I live in a small town in Spain and whenever I try to talk to anyone about Medium, or writing in general, I am met with crickets, even more so when I bring up personal development. So over the last few weeks I have been sending over trending self-help articles (along with a great deal of my own) to a handful of my more negative Spanish, Catalan and European friends and calling them later in the day to discuss what they thought.

Below are a few of their responses:

1. Do Americans really tell each other how much money they make? No wonder Trump is President.

2. I thought the word “humble” could only be used to describe someone else, not yourself. My English is not the best, but isn’t that the opposite of being humble?

3. Hold on a second. Did that dude refer to himself as “homeless,” because he was sleeping on his sisters couch after he got out of college? Again my English is not the best, but………

4. I think the difference between Americans and Spanish people is that when we have a bad idea for a business, we do not spend money on it. In Spain, when someone fails with a business, they hide. It seems like in America they just become writers.

5. Having a “service mindset”? What is this? People that clean bathrooms?

6. Gratitude? Do all americans write about gratitude? This reminds me of Mother’s Day on Facebook where my American friends announce to the world how much they love their mom, despite their mom not being on Facebook.

7. It is almost as if people forget that people have been traveling for thousands of years to make a better life for themselves. So — “No”, I do not want to read another article about how some “nomad” affords to live on a beach. More than half the world’s population lives near water. You want to impress me? Move to Kansas. (ouch — that was mine)

8. I like this John Gorman guy. He strikes me a a real honest son of a bitch. He would do well in Spain (there is no higher compliment here).

9. Why is it that the same guy who writes about being successful said that he lives at home with his parents? If that was the case, every 30 year old male in Spain would be called successful. Actually, I live at home and my mom makes some pretty good meatballs and I can eat them whenever I want. Am I successful? Maybe I should start writing?

10. Isn’t writing about productivity the opposite of being productive?

11. I think the people writing about all of this (and I quote) “Tony Bobbins stuff,” are the only one’s that need to listen to the advice they give (ouch — mine).

12. This post about procrastination strikes me as a perfect example of someone who should stop procrastinating and do something more productive with their time.

13. Is Tiffany Sun her real name? I like her. She’s good.

14. Same goes for Kris Gage. Great name — as is Nicolas Cole. No offense but these people sound so much cooler than Michael Thompson. Maybe to get more followers, you should change your name. Michael Moon. Michael Ruler. Michael Iron. Get it? Sun, Gage, Cole. Hahaha — I may be high, but I don’t think I am wrong here (this conversation lasted an hour and I have been sober for 6 years).

15. Cold shower? Journaling? Does anyone really do this shit? My grandfather smoked a pack a day plus and drank like a fish and you should have seen the smile on his face.

16. Bliss? Is this a rainbow flavored orgasm?

17. This article should be 10 sentences. No more. Who has time for this?

18. Didn’t I just see that picture? Don’t these “creatives” have friends who are photographers?

19. That article you sent me was promoting a podcast. Did you mean to send this over to me or did they put the link in the wrong place?

20. If all of us did what this article said we should do, wouldn’t we all still be mediocre?

21. Oh Jesus, when I said to use your friends photos, I did not mean to have them only take photos of you.

22. Did someone leave a comment correcting a spelling mistake? Really?

23. (From someone else) It looks like to me that the best way to get engagement is to make a bunch of grammar mistakes so people leave a comment. Want to make connections and get views on your article — make mistakes.

24. What is this clapping about? That guy just listed out his morning routine and the world went nuts. I am going to start posting my to-do list on here. I am going to be famous.

Last, but not least…….

25. I think we have something like Medium in Spain, it is called our private diaries (mine also). This little experiment you have going on — is over.

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2 thoughts to “25 Thoughts About Personal Development from My European Friends

  • christine

    Hi Michael,
    I understand your concern about your name; I knew a guy called Michael Thompson once. He left his wife with no money and two autistic kids. True story. Not entirely relevant, but true nonetheless.
    Seriously though, I loved your article. I laughed out loud and frightened the cat. I’m thinking about signing up. I could do with the followers on Medium, but I don’t struggle for inspiration. There must be some other reason people don’t read, clap or follow… sigh.
    I am challenging myself to blog every day for 90 days after some clever clogs suggested it on Medium. I got sick of having so much spare time after Nanowrimo finished. At least I don’t have to drink so much this month.
    Now I’m off to slowly trawl through each of your posts and comment on spelling errors.
    C

    Reply
    • Michael Thompson

      Haha Thanks Christine and please do not correct my “speling” as it will be a waste of your time. Have a great week.

      Reply

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