Dr. Wayne Dyer, born May 10, 1940, was a spiritual and self-help icon. He was the best-selling author of more than 30 self-help and spiritual books, Your Erroneous Zone, a highly motivational speaker and an inspiration for millions of people.
Dr. Dyer spent his childhood (until the age of 10) in an orphanage, then was taken into a foster home, where he was raised and loved. One day as a child, Wayne Dyer returned home from school, upset because he overheard his teacher calling him a “scurvy elephant.” When he shared this concern with his foster mother, she called the teacher who said, “Oh, that Wayne! He’s always getting things wrong. I didn’t call him a scurvy elephant. I said he was a disturbing element!
He went on to serve in the Navy for 4 years (1958-1962), then graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in counseling.
He began his career as a high school guidance counselor there and as a professor of counselor education at St. Johns University in New York City. His lectures focused on motivational speaking and positive thinking. The theories he discussed are what make up the content of his first book, Your Erroneous Zone, which was published in 1976. It is one of the best-selling books of all time, with approximately 35 million copies sold worldwide.
“Truly inspiring leaders get results by their own example: They encourage others to be responsible and do the right thing…they create space for others to be inspired and to achieve their own greatness.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
It is at this time, Dr. Dyer quit teaching and began his career as a motivational speaker and writer. He also helped raise millions of dollars with lectures for PBS.
“There’s no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There is only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
The context of Dr. Dyer’s books and lectures reflected the ideals of the New Thought movement, which promotes the belief that spirit is in and of all things, Infinite Intelligence (God) is everywhere, in everything and true human selfhood is divine; that divine thought is the power behind all that is good, and sickness originates in the mind where “wrong thinking” while “right thinking” promotes healing.
To his followers, Dr. Dyer promoted self-actualization, explaining reliance on the self is a guide to religious experience and advised people to emulate Jesus who he felt was a self-actualized person who relied on self-reliance. Self-actualization is the achievement of one’s full potential through creativity, independence, spontaneity, and a grasp of the real world.
“Self-actualized people are independent of the good opinion of others…Be a scurvy elephant.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
During the 90’s, Dr. Dyer began turning the context of his books and lectures toward spirituality and received an even larger following.
Dr. Dyer passed away August 30, 2015 from a heart attack, at age 75. He had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2009, but always stated he could eliminate it from his body. The coroner confirmed that there was no trace of the leukemia.
He was a true inspiration and will be sorely missed.