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You Don't Need a Guru!

I heard the words again today.

James (not his real name) had called and asked me for some input on how he could achieve more success in his life. After about 5 minutes he said, "I'm thinking about hiring a life coach. Y'know, someone who will look at my life and tell me the areas they think I should work on."

I'll tell you the same thing I told James: the LAST thing you need in your life is someone telling you what to do. But, it brings up an interesting concept that most people don't get.

One of the most overlooked success principles that I see when looking at the personal development industry is this: no one seems to be talking about personal certainty.

In fact, I think that the greatest strength of personal development is sometimes it's biggest weakness: in an effort to teach other people how to be more successful...

unknowingly ALSO teach them that they need a guru. Or a "life coach". Sometime to tell them what to do. Which, when you think about it, is one of the most INVALIDATING things that you can do to another human being.

Imagine how incapable your child would be if you taught them that they weren't able to know anything for themselves. Imagine how confused they would be in life if you told them that red wasn't their favorite they should like blue instead. Or that art isn't really where they should spend their should spend their time reading.

Eventually that kid wouldn't have a clue how to live. They'd be constantly seeking the approval of others and looking around to make sure that what they're doing is the "right" and "accepted" thing to do.

If that seems like nonsensical examples, they're not. "Personal development" has been my professional career for the last 4 1/2 years and I cannot count the times that people have come to me asking for assistance in how to move forward in their they seem completely disempowered and invalidated.

Why? Because society - (and I'm including many of the people in the personal development industry) - has taught them that they cannot succeed without a "Secret" that's possessed by someone else. That they need a coach, a guru or a leader to follow.

It's a subtle but insidious misuse of what personal development is supposed to be about.

Personal development IS about learning from others. Is IS about connecting with people who have achieved the results you want and learning. It IS about being able to tap into other people's experiences. It IS about being supported by a community.

But, it's also about achieving a level of personal certainty in your OWN self so that you can actually have the self-confidence in life to look at things with your own two eyes and to know what you think about something. Without that thought having to be approved by someone who's supposedly more "enlightened" than you are.

Let me make this clear: if you expect to achieve any significant success (in any area of life), it will require you to KNOW FOR YOURSELF. It will require you to be self-reliant. It will require you to have a sense of personal to acknowledge yourself as a sovereign individual.

And when you choose THAT way of 'll find that YOU are your own guru. And that you're tapping into the actual power and wisdom that was yours all along.