Keep the Change

Motivational speakers and their self-development seminars are the snake oil salesmen of modern Manila.

You’ve seen the type I mean in pastoral literature and in that Paul McCartney-Michael Jackson music video: selling their miracle cures to a populace hungry for some formula that will make them better, stronger, faster, more popular, more goal-oriented, and, ultimately, several thousand pesos poorer.

Landmark, Flex, John Robert Powers, Speechpower, etcetera etcetera have created an entire industry out of telling people how to live in order to achieve more. For anything from 5,000 to 30,000 of your hard-earned pesos, they will let you in on their life-changing secrets of success. The seminar fee is nothing, they argue, compared to what you can gain. It’s really just to defray expenses as they change the world one person at a time.

And here is where the problem lies: Much like penis-pumps, if their methods are as effective as they claim, then everybody would be using them. This will then only raise the bar, not make the individual more effective, or efficient or whatever. It’s like having a +10 Sword of Cleaving in a world of +10 Swords of Cleaving. Eventually, they will all just be swords. This may be a marketing strategy, though, escalating into a full-fledged self-improvement arms race that nobody will win but nobody is prepared to lose.

Also, if they want to change the world that badly, then why bother with invitations and seminar fees? Several centuries ago, the world was put to fire and sword as the followers of the Cross and the Crescent engaged in large-scale warfare with each other in spreading and defending their own True Faith. Those were bloody times, admittedly. Some might even say that those centuries were dark, positively medieval. But by God, they managed to change the world. True, the world is probably no better, but change it did. And there was no nonsense about paying thousands to hear the meaning of life: you either did or died.

That being said, the Indolent Indio presents the open-source painful secret of gods, men and motivational speakers.

Self development in a nutshell:

1 . Believe in yourself.

2. Set a goal.

3. Decide on best way to reach your goal.

3. Do it.

Mileage may vary. Always remember: the habits of highly-effective people may also be the very same habits of ineffective people.

One comment

  1. If I may, I’d like to add a third step 3 very much related to the first two:

    3. If you fail, go back to the first step 3 and continue from there until you succeed.

    In a world where Murphy’s Law is gospel truth, Persistence is a mighty sword! 🙂

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