These days, it seems that self-proclaimed self-help gurus are a dime a dozen. Even a cursory YouTube or Google search will show thousands of results from different people, most of whom are rehashing and merely rephrasing things that have been said a million times before.
Most of these self-help guides are aimed at what the people behind them believe we want to be, do, or hear – how to get ahead in life, how to be successful at work, how to fix our mind-sets to become more productive and efficient.
Luckily, there is an exception.
Ralph Smart is one of the most popular self-help vloggers out there, with almost 244 million views on his YouTube channel, Infinite Waters (Diving Deep). His message is vastly different from what we’ve come to expect from self-help content creators: his aim isn’t to teach you how to be successful at work, but to teach you how to be free and happy.
Ralph is leading by example, as it were. Having studied a joint degree in Psychology and Criminology at the University of Westminster, he held various jobs: from working in retail and in a warehouse to a school and a hospital. But though he wasn’t overly unhappy with his 9-5 job, he decided to quit and follow his passions instead.
According to one of his videos, this decision was sparked by a piece of street art he saw in Trafalgar Square, including the words, “do what you love to do and the universe will take care of you”. This is exactly what he has done, and the universe did indeed seem to take care of him – his universal message of living a happy, free, peaceful life has resonated with millions of viewers around the world.
One of the interesting points he makes as part of his unique and refreshing take on success is in regards to what it means to be working. In today’s world, it appears as if we’re born pre-programmed with the idea that we have to go to work at some point, to have a career – that’s the end goal of our upbringing, education, and achievements up until our twenties.
In accordance with Ralph’s philosophy, it’s not the outside job that we should be focusing on. “The greatest work is the work within,” he says, referring to working on ourselves to become better, happier individuals. “The real job we have to do is learning who we truly are, learning compassion, doing what makes us happy, and providing value to those around us”.
His message is sure to hit home for most people, considering most of us become very disillusioned, very quickly when we finally reach the stage of having a stable job. Perhaps Ralph is right – wouldn’t the world be a much better place of more of us took the time to focus on making ourselves better, both for our own benefit and for others around us?
Many people seem to agree – Ralph has almost 2 million subscribers on YouTube, putting him well in the lead in the self-help and counselling category.