What is the real definition of the word “guru”? How many real gurus, on different topics, could there possibly be? And what is this new emerging trend of having people describe themselves as gurus in their biographies and resumes?
The exact definition of a guru is: “is a person who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and uses it to guide others. A guru is literally a preceptor who shows others knowledge (light) and destroys ignorance (darkness)”. This definition lead me to think of all the so-called gurus I bump into on Twitter and other social media sites and of how annoying it can be to find hundreds of self acclaimed gurus with no proof or record of their expertise!
Therefore, I decided to compile a list, with examples, of the top ten things that I hate about fake gurus:
- False Credit: In order to be a real guru, you must possess certain characteristics, education and knowledge. So-called gurus are self acclaimed, which means they give themselves credit they most probably do not deserve! An example is a “tech guru” on Twitter with 72 following, 62 followers, a site which looks like a 1995 leftover with no traffic and around 414 updates about random things that do not relate to technology!
- Inaccurate Advice: A guru is supposed to provide his audience with advice, tips and information which is accurate and even more-so, life-changing! Falsified gurus will do the exact opposite, providing downright wrong advice that might get their audience into trouble! Check out the Financial Gurus Hall of Shame!
- Lack of Humbleness: A real guru is humble and selfless; helping his followers excel, learn more and be more just for the mere pleasure of watching them grow. Self-acclaimed gurus ruin that image by boasting about who they are and what they do!
- Unfocused Attention: Usually, a guru will be focused in one field of expertise in order to provide the most value to his followers. The so-called gurus of these days are “experts” in multiple fields despite their young age and lack of expertise in most of the fields! A great example is a “web guru” World Famous DJ, marketer and producer!
- Lack of Credentials: Real gurus are field experts who have reached a level of professionalism and expertise that enables them to provide any necessary credentials. In addition to that, they probably have a list of magazine articles, publications and/or successful conferences. A false guru lacks any credentials and yet promotes his image as a world wide expert guru!
Lack of Two-Way Communication: A real guru, naturally, will provide helpful tips and advice to his followers but will also place both time and effort to listen to their concerns and questions and formulate the right answers for them. Today’s media-made gurus just want to talk; they don’t care to listen! Here’s a very good example: How could you listen to your followers if you’re not following them back?
- Repetitiveness: If everyone is a guru in that certain field, they won’t reinvent the wheel, or will they? No, definitely not and this is why, with the increasing number of self celebrated gurus, everything said is becoming repetitive like a broken record with no added value!
- Inability to Practice What They Preach: Regardless of which type of guru you are, you owe it to yourself first, and then to others, to practice what you preach!
- Lack of Application: Yes, we all know that “talk is cheap”, but do so-called gurus know that? I doubt it! Fake gurus talk, make up theories and techniques that can “change the world” yet in application, they are only and mostly inapplicable theories!
- Lack of Commitment: A real guru will go all the way, walk the extra mile and have certain long term planned goals to achieve. Today’s abusive gurus are money-seekers, short-term oriented and mostly hoping for the hit and run profits!
Finally, I’ll leave you to think about this: If there are more than 7,000 gurus alone on Twitter, how many of them are real and how many are just guru-wannabe’s?
Would love to hear your feedback and any additional examples you’d like to share about annoying fake guru-related experiences!