The thing about the personal development industry that gets my goat is the idea that we should always help those who are already winning at life.
Why? Because the work will be easier for you. Because you’ll get paid more and faster. Because these people are already motivated to win even more at life.
I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with that, actually.
I have experienced one too many times how soul-crushing it can be to try and help people who don’t want to help themselves.
But here’s my problem.
Who gets to decide who the winners (and losers) are? Who gets to tell you what winning looks like? What makes one a winner and another a loser?
What most personal development coaches, teachers, and gurus continue to ignore is that the criteria is set hugely in favor of Western ideals.
The winners get to be making hundreds of thousands in US dollars already.
They get to have the hot bodies because they can afford to buy organic and fair-trade.
They get to have Instagram-perfect relationships.
The winners have their hearts set on their goals. They have unwavering determination. They are willing to risk it all, no matter what the consequences may be. They are committed to action. And they endlessly invest time and money to become better versions of themselves.
And the losers? Well, the losers are just the rest of the world. The losers are the mediocre. They are the masses. They’re too preoccupied with unimportant things like getting to eat three meals a day and being able to send their children to a decent school—heck, no, any school—to even think about investing in themselves.
In other words, the losers are us.
It doesn’t matter that we are just as determined as the winners. It doesn’t matter that, deep down, we also feel the same urge to make the world a better place as much as the winners do.
If we’re not making the money, if we don’t have the body, and if we’re single as single as fuck can be, we’re still the losers of the world.
And that gets my goat.
Because I sure as hell know I am not a loser. And I sure as hell know you are not one either.
The thing with the $11 billion personal development industry is it works hard to be an $11 billion industry.
Those coaches, teachers, and gurus we look up to? They tell us one thing and do another. They tell us everyone has the potential to be massively successful. They say we all have the capacity to great things.
And yet, they keep us out of their gates because they automatically assume we’re losers.
They think we haven’t done the work it takes to be elevated to winning status—when, in fact, the very fact that we live in the poorer countries of the world with far less access to the resources they take for granted and continue to thrive is more than enough preparation for us.
And they think we won’t be doing the work—when, in fact, we continue to keep doing the inner and outer work day in and day out in our un-airconditioned homes and without the help of a white guy in a suit and tie promising he’s gonna change the world for us.
The thing about the $11 billion Western-centric personal development industry is it assumes personal development isn’t for us.
It assumes we don’t want it.
It assumes we don’t have it.
It assumes we don’t deserve stepping into the best version of ourselves.
Because when that happens—when, not if!—when we, the masses, the ordinary persons of the world step into our full power, the social, political, economic, and environmental systems that are in place to keep the status quo will crumble to the ground.
We won’t allow ourselves to be paid peanuts to help dollar millionaires become richer.
We won’t fucking care what religions think of our sexual inclinations, spiritual beliefs, and personal lives. No, we won’t go out on the streets to protest our human rights. That gives them still far too much power than is good for us or them. We just won’t care at all.
We won’t let other countries stop us at their borders while they keep coming in day in and day out into ours.
And we won’t let them exploit our natural resources, let alone vote for public officials who will let them do that.
Entire governments, churches, educational institutions, the media, and even non-government organizations secretly working for the elite will have absolutely zero power over you, over us, over the masses—if you could only find it in yourself to find that power within.
And I know. It’s not the easiest thing to do.
I keep working on it myself. I have found glimpses of it. I may even have found it. But, every day, I still have to work on finding it again and again until the day comes when I simply wake up and it’s there.
And, every day, the power I get in touch with keeps pushing me to share this with you.
It’s scary as hell, you know? To keep writing post after post that barely a handful of my Facebook friends read about a subject that nobody’s willing to admit they read about—when, in fact, I know for sure everyone wants to read about it. Yes, I know FOR SURE that you want to become the best version of yourself. And if it’s not you, then your higher self does.
But it’s not just about me anymore. I started on this journey looking for ways to love myself because I knew I wasn’t loving myself enough. I am now at this point in the journey where I’m learning that loving myself involves loving others as well.
Personal development, self-improvement, spiritual growth—whatever it’s called—always starts out with yourself. But it most definitely doesn’t end there. It compels you to reach out to the rest of the world, both to the so-called winners and losers of the game.
In reality, there really aren’t any winners or losers. There are just people who live in different parts of the world, born into different circumstances and have different lessons to learn.
Most coaches will nod their heads to that. “Yes, that’s true,” they’d say, but won’t actually know what it means until they travel to other parts of the world. And even then, they’d think we’re poor and starving and would prefer to work for a measly amount of their dollars instead of going out to the rice fields with mud on our hands and pests on our legs. (True story! A Filipina-American actually told me this is how Filipinos live.)
And even most coaches in this country will sell big dreams to the masses—dreams that are big enough to get people to pay for their courses but not big enough to actually change the whole freakin’ world. Honestly, if you’re not working on that, why even work on anything at all? Because we were programmed to think we’re losers, and losers don’t change the world.
The only reason we are the losers of the world, at least in the eyes of, well, pretty much everybody including ourselves, is so we can stop being the losers of the world.
And the only way to do that?
Start being a winner, in thought, word, and deed.
Stop listening to those who say otherwise, including yourself.
This is why I write what I write, why I teach what I teach.
Because you deserve to be a winner. You have everything it takes to be a winner. You already ARE a winner.
You just need to realize it first.