Self-help gurus are people who have written books on how to defeat this or that problem in your life. They may even have written more than one book and created an entire self-help program, but how do you tell the best self-help gurus from the charlatans? Well, here are seven characteristics of the highly effective, best self-help gurus to point you in the right direction.

1. The Guru Understands Your Issue Because He or She Has Lived It

The best self-help guru is one who understands your issue because he or she has lived it. He or she knows what it is like to be a former addict, a person struggling with depression, etc. and therefore legitimately understands the challenges you face and can provide help that makes perfect sense.

2. The Guru Does Not Just Write a Book for Fame

While many self-help gurus do become famous, the best ones do not write a single book and then go into hiding with all of the money they have made on the book. The best ones tour the country, appearing to support groups and acting as advocates for the issues they have experienced.

3. The Guru Advocates for Fellow Sufferers, Victims, Addicts, Etc.

The best self-help gurus advocate for changes to laws and policies, they advocate for cures and treatments that can make a difference, and they advocate for a better quality of life for those living with x,y, z. This may include events where the guru meets with politicians and gets involved with politics and lobbyists to exact change.

4. If the Guru Has a Background in Therapy, Physical Fitness, Health or Psychiatry, the Guru Takes on Clients/Patients

Not all self-help gurus are therapists or psychiatrists, but those that are frequently take on new patients. If you have tried everything else unsuccessfully, but the guru's book and methods seem to be working, you may attempt to schedule an appointment in person to see how much more he or she can help you.

5. The Guru's Words Are So Encouraging, Sensible and Easy to Follow

After reading the book of one self-help guru you find that you are able to easily follow the advice given and that the advice is sensible and encouraging, that is another characteristic that you have found a good guru. When continued practice of this advice remains easy to follow, that is one of the best guru characteristics.

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