Some are sweet and as cuddly as kittens, others have that ‘sexy’ image with their unbuttoned shirts and rolled-up sleeves, while some have a shriveled up, focused expression on their faces – these are our success gurus. They are all united by a single attribute – they teach us how to live. An expert knows more and knows better. We have questions, the expert has the answers.
Is it so? We often do not have questions, but the expert still brings us the answers. We don’t want to stop eating meat, but we get a lecture on the benefits of vegetarianism. We create a business ourselves, but we get advice on how we should develop it. We go our own way, but someone says that another path is better for us.
What is the motivation behind success gurus? When you ask them, what they get out of teaching others, they answer: ‘I feel good, when I can share my experience with others’ or ‘it’s important to me that others do well, just like me’. If you ask what they get from it, they say it’s ‘the joy that I am living a meaningful life’. In other words, they are fulfilling their need to feel good through others.
I do see saviors of the world, who have yet to acknowledge, that they are fulfilling their own need. Is this an ‘ecologic’ way to fulfill your needs? Only if the client wants help.
I have noticed that people who lacked love, attention, and the feeling that they are important during their childhood years, are the ones who enjoy teaching others. I compensate for this feeling now, by explaining and being important to others. An expert is above everyone in both experience and status. Experts don’t wait for others to find the answer, they blurt out their own answer as fast as they can. And, of course, saving others protects you perfectly from seeing yourself, which might be very painful.
One of the reasons why we dislike success gurus is that we feel that we are not the ones who are important. We also suspect, that beneath the mask of success hides a sinful person. Why is the person who preaches healthy diets walking around looking gray and never has any energy, and why is the animal rescuer – so angry and bitter?
Is being sinful – bad? Of course not. We all are. No one is perfect, and the ones who are trying to be are not enjoying God’s gifts in the here and now. And are unhappy.
We can help others the most by being healthy and happy, by accepting ourselves with all our faults. This is how we send the best message in the world – ‘I can be happy, and so can you’.
A good life mentor is probably a bit ragged, imperfect, always learning, respecting others and trusting that they are equally capable, or even more so. He lets the client make mistakes and learn from them, he probably asks a question or two and knows how satisfying it is to find the answer yourself.
Dr. Alisa Miniotaite, Leadership and management expert, Founder of UAB „ALISA MANAGEMENT LABORATORY“ , International certified ICC coaching trainer for Baltic countries.