Recently, while at a bookstore, I came across a popular book that was published a few years back called The Power of Now. I hesitated buying it because I wondered if it was still relevant. What is the shelf life of that book? I mean, shouldn't a book about "now" have an expiration date of 'Immediately' or 'In One Second' on the side of it? Realistically once you read a page, that page should become obsolete. 'Now' is just so limited.
As I approached the cashier I found myself seriously second-guessing my impending purchase. How could I be sure a book with a title like this still held up? For the record, I do understand the concept of the book. I am all for living in the moment — but there is nothing wrong with reliving stuff later on, is there? Besides, if "now" is so powerful, why waste time reading a book when you could be using that "now power" to do something really important?
If it were called The Power of Then I wouldn't be questioning my purchase. Or perhaps the author should have considered writing a book called The Power of Now and Then. I like the notion of infrequency being potent.
Come on, how impatient do you have to be to dedicate a whole book to 'now'? I've always been something of a procrastinator and quite frankly, I would rather read a book called The Power of I'll Get Around To It When I'm Ready. I mean, isn't the power of 'before' more important? I thought we were supposed to learn from history. History, after all, can be pretty powerful. And what about the power of later? Seems like that would make more sense. This way you have time to plan and line up all your ducks for your powerful move or whatever it is you are going to do later.
My wife is considering writing a book called The Power of Not Now. I personally think it would be a bestseller. What better way to give your frisky partner the 'down boy' signal as he or she crawls into bed with you at night?
I don't know how I feel about self-help books. The other book I almost purchased was The Secret. Oprah was really pushing this one. I actually listened to it on one of those books on tape, which, by the way, was very difficult to hear. The entire book was read in a whisper, almost as if the reader was cupping his hands around his mouth while narrating. You will never see a book called The Power of Whispering for that very reason. I must say I am generally not a fan of books on tape. I like to read and am a voracious reader. In fact, I consider myself to be a fast reader. Even when I listen to those books on tape I usually finish before the narrator.
It seems strange that they would have self-help books on tape. By reading to the person you are only enabling them to continue with their lazy behavior. You are not letting them help themselves. Let them do some work, for God's sake! The next thing you know they are going to want someone to load the CD into the player for them. The whole thing is pretty counterintuitive.
I suppose there are some people that go from one self-help book to another and by doing so they never have to work on their real problems. Typically, self-help books are the most successful books on the market and there are tons of them. I bet the only people that are deriving help from them are the people that write them. They must make tons of money. Which reminds me that I suppose now is the time to mention that I'm currently considering a follow up to my book Yes, You're Pregnant, But What about Me? It's called How To Stop Reading Self-Help Books... NOW.
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Kevin Nealon has been involved with comedy and entertainment for almost thirty years. One of the longest-running cast members in the history of Saturday Night Live, Nealon has appeared in movies such as Happy Gilmore, Anger Management, and
Daddy Day Care, and currently stars in the Showtime original series Weeds. Nealon lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their son, Gable.
Books mentioned in this post
Kevin Nealon is the author of Yes, You're Pregnant, But What about Me?