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How to AVOID Self-Development Scams…

27 June 2011 No Comment

african american businessman with box on head

I was exchanging ideas with a good friend of mine yesterday, and he asked me a GREAT question…something along the lines of:

“B, you did a dope post the other day about the self-help industry having a lot of scams…something called Is the Self-Help Industry a SHAM??? (“Deceptive Intelligence” at it’s Worst…) Being that self-development HAS become a commercial industry…being that most of the material is engineered for profit, not for actually helping people, how do you know when you’re dealing with the real deal or not???

For more on this scam on how it works, click here. For answers on what to do about it, read below…

1: Know That Real Self-Development HURTS

african american woman afraidReal self-help material is not the intellectual equivalent of some feel-good movie, real self-development HURTS.

Just like physical exercise hurts in order to develop your body, self-development is mental exercise that hurts in order to develop your thinking process and emotional strength.

For some odd reason though, although we know that being healthier, more fit or better coordinated in a physical sense requires pain and effort, we don’t apply that same common sense to the other areas of life, and the self-help scam caters to that delusion.

The bottom line is, if you want to change your behaviors, you have to change your THOUGHTS (more specifically, your subconscious beliefs), and real self-help work helps guide you through that process.

So anything that promises quick fixes or immediate results should raise a red flag in your mind.

And if at least 40-50% of what you’re doing to make more money, create better relationships or get your health back in order doesn’t push you out of your comfort zone, re-examine your study materials and action plan.

2: READ, Don’t Just Listen and Watch

african american woman readingThis is a big one, so I’ll try to cover it quickly. Basically, reading activates your intelligence at a deeper level then listening to an audio or watching a video (which is why I recommend scrolls all the time).

Ever notice how when you listen to something rather then watch it visually you pick up a little more?

Ever watch a movie based on a book you loved and feel like the film destroyed the whole experience?

That’s because your imagination and critical thinking become LESS involved the MORE involved the medium of communication. The sounds and visual content distract you from the information…too much of your attention will go to the quality of somebody’s voice, their body language, the background scenery, etc. etc. and not the actual ideas.

Nine times out of 10, we prefer the visual over the literary because WE’RE LAZY: it’s just easier to sit down and watch a video then to read a few paragraphs of the same stuff, and when we see a few blocks of text, our minds immediately go Oh God…I don’t want to read all this.” and move on.

The trick here is to dis-associate reading from labor in your own mind. Keep forcing yourself to read, read and read some more until you realize that it’s not that bad at all, and in fact, takes LESS effort (and is more efficient) than watching video.

You’ll learn more, have more insights, develop yourself faster and become a more well read person because of it.

3: Take it Back to the Old-School

african american male taking picturesTruth be told, this self-development scam is a relatively new thing. I’d say it’s been around for at least 40 years, but it’s only permeated the game to the extent that it does now for the last 10 or 15.

Just like with hip-hop music, we’ve ALWAYS had flakes and sell-outs trying to make a quick dollar, but it’s only recently that the game itself has become a an outright fraud.

If you take it back to the roots (or anything before 2000, really), you’ll find that the concentration was a lot more pure then it is now, and you’ll also see where a lot of this new stuff comes from.

So, as a metaphor, make sure you have a few classics in your library, like:

>> How to Build Your Mate’s Self-Esteem by Dennis & Barbara Rainey (originally came out in 1948)
>> Black Folk’s Guide to Making Big Money in America by George Trower-Subira (originally 1980, I think)
>> African Holistic Health by Dr. Liala Afrika (the FOURTH edition came out in 1993, I think, so that tells you how far back this one goes)

So that’s it for now. In essence, to avoid self-development scams, make sure that you’re reading, make sure that you’re reading the old-school greats, and, most of all, make sure that you’re challenging yourself…


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