When I first started out in personal development, I read about every post I could on StevePavlina.com. This introduced me to many different ideas, some of which I only grasped several months later after re-reading the article, but which fueled my desire to grow. I recommend you start your own journey by making a list of personal development websites (preferably blogs), which you can turn to for answers, inspiration, and motivation. You don’t have to read for hours on end like I did, but try to read a few posts every day for some weeks. It will have a tremendous effect in your beliefs and consciousness.
Here is a list of the personal development blogs I frequently read, some for a longer time than others, and a quick description:
- StevePavlina.com – The best personal development blog I know. Steve’s blog has over 1000 articles, and there is bound to be a lot of value there for you. I’d recommend you go through the ‘Best Of StevePavlina.com’ to the left, pick a title you like, and go with the flow of the recommended posts at the end. (Click here for my list of favorite Steve Pavlina posts).
- Follow The Red Queen – I came across Alice’s blog by chance and it became one of my favorites after a few posts. She might not write as often or as much as Steve does, but her posts always make sure to wake some dormant part of me up and show me a new perspective on things, which I am very grateful for.
- ScottHYoung – This is for you folks that want to be more productive, learn how to learn, and take more from life. He has some very interesting posts on relationships as well, and his site is worth looking into.
- Hack The System – Maneesh Sethi is really cool. You’ll find that his posts are very fun to read and always add value to your life.
- Finerminds – The Finerminds Team posts very often, and there is a post for everyone. There you’ll find tips on how to be better and manifesting, how to be in the moment, and what to do about specific situations that might not be going so well in your life. The posts are shorter, but you can usually use their information right away.
- ZenHabits – I’ve only recently started reading Zen Habits and am already hooked. His archives are full of value to be found and simple ways to improve your life.
- The Minimalists – This blog is about letting go of what is keeping you behind, whether it be material possessions or relationships. I’ve just begun exploring it, and it seems promising. (Check out my favorite posts here)
- The Polyman – This blog is for men who want to be better men. There you’ll find helpful advice on all things related to masculinity. It is still a comparatively small blog, but I’ve read every post and it has helped me a lot.
This is my list of personal favorites, all of which I follow through Google Reader (if you don’t know what it is, man, I’m sorry for you… Just kidding, read up about it here, or just start using it, you’re smart, you’ll figure it out.). Go through the websites and add those you like to your Bookmarks or Google Reader, so that you can check them regularly for new content. Absorbing new information will be very helpful to you, even if you’re not sure what to do with all of it yet. Now, right after finishing this post, find other personal development websites you like and add them to the list as well. Do not dismiss a website just because some posts challenge your beliefs, those are the ones that will make you grow the most.
Maybe you prefer reading a real book rather than a blog, and that’s fine, there’s a place for you, too . I’ve chosen my two favorite personal development books for you, and really recommend you get them. Here they are:
- Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth – This is an awesomely well-structured book that breaks personal development down to three principles and their combinations. It is written by Steve Pavlina, and is my personal development bible. I’ve only read it once, but I love it and am looking forward to reading it again and doing the exercises.
- Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives – This is a novel written by and about Dan Millman, and the teachings of his mentor Socrates. I’ve read it, listened to the audiobook and watched the movie twice. I’ll read it again in the near future. That’s how much I love this book. It has given me so many breakthroughs and I resonate really deeply with the knowledge presented. You will not regret reading it.
After you read this post, either buy a personal development book, or find on in you home, and start reading it. You can thank me later.
You didn’t think you’d leave this without a tool you can use right away, did you? There are many helpful mindsets in personal development, and now I’ll describe to you one that I found useful to raise my happiness right now by a few points as well as help me grow.
See Everything As An Opportunity (For Growth)
So your car broke down? Instead of reacting to the situation by feeling sad, respond to it by asking yourself: what can I do about this? How can I learn from this situation?
One of the things this will make you do is accept your reality (a key component to lasting happiness). This doesn’t mean you can do anything to change your reality, just that you have to learn to accept it before all else. Here are a few situations and possible reactions vs responses:
We ran out of milk. Reaction: God dammit, when will they learn to buy some milk before we run out of it? Now what am I going to eat? (frustration, possible anger) Response: Hmm, ok. Well, did I really need to have a snack? If yes, then let me try to make something I’ve never tried before! (acceptance, excitement)
My girlfriend cheated on me. Reaction: That bitch! Now way I’ll ever forgive her. (resistance, anger, sadness) Response: Oh. I wonder what lead her to do it. Maybe I have been neglecting her; maybe it’s time to turn this into an open relationship; … Enough assuming, let’s go talk to her and see what can be done. (acceptance, curiosity, growth)
I was fired. Reaction: It’s Obama’s fault! He should never have done (insert policy X, Y, Z here)! Now how am I going to pay my bills? My life is ruined… (I think you know what belongs in here) Response: Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. Now let me find a way to make something meaningful out of my life. How can I contribute? What is my passion? (Do you notice a pattern?)
It’s easier to respond to smaller things and hard not to react to others, like the death of someone close to you, but with practice, you can do it.
Now write down 5 adversities in your life that you reacted to, and noted how you could have responded to them instead. Try to apply this in your day-to-day life as much as you can. Start seeing opportunities in everything.
Next we will go over the best catalyst for growth: Change!