Review Self Development for Smart People

Self Help books don’t have to be lame, boring, or weird. If you pick the right ones, the have the potential to really help your life; action on your behalf is required though, never forget that. Especially when the books are insightful, refreshing and well-written, they can spark a fire within you that may have always been there, but needed to be ignited.

Ever since I was a little girl I read these types of books. In the library, I started scouting the Spirituality&Psychology Section as soon as I found out they had one: first book I ever read was one by Louise L Hay, undoubtedly one of the big names in self help. A love affair between me and self helpb books was born.

Self help books got me excited about life, about everything I could do. They gave me a peek into a world I liked to live in, one of endless possibilities and wonder. As I grew into a teenager, I kept on reading and started noticing serendipities, beautiful coincidences and sometimes even original thoughts inspired by what I had read. Now that I’m an ‘adult’ (term used loosely), I have very clear perspective about who I want to be, on top of feeling like I’m in a world where magic can happen and my positive attitude. Knowing who you want to be is a powerful thing, and I believe reading these types of books have taught me that, as well as how to take action upon what you know.

I’d like to take you on a tour of my favorite self help books of all time. My hope is you love them too and that they will help you too, in whatever way. At the very least they may be entertaining reads, because I picked entertaining reads on top of their other awesome features. 😉 Here’s number one: Self Development for Smart People.

Discovery of the book: November 2011, so very new to me. I love Steve Pavlina’s website, and I was curious about the book. It was easy to find on iTunes, and very little money would be wasted if the book happened to be shit. Turns out it’s the best 1,99 I have spent on anything lately. It’s also available in print for only 10,99 right here!

Main message: The triangle below. Three basis principles, when combined with each other to form other basic principles. If you’re aligned with the principles and their combinations, it’s practically impossible to be unhappy and unsuccessful. The book explains what the principles and their epic combo’s entail and -most importantly- how we can become more aligned with them.


Subjects: Everything. Seriously. This book takes the basic principles and somehow manages to incorporate them in about every area of life. First the chapters are about the different principles and their combinations, the chapters that follow are about health, habits, work, money, relationship, etc. Very effective stuff.

Kookiness Scale (1-10): I’m leaning towards 1, because I have read a lot of books that were way cookier than this one, but to be safe I’m going to say 2.

If you’re not really into super-spiritual stuff and prefer a more rational approach, this book is perfect for you. Most of it is super straight forward. Steve Pavlina is all about intelligent and applicable approaches. The only ‘cooky’ things he talks about is how we’re all connected to each other, but he manages to do it in a way you don’t think he’s a hippie.

Favorite quotes: 

  • “By cultivating your self awareness, you can learn to recognize when your judgment is impaired by strong emotions.” (Truth)
  • “If you want to grow consciously, you must deliberately decide which connections you’ll strengthen and which you’ll allow to weaken. Such choices ultimately determine the shape of your life.” (Power)
  • “Your experience is unquestionably your own. You can let yourself go, slack in your career, eat lots of junk food, and yell at your family, but the mess you create will be yours to experience.” (Power)
  • “No one is coming to rescue you. No one will hand you the career of your dreams, and no one will solve your relationship problems. No one will lose the extra fat on your body. If you don’t proactively solve your own problems, they will never be solved.”
  • “Genuine honesty is truth tempered with love.” (Oneness)
  • “When you’re really hungry, will you wait patiently for food to [just] arrive or will you get up and make something to eat?!” (Courage)
  • “Your honesty won’t always get a positive response, but allow others to have their reactions without feeling you must pretend to be something you’re not.” (Intelligence)
  • “Facing a significant short-term challenge today is vastly superior to decades of regret.” (Habits)
  • “You have the potential to live a powerful, self-directed life of your choosing, but until you step into your true authority, this potential remains a fantasy.”
  • “While it can be very challenging to install good habits, once they’re running strong, the effort to maintain them should be minimal” (Health)
  • “The best relationships serve to increase your power rather than diminish it.” (Relationships)

You should read this book…

  • If you like a straight forward and interesting book
  • If you like practical information on how to improve your life
  • If you like Steve Pavlina’s blog, articles and/or tweets
  • If you’re bored and have 2 bucks to spend.

If you decide to read it (or have read it!), please let me know what you think: I’d love to have your input. In the mean time, enjoy the weather and try not to get into too much trouble. 😉 Kisses.

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10 comments

  1. I am very rational, so this might be THE book for me. I just bought the book, because this review made me very curious.

  2. I had this completely warped picture in my head (like most people do) of self help and self help books. Until I came across Gala Darling and your website. Now I think I’m ready to give the actual books a try, so I might order this one! Thank you!

  3. ah, dit vind ik leuk, tips voor boeken. De meeste vind ik zooo zweverig. Ik ben wel benieuwd naar dit boek, hoewel ik het liefst nl boeken lees. aan de andere kant: galadarling’s love&sequins vond ik geweldig (niet alle hoofdstukken hoor) en die was ook in eht engels

    1. Des, de meesten zijn ook wel vertaald naar het Nederlands hoor! Misschien ga ik ooit nog als vertaler voor Zelf Hulp Boek Uitgeverijen aan de slag, speciaal voor jou. En Love&Sequins is amazing.