THE TRUTH hurts but sometimes it must be said. So here I go…
Over the past few years, I’ve tried my hand at a few borrowed self help type of books discussing subjects such as goal setting to creating wealth to being happy, plus a bunch of other topics. My goal: to find the key to success. I read all of those books believing that it will help me to get all of the things I’ve ever wanted in my life.
I’ve heard stories about people with an addiction to motivational books. They are on a perpetual hunt for ever more information. Others spend neat sums of their hard-earned money attending ridiculously expensive seminars, all in the desperate hope of one day becoming successful. Many of these people go into debt because of it, thinking that it’s an investment in their future so it’s okay. No wonder motivational books have evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.
As the ever stylish motivational speakers like to put it these days, “Skip a meal, but don’t skip a good book.” These men and women keep churning out book after motivational book, as if the keys to success keep changing with time.
Well, my experience with motivational books made me to finally figure out the secret to success. It is that there aren’t any secrets.
Anyone who has earned success in any aspect of their life did it by taking action, not clinging onto motivational gurus’ every word. You know why those motivational speakers make so much money? It’s because they are out there every day churning out books and creating value, at least perceived value, for your reading pleasure. Men who are physically fit have the kind of biceps that they do because they have been breaking a sweat at the gym with unwavering discipline. Similarly, some people have great relationships with their friends, spouses and kids because they work on and nurture those relationships constantly.
One of the most questionable arguments that recurs in many a motivational speaker’s speech is the notion that “things could be a lot worse, so accept your fate.” Of course, things could be a lot worse. Things could be worse in any instance, as natural disasters, dehumanizing poverty, and armed conflict going on around the world can attest to. At the same time, however, how do these problems in any way affect or connect with problems that I am going through now? To say that you should just accept life as it is, is tantamount to never striving for change!
The motivational speaker is a man who promises you heaven on earth, only if you could just follow a simple set formula; “You don’t actually have to sacrifice anything,” they will assert. Sorry, life is tough, and we all must sacrifice one thing in order to accomplish or acquire something else.
Then the assumption that “you can handle your problems without needing help from others” is an underlying theme in most motivational books. One wonders where went the “no man is an island” adage? When the going gets tough, hold on to your nearest and dearest, and learn to ask for help just when you need it.