Posts Tagged ‘Self Help’

How To Beat Addiction

Like Paul Crik instructs, just say yes to the impulse.


2012 Half-Over Book Review

We’re directly in the middle of 2012. Here’s what I’ve read so far, with a brief summary of each book.

William S. BurroughsNova Express – Don’t let people or machines or language control you.

Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale – Women are stripped of freedoms to ensure their “protection,” and are forced into a very awkward mating ritual with an old guy and his wife.

James DickeyDeliverance – It’s okay to murder a hillbilly who sodomized your friend.

Robert GravesI, Claudius – Weak simpleton becomes emperor of Rome.

Dave RamseyThe Total Money Makeover – Guy who used to be rich, then went bankrupt, then got rich again tells you that if you don’t spend money, you’ll have more money to spend.

Frank MillerThe Dark Knight Returns – Batman, now 55 years old, comes out of retirement.

Thomas PynchonThe Crying of Lot 49 – Oedipa Maas searches for the Trystero.

Robert Anton WilsonPrometheus Rising – Widen your reality tunnel.

-The Illuminatus! Trilogy (co-written with Robert Shea) – An 800 page philosophical, psychological, historical, mythical, science fictional, psychedelical trip through various conspiracy theories.

Philip K. DickDr. Futurity – A doctor is transported to a future where death is glorified and saving lives is frowned upon.

-Ubik – People search for Ubik as they uncontrollably travel backwards in time.

Robert A. HeinleinStranger In a Strange Land – Man with human parents who has been raised by Martians is brought to Earth. Mucho grokking ensues.

Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching – It’s all about the art of non-action. My kind of book.

H.P. LovecraftAt The Mountains of Madness – Weird alien things found in Antarctica.

Hunter S. ThompsonHell’s Angels – The Strange And Terrible Saga Of The Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs – Thompson hangs out with the Hell’s Angels for a year.

How To Successfully Incorporate Jargon Into Your Everyday Life

Another excerpt from this self-help book I’ve been working on.

So what exactly is jargon? The most streamlined, efficient answer is that no one really knows. One online dictionary defines it as “language that is characterized by uncommon or pretentious vocabulary and convoluted syntax that is often vague in meaning.” In this instance, jargon was used to define “jargon.” You can also write a song about writing a song, or paint a painting of a painting. In the end, you’re right back where you started, which is what we want – to get the readers thinking, but have their thinking lead them back to what you were just telling them what they should be thinking, which was to be thinking about what they should be thinking about.

If you are to be successful in using jargon, first think of what success means to you. Fundamentals, as well as our core values and principles, are the keys to success. In order to write a self-help book, and a successful book at that, one must strive to be even more fundamentalier and principally valuistic than ever before. For every paradigm synergized within your sphere of personal and professional philosophies, the fundamental cores of your beliefs will have added value among not just your colleagues, but with your peers as well, thus increasing the voluptuous lechery of your book as well as your family life. This will spread a saucy, robust girth over each and every vector of your quadrant initiatives as well as add two cup sizes to your current numerical designation. Once this occurs, your private triumphs will integrate seamlessly into your public Cone of Opportunity, which can be applied to manifold other shapes, i.e. the Rectangle of Corporate Naughtiness, the Rhombus of Busty Sexuality, and the Isosceles Triangle of Unfettered Animalistic Lust. In simpler terms, your logistical and linguistic mission statement will advance no less than three percent closer to the bottom line and solidify your portfolio as a critical component in this raunchy high-stakes game. After trimming all the fat from your infrastructure, groupthink will coagulate, you will last longer in bed, and the sociopolitical ramifications of your choices will become apparent – all while implementing a more agile, customer-focused alliance both in and out of the boardroom. With this increase in size and stamina, you will achieve a holistic, quality-driven, envelope-pushing scalability of world-class leadership that will leave the opposite sex ravenous for neurogenetic and erotic compatibility. This upward spiral parallels the satiation experienced when a project fires on all cylinders and achieves the apex of libidinous ragamuffery. Tatterdemalia will skyrocket, steamy epiphanies will abound, and you will obtain a pestiferous prestidigitation from your thrapple right down to your perineum.

The Power Of Meditation

Excerpt from my self-help book. This comes from the chapter on spirituality and personal growth.

