Once upon a time, self-help gurus were just that – gurus. Holding the same level of inaccessibility and distance as celebrities, they would travel around the country – or the world – charging money for tickets, enabling only the select few to see them in action for a couple of hours.
Today, thanks to modern technology and the popularity of vlogging and social media, the way self-help ideas are delivered have changed considerably – and arguably for the better, though still not without high-concept branding.
Self-help YouTube vlogger Ralph Smart is one of the few experts in his field who are unpretentious, accessible, and likeable on a personal level. His YouTube channel, Infinite Waters (Diving Deep) is full of incredibly helpful, insightful advice, philosophy, and guidance that he delivers in a natural, upbeat, easy-going way that is sure to resonate with the modern viewer.
Ralph’s channel contains thousands of videos – the ‘Anxiety Free’ playlist alone features 2,400 clips. Within them, Ralph covers a range of issues that most of us deal with at least at some points in our lives – stress and anxiety, the quest for freedom and happiness, love life, the feeling of emptiness and lack of satisfaction. In short, Infinite Waters contains a universal message – both in that everyone will find something useful to their own unique situation there, and that Ralph’s words are aimed at everyone, regardless of their situation.
Ralph’s philosophy and advice are born from his own journey through life and towards reaching happiness – though as he often mentions, working on improving yourself every day is the crucial part, and it’s not as if you can achieve a point in your life where you’re completely happy and can quit trying. One of the points Ralph brings up in his videos is that of being somewhere in the middle: “between knowing that you were born perfect with everything you need, and at the same time, knowing that you can still work on yourself.”
Working on yourself, in the context of Ralph’s message, is just that: working on becoming a better, more compassionate human – rather than working towards monetary wealth. This sets him apart from many self-help speakers past and present, whose main goal is to help others increase their productivity and efficiency – not necessarily finding happiness along the way.
After graduating in Psychology and Criminology at the University of Westminster, Ralph practiced counselling for several years. Ill health caused him to be hospitalized for about a month, and this experience led him to the realisation that he wants to dedicate his life to helping others. He has since travelled to five continents to help others and to broaden his horizons, adopted a vegan diet and a clean-living lifestyle, and ultimately decided to focus on teaching others to find happiness through his award-winning content – the vlog and his book, Feel Alive.
Even if you’re not a big fan of self-help content, it’s worth checking out Ralph’s ideas. Universal, moving, and presented in a thoroughly accessible way, they’re sure to resonate with just about everyone.