The uselessness of Seth Godin: five reasons why most self-improvement advice (and advice in general) is useless

Posted on October 25, 2016 By thesuccessmanual Topic: Advice

I sell a compilation of advice culled from the best books and experts, and I can tell you this: most advice is useless. Think of thus: the person with the advice is speaking in English but the receiver of that advice understands any language but English. It is a problem with advice internalization.

Take my example: Having read all the great books, and having listened to all the great minds on 100+ important things, I ought to be rich and powerful and all that, right? Right.

I was going through a forum on the topic and here are five main reasons I surmised from the session, why most advice is useless:

1. Experts rarely open up and tell what they really think
Yes, one likes Seth Godin's catchphrases and cute terms, but the only person benefiting from them seems to be Seth himself. Did he hold out on us?

2. The expert is not in your shoes, doesn't know your hopes, dreams, anxieties and feelings

3. Confirmation bias: Or, why examples of real success are useless

Yes, we all know why Mark Zuckerberg succeeded (right person - he was willing to steal/lie etc., right time - rise of social networking, right place - ivy league colleges), but these realities are impossible to exist for you, and moreover, Zukerberg will most probably offer a bland, stupid and banal reasons why he succeeded, and you will learn nothing from that. Most success stories are useless in similar way.

4. All advice is conditional
In short, the best advice will often come in this format: "this will work for you if _________ and will not work if ____________"

5. The best advice comes from people in your closest circle
This is an addendum to point #2: they say 'learning happens in close groups, not when broadcast'. So when Seth Godin tells us all to be indispensable linchpins, it is like some banal commencement address few will remember next day. Seth does not know who you are. Seth does not know what you are good at. And, Seth does not know what you are often doing wrong...and such stuff. Only those who know you (parents, friend, colleague, lover, teacher...) will know that, and only if you are lucky to have such perceptive friends.

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