Selfishness Matters

A book by Theo Selles, M.Sc.

Warning: Some readers may find some of the material offensive. The author hopes so.
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Selfishness Matters is a self help book even a man would read; a well overdue parody of the self-help industry.
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March 1, 2011, Focus on Scugog, "Love is all you need!"

By Jonathan van Bilsen, Focus on Scugog

   Local author Theo Selles

   pokes fun at self-help

   gurus in his new book . . .

Selfishness Matters is a self help book even a man would read; a well overdue parody of the self-help industry.

A non-medical conversation with a psychologist would put anyone on edge, but that is not the case with Theo Selles, a local Family Therapist, who has recently written a fantastically funny book. Theo claims Selfishness Matters is a best seller, although at the time I met him, he had only sold 70 copies. "It's my first book so, ipso facto, ergo." When I asked him how it felt to be an overnight success he said he had no idea. "I slept through it."

All humour aside, Theo Selles is very qualified to assist people and corporations who have issues. His childhood was cursed with an abusive home life. "I assumed everyone lived that way," he explains. "I was so afraid of people, that when I stood waiting for the school bus and a car pulled up I'd run and hide behind a tree."

Theo and his four siblings got through things the best they could. "I don't see them now," he paused. "I guess our next reunion will be at someone's funeral."

He recognizes the irony in that given his profession, but thinks it's for the best. During Theo's high school years in Burlington, he worked part time in his father's gardening business.

"I went from high school to high school, with no real purpose", Theo describes. "It wasn't until university that I found my true vocation." It was the University of Guelph and Theo applied himself in Psychology. His childhood had taught him to listen and try to make sense of other people's experience.

He majored in Psychology and Child & Family studies and when he graduated he decided to pack up and hitchhike around North America. "I wanted to see for myself what people were really like."

Leaving his fiance behind he set off with a few, simple rules: never take public transportation and talk to as many people as possible. "The cool thing was actually hoping cars would stop for me instead of hiding behind trees from them."

He travelled over 32,000 kms for almost a year and discovered that most people are the same as you and I, just trying to get through life the best they can and willing to help. "It reinforced my belief in humankind," Theo added.

He returned to Guelph and completed a two year Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. He and his wife decided to move somewhere to start a practice. "Our only demands on where we lived were a hospital and a lake." In 1993 the couple moved to Port Perry and Theo began his family practice.

His business grew and he branched into management consulting and trauma debriefing. Now he is an accomplished motivational speaker recently serving as Master of Ceremonies for Toronto's International Day for People with Disabilities. His company, Integrity Works, instills organizational values through team building.

Selfishness Matters is guaranteed to offend everyone; however, its humour and satire have a deep rooted meaning. "I am so tired of the emphasis on self-help. It's time we stopped thinking about helping and loving ourselves and think more about finding ways to help and love others."

Theo's face turned sober, as he spoke. His cynical tone was replaced with sincerity. "I am so sick of people coming to see me and telling me they 'don't know how to communicate'. Then they proceed to eloquently tell me all the things that are wrong with their partner. They communicate dissatisfaction, disinterest, disdain, disrespect, very very well. The issue is that they don't communicate love."

Theo believes that love still exists. "I tell people to intentionally love. Ideally each member of a couple will try to find as many ways to love the other as they can. It's sad that I rarely hear in my practice two people ask, 'How can I love my partner better?' " His youth has given him an uncanny ability to understand people's problems and to at times cry with them on the road to recovery.

Theo Selles does not consider himself immune from the seduction of self-absorption. He has certainly made many mistakes and has hurt people he loved en route as he muddles his way through life. In his experience, people who emphasize the importance of being accepted for who they are in relationships tend to be too lazy and self-absorbed to attempt change and growth.

The book, Selfishness Matters, pokes fun at self-help gurus and challenges people to examine the degree of selfishness in their lives.

Even the cover is a parody of Dr. Phil and his book, Self Matters. It's a good read and very enjoyable. Pick it up at Books Galore and More or on line at Send Theo an email and tell him what you thought of his book, or better still, visit him to discuss your problems... but expect a solution, not lip service.

This article appeared in Focus on Scugog and can be found at Focus on Scugog.

Integrity Works

Integrity Works
Check out Theo's business Integrity Works to see how he can help you at home and at work.

Theo on the Radio

Listen Now to Theo Selles’ radio appearances. Passionate. Provocative. Making a difference.

Theo’s Latest Book

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The HEART of the PEARL. Inside every PEARL is a secret. Inside every PEARL is pain. Paperback and E-Book now available!

Theo’s Documentary

Listen Now to Theo’s Music Documentary. Tomorrow’s Going to be Grand is a Compelling story about Music, Courage, and Epilepsy.

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Selfishness Matters is a self help book even a man would read; a long overdue parody of the self-help industry. Paperback and E-Book now available!

Sample E-Book

You can distribute this abridged copy of Selfishness Matters, which contain excerpts from the book, to your friends and family, for free!