The first self-described self-help book was published in 1859. The author's name, improbably, was Samuel Smiles; the title, even more improbably, was Self-Help. A distillation of lessons from the lives of famous people who had pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, it sold millions of copies and was a mainstay in Victorian households. Every generation since had its runaway bestseller, such as How to Live on 24 Hours a Day (1908), Think and Grow Rich (1937), or Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (1997).
But hey, if it's all pretty much the same stuff â€” and it is â€” why stop at distilling it into a single book? Why not condense the repeated lessons of an entire genre into one article? That's what this author has attempted here, after reading dozens of history's biggest bestsellers so you don't have to. Here is the essence of the advice he's seen delivered again and again.
See Every self-help book ever, boiled down to 11 simple rules
The basic advice in hundreds of bestsellers is older than you think.