People’s Choice Post #2: Self-Help (Samuel Smiles)

Just like we did for The Secret read through your classmates’ reading response blogs on Self-Help; with Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance and choose your favorite post. You can choose a post for any reason, but you always must clearly articulate your rationale for choosing it (e.g., why did you find it interesting, compelling, likeable, provocative, etc.?). This rationale can refer to content, style, creativity, etc. If, after reading everyone’s posts, you strongly feel that your post is your “favorite,” you can always vote for yourself, but you need to provide a rationale for doing so.

In order to register your vote (and get credit) for this week’s “People’s Choice,” “leave a reply” to this post, and in your comment, provide your chosen post, an excerpt from it + rationale for choosing it. Provide the title and author of the chosen post, along with a link to the post you are citing (please provide the link in the same comment: don’t make a separate one with just the link). Citing is really important (in this case, citing your classmate!), and this is a way of giving credit to other sources and putting yourself in dialogue with them.

Comments/votes are mandatory (regardless of whether you completed your own reading response post on Smiles’ Self-Help should be made by Thursday, 2/25 by 9am: the person with the most votes will earn the coveted “People’s Choice” honor for this round of posts! I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose, and why.

8 thoughts on “People’s Choice Post #2: Self-Help (Samuel Smiles)”

  1. For this second people’s choice I am voting for Courtney.

    Samual Smiles Notes

    I believe we both had the same views when it came to how we interpreted the text, and even then she explained it very well. We both believe that the author leaves an emphasis on working on your individual self — that you should either surround yourself with like individuals or be alone, and that it is also very common for failures to occur. Failures shouldn’t deter you from the goals you’ve set for yourself. Courtney quotes the author in saying “Failure is the best discipline of the true worker, by stimulating him to renewed efforts”. This is a common theme I noticed when reading these chapters through the numerous examples/ models Smiles uses to show that hard work and perseverance will pay off.

  2. My People’s Choice goes to Crystal for her post titled, “Reading Response #2” on Self-Help by Samuel Smiles.

    Reading Response #2

    I chose her post because I really admired how she explained the chapters and referenced the book very well. As stated by Crystal, “The main ideas that I got from reading these three chapters is that 1) being patient and actually working towards your goals will pay off, 2) anything someone else does you can do too, and 3) the home environment we grow up in shapes our lives.” I totally agreed with her, although it was a lot of reading and the chapter were a little all over the place. Then she mentioned to surround yourself with people because with them you will not find that you are deterring from any goals that you have set to achieve, along with having others that will inspire you and motivate you to keep pushing forward when things get tough. I also agreed with her, when she mentioned that this Self-Help by Samuel Smiles was better than The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes because it is more realistic and can be seen as relatable to pretty much anybody. “Samuel Smiles is basically trying to push people to do what they want to do. He tells the stories of others, so you won’t feel alone, and he doesn’t make any promises that are out of reach.” (Crystal paragraph 5)

  3. Reading Response #2

    This week my vote is for Crystal Pichardo for having similar visions of the text. She described the benefit and a view point that can be categorized as tedious. The quotes she choose such as “good rules may do much, but good models far more; for in the latter we have instruction in action” (S.Smiles p.307). Shows her attention to detail to get her message conveyed in a clear cut way. She also referenced “The Secret” which I found rather interesting.

  4. My vote for Reading Response #2 will go to Crystal Pichardo.
    I chose her response because I like the way she compared Self-help by Samuel Smiles to the secret by saying “being patient and working toward what your goals will pay off”, and “the home environment we grow up in shapes our lives” and I agree with it. She states “Smiles believes it is the difficulties these people have faced that have helped them fuel their work ( Smiles22-23). I believe that everything you go through rather tough prepares you for upcoming challenges.

  5. For my second peoples choice I am choosing Courtney. (

    I’m choosing Courtney because I think her last point on her post completely sums up how I felt about the book. She states “I would consider this book a hard read based on the amount of information crammed into each chapter I’ve read. The metaphors are overly used which makes the text deterring. I do on the other hand appreciate the book for telling some of these important people’s full journeys and not just what they accomplished.” I agree that the book and crammed and repetitive but that it is interesting in hearing these historical figures success stories.

  6. I choose Courtney for The People’s Choice #2!

    Samual Smiles Notes

    I really liked her viewpoints and how thorough her reading response was. I like how she pointed out how Samuel Smiles directed his words towards men,”This book is expressed to target young men as those who need to rely on one self and no verses others. That growth is done through failures. “Failure is the best discipline of the true worker, by stimulating him to renewed efforts”.(prefix p.5) This illustrates that failures are magnified as a necessary tool for growth. Beyond the prefix the reader will get a abnormal description of each chapter and notice the pages themselves lack numbers. ”
    Courtney mad many valid points that even helped clarify the text for me.

  7. Thanks all for these votes/rationales. This week’s People’s Choice was a nail-biter, and we have a tie … congrats to Courtney & Crystal for being team winners for Samuel Smiles’ ‘Self-Help’ posts 🙂

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