake gun will work every time.

So keep our lists but view them, if not actually, but in your mind’s eye, in pairs.

Be Good



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