Self help books are no doubt useful in many ways. They give some order to our lives, some meaning , and some direction.  But they are also limiting – and in this respect may even do us more harm than good.  This is because they tend to take a single value and encourage us to organize our life around this value alone.

If we apply reversal theory to an analysis of such approaches, we see that they relate to the eight motivational values discerned by the theory. The problem is that each approach tends to fix on just one of the eight, whereas to live a full life, one rich and  varied in experience, we need as many of the eight as we can manage. Continue reading