Self-Help Has A Lot in Common with Religion, Including Fake Gurus

2 fundamentally useful concepts frequently abused

Pranshu "Maverick" Dwivedi


Licensed Image purchased by author from Dreamstime

I am not a religious person but I wouldn’t call myself an atheist either.

I do believe there is a higher power, or simply destiny or something beyond our control that also isn’t sheer chance.

By birth or lineage, I am a Hindu, and it is a religion as good as any other, so I never bothered to renounce or convert to another.

My relationship with self-help advice is a bit similar too. There are some good tips that come along that I cherry-pick, while others I put in the trash bin.

As I gave this similarity between self-help and religious beliefs some more thought, I was astounded by the similarities the two have, and how many of them can be rather dangerous. Let’s take a look.

The basic premise that each works on is faith or hope

Religion, largely, centers itself on the premise of a higher power and our faith in that power. Some kind of god, scripture, or a central belief system, that you must follow to get closer to that divine being.

A faith that following a certain set of principles or leading a certain kind of life will put you on a righteous path and steer “karma” in your favor — do good, and good shall happen to you.

Self-help advice is largely the same thing. A set of guidelines or rules or words of wisdom that show you a path to follow with a promise of a better life or contentment or some sort of positive change.

None comes with a “guarantee” but does come with somewhat of a promise — a promise nobody can be held liable for.

In the end, they’re both working on the same basic psychology of humans.

There are no absolute s— a lot is open to interpretation

The trouble with religion is that it isn’t something any living person today can claim to know completely because most religions have existed for centuries or longer.

A lot is open to interpretation. Whenever there is something that’s open to subjectivity, there is room for…



Pranshu "Maverick" Dwivedi

Thinker, finance professional, loving husband, a doting dad, fitness enthusiast! MBA in Finance & Marketing and Comp. Science Engineer.