How To Exploit People To Grow Yourself

By Leo Gura - May 2, 2014 | 28 Comments

An advanced technique for taking your personal development to a whole new level.

Stupid People Everywhere

  • What does it mean to exploit other people?
  • It sounds nefarious, but this is one of the single most powerful personal development techniques that I’ve ever found.
  • This is an advanced technique, suitable for someone who is already psychologically well-developed.
  • As you study personal development and make positive changes to your life, you will start to embrace certain principles of success.
  • These might be principles you learned here on, or from your family, or from someone like Tony Robbins.
  • You will start to buy into the idea that to live a happy and successful life requires that you obey certain principles.
  • Then, as you go through life, you will invariably have all sorts of relationships that will produce conflict.
  • You will butt-heads with your boss, your co-workers, your family, your spouse, etc.
  • This is all very natural. But because you are a little bit more enlightened than the common-folk, you are going run into a unique problem.
  • Because you’ve studied and understood the principles, in this clash you will clearly perceive the other person as doing something stupid and unwise.
  • You will be in a prime position to know exactly how others are fucking up their own lives.
  • You will see people around you behaving in bad ways:
    • Anger
    • Unconsciousness
    • Depression
    • Negativity
    • Anxiousness
    • Impulsiveness
    • Gossiping
    • Short-sightedness
    • Playing the victim
  • This is going to make you feel very frustrated. You’re going to wonder, “Why aren’t these people seeing the dysfunction?! It’s so clear!”

In A Class All By Yourself

  • Next, you will eagerly go to one of these people and tell him exactly how he’s sabotaging himself.
  • But, much to your shock, that person will call your advice stupid, play the victim, and even lash out at you.
  • If you’ve never experienced this before, it will trigger you emotionally.
  • It’s going to make you feel very frustrated, and angry, and maybe even depressed.
  • You’ll wonder, “Why isn’t is he being to petty and closed-minded? I just went out of my way to help him!”
  • And from then on you’re going to start judging these types of people.
  • You are going to start saying to yourself, “This guy should be doing better in this area of life. That girl should be doing better in that area.”
  • Now you’re going to be in a mode of thinking that you’re better than other people.
  • But it’s true! You are better than other people! You are wiser, you are more conscious.
  • You clearly see how other people are sleep-walking through life.
  • Everyone around you will be seen sleep-walking: your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your friends, your spouse, your parents, your kids.
  • You will naturally feel like you’re above them, and this will create friction inside you.

The Exploitation Process

  • This state of affairs points the way to a higher level for you.
  • You can move onto a higher level only when you learn to exploit everyone around to your benefit.
  • Here’s how:
  • You see someone doing something wrong — something that breaks right principles — but then, instead of judging them, you turn that awareness back on yourself.
  • Examples:
    • When you see someone get angry, you turn it back on yourself and ask, “Wait a minute! How am I doing the same thing?”
    • When you see someone being negative, you turn it back on yourself and ask, “Wait a minute! How am I doing the same thing?”
    • When you see someone playing the victim, you turn it back on yourself and ask, “Wait a minute! How am I doing the same thing?”
    • When you see someone behaving unconsciously, you turn it back on yourself and ask, “Wait a minute! How am I doing the same thing?”

Practicing Self-Honesty

  • This is how to properly exploit people to further yourself.
  • This technique is sooooo powerful. What you’re basically doing is Aikidoing the problem.
  • The problem is that you have all these people around you behaving in unconscious ways. And you are tempted to go around lecturing them.
  • But if you do that, your higher self will slowly start to get more and more disturbed.
  • This will happen because your consciousness will start to see the unconsciousness and neurosis inherent in your lecturing.
  • The wise you will see that there is something wrong with the way that you’re approaching people.
  • What’s wrong is that you’re not being honest. You’re not registering those same flaws within yourself.
  • No matter how far along your are down the path of personal development, there will always be ways in which you are behaving unwisely.
  • But you will not want to admit this to yourself because you now have a self-image built around being the wise one.
  • Sometimes you will behave unwisely in glaringly obvious ways. But most times it will be more subtle.
  • You will be unconscious or angry or playing the victim, but in a way that’s not glaringly obvious, perhaps in some less visible part of your life.
  • You’re behaving unwisely every single day. But as human beings we have a tendency to overlook our own flaws while easily seeing the flaws in others.

You’re Just Getting Started

  • So what’s to be done?
  • First of all, congratulations for walking up! You are now in the top 1% of humanity.
  • But you’ve still go more growth ahead. Now you’re ready to move on to advanced personal development.
  • In your current level you’re seeing the faults in other people.
  • In your new level you will be using these dysfunctional people as a mirror to show you where you need to polish up yourself some more.
  • You are also going to have to accept that the world is largely neurotic, and this cannot be changed, at least in our lifetimes.
  • You have to come to peace with the fact that people will do stupid things and they may be beyond help.
  • From now on you are going to commit to Aikidoing all the neurosis you see out in the world to help yourself.
  • You will commit to exploiting everyone around you to iron out all your imperfections.
  • This exploitation isn’t evil or negative because it hurts nobody.
  • All you’re doing is using these people are reminders of what you should NOT be doing.


