What No Guru Can Teach You

Oct 10, 2010 | Plain-English Explanations

That I could be successful in a business of my own is not a complete surprise to me. But the complete-and-total-letting-go-while-you-hold-on-for-dear-life that I have had to learn how to pull off on a daily basis has been.

I didn’t know it would be this hard.

I don’t know why I didn’t know. I think I should have known.

Prior to starting this business, I had not experienced success in self-employment. I had tried, but there was what felt like a bullet proof window between me and the success I sought. I could see it…I just couldn’t get there.

What was standing in my way back then was my mindset. My beliefs. One of them was that anyone who comes telling you that you need to change how you think to be successful was full of hooey, plain and simple. Why? Because we all know that you can’t just think your way rich…sorry, Napoleon Hill…there’s something other than thinking involved: Action.

But I think our buddy Napoleon knew that. It’s just me…when I read what he wrote…I wish it were just that easy. Think…and grow rich.

But the real problem is this: How are you supposed to know what to do if you’re in uncharted territory? How are you supposed to think yourself forward? Time marches on whether we do anything, or not, so it’s not merely the passage of time that will make us wiser. Can’t be.

So, you’re right when you conclude that it’s something different you need to do.

How do you figure it out?

Well, the obvious way is to find someone successfully doing what you want to do. Ask them what they did to get where they are and then go do that. But even that’s not going to work completely, because you are not them and they are not you.

In my quest for business success, I have fallen prey to many a ‘guru’…have spent an inordinate amount of money pursuing ‘the secret’ to success right now. Not all that money, time or effort was wasted, because the lesson I learned is that you can’t look outside yourself for the key to your success. You have to look inside.

I used to get extremely frustrated looking around the web because I’d come across so many people making good great money and I’d think, “Why them? I’m smarter. I’ve got more experience. I…” and the list goes on and on.

You can see where this line of thinking will take you: Nowhere…fast.

A much more fruitful use of my time has been to turn my attention inward, asking, “What do you want, Suz?” (I’m continually stunned at how difficult that simple question can be to answer.)

So, the past three years have been about answering that simple little question for myself.

And in answering, I’ve had to become willing to take risks. I’ve had to put myself out there. I’ve had to let go of thoughts, beliefs, ideas and attitudes that held me back. In doing so, I’ve felt scared, vulnerable….naked, even. Definitely not my favorite feelings. But they’ve led to courage, confidence…success, even.

Skills: Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.

Growth: Don’t join an easy crowd. You won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform and achieve are high.

Change: We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.

Activity: The few who do are the envy of the many who watch.

Success: Success is what you attract by the person you become.

~ Jim Rohn (September 17, 1930 – December 5, 2009)

Here’s the paradox: You need your gurus. They are the shortcut to your success, because they can fill in the ‘what to do’ gap when you have no clue. They can also inspire you with their own journeys. They can lead you by example.

But no guru can tell you who you are or teach you how to be you. They can model being themselves, but you are the authority on you. And if you’re not, no guru can really help you.

From this point forward, when you find yourself seeking advice, information, or steps-to-success from the gurus, don’t forget to check it all against what you know about yourself and what you want. Take what works for you and leave the rest. Don’t make anyone but you the authority on you.

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