Fake Happiness, Raw Growth, & The Next ‘Harry Potter’

Candid Camera was a popular television program in the US in the 1960s.

The program used real-world experiments in social psychology as the source of its humorous scenarios.

The resulting programs were not only entertaining, but also instructive.

For example, how independent is the average person when confronted with the all-powerful “consensus of the group?”

Not very.

This is the very reason (one main reason, anyway) that the warm and fuzzy side of personal and spiritual development continues to be perpetuated by NEW marketers entering this area!

Not only do they think it’s the cool, hip, in-crowd thing to do, they actually think (without a lot of authentic, honest self-talk and contemplation, by the way) that their recycled, surface-level, me-too content actually serves a purpose beyond spoon-feeding the masses the very “fix” that treats the symptoms and NOT the cause.

World-famous copywriter, Bob Bly, recently commented on how this phenomenon — of being enamored with fluff, fads, and molding your personality to “crowd mentality” — applies to marketing:

“…blogging, social networking sites, bulletin boards, forums — all that is well and good. But, at the end of the day, you’ve got to sell something or you’re just wasting your time.”

Yup, we hear ya, Bob… it’s a crazy thing, isn’t it? As we’ve been saying in a hard and heavy way over the past year on this blog:

When it’s your belief (your self-identity) that you’re always or mostly one way (i.e., loving, caring, enlightened); that you’re put here to be a messenger for something profoundly intangible (i.e., like bliss, happiness or love); that you’re supposed to always socialize or give away things BEFORE you can sell something you have of value… you go into cognitive dissonance when your behavior doesn’t fit the self-identity.

Yet, the majority, regardless of how personally unfruitful or non-productive it is, will always protect their self-identity at all costs.

Several days ago, we started our first post about “happiness” — how when you use your common-sense and ground your fluffy emotions, you’ll realize that not only can you not strive to find it around you, but it’s really something else you’re after. Many “Thank You’s” for everybody in our community who participated.

However, there’s one community member,  Azam Khan , who we feel said it best, as it applies to what THIS post is about:

Being transparent, holding yourself accountable for what you experience (or don’t experience), and not pretending to be something you’re really not.

In response to the I Don’t Want To be Happy post, Azam adds:

“It is refreshing to hear a clearly defined distinction between superficial happiness and true fulfillment. I have known many people who go through life wearing fake plastic smiles to make themselves appear more pleasant or personable, but are emotional wrecks inside, or totally numb.

I believe the whole spectrum of the human emotional experience needs to be felt and acknowledged in order to be genuinely whole. And that is to never repress the shadow of our anger, resentment or negativity, but to truly feel and acknowledge them, and in some cases where appropriate, express them.

“It is true that the pursuit of happiness is something that can cause unhappiness. We live in a world which can generally be an awesome place too… but we are also subject to an infrastructure of forced social adaptation that is governed by advertising and collective trends. As human animals with an inherent need to belong and be part of a collective, it is easy to fall prey to socio-cultural definitions of happiness and success, and aimlessly pursue them to maintain appearances and status.”

And, this is a perfect transition to the event I’m leading off on June 6th. Kinda like Bill Hicks (we’ll talk about him soon) warming up for George Carlin, I’ll be starting off some rants and giving my direct, let’s-keep-it-real commentary to a “Personal Development Raw” event.

= = = = =

Personal Development Raw is only being offered, at this time, to a private, somewhat select group of students who have progressed through some no-nonsense, hard-core training by a friend of mine who is doing some pretty snazzy habit-busting things for his people.

Ya know the ol’ saying: “Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.”

Well, my friend, who shall go unnamed until I get my hands on the recording and/or can direct you to the Personal Development Raw series he’s putting together, is ensuring his students don’t go insane.

Like Heather and I, he completely understands how the self-improvement, spiritual growth, manifestation / LOA niche attracts a lot of people (the majority) who are in a constant state of delusion (yep, a strong assertion… yet, we’ve dived deep enough to be able to say that).

In our friend’s words:

“The truth of the matter is, you are NOT willing to realize your faults, your mistakes or how you are constantly lying to yourself. Please don’t stop reading; if I have offended you, I’m sorry. But, I really think it’s time that a personal development professional begins to tell you what you need to hear, instead of hyping it up with philosophy and what you THINK you need to hear.”

