The mania of personal development

The Bible or any other religious text has been usurped by the ‘be all you can be’ encyclopedia. 

In short, you can be and should be anything you want

And then what?

What happens when you’ve self-actualised?

Are you a more loving, caring person?

Do you help others more than you think is safe?

Do you give away your vast or modest fortune?

Or, do you save the oceans from ultimate destruction?

No, I’m not being flippant in positing these questions: I’m deadly serious.

Perhaps in my old age, I’ve become cynical about something that I once took as part of my destiny. I never expected anything but if the gods were with me, I expected with my messianic zeal and, at times, over the top self-belief, to become a better version of myself, and get somewhere better.

Sadly, it all fell apart in 2010 when I realised (after all) that I was mortal. 

Since then I’ve questioned everything and anything that made up my story. In reality, it’s not my story but one I took as mine from years and years of acculturation of a narrative that made me believe in the personal development credo. In hindsight, I should have looked to my own ‘life’ experience and not been so easily seduced into accepting the word of others — gurus or otherwise.

As they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Going forward, it’s not that I’ve closed my eyes or ears to anything that doesn’t chime with my values, but I now realise that life is nothing more than a series of endings, and knowing something is not the same as learning something, particuarly from our elders — the few that still remain.

If my touchstone means anything, it’s to connect with my deeper wisdom from a previous generation who, whilst they didn’t have everything figured out, sure as hell didn’t need a guru to tell them how to live their life.

Have a great Wednesday.

Deep bows.

Photo by Wei Ding on Unsplash