Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth
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Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  2,053 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Despite promises of “fast and easy” results from slick marketers, real personal growth is neither fast nor easy. The truth is that hard work, courage, and self-discipline are required to achieve meaningful results—results that are not attained by those who cling to the fantasy of achievement without effort.

Personal Development for Smart People reveals the unvarnished trut...more
Paperback, 266 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by Hay House (first published 2008)
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Mark Dykeman
Mar 03, 2010 Mark Dykeman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Background:
Steve Pavlina, a former computer gaming software entrepreneur, started blogging about personal growth in 2004. He has pursued personal growth and self-improvement voraciously since avoiding a jail sentence for theft at the age of 19. Since then, he has undertaken many personal growth experiments, read and studied a great deal of material, and has worked to share that information with other people. He turned his life around and has done some cool, worthwhile things since then. In short...more
Nicholas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
kareem
Personal Development for smart people

TRUTH
7: In order to grow, you must repeatedly tackle fresh challenges and consider new ideas to give your mind resh input. If you merely repeat the same experiences, you'll stagnate, and your mental capacity will atrophy.

7: Excessive routine is the enemy of intelligence.

7: Think about where your life is headed and and yourself "how do i honestly expect my life to turn out?" imagine a logical impartial observer is assigned examine your life in detail and to pr...more
Chris
Found this book to be of little or no use. The concepts put forth in this book basically try to break down all personal development into the primary building blocks (truth, love, power). From this, a number of secondary elements are defined as the intersection between the primary elements. Overall, the book seemed to mostly be an attempt to justify the authors' definition of these building blocks, with little in the way of practical advice or direction.

The one section I did enjoy was the splitti...more
Sara Gran
I like self-help books, as long as they're actually SELF-help, as in help-a-person-discover-their-unique-destiny-and-encourage-them-towards-self-determination-books. Not help-the-corporate-economy-by-suppressing-dissent-books. So this is a good book to help you be more yourself, not more someone else.
Barryhobbs
I forget WHY I picked this specific book up. Something must have caught my attention on a blog somewhere about it. The first chapters where he is setting up the vocabulary that he will use later on are... thin and vapid. I found myself doing a whole lot of "yeah, I want you to talk about that", which is responded to with "we'll talk about that in a later chapter."

Once you DO get to the later chapters, he brings up a few good ideas, and a lot of exercises and things to think about. The money and...more
Greg Webb
I stumbled upon Steve's blog last year and found several of this posts insightful, useful, and fun. So I found his book at the library and after reading it, I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

This was a total switch, because where I found the blog posts to be enjoyable, here it seems he was trying to impress everyone with his intellect. I got the impression that because he was now a well-known, published, household name that he was forcing himself to try and cram as many 'big words' into a sentence as...more
Nancie Paz
First of all, the book is solid. Steve Pavlina is a great writer which is a skill he honed from writing so many blog posts--which are also great.

The reason this doesn't get five stars is because of the book's overall feel. It's different from some of his greatest blog posts.

I get the feeling that, unlike his blog posts which are often written more in the spur of the moment--and thus, often turn out better--this book was labored within the confines of a logical mind.

The principles ARE solid. The...more
Alex
Steve is a controversial person. I used to worship him, I used to question his choices in life... but all in all he is a very bright star in the personal development area and this book is one of the few ones that instead of just describing author's approach to personal development, actually tries to establish certain foundation that then can be applied to many other higher-level techniques including GTD, Covey's principles etc
Tom
The book of common sense. What is common sense in dealing with finances, relationships, religion, career, etc.
It was okay but was left a bit disappointed in some way. Can't really explain why.
Elias
Self-indulgent nonsense. Do not read this book if it was the last book on Earth.
Matt McCormick
A few years ago, I attended a weekend seminar by Steve Pavlina. A lot of what he talked about in the seminar is also in this book so I didn't think I would get much out of it. Maybe it was because the seminar was a few years ago and I forgot a lot about it but this book offered a lot of detailed, relevant information, basically about how to life a better life.

If you're a logical person, like me, you'll get a lot out of this book. Before getting into personal development, Steve developed compute...more
Robb
I find a lot of articles on the author's blog very helpful which is why I bought the book. There was a lot of helpful thoughts and advice in this book on living consciously. It was inspiring to me. The flow of the book at times seemed forced to fit his triangle diagram of truth love and power, but at the same time it was convenient to view a lot of topics within the context of these principles. For readers who are Christians, there were a few things in the book that do not resonate completely wi...more
Ryan Blum
While this book is at times hokey and often redundant, it does give a practical, principled-based approach to life and keen insight into applying his universal principles. Grounded in life experience rather than metaphysical gibberish, there is something that everyone could learn from Steve Pavlina's life philosophy. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to make, or consider making, important changes in their life.
Atul
A Great Tool For Personal Reflection To See Your Life A Little More Clearer. Like a mirror you'll get out of it what you are honestly willing to face up to while reflecting on it. Whether you're happy with what you see looking back at you,or whether you would like to make improvements to that image is ultimately up to you. But this book will certainly make you examine the reflections of your life a little bit more closely,with pointers on how to improve what you would like to see in your life's...more
Jen
I think there was a lot of valuable advice, but some of it just came across as something the author wrote in a manic phase.

