Personal Development – Is it just hype?

Personal development is an interesting subject one that is often surrounded by strong comments about it being a waste of time and a whole lot of hype to sell tickets to seminars with people like Anthony Robbins, Donald Trump and numerous others who hit the speaking trail.

As late as last week a radio talk back show in Melbourne had the two radio hosts talking about how much money was wasted on going to hear the latest of the personal development seminars that was being held in Melbourne, which just happened to be Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump and Anthony Robbins and that these seminars provided no real value other than to take people’s money off them.

There was a whole session of the radio show devoted to putting down any value of attending these types of seminars and putting down the people who attended them because often people cannot put a tangible dollar amount on the value they directly receive for attending these type of seminars.

I am a strong believer in personal development seminars, books and strategies, and I believe it can be difficult for those who have a very strong personal belief to understand what can possibly be gained from attending a seminar where someone is giving you a strategy to develop a belief in yourself that they already have!

I grew up in a very average low socio economic immigrant family, my father had seen active service in the 2nd world war, and both my parents lived through a fairly rough period of time when food and basic essentials were scarce. So their personal life’s experience was one of lack and of never having enough. So they taught us kids that we should be grateful for what we had and to ask for nothing more, because there were plenty who had less than us and in fact there were plenty who were going without completely.

So as a child I felt less than good when I wanted to have things that I didn’t have and I felt that I must have been a bad person who was greedy because I wanted something more than I had at the time. This became quite an ingrained thought and I spent many years thinking this way, that to want more than I had was bad and who did I think I was asking for things!

I just want to add here that I am fully aware that my parents intention was not for me to feel bad about wanting things it was simply their way of teaching me to be happy with what I had and not to base my happiness around having to have more than I had.

My school years reflected my belief in lack of self worth and so did the relationships I had with various family members so I found myself at a very young age out of school and home with not to many prospects for the future. For those of you who know my story you know that my career path was an interesting and rewarding one, and I thank the personal development books I have read and the many personal development seminars I have attended that have brought me to where I am today.

So why is that not everyone seems to gain benefit from attending a personal development seminar or reading a personal development book? A lot of people look at their circumstances they currently have or have had in the past and use them as the reason that they cannot live the life they want.

A few years ago I was at an Anthony Robbins seminar and there was a lady sitting near me who in one of the breaks said to me, it’s okay for him to stand up there and go on about how you can live the life you want to live and do the things you want to do, look at him he’s tall and good looking and he doesn’t have the background I have he doesn’t know what it’s like to have a background like mine!

She was right he didn’t have background exactly like hers he only had his own background , but the whole thing about personal development is not about comparing backgrounds and who is worse off than who it is to let go of those excuses and thoughts of the past and to look forward to creating the future you want it to be.

Attending one seminar or reading one book does not create change in your thoughts, beliefs or behaviour but putting the principles to work in your life that you learn through the seminars and books will if you combine it with constant and persistent practise.

The real value in personal development is becoming the person YOU want to be, not in remaining the person someone else tells you to be. Personal development is true personal empowerment that will help you remove the need for outside approval of who you are and will empower you to be the best that you can be no matter what you choose to be.

This link will take you to amazing story of a guy that empowered himself to be the best that he can be and how he is now helping many of our youth today to be strong and believe in who they really are and to reach for the things in life they want.


In summary, there is often a lot of noise and excitement around personal development seminars that people often call hype, I call it encouragement just as I make lots of noise and am very excited if someone I care about is about to do something amazing. The value of personal development? Immeasurable!

Yours in Success

Linda Cargill-Selfe