For as long as anyone can remember, there have been experts in every field of endeavor. Today, these experts share information like wildfire. There are scores of forums and social networks available through which they promote their ideas and beliefs. Here's my question, though: Is all this information helping? Has the world become a nicer or better place in the information age? I don't think so.
Ted Talks, for instance, are entertaining, cool, and interesting -- we might feel inspired after we watch them. But how long does this inspiration last? Is there any sustainable substance behind what's being shared? A similar dilemma exists in sports. There are tons of instructors, statisticians, and coaches doling out all kinds of information. But are athletes getting better? I'm not so sure.
The reason for this lack of improvement in our lives is simple: We're addicted to the hype and sensationalism around the Ted Talk generation of expert. And as a result, many of us fail to notice the real sages in our midst. What's the difference between the two? Well, compare this list to those "gurus" you now follow on Twitter: Copernicus, Newton, Gandhi, King, and an inconspicuous welder from Nova Scotia with only a ninth-grade education -- a man named Sydney Banks.
Over 40 years ago, Syd uncovered the psychological/spiritual principle that our feelings on the inside have nothing to do with what happens on the outside. Our feelings come from thought. Every week I write about the implications of this inside-out paradigm. From performance, to relationships, to finding clarity and calm -- the lives of people who grasp it are transformed.
But we shouldn't overlook this key fact about Syd (and the other sages as well): Syd spoke Truth. What he uncovered pertains to everyone. It's universal and thus has the potential to change the world. Again, that's a far cry from today's gurus. For the most part, they preach concepts, percentages, theory, and techniques -- all personal judgments and opinions, not truth. There's nothing personal about truth.
That's why Ted Talks are not changing the world. Only truth can do this. Syd Banks matters because his vision flipped the arenas of psychology and self-help on their heads. With no training or formal study, he showed that every human being possesses a deep inner wisdom. He revealed what's inherently possible, or true, for all of us.
In other words, Syd Banks matters because he proved that there are genuine sages among us today. To find them we just have to wade through a sea of personalities -- and know what to look for. Perhaps one of them is you.