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

We have all these experts giving us different rules for how to manage our health, our relationships, our finances, our spiritual development, etc. But why should we compartmentalize our lives like this? Why should growth be so complicated? I wanted to find a smarter, simpler approach - a set of universal principles that we can trust no matter what problems or circumstances we face in life. Like many others in the field, I'd been writing about the branches of personal development, but what was really needed was a book about the roots.

is that book.

Book vs. Blog

Personal Development for Smart People definitely isn't a rehashing of previous blog posts or articles. The ideas in the book are new and original. Only a small portion of the content is based on existing material from this website.

This is a very unique book. Even if you've read 1000 or more personal development books like I have, I dare say you've never read anything quite like this.

You'll find this to be an incredibly well-structured book. I spent a disgusting amount of time on the book's high-level organization to make it as clear and easy to follow as I could.

I put a lot of effort into achieving a good left-brain / right-brain balance for the content. Even though I'm left-handed (and supposedly right-brained), I tend to be very left-brained and analytical in my writing, so I made a special effort to include plenty of right-brained material such as personal stories and application exercises to illustrate the book's key points. Even so, this is a very content-rich book. I shied away from including anything that seemed lightweight or fluffy. I wanted to ensure that every page would feature hard-hitting ideas.

The Core Principles of Personal Growth

I honestly expect this book will permanently change the way you think about personal growth. Instead of a monstrous sea of complexity, this book simplifies all growth efforts to a fairly simple set of core principles.

Those principles can be summarized by this diagram:

There are seven principles total: truth, love, power, oneness, authority, courage, and intelligence. All of these are universal principles, so they can be applied to any area of your life - health, relationships, spiritual development, finances, daily habits, etc.

These principles are so universal that you can pick up any decent self-help book, and you'll be able to recognize some combination of these principles in the writing. These principles are the roots.

Truth, love, and power are the primary principles. The other principles are secondary because they can be derived from the first three. The diagram shows how this works:

  • Oneness = Truth + Love
  • Authority = Truth + Power
  • Courage = Love + Power
  • Intelligence = Truth + Love + Power

What arises from this model is a new definition of human intelligence: Intelligence is one's degree of alignment with truth, love, and power.

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