Personal Development For Smart People.

Personal development for smart people

Personal Development for Smart People is the first book written by Steve Pavlina.

You are probably wondering who is Steve Pavlina and why am I reviewing a book about Personal Development on a site about sheds?

Well, to cut a long story short I first came across Steve Pavlina's website about a year ago and it was his article '10 Reasons Why You Should Never Get a Job' that propelled me towards starting this website. This article helped me see a mistake I had been making for the last twenty years and to see the world just a little bit more clearly!

About Steve Pavlina

Steve writes the worlds top personal development blog with over two million visitors per month (for those of you not familiar with internet traffic statistics - that is popular!). Steve writes very well and his blog covers a wide range of topics. On his website Steve says that there is enough material to fill over 20 books. So why write a book at all? I believe that the reason is that this book helps one understand the material on the website better and he hopes that by having a hard copy available he will reach a new audience.

Steve's background is as a computer scientist and mathematician. So he is naturally very keen on solving problems and reducing them to first principles (A bit like an engineer really!) The book is Steve's attempt to reduce human behaviour to its most basic and powerful elements and then try to understand life from that stand point. Is it possible to do this in one book? Well, in my opinion Steve has made a great try.

Having said that the book is insightful, Steve makes no promises as to the results that it will produce. At the end of the day he stresses that it is very much up to the individual to consciously participate.

About Personal Development for Smart People

It is impossible to paraphrase the book as it's scope is both wide and deep. I can just say that the three main principles it discusses are Truth, Love and Power. These principles, Steve asserts, are timeless and were as applicable 1,000 years ago as they are today and they will still be applicable 1,000 years from now!

So how has this book helped me in writing a website about sheds and how will it help you build your shed?

Well, the book influenced me to start sharing my knowledge of sheds and shed building and so indirectly it may be having some influence on the physical world in that hopefully your shed is going to turn out better.

The foundation (and the first half) of the book rests on a description of three fundamental human principles.


Seeing the world as it really is. This is essential for success in engineering (a misunderstanding of gravity can have dire consequences!) It is also just as essential for moving forward in the human world and recognising when you have made a mistake and how to correct your behaviour. Only by seeing the truth and understanding the world how it really is can you get the results you want – whether that is a shed that stands up or a happy life!


Not necessarily the romantic type! This type of love has more to do with connecting with other people and the world. I can say that creating this site has helped me to progress further along this path. By writing a lot on sheds, a subject in which I have a personal interest (there are now over 70 articles and more than 40,000 words on this site) it has helped me to learn more about the world, deepened my own knowledge and enabled me to connect with other people with similar interests.


Not the "I want to control the world" type of power. More cultivating the ability to consciously and deliberately create and influence the world around you.

After introducing the three basic principles Steve then combines these to describe four more secondary principles; Oneness, Authority, Courage, and Intelligence. Thes principles and their underlying characteristics are described in a very clear and understandable way

Applying the Principles

The first part of the book is essentially setting the scene. The second half of the book moves away from the theoretical and into the practicalities of how to use the 7 principles to improve your life. By understanding how to align your life with the fundamental principles of Truth, Love and Power it enables improvements to be made in the areas of; habits, career, money, health, relationships and spirituality.

The first half is not dry at all but the second half offers practical and sometimes times unusual/thought provoking practices to enable a deeper understanding of the theory. For example in the section on habits Steve offers not 5, or 10 , or 20 but 66 different habits you could form to improve your personal effectiveness. In my opinion this is typical of the book in over delivering on its promise.


Steve Pavlina certainly does have a knack for giving new insights and offering helpful suggestions to problems which otherwise could seem intractable. The book is much much more than a collection of hints and tips on personal effectiveness. It definitely touches on many, many deep points that are common to us all.

I would definitely recommend a read of Steve's Blog (careful here, once you read one article you can get hooked and have difficulty dragging your self away), to see whether you 'resonate' with his ideas. If you like the blog you will also like the book and it is great to have some thing in your pocket for those moments when you are away from the computer.

To read more about Personal Development for Smart People or to order Click Here

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