Personal Development – Don’t Believe The B.S!

"The Great Gordino" "personal development"There is a picture that often crops up on social media sites, telling a moving tale of redemption and personal development. When I investigated it further though, I discovered an even bigger lesson…

The picture is of bullfighter Álvaro Múnera Builes who gave up bullfighting after this fight, to campaign against it. Here are his words about the moment…

“And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer – because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth.”

Very moving, right? Inspiring even.

Except it isn’t true.

The picture isn’t Alvaro Builes, it’s bullfighter Francisco Javier Sánchez Vara.
The words aren’t from Builes either – they come from a newspaper article by Antonio Gala Velasco.

Basically, the picture and the story could appropriately be described as B.S.

"personal development" "Gordon Bryan"

Here’s an actual picture of Builes. He was only ever a novice bullfighter, and he gave it up because a bull made him give up – he was caught by a horn and left paraplegic. It was only the contempt he felt from those that treated him that led him to campaign against bullfighting.

It was the power of the internet that first brought the picture to my attention, and it was the same power of the internet that meant it only took me a couple of minutes to get to the true story.

That’s important.

Although the principle may be inspiring, it’s the importance of checking facts that is the point behind this article.

In the areas of self improvement, goal achievement, personal development and so on, I have written for many years about the power of reading the stories of others – picking up tips and ideas, concepts and inspiration.

That doesn’t mean that you should take whatever you come across at face value! Do some research, take some time to check the facts.

It may mean that something you wanted to believe is revealed as untrue, but the value of that is greater than building your progress on false facts. If you still want to take inspiration from something you come across, then fine – run with it and use it, but unlike generalised motivation, I find it’s better to check when it comes to facts involved it stories.

It’s the same with advice people give you. I think it’s best to listen to advice from any source (listening does not mean you have to act on it by the way!). As this advice comes in, whether it’s how to do something, or who to speak to, don’t just blindly believe it.

Even if it comes from someone who has achieved great results, the advice they give might not quite tally up.

So, on your journey to improvement and development, as you move towards your goal, be open to new ideas – that’s always a good idea, but remember to check your facts so that you don’t end up believing the B.S!

That’s it for today – do let me know what you think!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. You might enjoy another article, ‘Goal Achievement – Are You Neil Armstrong?’

Do leave a comment!

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  • Who we listen to and follow is going to determind our success in life. I’ve learned what not to do by listening to those I know are promoting B.S. Personal development is the difference between a $2,000 a month job and a $20,000 per month income from doing what we love to do.

    • Thanks Mark,
      It’s all about the research! Good point about still being able to learn from the BS by doing the opposite!


  • Great article Great Gordino!!! There is indeed a lot of BS out there, especially since everything revolves around a “good story” and “enticing soundbites”…there are loads of truth spinners out there! Thank you for this reminder, it helps put things in perspective! 🙂

    • Thanks!
      ‘Truth spinners’ is a great way of putting it – I may well pinch that for an article title!

  • Good reminder for everyone to do their research. I’ve changed my mind about making a few posts because I “dug a little deeper” and found the links to lead to untrustworthy sites, flashy media or they were just broken.

    As far as trusting specific information, again, double check, as stated in this article, you don’t want to feel foolish down the road.

    • Thanks Maryann,
      Because the digging can be done so quickly and easily nowadays, it really should be taken onboard by more people.

  • Hi Gordon,

    another good life lesson told in a story we can all relate to. Correct matey, there is so much BS out there, it is sometimes hard to pick up on the good stuff. Thanks for pointing this out. All the best buddy 🙂

    • Thanks Paul,
      Yep, sometimes it can be tempting to want to believe something that sounds good, we lap it up without checking.

    • I guess there is an inevitability about it Roy, due to lack of censorship.
      That freedom of expression and creativity is great, but it does allow some rubbish to get through. I just tend to have the same approach to online information that I have to what I read in the papers..!