So, my request of you is this:


I mean, come on, I can obviously sit, talk, and elaborate on everything we’ve been revealing, exposing, and being critically direct about on this blog…

like self-help teachers who have an  identity crisis with “marketing” and “teaching.”

like how some of the most fragile, neurotic egos come out of the woodwork when we confront their hazy, cryptic, single-minded, over-analytical views of what The Secret means (or should mean) to them.

like how certain marketers/publishers claim they’re trying to dig deeply and be intelligent researchers, impartial reporters, or scientists, yet when they get an expert on the phone turn the whole thing into an adoring gush-fest.

So, you get the drift:  What RAW things — things that you wouldn’t want your grandma to hear — do you want me to talk about?

Name it (by commenting on this post)… nothing is out of bounds for this call I’ll be conducting on June 6th.


And, yes, by the way, I WILL be strong-arming (aggressively cajoling) my friend to create a book out of the Personal Development Raw series he’s creating.


Simply because, in an age where the MASSES fool themselves every day by believing in mainstream propaganda (or at least, not questioning it or turning over the rock) and striving to perfect their game (the game called “personal accomplishment”) from hollow, lame, and Utopian practices, it’s NEEDED!

And, least I not forget!

I can’t begin to tell you how many of our readers have submitted tickets about wanting to write a book or make comments here on our LWL blog about “one day” being an author.

TRULY, if that’s you, there’s no damn excuse.

Have a dream of writing your own book?

Yeah, well, we do (did) too — we’re in the process of writing three of them, actually.

We got off our ass and are doing it. So can you.

Research tells us that 82% of people believe they have a book inside them. However, sadly 99.9% of people will go to their grave with their book still inside them. But don’t despair.

Don’t let that be you!

By accessing this FREE 68 Minute Audio and 43–page Publishing Guide, valued at over $147, you’ll discover a proven way to become a best-selling author…

Yup, watch out J.K. Rowling… Dale Beaumont, the publisher of this AMAZING publishing guide, has published 15 books over the past three years – selling over a quarter of a million copies. As he keeps up the pace, he’ll be right on your tail 🙂

Hey, Dear Reader, what can you learn from Dale ?

Filed under: Happiness / Fulfillment, Personal Achievement

9 Responses to “Fake Happiness, Raw Growth, & The Next ‘Harry Potter’”

  1. I just sent my last book to the printer (we have our own publishing company). This is my eighth book on personal transformation. The title of my book is “ReParenting Yourself. ”

    [ In your June 6th talk] Are you going to cover the biggest challenge we have today? – Lack of the understanding of what Unconditional love is.

    I define it as the eight qualities of love. My contention is 85% of the population are adult children. Are you going to cover how to grow up again so we can stop the faulty relationship problem?

    It starts our with the dysfunctional parenting program we were all given by our dysfunctional parents. All they knew was control, authority, discipline and compliance. This has been going on for centuries and it does not work. Are you going to cover the basics?

    We can do all the personal growth work but if we do face the issues of who we are we may as well stop until we get where we are coming from.

    This is my field for the last thirty years. I find that what you addressed in your opening statement is so true! It is frustrating to mental health practitioner.

    Most people live in an illusion and are afraid to step out of the box. My first book was “Your Body is Talking Are You listening?” – Art Martin Ph.D.

  2. Hey!!

    The prospect of Raw Growth sounds great, and much needed. I get a sense of the lack of real depth in most of the self-growth stuff around today. There was a live in seminar I did in the 80s that stripped away the lies and the false self – then acknowledged the true self in there too! The processes did not deny the false self, but brought “us” into relationship with it: like shadow work.

    Human rights and being gentle with clients has taken away a lot of the effectiveness that could be applied in counseling or human services work, where clients could be taken into the “real reasons” for what is happening. (Hey, this is only my opinion from observation and personal experience)

    Truly helping others in personal development work means being able to take them where they need to go: but what if we haven’t been there within ourselves? We are going to be afraid with the client.

    I say bring around the next cycle of ‘Deep therapy, RAW growth’.

