I have reservations with these rags to riches stories. I’ve heard enough of them that end up being very much embellished and exaggerated that I tend not to believe the bulk of them.

Is it possible that some people manage to get out of poverty and become successes in business? Absolutely. Does that mean it’s probable for everyone in poverty? No.

Poverty severely limits what people are able to do because it limits purchasing power severely. It pains me when business people — who know this to be fundamentally true — ignore it in their furthering of this article of faith that anyone can make it big.

Your last sentence is perhaps the reason why I squirm so much when I read these positive psychology-based inspirational writing. The combination of exaggerated case studies in rags to riches stories and second-person urges to pick oneself up by the bootstraps tends to make people feel worse about themselves — not better. Essentially, the motivational writing then ends up doing the exact opposite of what it purports to do. Instead of making people feel good about what they may be able to do, it makes them feel terrible.

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Author of “The Wabi-Sabi Way” and “Be, Think, Do”. Subscribe to my newsletter “Woolgathering”: https://goo.gl/UhzUYL.

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