Unfortunately, a lot of people out there are just trying to get your money, your time, and your energy. They set up MLM scams with huge promises of profits and a steady income and as soon as you send them a check they disappear. These imposters talk about healing and life improvement while spending most of their time counting dollar bills and recruiting more followers. They may even be a family friend or someone you know, which makes the sting of having trusted them much more painful when they lower the blow. This has made many in the world set up a wall around themselves; they trust no one and nothing at all. One of the problems that this creates, however, is that your personal development as a creative person may depend on believing that some people are actually telling the truth. Sometimes you must dust off and use your faith when a new opportunity arises.
We’ve all been hurt by people. We’ve been hurt in relationships, in business partnerships, and in our jobs. It’s a feeling that burns every time we think of the memories surrounding it. The advice we often get is to be more cautious next time. Many television shows and movies have sported the phrase, “Trust No One" and personally I know a lot of people who have taken that “wisdom" to heart.
My first two years in Chicago were very rough on my trust of the world. I put myself in a damaging and expensive relationship situation. I had been robbed at gunpoint at one of the train stations. I had a roommate and landlord conspire to take away a security deposit I had made through a verbal lease agreement. I felt as many people would feel undergoing these situations: jaded. I found myself complaining more often and enjoying myself less at work and during my free time. Money was tight and I was feeling more and more disconnected from the city and my friends. At one point, I even considered moving back in with my parents in Pennsylvania.
Looking back at this time in my life, I can see how “lifetime-negative" people get started. Like an avalanche of all things horrible, a few bad events in a row can trigger an endless internal and external pity party. People who hate their jobs, their bodies, even their partners. But worse than that is that they don’t feel like there is anything they can do about it. Their friends try to give them advice to help but the disenchanted have closed themselves off from all avenues of personal escape. Left unchecked, these folks have the potential of one of the worst fates known to humanity: living and dying unhappy.
I’ve always been a sort of a naïve and gullible person. As I was getting more and more jaded, I still occasionally had random bursts where I was running on faith with the strangest of things. This was probably the habit that ended up bailing me out of my seemingly interminable funk.
The wonders of Google led me to the discovery of the field of Personal Development. It definitely had the fishy smell of the self-help parodies of Stuart Smalley, but I decided to give it a shot anyway. My haphazard application of faith actually ended up working on something positive. I’d tried get rich quick schemes, I’d bought programs that were full of crap, and I’d even once accepted a large check from Nigeria (I’m a real dummy sometimes :)), but I had never stumbled onto something that was actually meant to help people. Steve Pavlina, still my favorite personal development author, wasn’t looking for money or fame, but he was looking to help the consciousness and well-being of others. At least that’s what his self-description said.
I gave his ideas a shot. Two years later, I’m writing my own personal development site. A lot of steps have occurred in between me finding out about this field and my attempt to contribute to it. But if I hadn’t even tried the “30 Days of Success" in the first place, I might still be mired in the pits of my depression and lack of fulfillment.
I know that it’s scary to trust people. I know that this website isn’t the prettiest thing in the world so it’s probably a little hard to trust me. That being said, you have a choice. Live the same unhappy life you’re leading, or trust the advice that tells you that there is a better existence out there for you.
Over the last couple of years, I have trusted various products and people: Steve Pavlina, Stephen Covey, Earl Nightingale, paraliminals, meditation, raw foods, Spring Forest Qigong, Law of Attraction, etc. Some of these things have not worked for me, and some of them have worked wonders. Sometimes I take the advice of people I trust and sometimes I take a random shot in the dark.
The ideas I’ve gotten from these people and products have helped me to develop a happier life. It was my faith that these ideas could work that helped me press onward. All of the random crap that I say on this site will be of absolutely no use to you unless you take some of these concepts on faith.
I want to help you. I want other people and ideas to be able to help you. I want you to be able to help yourself. You absolutely need to trust something and somebody at some point if any of those things will be possible. Please consider taking a risk with a new idea if you are unhappy with your life or if you feel as though you could be more productive and successful. There is a very high ceiling in this world and we all have the opportunity to reach it.
Give up the "Trust No One" mentality. You may end up just encouraged enough to become a better you.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.