View Full Version : Self-help gurus
03-10-2010, 01:55 AM
As I think I've mentioned before somewhere, I was an F. Scott Peck fan, and still am. I'm not sure if he'd be considered a guru by the modern definition, but I still think PBS should send me a free coffee cup and tote bag.
03-10-2010, 05:23 AM
I've read Steve Pavlina's blog for a number of years now and although not everything he writes is relevant to me I definitely think he's the real deal.
My father is quite into these self help gurus so as a result I've read many of their books. Most of these gurus don't know a whole lot and just suggest the obvious, 'positive thinking', 'stop complaining!', 'start making goals' etc.
Despite reading the material of so many the only two that have really shaped my thinking are Steve Pavlina and Eckhart Tolle in his book, a new earth. I had already read his book the power of now but didn't think much of it. He basically explained buddhism in a very unclear way as far as I remember.
03-10-2010, 06:02 AM
There may be a couple ones out there that have something useful to say, but these are really just things that you know anyway. The biggest "help" offered is a kick in the pants to get you to do what you know you should be doing anyway.
For the most part, if anything self-help experts said really worked, the whole Self Help and Actualization Movement (SHAM), would come to end. There would be no further need for it.
03-10-2010, 10:49 AM
Self help gurus have bad reputation because of the so-called desperation factor of
that particular market; there is high OCI and chance of getting high conversion rates,
and that's one reason that many marketers get into that niche, and start promoting
their books, courses or offers. Some of them might be focused on the long-term
relationships with their readers, like Brian Tracy or Masterson, while some will go for
the short term quick profits, and will use their persuasion & copywriting powers to
achieve maximal CR with each one of their potential leads.
Trouble is... majority of people lack critical reasoning skills, they are naive, and the
catalyst of all of this is their emotional inclination towards solving their problems, which
is higher than in majority of other niches. That makes them marketers' favorite targets,
along with the financial & weight loss folks.
It's hard to give a good advice on how to avoid scammers or just unethical marketers
("unethical" is the key; most of big site owners have transcended into the marketing
realms, but they don't have to be unethical in their business), so I won't go into that
Who are my favorite self-help gurus? Skipping the argument about the exact domain of
the "self-help" term, I will nominate:
1. Brian Tracy - mostly business oriented stuff, his main themes being: productivity,
PD strategy, goal setting (yeah, again, but from all the books that I've read on that
and other related topics, his interpretation is still #1 for me), sales, business strategy,
2. Jim Rohn - stereotypical self-help stuff, but with Rohn's smart peculiar twist.
3. Anthony Robbins - still my favorite general self-help guru, aside from his latest
venture into the world of internet marketing, which will seriously affect our conversions
long term (by bringing a bunch of idiots into the IM world).
4. Various individual authors with one or two books published, I could mention 10 more
names here, but I'm somehow lazy for that. ;)
Most books are content free, a few others are repackaged Buddhism and very few are genuinely life-changing. The seemingly obvious stuff in most books can be of help to those whose minds are preoccupied with a sense of failure and stagnation. And a LOT of people are unfortunate enough to be saddled with counterproductive philosophies since childhood.
03-10-2010, 08:36 PM
I read the title and immediately thought , "No they don't work."
Each person's problem is different. Someone who may have their stressed relieved through yoga may not work for someone else who may relieve stress through physical labor (carrying heavy items, weight training, running... etc.) Likewise, someone with depression might actually do better with pills and shrink while others do better without.
All and all, the major player in helping yourself is essentially yourself, not a self help guru. You find what helps for you, not someone else.
It is like dieting, they don't work. They only work if you continue them. Most people diet for a certain amount of time, stop and begin eating like crazy again only to get fat.
03-10-2010, 09:12 PM
I've found Steve Pavlina to be a rather useful individual to follow, as well. Doesn't shy from the hard hitting stuff, generally widely applicable/fundamental advice, and he doesn't make you pay a membership or buy a book to read all of his articles... they're free on his site. Don't always agree with him, but he strikes as fundamentally honest, even if he is downright crazy. The good kind of crazy, but crazy nonetheless!
Aside from him and occasional articles on the net, though, little experience with the "self help"
03-10-2010, 09:47 PM
I think the best self-help "gurus" are those who inspire you mostly with their behavior and attitude, not with what they say (and lots of these people nowadays seem to be bloggers.) They're mentors who don't necessarily know all the answers but who learn from experience and share a wisdom that connects with you in some way. You choose your "guru" according to your outlook on life, your expectations and what you're trying to achieve. These days I follow people who work to live rather than live to work. People who live the 4-hour or 10-hour workweek and invest their time and money in ways that allow them to travel the world and do what really matters to them. A few names: Yaro Starak, Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau and Leo Babauta. And there are some other names that come out here that I haven't checked out: To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
03-11-2010, 08:15 AM
Some people have some good ideas about some things. Some of those ideas may be helpful for one or more other people to try. I think its a mistake to let info come in without using critical thinking though.
And in general, I DO like to see empirical data that suggests something works, rather than to rely on anecdotal evidence. I'm a skeptic. Not a cynic, but a skeptic in the way that the term used to be used.
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