The Problem with Self-help Gurus

Self-help gurus do more harm than good, in general. Some of them actually cause enormous distress. Why? Two reasons: 1) they make false promises and 2) they encourage you to perpetuate the root cause of all your suffering, chasing after materialistic (extrinsic) goals.

Beware of Self-help Gurus

It’s nonsense to claim that everyone has equal potential for achieving external objectives. The claim that everyone can become a self-made millionaire, or worse, a great artist, musician or athlete is a lie. Even in a given area, say, sport, we see people seriously giving their all, with pretty much equal access to information, facilities, etc., and still there being a vast difference in outcome, with one person really making it to the big leagues and practically everyone else left behind. What to speak of a person who didn’t even get involved in sport in the first place. The same applies to business savvy, music and art and just about everything else. Some people have it, most don’t. That US$199 course the self-help guru wants you to buy, or the US$6000 seminar, won’t change reality.

There’s lots of great information out there. Lots of important tips and tricks to optimize your state of mind to achieve mundane goals, no doubt about it. Can they help a person with talent have success earlier or faster? Maybe. But are they alone going to be the defining difference between your average wage worker and a self-made multi-millionaire?  Of course not. And what’s worse, these self-help gurus know it. But they don’t care, because their goal is to fool you into buying their courses, signing up for phone calls and participating in their seminars.

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t stand that sleazy approach used by these people to fool you into buying their stuff and handing your hard-earned money over. First the “free” video, email or whatever, where they flaunt what they have and promise you that you can have it too. Then the invite to click on some link or sign up to some more “amazing” information, still for free, where they can then start the hard pitch to make you buy the first level course. And with that first level course you’re paying for, convince you that the reason you’re still not achieving your goals is because you haven’t signed up for their really big event or course which will then really fleece you. Yuck! Bait and switch, give a little, ask for more, and sucker you right into fattening their wallets. I find myself asking, “Dude, if you’re so clever and successful why do you have to make a living elaborately tricking people out of their money? Can’t you make your own money honestly?”

Notice the difference between honest people who have knowledge to help you and sleazy greedy types. Honest people are happy to share their knowledge. Sure, they’ll write a book and put it for sale and, sure, they’ll charge to speak at an event. But mainly it’s all very straightforward: buy my book and watch my lectures. The book is usually for sale from regular online bookstores for decent prices, as little as US$2.99 for an e-book. Tons of their lectures are available for free online in their YouTube channel. Their blogs openly reveal their best tips. It’s all there. It’s honest and straightforward. The sleazy greedy types are always hiding behind layers and layers of false promises, feeding on the frustrations and illusions of their potential clients, in the hopes of charging exorbitant amounts for nearly useless information, that was probably already available for free online in the first place.

But, of course, the biggest problem of all with just about every self-help guru is that they are the blind leading the blind. They are chasing after the wrong goals, and selling them as the means for achieving happiness: things, money, fame and status. Having a ripped body, millions of dollars, Lamborghini in the garage or flying in private jets will never bring meaning and satisfaction to your life. These things do not translate into joy. This is not only the age-old message of the wise, but confirmed by hard science too. And if you have any doubt about this, seek out the testimonials of rich and famous people on the emptiness of fame and money (such as

The real path to joy is inside you. The real solution is to stop chasing illusion. It’s finding meaning, by living your true essence, by learning to cultivate positivity and joy and, most of all, by developing deep loving devotion. And this, friends, has zero to do with kind of car you’re driving, the size of your house or how famous and good-looking you are.

So, reject outright anyone with a “tricky” setup to get you to pay for their information – these people are out to con you and they know very well the tricks and means to do it. Most of all, reject claims that things, fame and any other external situation or thing will make you happy. It won’t. Only you can make yourself happy, and true happiness has nothing to do with external things.

Check out my video here on the subject of the problem with self-help gurus.

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