    I want the book…

  3. Working at being transparent and genuine is not for whimps. Being very honest with oneself is, as it turns out, liberating. I give workshops on learning to love yourself. Debbie Ford, in The Dark Side Of The Light Chasers, had a profound effect on the way I related to myself in learning to love myself warts and all. The Gold is in the Dark… in the stuff you don’t necessarily want others to see. Ah, but that is where integrity lies.

    Honesty is a vibe, and yes I have found in working with people long enough…. that vibe exists even when one is are lying to oneself. I find it useful to come from either love or fear. When the highest good and greatest joy of all concerned- including myself, is the motivation I find life works much better. When I come from being afraid ( or terrified) about something… life doesnt work as well.

    Love is a word bandied about recklessly. Unconditional, impartial, and yet intensely personal universal love is all around and something that needs to be experienced to understand. Fortunately that is as easy as taking the next breath you inhale… for most of us, it is free and easily accessible. Grace is no further away than the protection of your skin. (Ask any burn patient). Gratitude replacing victimhood will win out every time.

    I digress. I found this article refreshing in its boldness in asserting that we be truly honest with ourselves, including the shadow side of bliss bunnies….smile. Being genuine and true and real as a person knows no substitute. People can feel it when you work at being transparent…. share your path, we are all on one.

    Perhaps those not ready to face the truth within themselves are just not at that juncture in their path yet? It can be frustrating to come across when we want proof that our methods work, that our teachings are valid and will produce results that people will pay for. The truth is people will come to those truths or they won’t. That doesnt absolve us of continually working to put stuff out that can influence, starting with our lives. To continue to come from love in ones life, starting with yourself, has you doing that– often without a publisher first.

  4. I admit, I have been trying to live in the “delusion” that all the self enlightenment Gurus teach. It simply doesn’t work in this PHYSICAL world of egotism and judgment. We can create our worlds. We cannot however create other peoples. Both worlds collide every day. A “Thank You” for the wake up call via this post

  5. This is precisely why I became attracted to your work. It has been my observation that so many “teachers” out there are selling the “postitive outlook” recipe.
    You said it well in this post and I am happy to hear that you are “being” this balance and sharing it. Thank you for all that you share and bring to light for contemplation~

    ~~~Carla Cogswell

  6. It’s shocking what you put out into the world — you slam others but only to step into the same place yourself – you ARE that which you claim to despise.

    You can’t stand in the place of ONE, slam others without slamming yourself. THAT is truth. There is nothing to find except the truth that you know nothing. This — whole thing — life is a mere dream, a story that you get to make up. Why not teach THAT. Yes LOA is only a peice that I agree with.

    Crafty marketers, trying to make the sale, manipulate. You are right, YOUR messages are no different than the ones that i see in my inbox daily. The question is always, who do you resonate with? It’s hard to resonate here… Your judgment is so harsh it’s hard to find alignment with anything you offer.

    Is anyone brave enough to say this? I stay on your list in hopes that you may uplift, and of course am always amused by the story and ego that you bring to your marketing…

    if you hear the term spiritual egocentrism and highly resist looking at it, consider it even more. the real trap is only when we think we know anything… from our small minds we can NOT experience the infinite.

    [ Response from Barry and Heather ]

    Even though you’re being “triggered” by an email we wrote (Subject – “What Nonsense?”), yet still responding to us via this blog post, we’re SHOWING OFF your reply above for a few main reasons:

    #1) It’s a PERFECT example of what we used to call the “Hall Monitor Syndrome” — crying wolf (in a very distorted way) in response to anybody or anything that “stirs up” or possibly rattles your emotions around anything that is less than “feel good” or “uplifting”. In other words, your response is a great tool for us to teach around.

    #2) For every five or so supportive, grateful, “Thank-you-for-coming-from-a-place-of-personal-honesty” replies we get, we’ll get one like yours, Gretchen… especially when we’re writing in a candid and uncensored way about the EXPERIENCES (not knowledge — a big difference, which we’ll get into in minute) we have in the arena of “self-growth”.

    Where do those experiences come from ?

