The Self-Help Quagmire

The Self-Help Quagmire

One of the fastest growing and explosive industries in the world today – is that of self-improvement. The self-improvement gurus of the world are everywhere, especially on the internet; all desperately trying to grab your attention, your email address and most importantly, your money.
If the Eighties was the decade of the fitness craze; with Jazzercise, Jazzergetics and Jazz…..just about anything; the Nineties was the decade of the ME Generation, governed and driven by one burning desire – to create more wealth for ME; although to what end, I’m not totally sure; then what of the Twenty-First Century?
The first decade of this Century has been marked, without a doubt, by the information explosion. The internet has opened up the world to just about everyone. The decade’s most compelling feature has been the explosion of online Social Media; be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or the veritable host of other ways of connecting and communicating with people.These trends all have one interlinking and fascinating thread. None of them, it seems has made us any wiser, any happier, or any more fulfilled. We still seem to be searching for that panacea – that formula that will help us understand the point of our existence – Herald the decade of the “self-improvement gurus!”

It’s almost as if all over the world, the baby-boomers of the fifties and sixties have either just reached retirement or are rapidly approaching it; and they are sitting back and asking the question: Is this it? Is this what I’ve been slaving away for sixty hours a week to achieve? Into this vacuum of knowledge and doubt, riding astride their white chargers come the self-help gurus to solve all of our problems with their particular system or program.

Since I began my own voyage of self-discovery around four years ago, I’ve read, listened to, or watched many of these programs and let me tell you right off the bat – many of them are incredibly compelling and hard to resist. I thank God every single day that I don’t have a credit card because I have no doubt if I did, I would have succumbed to the temptation on numerous occasions and my shelves would be filled, like so many other people’s, with books, DVD’s and computer programs that I’d read or viewed and then consigned to the shelf in the sure and certain knowledge that my life was about to get better – NOT!

Now, I’ve never paid any of these people a cent (although it’s quite probable that one day I will – as there is so much more I want to know) but my point is there is enough free information on any of their websites to literally change your life FOREVER. I want to give you just a few of the absolute gems that I have discovered to date on my journey. Over the next six weeks I will expand on each of these in turn, but for now I would like to just give you some food for thought and ideas on what makes for a life full of purpose and joy:

  1. Life is SUPPOSED to be good: You are meant to live a life of joy and happiness, doing what you absolutely love doing and making a difference. You were not meant to live a life of struggle and pain – What would be the point of your life?
  2. Attitude is Everything: I love Henry Ford’s quote to describe best what I mean by this: “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t – you’re right.” Everything we do needs to be approached with an attitude of achievement.
  3. Love is the ultimate power in the Universe: Everything good, joyful and wonderful in this world and in our life is brought about by love. The key to success and happiness is to “fall in love with life”.
  4. Fear, doubt, anxiety, and worry rob us of the wonderful opportunities that are presented to us every single day. The key is to live in the PRESENT!
  5. Happiness IS a choice: Happiness is a personal choice that we can and should make every single day. Why would you decide to be unhappy? As Andy Shaw would say in his no-nonsense way; “That’s just insanity!”
  6. Gratitude is the oil that makes the engines of abundance flow freely. I can’t actually tell you where I got this little gem of a quote from, but to me it sums it up perfectly. “If the only prayer you ever utter in your entire life is; ‘Thank You’, then that is enough”.

So there we have it; the six fundamental, core beliefs I now live my life by. As I said earlier, I’ll devote the next six blogs to expanding and explaining more about those core beliefs. Why? Because it really is that critical to understanding the power of the Universe. There are so many “gurus” out there now, that sometimes you just have to strip away the puffery and look at the core. All of the gurus have these core beliefs, they just have their own unique way of presenting them and in doing so, have created an enormous, billion-dollar industry.


This article is an abridged version of a much more expansive article on the topic. The full text of the original article can be found here:

Grant Leishman
I am an expatriate New Zealander living in Manila, The Philippines, with my wife and two step-daughters. At age 55, after careers in Finance and Journalism, I have finally discovered my true passion in life - writing and I am now truly "living the dream", writing full-time.

My first novel is a romantic fantasy about the return of Jesus Christ to modern day Manila to try and sort out the problems of the world - yet again! It was published in June 2015. My second novel "Just a Drop in the Ocean" is completed and should be published later in 2015. The sequel to "The Second Coming" - "The Rise of the AntiChrist" is now with the publishers. I am working on third and final book in the series "Holy War"
1 Comment
  1. […] The Self-Help Quagmire One of the fastest growing and explosive industries in the world today – is that of self-improvement. The self-improvement gurus of the world are everywhere, especially on the internet; all desperately trying to grab your atte…  […]

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