My “Self Help” Diet

Abhishek Thakore
3 min readMay 23, 2018
Photo credit : Unsplash / Anete Lusiana

If there is one thing I unfailingly do, it is to stay up to speed on self help / personal growth. I keep scanning what’s on the horizon and then keep reading up (and hopefully imbibing) some of what I read.

So what has been on my platter off late?

One guy whose been around and who you’ll hear of sooner or later is Jordan Peterson. Seen as a right-winger, I would say he’s one of the most interesting people in the space in recent times. Reducing him to a right-wing person because of his views on gender would be a disservice to this gifted clinical psychologist and public intellectual.

Jordan’s recent book has been 12 Rules of Life — while I haven’t read it, it seems like a basic self-help compendium. It is not even that thematically coherent. Then there are thousands of views of his videos on youtube — an entire fan club that religiously posts QnA.

So what about him is really so awesome?

For me it is that he is one guy, in today’s times, who can stand up and say “That is wrong”. In our postmodern world, we have taken up political correctness to a new level — and here is someone, who, on basis of science and first principles is able to sharply have a view. Whether it is right or wrong is a different question but it is plain refreshing to see someone have a view in the first place.

So yep Jordan Peterson is a good diet feeder.

Then there is Tim Urban of Wait but Why — he has been very sporadic of late but his blog has some amazing long form posts about life, careers and choices. He also made a deep dive on Elon Musk and what he’s written about Musk’s ways is quite valuable. There isn’t anyone in recent times that I know of who has done such incisive work with someone so successful.

So Tim Urban is good — makes me think about life from newer perspectives and invites me to unpack it.

Occassionally I go back to Alan Watts & Krishnamurthy on Youtube — these are good reminders to me of the non-duality piece, though for now I haven’t been able to stay in that ‘space’.

At the background of these I hold two frameworks close to heart — the Ontological approach of Werner Erhard and the Integral framwork of Aurobindo-Ken Wilber. Both of these look comprehensively at human potential and achievement, and have a take on how to expand the potential of each of us.

Meanwhile there is also Appreciative Inquiry that serves as a reminder of focussing on that which i would like to see appreciate (what you appreciate, appreciates as it says).

In terms of practices, there is journalling (writing out my thoughts in a stream of consciousness manner — it is in this space that I reflect and iron out my thoughts and incongruence and all of that). And there is always the good ol Anapana and Vipassina meditation practices — which I am not at all adept in but are always by the side to get the mind focussed and centered.

A daily dose of personal growth from these sources keeps me spruced up and going! What’s your personal growth diet?