Self Care

What is self-care? Well self-care to me is doing anything that will put me in a relaxed, happy state. As a kid, I saw my mother taking care of herself by doing vanity things such as doing her nails done or giving herself facials. So I saw that as self-care. But a past experience I had a few years ago taught me that self-care was so much more than vanity practices. It goes so much deeper and definitely starts with taking care of your mind. Doing things that make you happy from within, things that don’t feel forced. So though I may pamper myself by putting on a mask, or painting my nails here and there, when I’m feeling in need of some extra care that is not where I start. So over the weekend, some self-care-related things I did were put on my current favorite show (Law and Order SVU), make a hot cup of tea, and simply sat there and enjoyed binging some episodes. Another thing I did was restart one of my favorite book series from when I was in middle school, it takes me back to a simpler time and helps ease any stress I’m feeling so I been enjoying doing that.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Right from the beginning of the book I notice it starts with many testimonies, and a few of the people that stood out to me were Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer, and a COO from Microsoft. This establishes credibility instantly because as a reader I recognize these are successful people and if the book helped them, maybe it can help me. I believe The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has aspects of both of our previous books The Secret and Self Help. I say this because though it has some aspects that is similar to The Secret such as if you really want something you have to believe in it in order to obtain it But Covey does not promote just thinking of something and eventually it will come true. This is where the book draws its similarity too Samuel Smiles Self- Help. Covey preaches that in life you must live by these natural laws and put in the work from the “inside out”. He focuses on the point of changing your mindset or your paradigm before you change your outwardly appearance. He wants those that read his book to work hard to first change their perspective and eventually lead them to the goal of becoming proactive people who aren’t wavered by whatever life throws at you. So he does mention believing in what you want and watching the negative language you use when speaking about things. But he doesn’t promote those things being changed by just thought. Only through hard work can your perception change and eventually yourself.

Reading Response #2 Self Help by Samuel Smiles

Self Help by Samuel Smiles, while confusing I think told a pretty clear message. I believe similar to The Secret by Rhonda Byrne the book quickly becomes extremely repetitive, but it does not promote harmful views like The Secret. I found the introduction interesting, because I love a good origin story (and this book gave me more than enough origin stories). The story of the men that came together solely for the purpose of becoming better educated and a better person in general is inspiring. Throughout the book the author tells many stories of how these great names that are established in history became so great. And majority of these great people did not come from a special family name, or wealth. Nor did these historical figures consider their selves exceptional. But one thing the all had in common was how hard they worked for the things they wanted to achieve. And that is the main point that the author is trying to get across. Through slow diligence, and perseverance you can achieve the highest accomplishments. Smiles also writes about how valuable life lessons and true changes to mankind can only be done through hard work. For my extra chapter I read chapter 7 which is called Industry and Peerage. I really loved the story about John Scott (Lord Eldon). Working his way up from being a poor newly eloped man to working on the parliament, it is clear his hard work paid off. In conclusion I think this book could be interesting to read once in a while, just to hear the inspiring stories of great historical figures. But the language is difficult and lengthy and I feel like the main point is understood from the first few pages.


The Secret

After reading sections of The Secret I have some questions? The book starts with the main author Rhonda Byrne, explaining her testimony. She explained how a death of a loved one eventually lead her to find this “Secret”. Then further in, the  book starts to list off these big names in history such as Beethoven and Einstein, claiming that they were successful because they had the secret. I believe the author unfairly uses these names for credibility, and since most people know that Einstein was an extremely successful scientist, it is used as a first step in getting people to take interest into what this almighty secret is. The “secret” ends us just being Law of Attraction and is explained as any thought in your head that you believe in, and feel the emotions connected to that thought the universe will bring you. It’s basically the old saying of karma and that whatever you put into the universe comes back to you. I loved the concept of the book and that is the focus on the Law of Attraction. I think the Law of Attraction could be a very beneficial tool to use to make the world kinder. But with that being said I think this book simplify serious issues that happens within life, and they blame it on the thoughts that the person had put into the universe. The chapter I read was The secret to the World, and the point that was made was that all the issues that the world face such as crime, political issues etc, is “simply” because that’s what the world promotes and is talking about. One person gives their testimony on how they no longer read/ watch the news because of all the bad news that is talked about. They explain that The Secret to the World is to only focus and to put energy into the good. Though none of these statements are inherently bad or even wrong I just feel it is way too simple for the complications of life. Does Law of Attraction play a part, possibly, but is it all you need to be the most successful person, I’m filled with doubt for that one.

