The other day I called a friend to wish her a happy birthday and she informed me that sheíd spent the day at a life coaching workshop offered by her church and she was all fired up, ready to take on the world. I asked her: ďWould you feel the same way if you had read a book with the same exact information that was presented at the workshop?Ē She said absolutely not because what made the workshop so powerful was the energy in the room emanating not only from the speakers, but the participants as well.
Many people like my friend benefit from workshops, lectures and other group settings. Others enjoy listening to self-improvement tapes and CDs in their car while waiting in traffic. As for me Iím rather introverted not to mention a visual learner. While in the past Iíve profited from attending lectures and listening to tapes and CDs, ultimately I prefer a good book above and beyond anything else.
There are so many benefits to reading for self-improvement. Books are much more convenient and available. With a book you can move along at your own pace. And for me itís easier to go back and locate quotes in a book rather than rooting around for something specific on an audio medium. With a book I can skip chapters that donít pertain to my situation, which is not possible when youíre sitting through a lecture.
The best part of all, if you take the time to learn how the modern library functions, you can easily embark on a self-help program that meets your specific needs and pay nothing at all. The friend I mentioned above was able to attend the churchís life coaching workshop free of charge, but Iíve seen many other workshops and lectures that are very expensive and prohibitive. The good news is that any self-help expert who would charge $300 for a day long workshop will most likely have written a book that is available to you at your library.
Most libraries are online now. Gone are the days of searching through the card catalog (perish the thought!) and then rummaging through dusty stacks only to find the book youíre looking for isnít where itís supposed to be. Now you can search for books online, put them on hold and pick them up when theyíre ready. Completely hassle free!
Let me add that I do believe in investing financially in your self-help work, but in these tough economic times, if you donít have it, you donít have it. Iím very grateful that the library provides a valuable alternative.