The Power Of Meditation

Sometimes writing can grind on your emotions. It’s OK, in fact necessary, to take a break every now and then. Believe me, it’s all too easy to become stressed out and physically tired from overworking your brain. This can cause a number of problems in other areas of life. When your brain hasn’t had sufficient rest and relaxation, it is not at all uncommon to become short-tempered with a loved one, or make a rude comment to an undeserving coworker. When I was younger and more naive, I always assumed that this only happened to women who were in the heaviest, grossest part of their cycle. But because I’m not sexist anymore, I think that men can be just as bad, but never worse. We’ve all had those moments when others approach us in kindness, and we react negatively because we are too centered on our own selfish feelings. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? When I begin to feel this way, I like to go to a place where I know I won’t be disturbed and start M.A.S.T.U.R.B.A.T.I.N.G. (Meditating And Studying The Unconscious Realities By Altering Them Into Nirvanic Gnosticism) When I’m M.A.S.T.U.R.B.A.T.I.N.G., I feel nothing but a deep calming sensation. No matter how stressed I am, and whether I do it for just five minutes or an entire hour, this time of deep, intense thought and self-examination soothes me. I like to do it at least once a day. If I don’t, I can feel all that negative energy building up inside of me, bubbling under the surface, ready to spew out in a hot eruption of anger. On days that I don’t take this time for myself, I’ll get upset by the smallest, most inconsequential things. For instance, when I used to take mass transit to work, there was an old one-legged Vietnam vet that showed up at the bus stop one morning. His presence really upset the balance of my A.M. routine. He smelled like an old hamster cage, and wouldn’t shut up about needing money for his diabetes shots. I was hoping he was just passing through, and would be gone the next day. But alas, he was there the next morning, and the next. On the fourth morning, I woke up ten minutes earlier so I could do some M.A.S.T.U.R.B.A.T.I.N.G. before I left my apartment. Did that help? You bet it did. As I was basking in the afterglow of that particularly powerful session, I stood next to the old vet and told him what I had just done. He didn’t say a word – he just slowly lowered himself to the ground, looking like he was about to do some M.A.S.T.U.R.B.A.T.I.N.G. of his own. I really struck a chord with him, because he was still in the same spot the next day, lying motionless on the bare earth, eyes rolled back in his head, letting some local rats drink rainwater out of his open mouth. He was so in tune with nature that he forgot all about his silly diarrhea shots. After that, I never saw him again. I like to think that I gave him a new outlook on life, one where he spreads the message of how important it is for everyone to be M.A.S.T.U.R.B.A.T.I.N.G.

Help Yourself, Pt. 6 – Chapter Two, Pt. 2 – My Rough Childhood

February 15, 2012 2 comments

Here’s the continuation of Monday’s post about how to craft an inspirational back story that will garner the sympathy of readers. It tells the saga of my life growing up in a rough neighborhood.

Have An Inspirational Back Story, continued

     Allow me to loosen the belt on my story-telling kimono, and let my tale flop out. My own path was filled with class warfare, racial tensions, and social embarrassments. To know why I am the way I am, we must traverse time and space to the 1980’s in New Ulm, Minnesota. It was during this dubious time and place in which my spirit chose to materialize from the ether. And yes, it is the New Ulm you are thinking of. If Las Vegas’s slutty sister gang-banged penal colony era Australia, the half-lit offspring would undoubtedly be New Ulm. A vile, lubed-up, stick-it-anywhere discotheque of a town where police are sometimes forced to send two, and on rare occasions three, firmly-worded overdue notices for parking tickets. Teens wear black t-shirts with logos of rock and roll bands on them. My friend’s older brother once heard about a guy tripping on marijuana just a couple blocks away from my house.

