A morning with a self help guru

I sat through a lecture with a self help guru yesterday. The hypnotized nodding heads, the ridiculous steps to living a better life, the unscientific claims about people. Without exaggerating, she went over 6 pillars, 21 strategies, 4 tendencies, and 13 principles to living a better life. And people ate it right up.

As soon as she introduced 4 categories that all people fall into, the whole room went into a frenzy trying to find themselves in one of them. Even I got caught up in the hysteria, "am I a questioner or a rebel?" As she described each category, I found myself starting to think and behave more like the category I identified with. My brain began to scan through its bank of memories to find experiences that aligned with that category.

This is how psychics work. They make fuzzy statements about your past, and you sift through millions of memories looking for one or two that fit the bill. This is also why horoscopes always seem more accurate than they are. At least with Astrology you can have 12 categories, here all of humanity is defined by just 4.

Did anyone walk away from the talk as a better or happier person? Not likely. They walked away energized, but I question any long term life improvements. One this is certain - many in the audience will now buy her other books. A few will even register for her expensive seminars.