If you give a man a fish, he will eat fish today but not have any fish for future meals. If you teach a man to fish, he will be able to eat fish forever as long as he is willing to catch the fish.
There is a third possibility that is not often talked about: If you transform the man’s diet (for instance, have him become a vegetarian) so that he doesn’t eat fish any more, his problem of not having fish to eat is solved forever.
Let’s apply the principle of this story to the rash of personal growth products and services we are offered daily.
- Giving a man a fish is equivalent to doing something that will make people feel better. Workshops that result in participants leaving “on a high” are a good example of this. There is nothing wrong with seeking and enjoying products and services that merely provide a good experience at the moment, but it is important to realize that such “high” experiences usually have no lasting impact.
- Teaching a man to fish is equivalent to giving people information, which if they used, would improve their lives. Workshops and books that provide people with useful information are a good example of this. There clearly is some “take-away” value, but the material must be used to be useful.
- Transforming a man so he doesn’t need fish any more because he no longer eats fish is equivalent to eliminating the source of, or transcending, people’s behavioral or emotional problems. For example, when you eliminate the beliefs and conditionings that cause procrastinating, feeling anxious, or worrying about what others think of you, those problems disappear. No further action is required to achieve these benefits.
What’s been your experience with all three types?
Most people who are reading this probably have attended a workshop or read a book that promised a transformation, which gave you the feeling of being “transformed at the time,” but then resulted in you feeling disappointed when the “high” wore off a few days later and there were no permanent improvements in your life.
Most of you probably have attended some type of course or read some book that offered some really useful information. This material spelled out in detail how to improve your relationships (like my blog post last week) or become successful. The information truly is valuable because most people will achieve what the courses and written material promise if you implement what they teach.
Relatively rare are spiritual practices or belief-eliminating programs that actually transform you permanently, so that thereafter you deal with life differently and feel differently about specific situations.
The third category of personal growth material is not inherently better than the second. Both the second and third types of personal growth material can make a profound difference in your life, but there is still a significant difference between the two. And in order for you to get the most value from what you spend your time and money on, you should be clear about the difference.
Before you purchase material that teaches you how to do something, make sure you are committed to fully implementing the information. Not using it at all or stopping before the full benefit is achieved will result in a lot of frustration and wasting your money. If you are committed to using what you learn, then books like Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles, Marci Shimoff’s Happiness For No Reason, John Gray’s many Mars-Venus books on relationships, and any of Ivan Misner’s books on networking. are invaluable. My weekly blog posts are another example of the second type of personal growth material.
Certain meditation classes, workshops with people like Andrew Cohen (founder of Enlighten Next, and sessions where you use The Lefkoe Method to eliminate beliefs and conditionings (and create yourself as the creator of your life) are examples of the third type of personal growth material. You leave these experiences with a different experience of who you really are, there are permanent changes in what you do and how you feel, and your life is demonstrably improved from then on.
There is value in each of these three types of personal growth offerings, but the value is very different. Be clear what you are looking for and then make sure that what you purchase provides you what you want.
What do you think about the three different types of personal growth products and services? Please write your comments below.
If you found this post useful, please tell your friends and followers by using the buttons at the top of this post.
If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to htp://www.recreateyourlife.com/free where you can eliminate one negative belief free.
For information about eliminating 23 of the most common limiting beliefs and conditionings, which cause eight of the most common problems in our lives, and get a separate video of the WAIR? Process, please check out: http://recreateyourlife.com/naturalconfidence.
These weekly blog posts also exist as podcasts. Sign up for the RSS feed or at iTunes to get the podcasts sent to you weekly.
copyright ©2011 Morty Lefkoe