A recent trend I have been seeing from various people in personal growth, is to knock other teachings, or to knock old techniques they learned.


Maybe with misguided belief that it will separate them from the rest of the personal growth teachers. Or maybe, just because they don’t get that they are only knocking themselves.


One of my favorite is a few teachers recently have written articles that SMART Goals are stupid. The idea being that if SMART goals where so great, then more people would be manifesting their goals. One of my students sent me a link and asked my opinion on this behavior and so here we go: When you knock or attempt to tear down a teaching, you only tear down yourself. Here is what I mean.


If you get done with 4th grade, and move on to 5th grade, you learn new things. Once in 5th grade, you don’t turn back and look at 4th grade as being wrong, nor do you see the teacher as having failed you. You learned the lessons at that level / grade, because that is where you were in the moment.


This lesson isn’t just for people that teach personal growth, the lesson is for all of us.


I remember being seventeen and telling my brother who was eight years younger that he should save all his birthday money so when he is a teenager, he can buy a car. I thought to myself, that is great advice! I wish someone had told me that!! He saved nothing! I was so disappointed and grumpy.


When I confronted him after spending the money he had received, he said, “I don’t want a car I want this toy.”


I had missed a point that I later learned; trying to teach someone something that is important or relevant to you, doesn’t necessarily help the person. Meaning a better lesson may have been to teach him the importance of saving. Or teach him the value of money. Or, to let go and let him learn his own lessons on the path…..


Now that I am older, when raising my sixteen-year-old, I do my best to remember that I was once a teenager, and made “teenager mistakes”. Of course I believe nothing happens by mistake, so I don’t see his actions or behaviors as bad or good. They are experiences he is having, and I ask myself how can I guide him as a parent who remembers being a teenager. The lessons and topics we discuss are very different in comparison to the discussions I have with my nine-year-old.


I have had both ask me questions that I want to answer as a forty-five year old, and I need to teach them based on where they are.


So why do I still teach SMART goals? Because most people don’t even have a goal out in their future and where do we need to begin to manifest our deepest desires? With a goal / intention!


Sure, maybe one day, you will be so far down the path that you can just put an intention out there and things manifest. That will be a glorious day! And, when you are learning how to get there, you need to practice some basic things.


So in my humble opinion, when you tear down another’s teachings, or worse, a lesson you learned earlier that got you to where you are now, you are only hurting your own path. Respect that everyone has a path and everyone has lessons. Learn how to guide and lead others through your actions.


A hui hou,

Dr. Matt