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Top 20 personal development gurus

Five Lies Personal Development Gurus Like to Tell

Five Lies Personal Development Gurus Like to TellPersonal development gurus tell some impressive lies in order to sell their products. That’s right. Lies.

These convenient little falsehoods are effective motivators because they play on primal human needs and emotions. Shouldn’t people who promote personal growth for a living be uncommonly straightforward in their marketing? Sadly, this is far from true, even among the popular names in the field.

The good news is that once you understand these, you are free to grow and develop in realistic ways.

  • Guru Lie #1: You can have anything you want.
    It sounds so good, especially after you have been swept away by a motivational message that ignites your passion for becoming all you can be. You can do anything you put your mind to! There is only one problem. You can’t. You cannot have anything you want in life. When it comes down to it, this lie is so blatant that it is downright silly.

In high school I was a gifted tennis player with dreams of playing in college and taking my shot at the pros. I lived, breathed and dreamed tennis. I’m not sure I have ever wanted anything more than to play tennis for a living. Then my shoulders went bad. One rotator-cuff injury lead to another and before long my dreams slipped away. My body wasn’t up for it, so I never even had a chance to defy the one in a million odds of hitting the pro circuit. That’s life.

That is life. You don’t always get what you want and there are many desirable things that lie eternally outside the sphere of possibility. I want to go to the moon. I want to protect my teenagers from every lurking danger in life (as they go about pursuing those very dangers). I’ll never play basketball like Michael Jordan or write like Shakespeare. I don’t have those gifts.

This is actually good news. If you set out to accomplish something totally realistic like starting a new business or getting a promotion or losing 10 pounds or being a better partner, you will be much more likely to achieve it. And there are more wonderful, realistic things to accomplish than you can possibly get around to in a lifetime.

  • Guru Lie #2: Change is easy.
    I’m not suggesting that change is necessarily difficult. It just needs to be looked at from a different perspective, like this one: All change requires sacrifice. That line doesn’t make for good sales copy though, does it? Nevertheless, it is true. Sometimes the sacrifice is relatively easy, which makes it less noticeable. At other times the required sacrifice is overwhelming. If I want to lose weight, I need to give up the donuts. If I want to stop arguing, I need to quit indulging my temper. If I want to improve my financial situation, I will need to spend less (sacrificing whatever I was spending more on) or make more money (sacrificing my time and energy doing whatever that takes).


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