Principle #3: Maintain Balance (The ABCs of Self-Development)

This category is a bit harder to describe than the previous two, partly because it’s so ubiquitous (how do you explain water to a fish?) In a nutshell, it has to do with balancing opposing forces in order to establish harmony. It is characterized by equilibrium but also by paradox. In many ways, it is axiomatic because it describes how the world is ordered and the natural rhythm of life. It’s the philosophy behind the Yin Yang symbol. Here are a few concrete examples…

Principle #2: Get Clarity (The ABCs of Self-Development)

If you browse the self-help section of almost any bookstore, there seem to be nearly infinite principles, strategies and tips for living well.

But it goes deeper than self-help. Psychology, religion, philosophy and other fields all offer advice for how we ought to conduct ourselves and treat others: Meditate. Be more productive. Journal. Live in the now. Love thy neighbor. Be more assertive. Practice gratitude. Never be satisfied. Focus on the positive. Prepare for the worst case scenario. Be self-aware. Accept yourself.

It can be overwhelming.

But what if there are far fewer self-improvement principles than we think there are?

Principle #1: Pay Attention (The ABCs of Self-Development)

If you look at the self-help section of almost any bookstore, there seem to be nearly infinite principles, strategies and tips for living well. But is this really the case? What if there are far fewer life principles than we think there are?

Being a student of personal development and other related fields for the past 15 years, I’ve been exposed to a massive amount of ideas. Recently, I’ve been thinking about the best way to organize this information in order to make sense of it all…

Ask Me Anything #2

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Hey -- long time no podcast!

After a brief hiatus, I'm back with the second Ask Me Anything episode of this podcast. 

The reason for the delay?

1. Vanessa and I were on our honeymoon for a couple weeks and I decided to take a break and enjoy our adventures through Spain, France and Italy! (It was wonderful).

2. I've been reflecting and reassessing the ideas I put forth on TGP to make sure I'm creating content that is both useful and also an accurate reflection of my current areas of interest.

For the past year or so, I've been going through what you might call a "Brainaissance." I've been exploring a variety of subjects with which I was unfamiliar with and also diving deeper into subjects about which I had some knowledge (i.e. evolution, personality types, political theory, philosophy, etc...).

This process has led me to look at many of the ideas I talk about on TGP through a variety of different lenses and from a variety of different perspectives. I want to make sure that as I grow, my content grows with me.

Part of what I've been doing is reflecting on the best way to align "ThinkGrowProsper, the brand" with "Ruben Chavez, the ever-evolving human."

I'm happy to say that I'm feeling very good about the ideas I've come up with and the goals I've set for myself.

I also want to thank you all for your patience and unwavering support while I took some time to gather my thoughts. There would be no ThinkGrowProsper without you. You are the reason I have this platform on which I can share my thoughts and (hopefully) add value to the lives of others. I do not take this responsibility lightly and truly appreciate your support.

I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway from the episode. Let me know by leaving a review on iTunes with something that resonated with you in this episode. (I read every review).

Questions Answered

  • Is it necessary to do something great and earn fame? Can't I just live a normal life and make my family and people around me happy? (7:35)
  • How do you deal with difficult people (13:00)
  • How do you read so much without getting overwhelmed? (17:45)
  • How do you retain information better? (21:37)
  • How did you get into Stoicism? What books do you recommend on this philosophy? (25:34)
  • What do you have to say about confidence? What is it? What books can I read? Most importantly, what can I do to be more confident (please don't say "believe in yourself" because I do). (28:35)
  • You talked about overthinking in a recent podcast episode and gave some strategies for overcoming it. But I don't think overthinking is a bad thing. Wouldn't the opposite of overthinking be underthinking? (34:05)
  • Are you able to give more advice on self-worth and staying positive? (38:05)
  • You mentioned you were working on a book. When will it be done? (46:50)

If you enjoy this episode and find value in this podcast, I humbly ask you to please subscribe and/or leave me a review on iTunes. Or you can just share this podcast with a friend who you think might find value in it. If you’ve already done any of these, I want to take a moment to sincerely thank you. I truly appreciate your support.

If you have any suggestions for future guests or topics you’d like to hear covered, you can email

What did you think about this episode? Leave me a comment below!

Ruben Chavez is a writer, personal development educator, and host of The Think Grow Podcast. His Instagram account, ThinkGrowProsper, has amassed over 3 million followers. Along with his blog, these platforms are his way of inspiring and connecting with thoughtful, creative, and ambitious people just like you.