Title: Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth
Author: Steve Pavlina
Rating (out of 10): 9
The phenomenal blogger Steve Pavlina has become synonymous with personal development. Sharing for free his immense knowledge gathered from extensive reading and interviews, digested and assimilated in new ways, his blog is one of the top blogs in the field of personal development. And now Steve has turned his knowledge into a book. Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth has just come out, and it lives up to all that I have come to expect from Steve’s writing.
Steve starts out the book explaining where he was, and how he got where he is. He then lays out what he intends to do: to reduce all principles of personal development down so that they are universal, complete, irreducible and practical. That’s a very tall order. Ultimately, I think he succeeded.
The book is laid out very logically: first covered are the three core principles of truth, love and power (which I think would be more aptly named strength), then the secondary combinations of these principles into oneness (truth plus love), authority (truth plus power), courage (love plus power) and intelligence (truth, love and power). Each concept is covered in detail in a well designed chapter, easy to read with many examples.
This book can be read at two levels, and both levels should provide some benefit to the reader. The most superficial level can be obtained by a first reading, where exercises are given and the concepts presented in an orderly fashion. What I found, though, as I read this book, was that after I set the book down and thought about things for a while, I would re-read a section and find a whole other level within the ideas.
The only thing that bothered me about the book was that there were concepts put in that were not fully explained at the time. This is not a problem for someone familiar with Steve’s web articles. However, someone picking this book up without that background might be confused when the Law of Attraction is dropped into the chapter on Power without any explanation of what it means or why it was brought in.
Steve doesn’t pull any punches in this book, but tells the truth with compassion. His text flows naturally, conveying the ideas as if he were talking directly to the reader. Don’t be fooled, though. This is no fluffy “get everything you want tomorrow” book. In fact, it is the most in-depth book I have read in a long time. He thoroughly covers each of the topics, reducing it down to his criteria carefully and thoroughly.
My copy Personal Development for Smart People arrived right at a time when I have been struggling with what boils down to personal development. I can see that this book will be one I return to many times.
Overall, I would recommend Personal Development for Smart People as a must-read for anyone interested in personal development.
Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Steve Pavlina. I received a copy of his book from his publisher in order to review it.