Hello, my name is Tony Petrozza. I was a life coach, now I work with technology. A funny thing about coaching is that it often gets lumped in with Self-Help (SH). How do they do that? A coach working with their client is obviously not Self-Help (SH). It’s other-help. It’s professional help. I reckon it’s because coaching is similar to therapy but with a big difference. Unlike therapy, no college degree or government authorization are needed. Nor are there any uniform standards. Institutes that offer coaching qualifications make up their own criteria. Heck, when I got certified I didn’t need to pass any test, I just needed to finish the course. Nonetheless, they both are the epitome of the helping professions.
I’ve been intending to write a blog on the history of Self-Help (SH) for a long time. I’m finally helping myself to it. I’ll write about it factually; describing who, what, where, when, why and how. The different eras. How it got started. Where it’s going. I’ll write about other similar fields and movements. The diverse mentalities and themes. I’ll write about a variety of authors and their published work. About what SH does. About what it doesn’t do. I’ll write about it’s problems and stigma. I’ll look at it different ways.
My father loved Self-Help (SH) and introduced me to it, in the 70s. I love it. I remember him teaching my older brother about it. He was more ready for it than I was. The three stand out authors, he championed in my memory are Dale Carnegie, Earl Nightingale and Napoleon Hill. I still have my father’s copy of Hill’s tome ‘Think and Grow Rich’. I treasure it, especially his notes scribbled in it. Even though SH was around long before Hill was born, I consider him the Father of modern Self-Help (SH). We’ll get into the paternities in a subsequent blog. I believe that for near my whole life I’ve had an advantage over most people. Because of something my father repeatedly told me. A quote from Napoleon’s book; “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” I never forgot it. My father instilled in me something special. Indeed, I consider Napoleon Hill a kind of spiritual father for myself.
Most people walk around believing some things a person can do and some things they cannot. I believe a person can do anything. Given enough time. The key to success has always been, and always will be, persistence. However, there’s another side to that success coin – and that is learning. Specifically; learning from mistakes. Those are the two simple reasons why people fail in life. They don’t learn from their mistakes and they give up. Again, I’ve wanted to write for quite some time. There were a number of reasons why I procrastinated. They were both legitimate and illegitimate. I have learned that to do something, anything; one must start. Let’s see if I persist.
epitome [əˈpidəmē] uh-pid-uh-mee’ noun
a person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type
tome; [tōm] ‘tohm’ noun
a book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one.