My time there began under less than desirable circumstances. The night of my birth, my parents were at a cocktail party across town, when my Mother went into labor. Making it to the hospital was out of the question – it was time to improvise. The host’s in-house governess was forced to perform the delivery – in this family’s so-called “library.” The first things I saw were paperback copies of Tom Clancy novels. Four years later my first word was “tacky.” This was only the beginning of a childhood marked by fantastic disappointment. On the night of Halloween in 1991, my family was out of town, so we left a bowl full of candy on our porch with a sign that said “Take ONE.” We returned to find the bowl empty. We knew for a fact that there had been 47 fun-size Snickers bars in that bowl. We also knew for a fact that there were only 31 youth of trick-or-treating age in the neighborhood that particular year. Treachery was afoot. We looked at our neighbors differently after that. To this day, we don’t know who robbed us that night. We added second locks on all our doors, and a coded keypad on the garage. The night before I was to begin middle school, my Father looked through his binoculars across the train tracks that separated the good and bad sides of town. He witnessed an interracial couple kissing. Can you imagine? A German boy necking with a Norwegian girl. And that was happening on the good side. Just think of the dimwitted half-breed such a union would produce. I had to grow up in these surroundings. It only got worse from there. After witnessing that depraved scene, my Father said he was going out to buy a pack of cigarettes. I didn’t see him again. Until later that evening. I don’t know what he was really doing in the two hours he was gone. The gas station was just right up the street. I guess the stress of working one job at a pharmaceutical company with strong regional influence coupled with the arguments that he and my Mother were having over what color their new car should be just got to him. Even the most galvanized of men show rust from time to time. In 1997, the year I entered eighth grade, the private school I attended made us start wearing uniforms. Uniforms with navy blue shorts. A blatant fashion disaster. When I was waiting for the bus on the first day of school, a guy in a Camry rolled down his window and called me “fancypants.” I was being talked down to by a guy in a Camry! When I turned 16, my parents refused to by me a car. I had to use their Ford Focus hatchback if I wanted to go anywhere. Every time I drove, I put on a wig, sunglasses, and fake mustache. I knew what I had to do. It was time to leave my hometown and discover what it really was to be me.

Help Yourself, Pt. 5 – Chapter Two, Pt. 1

February 13, 2012 2 comments

Here’s the beginning of Chapter Two of my self-help book about how to write a self-help book. It’s all about how to show your readers why they should listen to what you have to say.

Have An Inspirational Back Story

Now, we come to a crucial point. You must, I repeat must, have a tale of hardship that you overcame in order to impress your readers. This is the fountainhead of “street cred,” a valuable commodity that can mean the difference between a desperate loser buying your book, or that desperate loser moving on to the next chowderhead on the shelf. You can always go with an “urban” anecdote – you were the youngest of five children, you survived a gunshot wound, your step-dad burned your nipples with cigarettes while you were locked in a dog kennel, and so on. If you’ve heard one of those stories, you’ve heard them all. Bo-ring. But, if you absolutely insist on going with a tale like that, embellish it. You are now the youngest of ten children, and on your sixth birthday, your parents traded the two-room shack your whole family lived in for a jug of moonshine that was brewed in a prison toilet. Lonely housewives (a demographic we will discuss later in the marketing section – those plagued by existential ennui, with nothing but time and hubby’s cash on their hands) eat that stuff up. It’s lazy, but it works.

However, if you tread down that route, at some point people are going to tire of you talking about your burnt, deformed nipples. Janet Jackson has the heavy market share in that department already. Instead, try to focus on the scars that people can’t see. Topics that people can relate to. Most of us didn’t “grow up in the projects” or “bang with the Vice Lords” — achievements that are perpetually set on a high pedestal in the “street cred” community. I don’t know anyone who has watched their cousin bleed to death on a bus stop bench, and then fought off the crackheads that swarmed in to field-strip the dead body. We can thank Hollywood for perpetuating these disgusting stereotypes of inner-city hardship. I’m willing to bet that if we were to travel to Compton right now, we would witness nothing more than a roving squadron of West Side Story-esque nancy-boys, prancing about, dance-fighting each other. And this is where “tough guys” come from? I don’t know if I should cry or fart.

Psychological conflict trumps physical pain any day of the week. Example – childbirth is said to be the worst earthly torment there is. Look at how many mothers are out there. They’re a dime a dozen. Would you buy a book written by a mother, just because she endured the agony of labor for what, like 16 hours? Of course not. True pain is everlasting. The greatest artists always have a hidden, deeply-rooted internal suffering that manifests itself in the form of a song, painting, or book. Kurt Cobain didn’t write a little ditty called “I Hate Myself And Want To Die” because his crotch hurt from pooping out a kid.

