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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Motivational sheep - 10 ways to avoid a self-help Guru

Watching a US reality TV show recently (I know, I know!) I felt the vomit rising up in my throat as a guy with ego infused eyes and a cheesy grin introduces himself as a 'motivational speaker', 'life coach', and 'life strategist'    (WTF). He then begins to spout cliche's and rehearsed drivel, which is like catnip to the lost, but won't really change your life past Tuesday. The camera pans round and you see an audience of a few hundred people looking trustfully up at this church less evangelist.

A life coach???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *looks at self in horror

As I chew the edge of my wooden coffee table to cleanse myself of his imprint, I add a snapshot of him to my mental image bank, to recall when I next need to run up a steep hill, or give birth to a rhinoceros. These narcissistic cuckoo's tell you what to do, and nest in your own lack of self-direction with their pseudo knowledge. The difference between knowledge and wisdom is, knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. I have had conversations with many people who, thanks to guru's, are ignoring the reality stop signs in pursuit of someone else's implanted delusions. It's not their fault, they were looking for hope, new skills, and the road to happiness.

I had coffee with an unknowing victim, what I got was a seminar for one I didn't sign up for. A good man at heart, he had invested a lot of money in courses to help him to 'make a million speaking' or 'live an amazing life doing what I do', he had learnt not to value all the unique things that made him relatable, and human, and had become a puppet. He was detached, emotionally unavailable, further away from finding himself, and helping people was way down his list after Ferrari. The clue is when they talk at you in quotes and slip into a hybrid Anglo/American accent.

This plague is not to be confused with a heartfelt speaker that has an incredible story to tell where they have achieved something, triumphed over adversity, or royally messed their lives up, and got up again. Not to be confused either with someone who is so passionate about helping people they have turned their life into a living lesson. There are some incredible people who are dedicated to helping you too change your life, Anthony Robbins for example. These people have important recipes for survival and enjoyment of life, seek them out. Let's distinguish them by calling them teachers. When they start to speak, something deep within your soul warms, when the latter speaks you have to watch you don't sprout wool and start to 'baaa'.

So here is my guide to avoid becoming the sheep of a false shepherd or 'Guru' as they like to call themselves. This includes wanna-be Guru's who dream of being on stage to experience feeling important.
  1. Guru's begin most of what they say with 'i', a favourite is 'I can make you xyz'
  2. Guru's take 'best friend forever' style photo's of themselves with other Guru's to reinforce your belief in their status
  3. Guru's behaviour off the stage does not mirror the values they talk about on stage
  4. Guru's often should read their own books to take their own advice
  5. Guru's imitate each other and pass off each others stories as their own because they lack any real experience helping individuals to change their lives
  6. Guru's have followers that don't really blink properly and make you feel nervous, or get angry when you ask questions
  7. Guru's have a set of rules, or a program, and get annoyed, or blame your lack of commitment for their failures
  8. Guru's don't really listen in life, they only know how to output
  9. Guru's have forgotten how to talk to people normally, they only do 'seminar mode' i.e asking all the questions, and answering in questions
  10. Guru's have an overinflated sense of self-belief....until they step off the stage and mime their way through life
And the biggest one of all

    11.  Guru's need you to believe in them, to believe in themselves

If you are low on hope and want to get back on the road to happiness find someone wise who will support, and help YOU, to trust YOURSELF, to change YOUR OWN life and create your own resources and solutions.. They come from a place of service and wont be driving a yellow Ferrari, or peddling their lives as a show home.

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