Dr. Wayne Walter Dyer, whose best-selling 1976 book decrying the vice of blame and preaching the virtue of self-reliance, “Your Erroneous Zones,” propelled him to a prolific multimedia career of advice-giving and spiritual counseling, died over the weekend in Maui, Hawaii. He was 75.
Dr Dyer was the author of more than two dozen books that sold millions of copies, he specialized in the self-help, how-to-live genre, with titles like “10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace,” “Manifest Your Destiny: Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Everything You Want” and “Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life.”
He was born in Detroit , Michigan on May 10, 1940. His father, Melvin Dyer, left the family when Wayne was a toddler, and his mother, the former Hazel Irene Vollick, placed Wayne in foster care until he was about 10. He graduated from high school in Detroit and served four years in the Navy before returning to the Motor City to continue his education at Wayne State University’s College of education, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy, a master’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in counseling.
By the mid-1970s Dr. Dyer was a psychologist on Long Island, an associate professor at St. John’s University in Queens and the author of two counseling textbooks. A literary agent, Arthur Pine, encouraged him to put his ideas about erroneous zones — his term for self-destructive behaviors, like regret and anxiety — into a book for popular consumption.
Excuse: It will take a long time.
Dyer’s Affirmation: I have infinite patience when it comes to fulfilling my destiny
The book sold more than six million copies around the world, but not before Dr. Dyer spent months peddling it himself — traveling around the country with copies in the trunk of his car, delivering lectures and doing local radio interviews. By 1977, he was giving what he called “lecture concerts,” including one at Carnegie Hall.
Dr. Dyer, who lived in Maui, was married three times and divorced twice; he was currently separated from his 3rd wife at the time of his repose. He leaves behind six daughters, Serena, Tracy, Stephanie, Skye, Sommer and Saje and two sons, Shane and Sands; two brothers, James and David; and nine grandchildren.
“My life really hasn’t changed dramatically, other than in some material ways — not monetarily necessarily,” Dr. Dyer said in an interview with The New York Times a year after “Your Erroneous Zones” was published. Dyer was a strong proponent of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Self-Actualisation and used the Maslow pyramid in his work.