Last month I was mentioned as an example of a successful business guru in the Belgian magazine Vacature (if you speak Dutch, you can read the whole file online).
When the journalist Nico Schoofs approached me for the interview, I told him I didn’t consider myself a guru, that the word had a negative image for me and that he might want to interview someone else. After he insisted I asked him for a few days of “thinking time”.
When I spoke about this situation with my coach, he asked me what the negative image was that I had of gurus.
I told him that this was the image in my mind: a person with a lot of people blindly following him/her, enjoying the adoration (even manipulating them) and deliberately leading some kind of a cult.
When my coach then asked me: “So that’s the image of a real guru to you?” I answered: no, for me a REAL guru is someone who is followed by people kind of against his/her will, who doesn’t have any hidden agendas, whose messages resonate with people so they consciously (not blindly) choose to read their books or attend their speeches or seminars, while still making their own decisions and have their own ideas.
A REAL guru is someone who is pure and authentic. Someone who walks the talk. Someone who is an expert in their field, willing to learn from other experts. Someone who is humble about the fact they only are an expert in one domain and still have to learn so much from others. And most of all, a REAL guru is someone who lives up to their potential, is in sync with themselves and is grateful for everything life has already offered to them.
“So,” my coach answered. “Maybe this is an invitation to become a real guru yourself then.”
When he spoke those words, something happened with me. On the one hand I realized that I am far from being a REAL guru, that I have still so much to learn, that there are still so many conscious and subconscious patterns to be dealt with, in short that it is an almost impossible goal to achieve. On the other hand it felt like a call to live up to my potential and to become more of the real “me”.
After our conversation I went back to the journalist since he was the one who “channeled” this invitation to become more of the real me and told him I agreed to be interviewed. I also asked him if it was possible to change the word “guru” into “expert” since that is still the word that I feel more comfortable with today. (But apparently “guru” sounds better in media than “expert” :-))
When he asked me in the interview if everybody could become a guru, I answered him: “Yes, if they become more the real “themselves” and follow their passion and heart, everybody can become a guru.”
“But why aren’t there so many gurus out there then?” he asked me.
“Because most of us don’t have the courage to make choices, to choose a field of expertise that really resonates with us and make the time and effort to pursue that dream and potential that is inside of us. It is the fear of not having enough.”
And although it might seem like that at first, I personally can testify that in the long run it is really worth the while, not because of the material success, but of the person you become, the real you.
So my question to you, dear reader, is: when do you make the choice to become a real guru, to become more of you?
With much love, passion and gratitude,
PS: thanks John for your wise words and encouragement! And thanks Ann for keeping me on the path of becoming more of me and not of becoming a “fake guru”!