Hello, my name is Tony Petrozza. I was a life coach, now I work in technology.
One of the funny things about life coaching is that it often gets lumped in with self-help (which makes absolutely no sense). Self-help implies that one party (you) are doing the help. Since there are two parties (of the human variety) involved in life coaching — the coach and the client — it’s a life coach is a human being (albeit one trained professionally) with a client can’t be self-help because there are two parties involved. It’s other-help. It’s professional help. Regardless, I believe that the misnomer has to do with the fact that life coaching is similar to therapy…with one big difference: therapy examines the past while coaching prepares you for the future. Nonetheless, both therapy and life coaching are the epitome of helping professions (the “caring” gene).
I’ve been intending to write a blog on the history of Self-Help (SH) for a long time. I’m finally helping myself to it. I’ll write about it factually; describing who, what, where, when, why and how. The different eras. How it got started. Where it’s going. I’ll write about other similar fields and movements. The diverse mentalities and themes. I’ll write about a variety of authors and their published work. About what SH does. About what it doesn’t do. I’ll write about it’s problems and stigma. I’ll look at it different ways.
My father loved self-help and introduced me to it, in the 70s — and to this day, I love it. I remember him first teaching my older brother about it (he was more ready for it than I was). The three stand out authors, he championed in my memory are Dale Carnegie, Earl Nightingale, and Napoleon Hill. In fact, I still have my father’s copy of Hill’s tome Think and Grow Rich. I treasure it, especially his notes scribbled in it.
Even though self-improvement was around long before Hill was born, I consider him the Father of modern self-help. We’ll get into the paternities in a subsequent blog. I believe that for near my whole life I’ve had an advantage over most people. Because of something my father repeatedly told me. A quote from Napoleon’s book:
I never forgot it. My father instilled in me something special. Indeed, I consider Napoleon Hill a kind of spiritual father for myself.
Most people walk around believing some things a person can do and some things they cannot. I believe a person can do anything. Given enough time. The key to success has always been, and always will be, persistence. However, there’s another side to that success coin – and that is learning. Specifically; learning from mistakes. Those are the two simple reasons why people fail in life. They don’t learn from their mistakes and they give up. Again, I’ve wanted to write for quite some time. There were a number of reasons why I procrastinated. They were both legitimate and illegitimate. I have learned that to do something, anything; one must start. Let’s see if I persist.
\ ˈself-ˈhelp \
: the action or process of bettering oneself or overcoming one’s problems without the aid of others
especially : the coping with one’s personal or emotional problems without professional help
epit·o·me | \ i-ˈpi-tə-mē
A typical or ideal example : EMBODIMENT
Example: the British monarchy itself is the epitome of tradition.
tome; [tōm] ‘tohm’ noun
a book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one