Working It Out

Self-help and the great host of gurus plying their trade is never-ending. There is a book and a product for whatever ails ‘ya, or a magic talisman that can turn any losing streak around.

Life reduced to a series of mantras, aphorisms, or simplified down to a three-step plan of salvation helps offset the pain that’s never-ending and always nearby. Visualizing a different reality doesn’t mean that the problems won’t be there when you come back from some other spiritual plane.

Hucksters selling snake oil or other magic potions were America’s first entrepreneurs. In fact, entrepreneurship, stripped of all its pretense and flavor-of-the-month status, still retains its lineage to its progeny; carnival barkers and the flim-flam men.

In our country, con men and their cons date back to the landing of the Pilgrims and much of the false mythology and bunkum that we celebrate 400 years later. Stealing land from the Native people in the name of God, or better, in the pursuit of mammon is deeply embedded in our cultural DNA. That’s why any con—regardless of deviousness or flimsy pretense—will fly, if given the right manner of spin and savvy sales pitch.

Setting yourself up to dispense wisdom and advice is heady stuff. Of course, real success comes with followers and a burgeoning audience, especially an audience that’s willing to fork down hard currency. Generally, it helps if they’re worse off than you are; spiritually, in a psychic sense, or even financially. Funny how that seems to work.

I’m guilty of dispensing my own simplified recipes for success. These were mainly based upon my own experience and steps that worked for me at the time. These may or may not work for you.

A portion of scripture popped into my head the other day; odd what our minds manage to dredge up from the past. 

“…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

Stripped of any theology trappings, it reminds me that we all have to figure out our own unique path forward. I can tell you what worked for me. My experience and past performance does not guarantee the same results for others. It might not work for you.

I’m working on my own shit today. Go and do likewise.