    Simply, by TALKING TO PEOPLE! As in interactive, authentic, no BS, revealing conversation with subscribers, customers, affiliates, and, of course, people who have a platform to provide value through… yup, those would be the mentors we dance with on the phone at: http://lwlwebcast.com

    In case you haven’t been following us (you say you have, yet we somehow doubt it), our entire LWL brand means something completely different to us (we’re pretty sure you’d like to think Life Without Limits means “Life 100% filtered for your protection”).

    It’s not something we’re going to nutshell here. Yet, AFTER reading through, say, the last 20 posts on this blog, something UNIQUE should become obviously clear to you:

    We, by conscious BUSINESS choice (not by unconscious PERSONAL reactions) create, publish, and market fresh, candid, uncensored, real-world resources and information that leaves an “impact”, not stuff that caters to people’s insecurities, need for approval or attention, and interest in PRETENDING they’re actually somebody they’re NOT!

    George Bernard Shaw once cautioned: “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

    This can also be said of spiritual rhetoric and time-worn surface-level “feel good” (or “uplifting” as you say) precepts and mottos.

    Believing that you are whole or affecting change / growth in others or youself (because you don’t rock the boat, or because you ignore so-called “negative” or emotionally challenging “stuff”), when you’re really just rolling along on the winds of emotional comfort and spiritual safety, is VERY DANGEROUS.

    Like a CSI Miami episode, mainstream knowledge, philosophical claptrap, and spiritual dogma is being examined from all angles these days. Mass consciousness is moving away from “the way things have always been” to “wow, here’s what’s possible when you question and investigate tradition and going-with-the-flow practices.”

    Exploration, right now, is accelerating at an ENORMOUS rate. And, it’s racing fast because more and more people are thinking outside the box, challenging the status quo, and questioning established ideals to make new waves, forge new ground, and build new and better standards.

    Sitting around, allowing yourself to be PERSONALLY “shocked” so easily, at an email that was written to “provoke change” in an industry that breeds fragile egos, is something that will definitely hold you back in your personal development path.

    Unfortunately, in New Age teachings, it’s passed on that “what you resist, persists”. And it often goes unspoken, in the minds of literal-thinkers who hear this from a perceived guru, that the resist part is synonymous with “challenge” or “confront” or “focus on”.

    The result?

    We have a bunch of spiritual-seeking lemmings walking this earth, truly feeling they are never supposed to be confrontational or adversarial. That would be perpetuating an unevolved “us-them” dualism, right?

    We often want to ask those who blithely repeat it: “What’s your evidence? When it’s so blatantly obvious that what you don’t resist, or confront, persists like crazy anyway?”

    FINALLY, after supporting over 7 different sites that deliver quality, value-oriented content geared to guiding, assisting, nurturing (and, yes, even coaxing and cajoling) people to live an uncensored, unrestricted, holistic, free-thinking life; after accruing more than 7,000 paid members across different sites and creating a loyal subscriber list approaching 100,000 people; and AFTER spending more time with customers and subscribers, helping them get past their blocks, than you can ever imagine… the completely distorted, fear-based PRESUMPTION about “who” we are isn’t something we haven’t heard before.

    We do what we do (“slam”, in your own negative verbiage) because that’s the foundation of our whole business model… examining the truth and serving others by showing them where people may be deceiving them, and where they’ll find the most spiritual growth (not just through us, of course… other publishers are operating congruently too).

    However, by YOU being so triggered (i.e. “shocked”) by our email, you are demonstrating the mirror effect as clearly as it’s ever reflected anything.

    You say, “You can’t stand in the place of ONE, slam others without slamming yourself” which doesn’t even make sense, unless you’re going with the old “we’re all connected” rhetoric… in which case, we’ve already picked some reasonable and worthy holes (to review) in that worn-out nonsense:



    (the linked posts above and its associated comments should give you a new perspective to chew on)

    But then, if you’re focusing on the metaphysical side of the equation, then YOU conversely can not “slam” US without “slamming” yourself… and you are upset by it because you see yourself “slamming” others (who else besides us have you “slammed” recently?) You can’t disagree with this, either, because you wrote it yourself, followed by: “THAT is truth.”

    Then you say “Your judgment is so harsh” as you judge us harshly.

