Those who can, they do; those who cannot, they teach – thus goes an old maxim.
This can be a bit harsh to the teachers and coaches. Of course I include the writers of self help books and motivational speakers in this category. I say this even thought I myself have been and still do, off and on, teach, give pep talks and write on ‘Art of Living’.
It does not mean that teachers are not successful. Only thing is that their growth, in the field that they are teaching now, has stopped.
Now consider this. If somebody is passionate about science, he (she included) would go into the depths of science and come up with some invention or land mark scientific theory. He would not plunge into teaching science right after graduation or post graduation.
Players usually become coaches when they are well past the time when they could win at professional sport. In a sense they are teaching because now they can’t.
In fact I would rephrase the saying to say that those who can should not teach, at least while they are still doing it and in the filed they are doing it. There comes a conflict of interest issue here. When a writer conducts creative writing workshop I do not think she will honestly pass on all the secrets and tricks that has made her successful. Similarly, a professional payer cannot share all his secrets to others who are either his competitors or his potential competitors.
Today the book market is flooded with self help books. It is another issue that that the majority of the self help books do not help as was found out in a survey done some time back.
Before picking up a self help book one should do this simple probing. Did this author succeed in any thing other than in the field of writing self help literature. Recently, a book titled Success Mantra became a best seller in India. At least it was claimed to be so. The writer of the book is Mr. Subrat Roy and he wrote this book while he was in jail for his fraudulent practices. No doubt he has been successful. But what kind of success are we talking of?
Those who never worked in an office writer books about how to succeed in the workplace. Sometimes, people who failed in every field they tried their hands on, write books about how to achieve success and suddenly the book becomes a best seller.
Similarly, I come across a number of motivational speakers whose only claim to fame is being a successful motivational speaker. Many of them chose this field because they could not stick to and persevere in their earlier chosen fields. Some of them might have been kicked out of their earlier jobs. Yet, they are hired by companies by paying hefty sums to motivate their employees to work hard and be more productive.
It is not that I have been a strict adherent of the wisdom I am dispensing here. I have also read a number of best seller self help books. One thing I have noticed is that if you pick any book, not only does it say why this book is the best book, it also tries to convince you that all the other books are totally out of time and useless. Now examine another scenario. Suppose there are 100 self help bestsellers. Every books proclaims that other ninety nine books would not work. So by the authors’ own collective admissions 99% of self help books do not help.
But all self help books are not totally useless. Occasionally, you may comes across a book that dispenses wisdom and insights to uplift you.
I have come across friends and colleagues who are addicted to self help books. They do not read anything else. If you are one of them, remember: there had been successful people since the time of Adam, long before the Americans started flooding the market with self-help books.
Of course, you may take solace in this positive possibility. If you read enough number of books on how to become a motivated productive employee, one day you my end up becoming one of those motivational authors or speakers.
Well, what has been your experience? Please leave your opinions.