The World of Personal Development
If you had mentioned the world of self-help, personal development or new age concepts to me two or three years ago, I would have laughed in your face. Today, I daily check out StevePavlina.com and BrianKim.net, the web sites of two personal development gurus.
There is a reason why “The Secret” has been so successful. People (including myself) are screaming for hope. We’re looking for reason in our lives. We’re looking for happiness and fulfillment. Not just in our personal lives but also in our professional careers. People no longer stick with one job for 40 years and then retire with a gold watch and a retirement dinner. Technology and globalization has rapidly transformed all areas of business: from call centers in India to marketing personnel shifting companies every few years. The world is moving exponentially faster and there are no signs of it slowing down.
People are looking for answers and unfortunately our leaders do not have them. The current Bush administration just reveals one disaster after another, from failing to prevent 9/11 to Iraq to Katrina to countless breaches of constitutional protections. George W. Bush’s approval ratings are in the low thirties-high twenties. Vice President Dick Cheney is at 9%. Clearly, they are ineffective.
So, we see books like “The Secret” and “The Law of Attraction” as bestsellers. The war in Iraq has become a 21st-century Vietnam. Everyday costs are increasing at a faster rate. College tuition has skyrocketed to where many private 4-year institutions cost $50,000 a year.
I personally believe that this hypercompetitive capitalist environment will eventually subside. It’s too much. We’re already seeing this in young people; climbing the corporate ladder isn’t worth wasting your youth with 80-hour workweeks. People are beginning to search for meaning in life.
So my answer for today is a lesson best taught by Joseph Campbell: follow your bliss. The rest will come.