Personal Development for Smart People | Book Review
Steve Pavlina is the owner of a popular personal development blog, where he writes detailed posts on all areas of personal growth. Pavlina set out to identify the principles behind all conscious human development and presents his seven principles in his book Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth.
Pavlina starts with three core principles:
- Truth: Self-growth requires that you first understand how to identify and accept what’s true for you. Truth starts with looking at your life and recognizing what you do and do not want, what is and isn’t working for you. Once you identify your truth, you must fully accept it and become self aware enough to release your attachments to lower states (such as addictions and negative emotions) that do not serve you.
- Love: Pavlina explains love by saying that one of the fundamental choices people face in every encounter is to approach or avoid. The essence of love is the decision to connect. If you want to grow consciously, you must deliberately decide which connections to strengthen and which to let weaken. You then deepen love through effective communication and developing a sense of bonding.
- Power: Pavlina defines power as the “ability to consciously and deliberately create the world around you.” Although the word power has negative connotations to some people, power can be aligned with truth and love or with falsehood and disconnection.
After discussing the core principles of personal development, Pavlina then goes into four secondary principles:
- Oneness: Oneness is the recognition that everything is connected. Oneness is a conscious choice of seeing yourself as part of a larger body and deliberately tuning in to this connection.
- Authority: Authority purposefully blends knowledge and action to produce intelligent results. The five key aspects of authority are command of self, effectiveness, persistence, confidence, and significance. People of authority focus on what really matters to them.
- Courage: Living consciously requires courage to enable you to choose long-term gain in the face of short-term obstacles.
- Intelligence: Pavlina considers intelligence the highest form of human experience, what defines human beings. The qualities of intelligence include authenticity, creative self-expression, growth, flow, and beauty.
Personal Development for Smart People
In Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth, Steve Pavlina presents a clear and logical way of looking at self-growth, with a breakdown of principles that you can apply to all areas of life. Even though I don’t agree with all of Pavlina’s conclusions, I do recommend this book if you are looking for principles to help you on your journey of personal growth and want something a little different from mainstream self-help.