5 Signs a Self-help Guru is Really a Bullshit Artist

October 14th, 2010
There are thousands upon thousands of self-proclaimed gurus who promise to teach you how to solve all your problems (for a price, of course).  We, at DSP, aren’t going to stop you from seeking the answers, but we will help you figure out if the guru you’re seeking answers from is nothing but a bullshit artist.

Here are 5 ways to figure it out if your favorite guru is a bullshit artist:

1. He always speaks in platitudes

What is a platitude?

It’s a trite, meaningless statement that is presented as significant and original.
In other words, it’s something that sounds smart, but is really BULLSHIT.

The wonderful thing about platitudes is that it allows a bullshitter to talk for a long time with actually saying anything of substance.  Need an example?

If you want to get something in life ,you need to think big to be big.  Don’t go halfway.  Go the distance.  If you think small, you are small.  If you don’t go all the way, you’ll fail.  The ordinary settle for what they have; the extraordinary go for what they want. To be great, you have to think great.  It’s not enough to settle for the good.  Go for the great.

If you have any clue what the above means, please let me know.  I just strung a bunch of platitudes together.  BS gurus do this with regularity.  I’ve heard some of them talk for over an hour hour and never figured out what they were saying.

2. He emphasizes the end result and not the effort

For example,  a get-rich quick BS guru will always emphasize a luxurious lifestyle.

People who really get rich have to work for it (unless they inherited it).  But you’ll never hear that.  You’ll only hear:

You’ll be sitting in your yacht watching the dollars fill up your bank account.  Feel the cool breeze on your face, taste the cool drink from your hand, and listen to the sweet melody of the computer alerts telling you that new money has flowed effortlessly into your bank account.

These first two signs alone can tell you a lot..  But a true BS guru doesn’t really show his stripes until you ask them questions–especially “how to” questions because they avoid telling you how to do anything–at all costs.

3. When questioned on the “how to,” the BS guru always goes back to #2.

Q: How will I make all this money with your millionaire mindset program?

A: When you’re on your yacht watching the dollars fill up your bank account, you won’t have to think about making money. You’ll only be thinking about the cool breeze on your face, the cold drink in your hand, and listening to the sweet melody of the alerts from your bank that new money has effortlessly rolled in…as you’re sitting on your brand new yacht.

4. When questioned further about the “how to”, he goes back to #1

Q:  But how will I get the money to buy the yacht?

A: You get big by thinking big.

5. When someone asks AGAIN about the “how to”, the BS guru attacks the questioner.

Q: But how will thinking big lead to more money?

A: You know, with a negative attitude like that, it’s no wonder you’re not rich.  Just what have you done in the last year to get rich?

Usually, when attacked you’ll shut up.  The BS guru knows this.  They’ll pummel YOU with questions to deflect from your “how to” questions.

And if you happen to mention that you came to the BS guru to learn a “how to,” he’ll usually say:

Then you should open your mind to the positive things I am saying so it’ll work for you.  It won’t work if you have a negative attitude.”

So, let’s sum up.  You know someone’s a BS guru  when they:

speak in platitudes
empathize results not efforts
answer “how to” questions by
1. referring to results
2. referring to platitudes
3. attacking the questioner

The signs don’t lie!

Photo by Dullhunk

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