I watched the final Oprah show and she spent the entire hour spewing platitudes like:
"To live from the heart of yourself...You also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world."
Gag. At least she's rich and friends with Will Smith, so I'll somewhat respect the ambiguously dull things she says. But these other people out there?!
Self-help gurus have always existed--it's one reason I wanted to bash the concept via HOW TO FAIL--but today's world is filled with some even worse breeds. Self-help gurus for the bulk of time have had to at least write a trite book, at least give a few hackneyed speeches, at least prepare a snoozerific church sermon every Sunday while the rest of us were watching football...but not any more.
Now, with the internet, this new breed of self-helpers simply needs to have a WordPress blog and a Twitter account. (And know a shit ton of buzz words.)
Here are a few of this new breed I'm detesting at the moment:
1. People Whose Dream in Life is to Talk about Their Dream in Life
"You're not rich, famous, successful yet? Well you could be--if you just did a better job of dreaming about it. You ask why I'm not rich, famous, and successful myself? Because I don't want to be. My dream in life is to talk about my dreams in life. And to help you realize your dreams in life...."
"Let me help you, become YOU..."
You're missing purpose.
You need to define your core values.
You need to develop a personal mission statement
You need some clarity.
Coaches are essentially saying, "Look, you're a lazy, unfocused, unsuccessful piece of shit. You know it. And now I know it."
We need some "sessions"--buzz word for the hour we drink coffee together that costs you $500, or worse, the thirty minutes we Skype together during which I wear pajamas and which costs you $250--at least once a week, to help you become YOU.
Of course, most of your success comes from you (I mean, YOU), when you're without me, so while I do promise I will help you dream...I don't promise you will actually accomplish these stupid, stupid dreams.
4. Productivity Gurus
"OK, here's what you need to do to start getting some work done..."
Quit looking at e-mail, checking Twitter and Facebook every five seconds, monitoring your Amazon ranking, watching reality TV, eating snacks, masturbating, having friends, going outside....
You don't say.
It gets to the point where you start to go, "Hey wait a second, if the entire world consisted of these kinds of people, then we would have no novels, no movies, no pop music, and no art.
We would just have a mass of people telling people to seize the day and live their dreams and shoot for the stars and quit their day jobs.
I was talking to James Altucher about this concept and why the internet is flooded with these kinds of charlatans and he had one simple explanation:
"Because they haven't done anything in life."
Just do something in life. That's the only advice you need. You don't need coaches or experts to tell you that. Spoiler alert: You don't even need to dream about it.
You just need to do something.
(Now give me $500 for that hour of my time.)