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“Personal Development for Smart People” Book Review

Steve Pavlina is the author of one of the more prominent personal developments blogs on the internet, stevepavlina.com. Steve has garnered a reputation for taking an analytical approach to personal development.  While some gurus and coaches ask you take their advice on blind faith, Steven always encourages his audience to experiment with different techniques to see what fits best within their personal sphere.

Steve’s first book Personal Development for Smart People maintains that same analytical approach while introducing some new concepts, approaches, and techniques.

The book is divided into 2 parts.  The first part is called Fundamental Principles. This section discusses the seven principles that Steve deems fundamental for personal development. These principles include:  Truth, love, power, oneness, authority, courage, and intelligence. Steve asks that you internalize these seven principles before moving onto the second part of the book.

Steve includes some exercises in the first part to deepen your understanding of the principles. Steve introduces a technique called growth blitzing in which he encourages you quickly increase your alignment to the principles by setting specific growth targets for each of the seven principles and immediately make one small improvement.  He outlines some examples, and really challenges you to put forth some effort.

Practical Application is where the nuts and bolts start turning. The first chapter titled “Habits” has enough motivational and productive applications to have you busy for weeks. I thought it was a good choice filling this chapter with so many solid examples of how to implement better habits because ultimately the habits you keep shape your destiny.

The remainder of the Practical Application section of the book covers career, money, health, relationships, and spirituality. Steve has you view each of these through the seven principles outlined in the first part.  By looking at each of these areas with each principle in mind you are able to see different angles to the same idea.

Overall thoughts

As someone who has read countless self help, motivational, spiritual, and inspirational books, I believe that Steve Pavlina has brought something unique to the field.Unlike many self help books this book is void of fluff, yet it doesn’t come across as being too in depth for its readers to comprehend.

I generally alternate between reading books by spiritual gurus like Wayne Dyer and Deepach Chopra, and more practical coaches like Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield.  I thought Personal Development for Smart People was a welcome addtiion, smack in the middle of the two fields.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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