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I have been reading the Steve Pavlina website for some 5 years and I have long admired its content. It says a lot about Steve that he has allowed this huge amount of material to be accessed at no charge from his site. I found out about this book from his website some months ago, when I was just starting work on this site. I am therefore delighted to have the opportunity to review this book. It has the privilege of being the first book review published by me.
One thing needs to be made very clear, and it is implied in the book: the book is aimed at people who are either very focused on personal development or who are strongly interested in learning about it.
Steve states early on in the book that it is very content full. I would certainly agree with that assessment. It is a very intense and challenging book. As someone with a strong mathematics background I was most interested to perceive his mathematical structuring of the book. He clearly thinks in that sort of way. This means that it is not a book to be read lightly, as are a lot of self-growth books, but one to be studied and re-read many times. I spent some several days, perhaps up to a total of 15-20 hours, reading the book, only stopping whenever I felt saturated by the contents. I believe that I shall read it many more times, each time getting more from the book. In addition, it is likely that readers will gain more from the book on re-reading it as a result of growth gained from previous readings.
The book is made up of two parts. The first part consists of 7 chapters describing the 7 principles Steve defines; one per chapter for the primary principles of Truth, Love and Power and the secondary principles of Oneness, Authority, Courage and Intelligence. He also defines different aspects of a given principle, e.g. perception, prediction, accuracy, acceptance, and self-awareness for the Truth principle, and describes them in some detail. Each chapter contains suggested exercises for strengthening one's use of the given principle. Some of these may seem a little odd for people not accustomed to exercises aimed at internal development. As Steve says: if you are not comfortable with something in the book - ignore it. From my viewpoint, as someone who has done lots of these exercises, the book is more effective if the exercises are followed.
The second part of the book covers the application of these principles to various areas of life: habits, career, money, health, relationships and spirituality. It is Steve's suggestion that if any part of one's life is not working well then it can be identified in terms of one or more of the seven principles that is out of alignment. I have to admit that when I considered my life I could see what he meant. Each chapter of the second part analyses the relevant area of life, e.g. habits, in terms of the seven principles and suggests ways in which problems can be solved. In this particular chapter, Habits, he describes one of his favourite approaches, the 30 day trial. This means that a person decides on a habit they wish to change and determines to try a different way of living for 30 days. This is long enough to ingrain the new habit and short enough to seem realistic from the start of the trial.
My overall view of the book is that it is one that is well worth having for those who are serious about personal growth and maximising what they achieve during this lifetime. I certainly believe it was worth the effort to read it for this review. I would have obtained the book at some point anyway.
So, please help this book to rise up the Best Selling lists by buying it.
If you would like to find out more about the book before buying it, Steve has made part of it, including the first chapter, available free PDF sample of Steve's book 'Personal Development for Smart People'