Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Self-Growth: The Reality.

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Self-Growth: The Reality.

The Most Efficient Path to Self-Growth, by Douglas Castle, Vice-Chairman of The National Networker Companies.

*Commentary regarding a sales letter (not reproduced here) from David Riklan of "How 97.5 % of all Self Improvement Companies Grow their Businesses"

David Riklan publishes and produces the website and its ancillary businesses. He accepts articles written by many writers about various aspects of "self-growth." Some of these articles are very worthwhile reading, and an intelligent person can occasionally acquire a gold nugget of an idea by reading the material produced by his authors. His business grows itself by his authors' contributions of article content and fees. I admire his business model - it is a good one. But there are some serious negatives...

David Riklan is a pay-to-play proclaimer of "expert" status, and a purveyor of "experts" in the self-improvement field. He (through hasn't achieved any great credibility (in my uniquely myopic and snobbish view) as yet and doesn't develop traction for his readers. He actually tried to get me to enlist (i.e. "pay") as an "expert," and eventually wanted to discuss my going to work for him. I declined, saying that I was intellectually incapable of holding my own in a room filled with so many other "experts." I humbly confessed that I, myself, needed a great deal of self-improvement before I could counsel others in all good conscience.

Almost every person with whom I come into contact (I usually wear gloves) is a "self-growth expert" or a "self-growth coach." I always ask myself (silently, of course, so as not to create a stir) several questions before I entertain engaging a coach or advisor:

1). Does he or she "walk the walk?" [is he or she the avatar of a self-improved creature?]
2). Would I want to emulate this person? Is her or she someone I admire?
3). Has he or she successfully coached others and generated appreciable results?
4). Can we work comfortably together?
5). Would he or she be audacious enough to refuse me as a client if I were perfectly willing to pay, but obviously demonstrated serious deficiences or limitations (in terms of ability or attitude)?

I have found that many people actually need more of a strategic path and plan than they do generic "self-improvement" tips. That is why I've chosen to be involved in strategic planning and organizational engineering instead of stand alone self-growth.

On the path to achieving a business or professional goal, an individual doubtless encounters numerous real-time, real-world difficulties which force him or her to make adaptations which are, by definition, "self-growth."

The best path to self-growth is through field testing and experience.

In brief (I frequently write while in my underwear), don't talk to me about camping --- take me on a rugged camping trip. Experience is the most potent teacher of all, and the multisensorial memories created through experience are much more readily memorable, accessible and credible than those learned in a casual or classroom environment.

We learn most effectively by observing, and then by doing



p.s. Would you prefer the bodyguard who had read the book, or the one who had been a Navy SEAL or had worked for the Secret Service?  
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