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What is an Anti-Guru?


We are living in a more and more complicated world. People are searching for answers and most are coming up short. We are being led to believe that there is something wrong with us because we can't figure it all out.


The human condition has always been fraught with feelings of inadequacy. To be human is to sometimes feel as though we are not enough or we are doing something wrong. In a society now dominated by social media, this problem has become beyond exacerbated!


The world has always been filled with opportunists dating back to the snake oil salesmen of the 19th century. People who capitalize on the struggles of others and in my opinion, the snake oil salesmen of our time are those people who claim to be gurus.


I think it's important to point out what constitutes a guru in the way that I believe it to be. In my opinion, a guru has four distinct characteristics and they are very different than those people who I consider to be an expert.


1) They claim to have THE simple answer to a very complicated situation or problem.

The operative words here are "the" and "simple". An anti-guru knows that there is no ONE answer to a problem and there is very rarely a simple answer to most problems that you would be seeking a solution.


2) They claim that their answer is the universal answer for everyone regardless of someone’s personal situation.


Whether it's personal growth, health, relationships, or business...everyone has different experiences, histories, and wounds they bring to the table. An anti-guru believes that no o two people are the same and no two situations are the same so it is arrogant and foolish to believe that you have a "one size fits all" solution to the problems that any one person is facing.


3) Their main focus is not to educate you or make you think for yourself, rather, it’s to convince you of the validity of their claim.


A guru's success depends on them convincing you that they have the answer. The anti-guru educates and encourages you to think for yourself based on the knowledge and information that you have found.


4) Their main marketing strategies involve envy, fear, and desperation.


This is the biggest problem I have with gurus. Their entire existence is built around trying to convince you how perfect they are so that you will want to emulate their lifestyle and success.


Look at me! Look at my fabulous, perfect life! Follow my plan and you too can make tons of money (or lose weight or find your soulmate or love yourself, etc, etc), and all of your problems will disappear and you will be happy and successful like me!


If their program doesn't work (which is oftentimes the case) they use shame as a way of making you feel as though it is somehow your fault. I guess you didn't want it bad enough.


The sad truth is that these tactics work...REALLY well!


And, listen, I am not above falling for these tactics myself. Like every human being, I have low points in my life where my relationships, health, or business are not exactly where I want them to be. During these times I am much more susceptible to entertaining the possibility that there is one simple solution and I just need to find it.


At these low points in our lives we often feel so frustrated, angry, and hopeless that feeling as though there might actually be a simple solution that will make the pain go away can give us the sense of calm and reassurance that we are so desperately seeking.


The problem is that this is a temporary solution. We break down and buy into the idea of the quick fix only to realize that we are no better off. We are typically worse off because of the time and money that has been wasted.


Here is the good news…there are answers. There are solutions.


The anti-guru approach is not about NOT seeking answers and solutions. It’s about seeking answers and solutions from a place of inquisitiveness not desperation.


The anti-guru approach is also about understanding that trial, error, patience, and perseverance are important components to finding the answers and solutions that are right for you.


I am someone who has struggled with my weight my whole life. At one point about 9 years ago, I got up to my highest weight of 310 lbs!


Talk about desperation! I would have tried just about anything to lose weight and I did. From the cabbage soup diet to keto, shakes, pills, and shots. I tried it all and nothing worked!


I finally found a solution that worked for me with the Weight Watchers program. However, just because I found a solution that worked for me did not mean it was quick or easy. As a matter of fact, I started and stopped the program 15 times! Each time I quit, I felt intense feelings of shame and disappointment in myself for having failed again. The difference this time was that I had a strong intuitive feeling that this was the right answer for me. I knew it wasn’t going to be a quick fix but I felt like if anything was going to work for me, this was it.


I can’t tell you why on the 16th time rejoining the program it stuck but it did and I was able to lose 150 lbs and keep it off for over 8 years.


I tell you this story because I feel as though it’s a perfect illustration of what it takes to create lasting, changes in your life. Whether it’s with your health, relationships, or business.


My solution for losing weight or having better relationships or succeeding in business may not be the same as yours and that is exactly my point. There is no ONE right answer and anything that is going to have a lasting impact on your life is more likely than not going to be challenging.


It was not an easy decision to take a stand as an "anti-guru" but I feel as though it's important to stand up to those people whose intentions are to manipulate at any cost in pursuit of status and financial gain.


My hope is that my sentiments will resonate with some of you and that you will begin to question the status quo. You don't need a guru. There is no one answer except to keep moving forward and seeking the many different answers that may be right for you.

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