The One Habit of More Interesting People

The one habit of more interesting people is that THEY DON’T READ SELF-HELP BUSINESS BOOKS.


I’m expressing an exaggerated view but I really can’t bear books that have titles such as The Three Types of Leader, The Seven Habits of Successful People, The Nine Ways of Improving Your Organizational Skills, etc.

Why does each title contain a number, and usually a small one. Is it assumed that we can’t grasp larger ones?

These books offer the promise that the world is simple, that mastery means you don’t have to count higher than ten. They’re a shortcut to wisdom, I suppose. They suggest that human behaviour might be amenable to categorisation, to prediction, always capable of explanation, and that pulling this or that lever in the mind, or pressing this or that button, will have predictable consequences. I do not believe in the scientific approach to human behaviour.

In real life, there are as many human differences as there are people in the world. Rather read The Two Trillion Habits of Successful People, or The Three Billion Types of Leader.

To be fair, these dreary volumes may perhaps contain some useful suggestions here and there, but for an explanation of human behaviour, read novels, biography or even poetry, or just listen to gossip on the bus.

I set myself a challenge. I looked on Amazon for a self-help book for every number between one and ten, and then a few more.

  • Leadership: The Top 100 Best Ways To Be A Great Leader
  • How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
  • The 48 Laws Of Power
  • The 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
  • The Power of Positive Thinking: 10 Traits for Maximum Results
  • 9 Steps to Being a Better Manager
  • The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
  • The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5
  • The Three Levels of Leadership
  • The Two-Second Advantage
  • The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results 


I think Hamlet got it right.

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason,
how infinite in faculties, in form and moving,
how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension,
how like a god!

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