I have what might be described as a small library of personal growth books in my bookcases. My husband brought his own preferred titles into our marriage and we collectively own enough self-help that we should be entirely fulfilled in every aspect of our lives. And yet, when we last went book shopping, we each bought a book that we're sure will enlighten us. Where does it end? As much as I adore my books, I bet that there is a huge amount of overlap in advice and guidance. Let's throw into the mix that I read women's magazines, watch talk shows, and surf the web for suggestions. There is more advice out there than ever — the market is saturated with it — and yet we clamor for more. As a culture, I wonder: Are we chronically dissatisfied, and will we ever fill our collective void with all the self-help we gobble up?
Most of my books say the same thing. They advise me to listen to my own voice, trust myself, find inner strength, peace, and happiness. And yet, I'm hungry for more. I buy new books which give me the same message in different formats and styles. Will I ever find the right one? Or is it time to close the books and try to do this on my own? I'm 37 years old and I've done a lot of reading, watching, and surfing in my time. I feel as if I should have all the information I need in the database in my brain. I want to try to put it into action on my own. Take off the training wheels and dare to ride on my own power, with my own intuition as navigator.
So, that's what Living Oprah has inspired in me — the desire to unplug and strive toward my goals without dependence on outside validation. I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and give it a go in 2010. I'm creating my own declaration of independence and I'm going to step forth without using my usual crutches. To be honest, I'm terrified, but it's time.