Leadership Motivation Personal Development,

The Big Fat Lie about SUCCESS

Recently I clicked on a link in an email and a well shot video of a well-known success guru began to play. He started by telling me that he coaches billionaires with the big houses, cars and expensive watches, BUT these people are empty and insecure on the inside. In guru-like fashion he tells me that,

“The door to success doesn’t open outward, but inward”

He extols the virtue of working on my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical self – “Nothing new or wrong with that”, I say to myself.

But then he tells me that if I do all this inner work, I can have the houses, cars and expensive watches. That my external wealth will be in direct proportion to my inner growth.


Did he not just tell me that the people with the big houses, cars and expensive watches were empty on the inside!

Is this just illogical or a BIG FAT LIE? Perhaps it’s just a way to get people to click on the SUBSCRIBE NOW button to receive increasingly direct sales pitches for this guru’s coaching.

Yet people eat up this B.S. because they are hurting and they want somebody or something make them feel OK. Just take this supplement, recite this mantra, or vote for this candidate and everything is going to be OK.


It’s going to be OK, not because you can get an ‘instant 6-pack’ or a ‘short-cut to enlightenment.

It’s going to be OK, because you don’t need the big house, fast car, expensive watch or perfect figure to be happy and successful.

It’s going to be OK, because you have the ability to make decisions and take actions for yourself. When you start to lead yourself and stop making yourself miserable by comparing yourself with other people.

You don’t know what’s going on for other people. The wealthy person you aspire to be, may have inherited the money from his family, and as the success guru tells us, he or she may be miserable and empty on the inside.

The lie is that we need to have something to be happy. The truth is that we need to BE something to BE HAPPY.

And what you need to be is to BE GRATEFUL. Be grateful that you are living your life and not someone else’s. Sure there are people that seem to have more than you, but if you can read this article, 90% of the world are worse off than you.


You don’t get to choose your parents, the time or country of your birth. You didn’t get to choose your DNA or childhood education. You didn’t get to choose the culture into which you are born into, but you can choose how you live your life.

Hang on a minute, am I starting to sound like the Success Guru?

 Well perhaps a little bit, because he does make some sense. However this the distinction,

“Losing weight, getting fit, building relationships, becoming an entrepreneur, getting rich, are possible – but they take work and not everybody starts from the same point – therefore focus on progress rather than some prepackaged dream from the person selling you a product or manifesto.”


Working on yourself, is the hardest work you will do. There are a whole bunch of forces from family and friends to culture that will try and hold you in the status quo.

So if you are going to grow and change, it’s going to have to mean something.

“Stop thinking success and start to think about significance”

What is going to be significant for you? Feeling better about yourself? Becoming more informed? Making a contribution to your community?

You don’t need an internet success guru can give you these things, you can start today.


And here’s the irony – I’ve given speeches and coached on the topic of Success and charged people for the privilege of hearing me. I’ve even written a book with 7 Mindsets of Success. Why? Because communication is about meeting people where they are at, and people are looking for formulas.

Formulas and models aren’t bad; they are just maps – rather than reality. A map helps you orientate, but does not replace the experience of walking the trail or taking in the view.

My latest book is available to download as a PDF from , I hope it will start you on a journey of Self-leadership, so that you can feel significant today, regardless of the size of your house or the weight of your watch!

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