Class Notes (2/4/2021)

2/9/2021- Crystal Pichardo

2/11/2021- David Vizcaino

2/16/2021- Courtney Lagrange 

2/18/2021- Robby Deleon

2/23/2021- Maria Gavino

2/25/2021- Reem Saleh

Crowd Sourcing-  the practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet. (Definition is from google)

“Self help is a genre of books that has gotten a bad rep in the literature community because they see it as a quack”. 

Quack-  A sham

Low Brow-  Derogatory/ pejorative (insulting) not high cultured, no class.

The goal for the semester is too decipher between whether these books are a sham or helpful. We will read books, watch videos, movies, and use apps to learn about the genre, we also will be practicing some of the habits.

Polarizing-  to cause something, especially something that contains different people or opinions, to divide into two completely opposing groups. (Definition from

*Self help is very polarizing because either people love it and feed into it or hate it and  believe that there is bigger issues to focus on.

*Self help is an extremely profitable industry, and is embedded and capitalism.

Capitalism-  an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Commodity –  Something that can exchange for equal value.

*Self help is a commodity. What is sold is if you use these self help techniques you in return became a “better person” who does “good things” that further benefits society. 

*Self help can cause a lot of skepticism because a lot of people are in it for the money and they can diminish the intensity of an intense issue. (Ex. Simplifying chronic health issues down to just meditating )

Elide- To leave something out or to gloss over it.

Rhetoric- How something presented.

Homework due Next Week (2/9/2021)

Read the beginning of The Secret up to the chapter powerful processes and read at least one extra chapter. (Be sure to annotate as you read.) Then respond with a blog post on open lab, this will be due at the start of next class.




Hello fellow peers, my name is Aryanna Smith, I’m 19 years old and I am expected to graduate this upcoming June with an associates degree in liberal arts. I’m interested in fashion, even though I don’t really deal with it much (I’m hoping to get more into it this year)! I don’t really have much hobbies because if I’m not doing school I’m mostly just relaxing watching a tv show, (my current favorite is Law & Order SVU). But on the rare occasion that I want to dabble into an activity, I’m probably reading a book, trying to cook a new dish, or writing. Currently I am in the ASAP program at City Tech, and this semester I was lucky enough to get a job with them as a Career peer mentor, I haven’t started yet but am looking forward to the new opportunity. My career goal is to eventually be doing something in the fashion world, whatever that turns out to be I wold be fine with. Over winter break I pretty much just did what I described before, relax and watch Law and Order ( I know I sound obsessed and I am). Hopefully this summer I can get an internship geared towards my career, and I assume like everybody else is hoping, I hope that the worst of this pandemic has passed and maybe I’ll be able to enjoy some summer activities with family and friends. 

Random selfie
19th Birthday Picture

As a reader/writer/ thinker I believe my strengths are how well I can imagine and articulate things in my head. And then I take those thoughts and write them down . I feel like I relay my  thoughts better writing them down (usually in my notes app on my phone) compared to saying it out loud. My weakness though is how fast paced my mind is, so sometimes it is hard to convey what I what I’m feeling because there is so many thoughts being processed, which also ties into why I feel like I’m not the best speaker. I’m pretty good at using technology, I know the basics, and I used Zoom and Open Lab (slightly) in previous classes before. My favorite genre of literature is young adult, I’ve actually been trying to branch out into other genres but nothing brings me great nostalgia like reading a young adult books. I’ve read a few self help books, actually I’m currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. I like dabbling in self help books occasionally because I feel like it can never hurt to learn something new even if I don’t necessarily agree with it. That’s why I was interested in taking this class because not only does it seem like a class I never took before, I also feel it will help me not only interpret this genre of books, but also find a new appreciation for them.