Best part is how he recommends simply trying things for 30 days. Treat it like a science experiment, where you hypothesize, you test, and you either discard or keep. I think this really helps the mentality of "it's all or nothing, and I have to jump in at 100% right now!"...which is usually followed by "Ack! I failed...I give up, it was too hard anyway."

So, baby steps. Tell...more
Jomel Imperio
I've read this at least once before, or at least have tried to read it. I think it's a fairly no-nonsense, straightforward book, and that his framework is actually pretty useful. Perhaps you'll need to get past an initial instinctive distaste at his brazen usage (re-appropriating) of terms such as Truth, Love, and Power, but once you get used to it you'll find yourself drawing useful lessons and new ways of framing your life and how to improve it. (Admittedly though I really have to *do* things...more
Marcus Solberg
Not sure which year I read this one.
Eartha
I have recently started up on reading personal development books again. I love Steve's blog and was looking forward to reading his book. My favorite sections were the ones discussing relationships and money. I feel like I have a better understanding of how value works in terms of financial abundance.

I also enjoyed reading about his background as it showed how he used his mistakes as learning tools to develop his own personal growth. Definitely a good book to add to your personal development libr...more
TarasProkopyuk
Хотя ожидания не совсем оправдались для данной книги, но тем не менее должен признать, что книга заслуживает множество хороших слов о ней.

Она исключает ошибки большинства книг этого жанра. То есть, кроме того как развить личную эффективность автор дополнительно делает акценты также и на развитие себя в моральном и духовном плане, на своё здоровье и физическую подготовку человека.

Книга весьма многогранная, очень светлая и, уверен, для многих будет очень полезная.
Dave Bolton
Bought this after it Derek Sivers recommended it very highly:http://sivers.org/book/PersonalDevelo... -- Derek's notes are great)

I liked the very coherent and integrated view. It was very short on implementation though, and quite verbose, as much of Pavlina's blog articles are, for the amount of material. I'll keep it on the shelf next to 7 Habits, and probably refer to it a couple of times a year to keep me "aligned", so definitely a keeper.
Oleg Kartashev
For me - the best book about self development for the moment.
Not only the rules or exercises, but a whole Philosophy. Great work.

One small minus - some examples are based on Steve's business to write about personal development. This is some sort of recursion. And I don't admire it. To understand - look at numerous business-book-writers who made their money writing business books. This book is not around business, and that's why it is only a slight minus.
Lindsey Russell
I loved this book! There is so much to take away from it. It isn't a traditional business book at all. I recommend it for anyone who wants more out of life. It surprises me that it was included on the Personal MBA reading list (http://www.personalmba.com). Readers will also want to check out Steve Pavlina's website, http://www.stevepavlina.com. Lots of great advice!
Giber Becerra
Un gran libro que acabo de terminar hoy. El autor me dio otra perspectiva de como ver el tema del desarrollo personal desde un marco único e interesante basado en la verdad, amor, y la fuerza (poder). En definitiva tendré que leer este libro una vez mas y mantenerlo cerca de mi como referencia.
Lo recomiendo especialmente para cualquier emprendedor.
Katya
I think it is one of the best book I have ever read. Autor has very unique and intelligent approach to self-development and personal grouth. He tries to establish a set of 3 main principles (Truth, Love, Power) that form a foundation of all personal development, rather than just focusing on what you should do. I really enjoyed it. Highly recommend!
Max
Once I got into the right frame of mind to read it, this was an excellent book. Steve Pavlina tends to make broad, sweeping claims in it that take a little bit of getting used to, but his ideas are smart and I bet that if I remembered to apply them in everyday life more often, I'd be better off for it. I should read this again sometime.
Jo
This book was a challenge for me because I am so used to reading fiction mostly romance. I enjoyed this book even though the whole 'truth, love and power' concept was extremely repetitive at times. I took away so many things that I will be able to use in my life. This book has definetly halped me to become a better human being.
Tianyi
As a book author, Steve Pavlina may not be among the greatest. This book lacks powerful examples and scientific proofs. But the concepts of the principles are really insightful for me. I really like what the author said about Truth, Love, Power and other principles. The story of the author himself is also quite inspiring.
Eva Lantsoght
I'm doubting in between liking and not liking this book. Parts of it are too general to be actually useful, I think (some chapters are a broad expansion on the "Go figure it out yourself" idea), other parts seem to ring true for me and guide me towards things I should work on to grow.
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1316048
Self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site and blog dedicated to personal development, StevePavlina.com and the book Personal Development for Smart People. He writes on a broad range of topics, and his lifestyle experiments (e.g. polyphasic sleep) have generated some mainstream media interest.
More about Steve Pavlina...
How to Make Lots of Money (Without a Real Job) - Escape the 9-to-5 and Take Control of Your Life How to Get Things Done - Get Focused, Get Going, Get Results The Power of Habit : Turn Goals Into Habits How to Get Everything You Want (in the Shortest Time Possible) Steve Pavlina: Living Courageously

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“your relationships exist only in your mind. Your perceptions define them.” 0 likes
“So you have two basic options: deny the unpredictability of life and create your own false sense of security, or accept the vagaries of life and learn to live with them.” 0 likes
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