“What’s Wrong With Self-Help Books?” by Megan McArdle  Sep 13, 2012, Daily Beast.

“Journalists say they want to help people. So why do they sneer at self-help books?”

Brainstyles - What's Wrong With Self Help Books?
Brainstyles - What's Wrong With Self Help Books?

In a rather testy article on self-help books, Ms. McArdle says ‘”The “neuroscience” shelves in bookshops are groaning. But are the works of authors such as Malcolm Gladwell and Jonah Lehrer just self-help books dressed up in a lab coat?” So reads the headline of a piece in the New Statesmen, declaiming against the “Story-Study-Lesson” formula so successfully worked by authors such as, er, Malcolm Gladwell and Jonah Lehrer.’”

As an author of a book that got classified as a self-help book (which I protested to no avail), and uses neuroscience to support the material, I agree with Ms. McArdle.  Every single magazine and newspaper I pick up has at least one if not more articles on the brain: using electrodes to calm the brain, fearing the computer is changing our brain to be Shallow, foods to eat to boost your brain power, new discoveries on small areas of the brain which, in time, may lead to new cures for our scourges of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. And on and on. The books that use neuroscience to support their premises are, indeed, legion. Some might even be useful and supportive to those who aren’t the intellectuals Ms. McArdle refers to.

I’d like to offer an alternative premise to this glut of the newest new things in manipulating human behavior:  Your “self” needs no help. To improve yourself, be more yourself. BrainStyles™ offers a breakthrough for interactions based on the speed of access to areas of the brain that determine what you’re best at and offers a simple, practical solution: Timing.

Teaching BrainStyles around the world (in 8 languages) has proven that culture, race, gender, age and education matter not when it comes to brainstyle.

    Neurological studies confirm that the left and right sides of the brain are accessed at different speeds, and in varying sequences, with the dialogue pattern genetically defined for each person. The BrainStyles System® is the result of extensive research and testing in business environments to prove how specific patterns of brain hardwiring determine an individual’s approach to decision-making, risk-taking, and dealing with conflict. In the past 25 years, strengths in relationships and contributions to projects have been accurately predicted and applied in Fortune 100 corporations, school systems, non-profits, and families with particular emphasis on teamwork.

BrainStyles™: Change Your Life Without Changing Who You Are, (Simon & Schuster, ©1997, 2012) was written from on-the-job experience identifying brain-based gifts and placing people in satisfying careers that meant less stress, exponential growth in productivity, and more self-satisfaction. BrainStyles shows people how to respect themselves for who they already are. Yes, there are studies that support the premise that you don’t need to change. (David Lykken and the twins studies, Emmy Werner and the 50-year long study of disadvantaged children in Hawaii, among others.)

When we commonly refer to “change” in any relationship, we really mean we want another to “change their behavior.” Stop or “improve” what we find irritating, different, or not understandable. There are also a legion of books creating categories to address these “problem people” with colors, letters, and mystic categories.  BrainStyles offers an alternative to all of these as well by helping you see what the strengths and non-strengths underlying your behavior are. You are shown how to apply them with self-respect, and an authentic, unrehearsed, no-need-for-a-formula respect for others.  New breakthroughs have occurred for Procter & Gamble high-performance teams, for instance. By looking past the organizational chart and bringing out the gifts of the players, meeting time was decreased by 400%, timelines for projects were reduced from 15 months to 5.  Why? BrainStyles offers a breakthrough for interactions based on the speed of access to areas of the brain that determine what you’re best at and shows you how to apply your own unique timing that creates collaboration and prevents conflict.

As soon as BrainStyles was taught in companies, the next and most obvious application was how to take it home to renew relationships. So BrainStyles for Lovers: Create Partnerships that Change Your Life WITHOUT Changing Who You Are (Brown Books Group,2004, 2013) was born with real-life accounts of couples who learned how to stop focusing on behaviors and look for the brain-based strengths beneath. Marriages were saved. Couples reported “falling in love again.”  BrainStyles is a system for living where honor, respect, and expansion are realized by being authentic and natural. No tricks. Just you being you with some principles to apply daily.

Take a look your results with The BrainStyles Inventory © 2.0 at and see if you might find a whole list of reasons to just be yourself.