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5 reasons behind the rise of the anti-self-help movement

My friend James held up a copy of Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” that he grabbed from my table and remarked matter-of-factly, “You still read this self-help garbage?”

James’ isn’t alone in feeling this way. Self-help has gained somewhat of a bad rap in recent years and I can kind of see why.

The rise of blogging platforms, video-sharing websites like YouTube, self-publishing services, and the availability of online marketing funnels spawned a whole new generation of self-help “gurus” rushing to get their names out there in order to package and sell their expertise in the form of $3000 seminars. …

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Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

What procrastination really looks like and how to finally beat it.

You’ve got it all planned out. You have this great vision of how success looks like to you. You know what needs to be done straight out the gate.

You even have a poster on your wall of a Mark Twain quote that reads:

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

And yet, no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to shake procrastination off long enough to get started on your goals.

If this describes you, know that you’re not alone. …

What walking through Dubai’s souks taught me about “minding my own business” better.

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Photo by Wei Pan on Unsplash

Your attention is a limited resource that you’re probably giving away far too easily these days. Similar to financial capital, the ones who allocate their attention strategically usually improve their odds of getting a better return on investment in themselves. I was reminded of this when I visited Dubai’s world-famous souks.

Nestled along one end of the Dubai Creek in Deira, is a cluster of old souks (traditional Arab marketplaces) that are a hive of activity. Its vendors hawk all manner of wares from gold, spices, perfumes, and hand-woven textiles, to other less exotic Arabic housewares.

The crowd— tourists traveling from far and wide soaking in the sights and sounds of what a traditional Arabian bazaar might have looked like in the time of “1001 Arabian Nights” and before the discovery of oil which, of course, forever changed Dubai’s fortunes and landscape. …

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

It’s also one which you have full control over.

I’ve always considered myself to be of above-average intellect, but I found myself questioning that long-held belief back in 2011 when I was scammed to the tune of USD20k.

8 years ago to this day in June 2011, I received a random phone call while at work one evening from a guy named Guy (pronounced ‘Gee’) who claimed to be a partner for a successful Luxembourg-based investment outfit.

Speaking in a baritone but crisp English-accent, Guy exuded and inspired confidence with his well-thought analysis of the markets, specifically the commodities market which he specialized in helping his clients trade.

It took him a couple of weeks to persuade me to invest with them, but against my better judgment at the time, I decided to place my hard-earned savings in their golden hands. After all, this wasn’t a Nigerian prince asking me to transfer an ungodly sum of money to receive an ungodlier one. …

Based on the Four Big to Small Principles

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Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

Note: If you’re new to Big to Small Thinking, a four principle framework I created to help individuals live and work better in an age of overwhelm, I would highly encourage you to give it a quick read here on my blog.

Besides, it will give you a greater appreciation for the contents of this article.

All caught up? Good. Let’s dive in.

You may be wondering, how exactly do these principles play out in real life? How do they relate to each other? How do I know if I’m on the right track in the application of these principles?

Some months ago, I had an opportunity to interview Amanda Luketa, a freelance technical writer at

And your role in the mentoring process.

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Photo by Lonely Planet on Unsplash

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” Denzel Washington

Mentorship has been a hot topic for many years now and this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

In a hyper-competitive economic environment where those in the upper echelons of their respective industries reap the most rewards, everyone is looking for the one thing that will allow them to leapfrog others in their climb towards the top. …

Without also getting disowned

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Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

“ How true Daddy’s words were when he said: all children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
Anne Frank

Parents. You wouldn’t be alive without them.

They changed your soiled diapers, gave you an education, ensured you had a roof over your head and didn’t die while under their care.

They made many sacrifices along the way.

In our younger days, many of us saw our parents as heroes. …

And 5 effective ways you can deal with it.

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Photo by Maxime Bhm on Unsplash

As if we didn’t already have enough fears to contend with, in waltzes the fear of missing out, or FOMO for short.

It is commonly defined as the chronic worry that others are having rewarding experiences for which we are not included.

You know, that sinking feeling you get when you scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed and find half your friends posting selfies of themselves at Coachella and wonder why they didn’t invite you to come along with them?

That’s classic FOMO.

Meanwhile, the other half of your friends are posting #foodporn grams of the hottest new yakitori bar in town, #travelgrams of their family on a beach in Bali, or engagement and baby shower photos signaling their arrival into the next phase of adulthood. …

And why you should believe in a purpose instead.

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Photo by Katrina on Unsplash

If I had a dime for every time I was advised to believe in myself, I’d have enough to buy a double Shackburger at Shake Shack. For you, it might be crinkle cut fries or even a full meal.

Heck, I too am guilty of having in the past told one too many individuals to believe in themselves.

Lately, I’m beginning to think that believing in yourself, while important, may not be the most important belief we should hold in our walk toward success.

The role of self-belief

As part of my MBA program, I once spent a weekend at a motivational course run by Shiv Khera, author of ‘You Can Win’. …

Dissecting a reality we all struggle with.

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Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

We all feel lost at some point in our lives. How we respond to this feeling determines the quality of our lives henceforth.

I was over at a friend’s place for dinner and drinks the other night, and we got to chatting about what I had in the works.

I told them about my decision to move into the personal growth and life-coaching space.

I spoke of my desire to help individuals who are either lost, stuck or overwhelmed (quite likely all three) find their footing in a chaotic world, reclaim their lives and start living with intention.

On the subject of feeling lost, my friend Samantha told me that in a previous conversation she had with her friends, they had all come to the conclusion that it was completely normal and OK to feel lost. …


Victor Ha

Creator of “Big to Small Thinking”. I'm here to help you break down the complexities of modern living and working. Your free blueprint->

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