Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina

This Is Your Brain…

This Is Your Brain After Reading
Personal Development for Smart People…

Any Questions?

Actually, Yes. If Steve’s book is for “smart” people, why does your image suggest that my brain will get smaller after reading it?

Although the most obvious and very important first question, you’re going to have to wait for that answer.

In your newsletter a few weeks ago, you mentioned you were halfway through the book and that it was incorrectly titled. It should have been, “Spiritual Development Disguised for the General Public.” Why?

The book is based on the effective application, integration, and combination of three core universal principles: Truth, Love, and Power. These principles are at the heart of any person’s spiritual path as they strive to increase their awareness of their reality, their connection to others, and ultimately their ability to influence those things at will. I also find it interesting that without realizing it at the time, the final chapter in this book is “Spirituality.”

Chris, you still haven’t answered my question. Why do you think it was mis-titled?

In my experience, the general public uses “Personal Development” and “Self Improvement” synonymously… and usually without a spiritual context. Personal Development for Smart People is a very straightforward, candid look at the path which transforms an “average” member of society into a highly conscious and aware individual. Those two attributes alone are rarely used in relation to self improvement, but in my experience are almost always used to describe a “spiritual” person.

If Steve’s book is for “smart” people, why will my brain get smaller after reading it?

Don’t you hate it when people answer a question with a question? I just did it, and I’m about to do it again. 🙂 Have you ever had a “hunch”? Something you believed to be true, but couldn’t quite validate with the logic of your mind, and yet that “hunch” later turned out to be true?


Undertaking a spiritual path always leads a person to discover their own truths, and in order to discover our own truths we must align ourselves with our intuition. In my experience, the more in tune with my intuition I am, the less I need to use my mind to discover answers. In this way, one could say that even though I am becoming “smarter” holistically, my brain is becoming metaphorically smaller.

Personal Development for Smart People continually reinforces the importance of listening to your intuition to find the answers (truth) that apply specifically to you and enable you to live a more conscious and awakened life.

What’s so special about Truth, Love, and Power? If this is a spiritual book, like you say it is, then why doesn’t Steve talk about principles such as Courage and Oneness?

Actually, Steve does. The extended premise of his book is that the core principles of Truth, Love, and Power can be combined into secondary principles. For example, when you combine Love and Power, the result is Courage. Or when you combine Truth and Love, you experience Oneness.

The book goes into explicit detail about each of the 3 primary principles and 4 secondary principles. Steve talks about what a person’s life is typically like when any or all of the principles are out of balance or not being paid attention to, as well as what a person’s life may be like when they embrace the principles and live the life that they dream of in their heart of hearts.

I know you love spiritual stuff, so you’re probably biased and therefore finding a way to view this book in a spiritual light. Does it offer any practical advice on how to improve my life?

If I were to list all of the practical advice Steve gives, it would end up being nearly the length of an entire book all on its own. Every chapter is full of simple, challenging, yet highly effective exercises that you can do anyday and everyday in as little as a minute.

Like what, specifically?

Well, if you’ve ever wanted to change your diet or quit smoking, Steve shows how using miniature trials (as little as a week long) can give you the practice and perspective to discover for yourself whether the desired changes are truly in your best interests. That’s just an extremely brief example – there’s tons more throughout the book that relate to all of the principles.

What advice do you have for somebody who has never read Personal Development for Smart People?


Well, the obvious answer would be for me to tell you to “Read it.” 🙂 But in doing so, I would already be violating Authority, one of the secondary principles of the book, that encourages you to find your own truth through action. So instead, I will leave you with these parting words (that unfortunately and ironically ALSO violate the principle of authority as you’ll learn why in the book):

Follow your intuition. If you feel that “hunch” inside that says this book might have something of value waiting to inspire, enlighten, encourage, or even entertain you, then follow that hunch and see where it leads you.

To read more reviews of Personal Development for Smart People or to get your own copy, click here.

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