Personal Development For Smart People - Author Background
Steve Pavlina is one of the most successful bloggers on the internet, being the creator of the most popular personal development website on the internet today, StevePavlina.com. Millions of people visit his website every month, which provides enough free, high quality personal development content to fill several books.
Personal Development For Smart People presents a series of principles that Steve Pavlina hopes will help you to improve every area of your life including your health, career, finances, relationships, habits, and spirituality. The principles are:
* Oneness (Truth + Love)
* Authority (Truth + Power)
* Courage (Love + Power)
* Intelligence (Truth + Love + Power)
Steve Pavlina claims that he has found a simple, elegant, and completely original set of principles that are universal, and that are applicable in any situation, for any person, at any time. He states that he goal of the book is to bring you into alignment with the 7 principles - thus becoming a more conscious human being and living your life in the most intelligent way possible.
In the first part of Personal Development For Smart People, Steve Pavlina describes each of the principles in turn, devoting one chapter to each principle. It is difficult to describe the principles briefly as they need several pages to be fully explained, but I will do my best to briefly describe each principle as follows:
Truth means being totally honest with yourself and with others about everything in your reality. It means constantly seeking new truths about reality and incorporating those truths into the way you see the world. Truth also means making honest predictions about what your future will hold given your current thoughts, beliefs and actions, and constantly improving your predictive abilities by making new predictions, taking action to achieve them, and updating your model of reality as you learn more about what works and what doesn't in achieving your goals. You are aligned with the principle of Truth when you are completely honest with yourself and others.
Love means deciding what you will connect with, and what you will avoid. You can connect with a person, a place, a desired end result, or a thing by simply thinking about it, or going up to it and interacting with it where appropriate. Whenever you decide to connect with something, you simultaneously decide not to connect with everything else. For example, you can decide to connect with your television, or you can go and spend some time with your partner. You are aligned with the principle of Love when you feel good about the connections you are choosing, even if other people do not agree with your choices.
Power is the ability to consciously create the world around you, and to bring what you want into existence. When your power is strong, you will find it easy to achieve your goals and get what you want in life, but when your power is weak, you may find it difficult to meet your needs.
Oneness (Truth + Love)
When truth and love intersect, you have Oneness. Oneness is the idea that we are all connected and are all a part of the same whole. Oneness means that we are all cells in a larger body. Coming from this framework, we must do our best to ensure the health of ourselves, of other cells in the body, and of the body as a whole. This naturally gives rise to a global consciousness, and brings great responsibility to each and every one of us to do our best to help the world to be healthy and to achieve peace and harmony.
Authority (Truth + Power)
When Truth and Power are combined, this gives rise to Authority. Truth without power doesn't accomplish much, while power without truth creates wasted action. Authority is taking command of your life, and using what you know about yourself and the world to decide what to create in your reality, and to take the action to create it.
Courage (Love + Power)
You need courage to connect with the things that you really want. It takes courage to ask someone out on a date. You need courage to pursue a dream that you really want but don't know if you can have. Love helps you decide what or who you want to connect with in the first place, and Power helps you to overcome the fear of connecting with it. As Steve Pavlina says in the book, Courage involves asking, What is the path with the heart?
Intelligence (Truth + Love + Power)
Intelligence is alignment with Truth, Love and Power. When you are acting in alignment with all of the principles, you are acting on the best knowledge available to you, you are connecting with what you really want and what makes you feel good, and you are actively creating what you want and bringing it into reality. When you are in alignment with Intelligence you are acting completely congruently, which means that how you are expressing yourself on the outside completely matches who you truly are on the inside.
In the second part of Personal Development for Smart People, Steve Pavlina gives extensive practical advice for how to integrate the principles into your own life and to apply them to improve your Habits, Career, Finances, Health, Relationship and Spirituality.
My Opinion of the Book
Being a long time reader of Steve Pavlina's website, I was eagerly awaiting the release of Personal Development for Smart People. I was expecting a lot from the book, as I have found his website to be a source of some of the most consistently insightful and helpful articles that I have come across.
Before it was released and from the descriptions on his blog, I knew that this book was not just going to be a compilation and bringing together of all of his writings from his website (which would have been welcome in itself) but was going to be something completely new. But it was only when I began to read the book that I began to realise the depth and originality of what Steve Pavlina has been working on for the past 2 years.
Personal Development for Smart People is an amazing achievement from Steve Pavlina. It is a breath of fresh air and a whole new look at the field of personal development and how to live your best life possible.
The principles that I have briefly described above are each given several pages in the book, and each one is described fully so as to give a complete understanding to the reader. The depth and breadth of his principle-based approach is astounding, as he brings the descriptions of Truth, Love and Power much deeper and wider than their traditional definitions and usage.
But Personal Development For Smart People really comes into its own in the second part, where Steve Pavlina explains how to use the principles to improve every area of your life, including your Habits, Career, Finances, Health, Relationships and Spirituality.
In this section it is possible to realise the depth of Pavlina's understanding of personal growth and of the challenges that can be faced in each area of life. His experience of being exposed to feedback from hundreds of thousands of people over several years regarding their personal development problems and solutions is evident, as the advice he provides is tremendously practical and useful. He gives many real examples to give as much clarity as possible on how to integrate the principles into your life and solve your own real-life challenges.
How the Book Impacted My Own Life
Since I have read it, Personal Development For Smart People has definitely had an impact on my life. In particular I found the chapters on Oneness, Career, Money and Health to be the most helpful in accelerating my personal growth.
I found the chapter on career to be absolutely fascinating. It states that your career is simply your outlet for creative self-expression, and that it has two components, your medium and your message. Your message is what you express, and your medium is how you express it. We normally express what work we do in terms of our medium - we can say we are a writer, speaker, blogger, teacher, programmer, and so on. But our message is just as important, and actually consists of our life purpose - what we are here to share and to do.
I found this chapter to be tremendously powerful and it really helped me to clarify what is the correct path for me.
I thought that the chapter on money shows an incredible clarity of thought from Steve Pavlina. I never understood money as well as I do now that I have read this chapter. One of the aspects of money that Pavlina explains is that when you have a certain amount of money, this gives you the right to extract that amount of value from society, and earning money simply involves creating social value for society. The more value you provide, the more money you can earn - it's as simple as that. This is explained in much more detail in the book.
This chapter also helped me to clarify what my path is in life and what direction I want to take. It helped me to see even more clearly that if we really want to have financial abundance, that we must stop seeing other people as potential dollar signs, and must really focus on helping others.
As health (and particularly the optimum diet for humans) holds a particular interest for me, I was very interested to read this chapter. What really stood out for me was that although Pavlina is not afraid to include his opinion on the correct diet, he does not push us to eat a certain way. Read more ›