Tell your readers about your “invisible” scars. If you don’t, you can’t maintain the image of a brooding, deeply-pained martyr who wants nothing more than to keep others from experiencing the tragedy of becoming a brooding, deeply-pained martyr. Psychological suffering is, and always will be, totally hot to those lonely housewives we talked about earlier. Let them know what molded you. Maybe your trust fund turned out to be smaller than you thought. Maybe your skeezy older brother wrested control of your family’s privy purse while you were away on holiday in the Caribbean. Maybe you walked in on your yachting instructor having violent sex with your squash coach when you were just an impressionable youth of 12, and now you can’t get aroused unless your partner is spanking you with a racquet and ordering you to mind the starboard aft. Maybe you were forced to use a second-class Finnish masseuse (the Finns are vastly inferior to Swedes when it comes to massage) during that one year your father had to slash the family budget when his oil rig in the Alaskan wilderness was overrun by hippie squatters. These are the disappointments and embarrassments that leave entrenchments in the psyche. They also leave entrenchments in the bank accounts of clueless losers who can’t get enough of the drama. How do I know all of this? I lived the mythical character-shaping existence of which I speak. Traumas, dramas, baby mamas – it’s all here.

Part Two of Chapter Two will be up on Wesnesday.

Here are the previous entries:

The Cover

The Blurbs



Help Yourself, Pt. 4 – How I Became An A.S.S. C.L.O.W.N

February 8, 2012 1 comment

Here’s part four of my self-help book about how to write a self-help book. If you haven’t been following along, here’s part one, part two, and part three.

Introduction – How I Became An A.S.S. C.L.O.W.N.

Good Influention: The new paradigm which society and culture as a whole can and should be living by in these trying times.

What exactly is Good Influention, and how did I achieve it? Listen – when influence, confluence, and intentions come together and are at the same time good, the product you have in front of you is Good Influention. How do you reach this state of inner sanctity? It is a long road of self-discovery, sacrifice, and transgenderal foundations of self-confidence. Sounds tough, doesn’t it? What would you say if I told you that you can do it all on your own, and in the process, also teach others? And what if I also told you that it comes at no monetary cost? (I would like to take this opportunity to point out that there is one monetary cost, that being the cost of this book, but look at that small nominal fee as an investment, a superfluous expenditure on your launch into the fountainhead of self-help tutelage.)

It is my sole purpose in this book to show you how I achieved the Good Influention mindset all by myself. For what would self-help be if others were there to show you a path, when it is much more enriching to blaze your own trail through the thicket of this jungle that we call life? Come, let me show you how I arrived at the pedestal on which I now sit – a towering vantage point from which I can face all the problems of this early 21st century with the ease and comfort of a seasoned professional.

I attribute much of the Good Influention mindset to the training I have had the pleasure of partaking in. During the course of study and research for the preparation of this book, I skimmed through eight different self-help books, thought about attending some success seminars, and briefly browsed through a list of recommended motivational tapes and videos.

After going through that meat-grinder, I now consider myself an Authority on Self-Sufficiency. I would also like to inform you that, for the sake of brevity, I will employ the use of acronyms throughout this book in order to save time and ink. So, after becoming an A.S.S., I perceived that the only natural extension of that title would be to continue my exploration of the world of self-help. I set sail on a journey to seek out others who have also helped themselves to the spoils of success in many fields, including, but not limited to, life-coaches, financial gurus, weight-loss experts, and so on. Eventually surpassing them in knowledge and credentials, I felt that I had now taken control of my own personal vessel of destiny, becoming a “Captain,” if you will. Thus, I branded myself a Captain of Life, Opportunity, Wealth, and Nourishment (C.L.O.W.N.). Sitting here writing this introduction, I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels to be an A.S.S., as well as a C.L.O.W.N. So much hard work and perseverance were put into the effort of becoming an A.S.S. C.L.O.W.N. that I wanted to share with the world what it means to me. It becomes more and more rewarding each and every day. I am truly blessed.

Help Yourself, Pt. 3 – Disclaimer

Here’s part three of the self-help book about how to write a self-help book that I’m writing. After the cover and blurbs, you’ve got to be smart and take into account the legal ramifications of what you say about the people around you. Too many talented self-help authors are reduced to rubble by lawsuits after their loser friends get jealous of their success and try to get in in that sweet action.

