motivations of some self-help gurus

motivations of some self-help gurus

Some self-help gurus erroneously believe that they have a system that will help liberate people. And if they're talented communicators who have charisma, then a lot of people will come and listen to them. The more people that listen to them, the more such self-help gurus will believe what they are saying and teaching.

Does that mean that people shouldn't help each other? Absolutely not. Our mothers and fathers helped us to mature and develop when we were children. Police departments and fire departments in our cities help us in emergency situations. Instructors help skydivers avoid injury and death.

Teachers should not talk as if they know that what they have to say will be the final answer to everyone's problems. A good teacher should be able to talk about themselves and their own problems honestly, and even be self-deprecating at times.

For the most part, the idea that I can stand up and tell you how to get better is ridiculous. But I do believe that I am competent to say some things that would be helpful to you. So, if I see myself as a teacher then it's a bit of a paradox that I can't get attached to your learning the things that I teach.

As a teacher, I could get seduced by my own vanity. And if I became a famous teacher and guru who could turn followers into fanatics, I'd get intoxicated from their admiration and attention: No matter how good my intentions were or how strong my character was, I'd be at risk of such intoxication.

If you hear teachers speak about how many people they've rescued and saved, it's likely that they have something to sell. And their selling their products and services may be more important to them than their goal of healing people.

Yet there are people who help others just for the sake of helping and healing others. But they rarely get a lot of attention or popularity. In fact, being an activist or a person who professionally serves others in their community is usually the lowest paying job in society.

For example, consider great teachers who are broke. They’re not in financial straits because they're not smart enough to figure out how to make tons of money luring people into their folds. They just don't pay a lot of attention to getting rich because they're busy helping people and being passionate about their chosen projects.

Yet some people can make enormous amounts of cash but take that cash and put it back into charitable causes. There are most definitely people who do that. Yet how easy is it to find such people in these modern times? There are lots of people in positions of power who are tremendously influential in society. But many, perhaps most of them don't take their responsibility to be of benefit to society seriously enough. They are too focused on themselves, their desires, and their vanity.

Note that I'm using the word “vanity” and not using the word “ego.” It’s a mistake to demonize what the ego is. The ego is a part of you that makes you special and different from the eight billion or so other people on this planet: You're different from them in many ways, including how you think and how you organize your ideas.

I want you to be aware of something that’s very important: Specifically, that you are your own best guru. You're out of childhood, you're no longer breastfeeding, and you're old enough to take care of yourself and make your own decisions and choices. You're old enough to set goals, and you're old enough to set your alarm clock in the morning so that you can go about achieving those goals.

And, very importantly, you're old enough to prevail in your struggles in life, particularly struggles with addictions that hold you back. You should make a list of all the addictive behavior patterns in your life, even if you don't yet intend to surrender them. Then, you have to become willing to surrender the addictions that you haven't yet addressed.

You will have to do a few things to prepare for such surrender. You’ll have to speak positive words, talk with others who can help you, and write quite a bit. In doing so, you’ll essentially be doing what advertisers and marketers do. You’ll be repeating positive messages to yourself over and over again. Repetition will make it so that positive messages and ideas will influence your behavior. You’ll be able to quit smoking, quit drinking, quit eating junk food, and snuff out other behaviors as they surface, as if you’re playing “whack-a-mole” with them. And the more you do so, the farther along you’ll get in your journey towards happiness and good mental and physical health.

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