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Personal Development for Smart People Summary

Here’s the Personal Development for Smart People summary. Learn what it takes to achieve success and personal growth through timeless principles.


Personal Development for Smart People author Steve Pavlina explains the truth about getting personal success. This is truly for smart people. There are no false promises here.

He explains that we need self-discipline, courage, and hard work if we want to be successful. He also explains the universal principles that will help improve our careers, relationships, businesses, and personal lives.

About the Author

Steve Pavlina has been focusing on conscious personal growth for many years. He has already written many articles about personal growth, productivity, passive income, relationships, and entrepreneurship.

He is one of the most recognized personal development bloggers in the world. His work has been attracting millions of visits each year. You can learn more about him through his website.

Main takeaways: Personal Development for Smart People Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from his book:

  1. Real personal growth is neither fast nor easy.
  2. Learn the universal principles and you can solve an endless variety of problems.
  3. Don’t pressure yourself to achieve massive success the first time out.

Real personal growth is neither fast nor easy

It takes work. We can’t just wake up one day and achieve personal growth in a matter of a few hours. It takes work and it can be real hard each day.

Many people expect that personal growth is just like a walk in the park. They think that they already know what to do. That personal growth will come right when they decide to do it.

The truth is real personal growth is a long and arduous journey. Slick marketers promise you otherwise. They say that success and personal growth is fast and easy. They say that if you buy their $999 ecourse, you will be successful. They say that all you have to do is do a few clicks and adopt a different mindset.

Slick marketers would even say “fake it ’til you make it.” You just dress and appear like a successful person and then you would be successful yourself. It’s wrong. Look around you. It’s likely you know someone who tries to keep up with the rich but he’s actually broke.

Don’t fool yourself that personal growth just comes by changing your mindset. The truth is that it takes work. And even if you think you’re already there, you’ll realize that you need to work continuously. It’s a journey and often a hard one.

Learn the universal principles and you can solve an endless variety of problems

The Personal Development for Smart People book focuses on universal principles. Many books out there focus on specific techniques for a specific situation.

Many books out there also tackle specific problems that most of us would never encounter. The result is that we gain knowledge that’s useless in the real world.

We memorize dozens of tactics that apply to many situations. But the truth is those tactics only work for a very specific problem. What happens if we encounter a new one? Should we buy another book and figure out the solution? Should we memorize dozens of tactics again?

The more practical solution is to understand the universal principles. The author explains 7 universal principles that help people achieve meaningful results.

Those universal principles will guide you to make the right decisions. They will also help you solve an endless variety of problems. It includes problems about relationships, career, business, spirituality, and more. If you understand the principles, you have a clear guide on what to do on each area.

Don’t pressure yourself to achieve massive success first time out

If it’s your first try going out there, don’t expect massive success. If you do, that is a sure path to disappointment. You might not even try again because you had false expectations.

Yes massive success might still come even if it’s just your first time. But all the stars should align for that to happen. You need an extreme amount of luck for you to become a massive success in your first try.

Don’t count on extreme luck. Focus more on the universal principles you can always count on. If you understand the principles, you can replicate your earlier successes. You won’t depend much on luck.

You might experience some failures during your journey to personal growth and success. But those same failures will actually help you grow and become stronger.

You might also experience an unexpected failure during your massive success. If you don’t know the principles, you might not have the chance to recover. But if you do know them, you can easily get back up and start anew.

There you have it. Aside from the lessons mentioned above, you’ll also learn the following from the Personal Development for Smart People book:

  • How to wake up feeling energized and motivated
  • How to start building positive daily habits
  • How to attract empowering relationships
  • How to enjoy a flow of abundance by following the universal principles
  • How to have the strength to pursue meaningful goals

My personal takeaways

We have a tendency to memorize a bunch of stuff without understanding the principles. Dozens of lessons might not work to another problem. But with the universal principles, we have a framework so we can solve a wide variety of problems.

We also like fast and easy results. Many marketers out there are fast to take advantage of our tendencies. They sell products and ecourses that promise us that we will achieve success in no time.

The truth is it takes a lot of work to achieve real personal growth. It’s not fast nor easy. It’s often slow and difficult. That’s why very few ever achieve it.

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