Chapter .25 – Disclaimer

Throughout this book, I will occasionally reference people I know. To protect their identity, I have changed their names. But not all of them. By using this technique, you, the reader, will be none the wiser as to which names have been changed and those that haven’t. For example, later on in the chapter about relationships, I briefly mention what a depraved harlot LaShandrell is. Now, you will have no way of knowing whether this woman’s name actually is LaShandrell*. This plan of mine works on many levels. Maybe some guy named Bill that I refer to in an upcoming chapter actually is named Bill, but because I’m telling you right now that the names might have been changed, you’ll think that his name isn’t really Bill, because it sounds generic and fake. And this way, if there is a person I know named Bill (which there is) that ends up reading this book, he won’t think I’m talking about him, because in real life Bill and I are distant acquaintances at best, so why would I bother talking about him when I have so many other better, closer friends? But there is that outside chance that I am talking about him, because I said that some names have been changed and some haven’t. He’ll think that it’s just a coincidence that I used his name and that I’m talking about someone who isn’t him. But if he sees this part he might realize that I actually am talking about him, while it’s still possible that I’m not. After reading this section, Bill will be extremely self-conscious as to whether the Bill I’m talking about is in fact him or not, which it kind of isn’t. Either way, Bill will learn something – if I criticize him, he can learn from his faults. If I praise him, he can take pride in knowing that he is a gleaming figurehead of virtuous character traits.

*Note to LaShandrell – if you’re reading this, I’m actually not talking about you. I love you. There are only so many names out there, so I picked one at random, and LaShandrell came to be the fake name for Sharon**, who is just a dirty, dirty streetwalker.

**Note to Sharon – the Sharon I talk about is a name I made up for that one broad you got in a fight with at the club back in ’03. I couldn’t remember what her real name was so I used Sharon.

Help Yourself, Pt. 2 – The Blurbs

After the cover of any successful book, we always turn that cover over to find the first few pages occupied by blurbs about how great the book is. Under ideal conditions, these are written by someone at a respectable publication, a notable expert, or a celebrity. I have access to none of those, so I wrote them myself.

Praise for Help Yourself

“When all is said and done, you could probably get by without reading this book. That is, if you’re a homosexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that). So go ahead, put the book down, homo.” -Michael Cedarwood

“When Cedarwood writes, people read. 10/10. I clapped nine times. Eight million copies will be sold. Seven chapters full of sheer genius. You should read this book at least six times. Five years from now, it will still be a classic. Four stars. Three. Two thumbs way up. Number One. You are a zero if you don’t read this book.” -Michael Cedarwood

“I had no clue that writing a self-help book could actually help me write a self-help book. I highly recommend it.” -Michael Cedarwood

“Vintage Cedarwood.” -Michael Cedarwood

“Literally everyone who reads this book will write a best-selling book.” -Michael Cedarwood

“A great bathroom book. Keep it near your toilet, to be referenced when there is no definite timeframe for exit. Defecation will no longer be a painful, shame-filled experience. This book makes pooping fun again.” -Michael Cedarwood

“In lesser hands, this book would have sucked. An astonishing debut.” -Michael Cedarwood

“This book hasn’t really improved my life – I’m still really poor and stuck in a dead-end job. But remember, I haven’t read the book, I just wrote it. Imagine the boundless possibilities if I did read it.” -Michael Cedarwood

“Cedarwood feasts upon the wisdom of centuries past, digests it, and excretes it in a manner that is edible for those who have higher aspirations than just reading a book. He helps them write it.” -Michael Cedarwood

“I would give a copy of this book to every single one of my friends and family as a gift this holiday season, but I hate them all too much to want to see them succeed in life.” -Michael Cedarwood

“I wish I could travel back in time and kick Cedarwood in the dick for not writing this book earlier.” -Michael Cedarwood

“Allow me to give you a glimpse as to what Cedarwood has to offer. Values. Convictions. Fundamentals. Convinced?” -Michael Cedarwood

Synergy. Lasting Results. Conquering Challenges. Still not satisfied?” -Michael Cedarwood

Patterns of Success. Management Parables. Ambition. If that doesn’t get you off, I don’t know what will.” -Michael Cedarwood

Influention. Conversationalistic understandment. Inventional Achievement. I think I’ve got your attention now.” -Michael Cedarwood

“And just to be sure, principles, paradigms, and penmanship. Booya.” -Michael Cedarwood

Help Yourself, Pt. 1 – The Cover

I don’t like working at jobs anymore, so I’m going to get rich by writing a massively popular self-help book. It’s being written under my pen (and porn) name, Michael Cedarwood, because that moniker exudes the raw sexuality and heavy intellect needed to help myself help other people help themselves write a self-help book. I’ll post a few updates in the next week to show you what I’ve got so far. It all begins with the cover, which you should judge this book by.

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