personal development

Episode #29: Making Sense of Self-Development

Having been a student of self-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.

In this episode, I attempt to explain these three overarching categories, or what I call “meta-principles.” It’s a simple framework and is still under construction but there does seem to be something to it. At the very least, organizing information helps your brain remember it more effectively…

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…