My Favourite Philosopher

January 18, 2016 – I think too many people spend too much money on self-help books. I think paying a life coach to ask you questions that you already know the answers to isn’t really all that necessary. “Every generation has its own self-help dogma.” (http://www.flare.com/culture/generation-rah-the-surge-of-life-coaches/) I think too many people expect too much, want too much, and don’t appreciate what and who they already have. We are all a little too narcissistic, a little to “I deserve….” and the world of “let me help you help yourself,  buy my book/read my newsletter/make an appointment with me for a conversation” is full to the brim of those who are more than happy to capitalize on a need for self affirmation, ready and waiting to take thousands of dollars to assist in the ongoing personal quest for improved navel-gazing.

Most of us really are capable of picking ourselves up out of the muck and don’t need to pay someone to (figuratively) hold our hand while we do what we should.

Clearly I’m not referring to those in real need of a real psychiatrist or a psychologist. There can always be times in anyone’s life when they have a real need for a true professional, and there are those that really do need the support of someone of that calibre for mental health reasons. The self-help books and multi-weekend certified “professionals” can only cause further problems in such cases.

Did you know that today is Winnie the Pooh Day?

Me either.

What’s that got to do with anything?

A lot.

Because when it comes right down to it, I think if every adult read Winnie the Pooh, and took it to heart, fewer people might think they need the services of self-help books, or their more expensive human counterparts.

Pooh really is the ultimate philosopher.

He sees life in simple terms, and I think we often are the masters of our own messes simply because we over-complicate our lives.

Pooh reminds us of important things in life. He reminds us that high expectations of others can leave us (and them) lonely and hurt – “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” and that friendships are treasures – “We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet. Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”

It’s often the simple things can make us the happiest – “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.” – and it’s important to remember that accomplishments and exciting events are always better when shared with those you love – “And really, it wasn’t much good having anything exciting like floods, if you couldn’t share them with somebody.”

Pooh imparts on a reader is that love is one of the greatest treasures – “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

But the most important thing that Pooh teaches us is how important it is to be grateful. Gratitude is the crux of finding happiness.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“Things” don’t bring happiness, gratitude does.