  • After you start doing this, you’ll actually become very thankful.
  • You will be thankful that all these unconscious people are around to serve as reminders for you to stay on the narrow path.
  • For example, when you see someone self-destructing and getting angry at the traffic, that reminds you of how important it is that you keep doing your meditation every morning.
  • You clearly see how your daily meditation is keeping you from being the angry person.
  • Another example: when you get into the office, you notice a co-worker being critical and cynical about a new proposal.
  • But now instead of getting annoyed at him, you look within yourself to see where you are behaving cynically in your own life.


  • The other way that you can exploit negative people is to cultivate motivation for your own journey.
  • People who are angry, negative, neurotic, helpless, etc. are excellent sources of motivation! Who wants to live their life like that?
  • You will notice if you do a lot of personal development just how easily you can get acclimated to your good results.
  • But when you see someone behaving badly, you can stop and realize, “Wow! That could have been me!”
  • When you do this, you become more invested in the personal development process because you clearly see the payoff of all your hard work.
  • All the sudden your desire to improve yourself burns even brighter.

The Wise Know They Have A Lot To Learn

  • This technique is advanced, and takes you to a whole new level, because it takes incredible self-discipline to practice.
  • This will not be easy for you. But the reward will be deep inner-peace.
  • Your mind will always want to find flaws in others while conveniently ignoring your own.
  • Your highest self will be put to the test if you commit to using this technique.
  • Consider, if you wanted to be a great golfer, would you be great if you practiced hard for 2 years and then never practiced again?
  • No! You would be rusty.
  • The same applies to your personal and spiritual development. You have to practicing consistently.
  • If you’re a student of personal development then you also recognize the importance of receiving constant reminders of the fundamental principles.
  • It’s not enough to just read or hear about a principle one time. You have to immerse yourself in them until they become imprinted in your mind.
  • Even if you’ve mastered a principle, your mind will still slowly backslide. You have to keep reminding yourself again and again.
  • The wise know that they can never be so wise that they don’t need further reminders.
  • Watch out for the trap of complacency. If you are doing good right now, that’s because you have good habits in place.
  • As soon as your good habits wither, your results will wither as well.
  • There is no resting on your laurels in personal development. You have to keep reminding yourself.
  • The best way to remind yourself is by seeing reminders in the bad behavior of others.

Bottom Line: Commit to using the negativity in others as a mirror for seeing hidden flaws within yourself.

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Mark says:

see my comment on youtube ! Thanks! very useful video in the right moment!

Tom says:

The title threw me off but my curioscity got the better of me; as I listened to the video I became very interested and focused untill you used the “F” expletive. Quite frankly there was no need to use that word;the dictionary is replete with alternatives. However I decided to carry on. It was a great video and I thought to myself what is it in my personality that I need to work on as a result of objecting to the use of the “F” word. It was a great video in spite of that piece of negativity.

Leo Gura says:


Duke says:

Hard core!

steve says:

yes i see it and right now with the people around me .
i’m ok with the F word and great content, keep at it thanks

Marian Palmer says:

Wow! The sudden realisation of going through life as a victim who provides maximum exploitation to others…….time to flip this one over and use your advice. Thanks for an insightful and potentially life altering message.

Ilse says:

Thank you for this video!

Denyta says:

I am so grateful to have stumbled across you and your wisdom. You have really helped my immensely.

STofts says:

Many thanks for this and all your other videos, I am a fan. One question: in this video you advise not trying to control others. I have a thirteen year old whom I support with school work and home work. This support I provide is a form of control, but it doesn’t seem right to stop this.

Leo Gura says:

Why are you doing his/her homework? Support is okay when asked for, but why are you turning this into control?

Nathan says:

Something I’ve thought about lately that relates to this video is the idea of empathy. Like you said, I feel like I’ve learned some thing about life that some people have missed and I judge them instead of seeing their faults in myself. I think it’s important for self-actualization to move away from setting yourself apart but instead for being able to better relate to others. Connection is better than separation. This may sound weird, but lately I’ve felt this sense of connection when I’ve seen people in pain or acting at a “low consciousness” because I’ve felt a similar pain and when I go through my own pain I realize that someone else has gone through something similar or worse and I somehow make it into a positive thing by seeing it as a chance to connect with them through it, these being people I may have not even met. It’s a very strange way of coping that I’m still getting used to.

Leo Gura says:

Goooood! That’s good! You’re on the right track.

Monique says:

Hey Leo,

Do these negative titles work on the average person, because they don’t work on me. I purposely avoided this video because I didn’t want anything to do with exploiting anyone in any way; but I’ve learned your pattern and knew it would be about something useful. But why the negative titles? Is it a marketing scheme? I don’t like it. Don’t we have enough negativity? A positive title might be How Unconscious People Can Help you Grow. It was a good reminder of a good principle, but I could have done without the negativity.