    Here’s the rub, though, Gretchen:

    We’ve taken the time, in a very committed, full-time way over the past 4 years, diving DEEP into the heart of metaphysical marketing, success research and personal transformation writing.

    How much time have you actually spent, without bias, actually exploring US?

    If you had allowed yourself to see the BIG picture, you would have seen that we’ve been ENDORSED and SUPPORTED by mentors you have heard of and mentors you haven’t… but, more importantly, people in our community who don’t let their own neuroses project onto an interview/research team who approaches subjects with a CRITICAL (not a skeptical — big, big difference) eye. When you learn to live outside your box, Gretchen, you can learn to effect change and accrue accolades as well (the endorsements are via the links at the very top of this website: http://www.lwlwebcast.com — you obviously missed several steps in your pseudo-assertion of “staying on our list”.)

    So, why is it that one week we’ll interview a teacher who has a book
    called: “People Are Idiots, And I Can Prove It” (Larry Winget) and a
    teacher who is as far as opposite as can be (Sonia Choquette) the next next?

    Simple — it’s about NOT pigeon-holing ourselves into having to live up to an identity, or as we explained to one mentor recently, “you’re letting your need for being ‘seen a certain way’ with OTHERS get in the way of extraordinary business growth and personal accomplishment.”

  7. RAW is not something a lot of people are willing to face.
    I recently lost a brother to a heart attack after making him angry by telling him he needed to make better choices about his lifestye

    People are constantly bombarded with messages from the “media” about how their lives should look, but they rarely consider the fact that those messages are largely predicated on somebody trying to sell them something, whether it be a product or an idealism.

    John Prine had it right when he sang:
    “Blow up your TV
    Throw away your papers
    Move to the country
    Buy you a home

    Have a lot of children
    Feed ’em all on peaches
    Try to find Jesus
    On your own”

    Everything you think do or feel is a result of your belief system, and what tomorrow is going to be like is similar to a surfer standing in the shallow water waiting to choose which wave to ride. Is that one too tall? (you’re afraid it’s more than you can handle?)
    Is that one too small (I wouldn’t waste my time with something so trivial)
    That one may not be perfect, but it’s the best I have now and I’m going to ride it for all it’s worth…

    How do you choose your future?

  8. All growth whether it be physical or other wise is accompanied with discomfort and often some form of pain. Even to release pain physical or other types of pain requires an acknowledgment of its presence.

    What we often miss and I think this has been most powerful for me is that while pain is inevitable the mental suffering we attach to it is not.

    Now that will be powerfully difficult for many to accept because they would have to admit that they have circuited it by buying into a lie. Society would have you believe that we are either a victim, perpetrator, or hero. All three roles require a specialized way of seeing the world.

    Most of us human types have an all consuming desire to be loved, valued, and to be safe and in control, but in reality nothing outside of your inner perception and realization can fulfill those consuming desires. The illusion of external love and acceptance, value and appreciation, safety and control keeps most people on the eternal treadmill of an unsatisfactory life.

    Each and every one of us has all the love, value, safety, and control, that is possible from our internal sense of being. Forget that and you suffer; resist that and you suffer. My resistance is always equal to my suffering. As long as we are forgetting and resisting, I suspect we will always be in a state of imbalance or disharmony with our greater reality. You can do your own math. You’re big girls and boys now.

  9. Thanks all – this is a real refresher – with the emphasis on the word real.
    Barry and Heather have my interest…. I have a growing sense of excitement reading the high quality writing and what it has inspired on this blog.

    I’ve written a couple of books – I’ve put lots of the chapters on the web.
    http://www.truthdrug.info is interesting in this context because chapter 3 of The Return deals with being able to look at oneself, the world and all that lies between more clearly without blame. … (a bit like Heinlein’s ‘Fair witness’ in Stranger In a Strange Land). The blog disappeared (sorry) trouble with wordpress – Heather has offered a solution I am going into.

    My other book – the Databarons is a sci-fi starting with making colossal sums on the Net – started before the Web… anyway more of that as and when – right now the Raw give me gut excitement as well as Barry and Heather’s approach to putting it over – thanks again.


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