Leo Gura says:

Haha, marketing’s a bitch

Monique says:

My point is why use such an ugly term when it isn’t even accurate? To exploit someone is to gain at their expense; an idea, by the way, that you are completely against and go into great detail about in your video about competition vs. creation. You describe using an unwanted situation as a reminder to look within, so why use an inaccurate term with “nefarious” connotations? You’re just teaching your students bad habits.

ccv says:

Leo, when we reach a high level of self and personality development, i think it will be difficult to accept others , i mean you’ll not feel comfortable with sitting with people because you’ll be more conscience and awake and it will lead to not have a good friends i think?

Leo Gura says:

You will find cooler friends who are also into personal development. And your ability to accept others will increase, not decrease.

brian says:

LOL, omg i am at a outpatient rehab and we give feedback to others. I can see thru all of their flaws everyone its so obvious. So what do i do i give them all my feedback and they either get mad or dont take it. They think i am a mister know it all. Omg my ego wanted the praise of wow he is so smart, and when then dont give it to me i get mad and feel wronged lol,,Wow. While i am pointing their flaws out i was not pointing my own flaws such as anger, praise,and being to smart.

Leo is it ok to take the approach that i am willing to help people, however, unless they come to me and ask and want to work on it dont give my own advise. I am a little confused on when to share advice or when to keep it in…

Maree says:

Literally have done this my whole live.

Billy says:

Great video Leo,
I was curious why you would put material as I seen
Several people were about exploiting people, but reading
Enough of your material I have yet to see anything negative .
I tend to stay away or purposely avoid negative material.
I have been guilty of a lot of the things you mentioned,
especially addressing a flaw someone else might have
When truth said I have the same flaw and more. It liberating
once I realized I am nobody to give advice or judge others.
I love the aspect of gaining a positive life and being happy.
I think once I have a few more bad habits discarded
from my life then it will get even better. Things not people
or situations play a big roll in keeping me unhappy. I am
going to make a effort to get rid of those things and

Kathy Germany says:

I think of this vid very often. Just now I was writing diary and decided to comment this one, too.
Through buddhist teachings I early knew in theory that you can exploit ppl this way but now I start to feel it and see and be able to use it directly for me. In past I tend to fall in some spiritual standoffishness and jumpiness when I saw ppl around me moving in the same circle of patterns but it was just the ego which heard stuff, not really able to implement the wisdom. It didn’t drop into the subconscious yet so my autopilot still stuck in old behavior patterns even though my conscious new it ‘better’. I sometimes hurt people uncovering their patterns and myself feeling unconcerned. And I sufferd under this standoffishness as I was well able to see & feel this indifference, unable to cancel it.

After all your vids improving my love for life and myself again, my love for others came back differently and with some quotes of you fixed in my mind like “ground yourself in yourself”, the acceptence of that what is (byron katie), the trust that life makes no mistakes and some stuff is in ‘gods’ not in my (ego) competence, I can hold my emotions more in balance now (what I really wished) and not drifting into that standoffishness or other useless feelings. In past it was more like playing act – now for the first time distinctly I feel my ‘equity ratio’ and having more integrity finally babystepping to glean my own recurrent patterns especially through my best friends. ThX

Dana says:

This looks like a great and very key methodology that you are proposing. It is great! If one who try to self improve, do not follow this, the risk is that he/she turns into a second level of asshole: Arrogant, seeing himself better than all, judging and coaching everyone all the time, talkative, etc…. Because speaking is always easier than acting. And there is no mirror to look at oneself from outside. You do not see unless you try. So this provide a second level of awareness which seems really cool. Thanks a lot! You rock!

Eliza Parish says:

Thanks Leo, another great video. I have two questions, do you have any advice for when you are in the heat of the moment and you are directly experiencing someone being dogmatic and neurotic and trying to force their will upon you and you can feel yourself being affected by this be it anger or anything else. I particulalry find it difficult when it is coming from the types of people who are masking their ego in typically well respected job roles, duties and responsibilities. For example the neurotic mother who is running around doing everything for everyone but actually just forcing their will on everyone else.

Question two, any advice for what to do when you genuinely want to help people close to you who you can see are suffering, are we just supposed to leave them to figure it out for themselves, do we just need to be there and listen and avoid preaching and lecturing?

Would really appreciate any advice, thanks.

Eliza Parish says:

Just to make my first point clearer, I understand what you are saying re-frame their behaviour but what to do if before you are able to do that, you can’t get past the fact that they are really pissing you off, what area of how to blitz my own ego do I approach from there?

Hengame says:

Hey Leo very helpful video, i enjoy every single of your video,I am thankful for having this opportunity to use them.

shahar says:

this video has made a shift in my life and my journey… thank you!!

I often..title others as a good way,like a helper,like you say..a reminder

Chris says:

I watch one of your videos I like what I heard and I was very impressed I’m going to start working on myself in ways I never thought before and I want to thank you and I appreciate any other advice and videos sent to my email for self improvement

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