Steve Pavlina has been a big influence in my life ever since I discovered his blog a bit over a year ago. At that time, he opened a lot of doors for me leading to my discovery of the wonderful blogging community I’m now a part of.
With that in mind, I have to say I was pretty excited when I learned earlier this year that Steve would be publishing his first book, one that promised to go beyond specific and narrow topics and right to the heart of what growth means for a human being, through the 7 fundamental principles he named truth, love, power, oneness, authority, courage and intelligence.
Has he achieved this highly ambitious goal? I can’t answer that for everyone; all I can do is to share my own impressions and let you draw your own conclusions.
I’m quite familiar with Steve’s writings, so I felt right at home when I started reading his book. It’s always refreshing to see someone capturing highly abstract concepts and expressing them in a down-to-earth, practical manner. The main thesis explained in the book is that overcoming every single challenge you face in life can be reduced to the application of 3 fundamental principles: Truth, Love and Power, from which all other are derived.
As I read through these chapters, what he wrote somehow felt right. It’s as if he had tapped into some universal, deep wisdom to extract these concepts. This is nothing new, as Jeff notes in his review, but the absolutely practical way in which these ideas are expressed make them easily applicable to daily life. This is Steve’s biggest accomplishment by far, although in his usual manner he heavily infused the text with current american culture, going a bit contrary to his stated goal of writing something universal and timeless, but that’s just a small caveat.
I must say I was very fascinated by the first half of the book, where the 7 principles are explained. I found them so obvious and elegant that I immediately added them to my intuitive vocabulary, and started to rethink my life in these terms. This happened even before reading the second half of the book, which explains precisely how to do that and which, in a sense, was more of a series of how-to guides than core content.
Here are the 3 main principles in short, in my own words:
Thruth is the capacity to learn, to see beyond the obvious and to face even the most uncomfortable facts.
Love is the feeling of connectedness and respect towards everything present in life.
Power is the means through which ideas becomes reality.
In conclusion, I would say this was definitely a read providing me with value orders of magnitude higher than my time investment. If this post has piqued your curiosity, the book can be found here at Amazon.
Into this fractal garden you can always retreat, surrounding yourself in calm, dim light and listen to the deepest heartbeat of the world, to the rhythm that sweeps you away gently into your own dance, your own ritual; unique yet connected to the steady pounding of this inner core.
This place is real, I can feel it deep within me. So can you, if you only care to listen to the subtle but constant drum that marks this most sacred spot, the very center of the world.
This post is part of Blog Action Day, and it’s already the second time I’m participating. This year’s topic is poverty. If you have any thoughts of your own you wish to add, I encourage you to participate on your own blog while there’s still time.
Poverty is nothing more than a state of lack in relation to your frame of reference. Defining oneself in relation to the possessions one doesn’t have is a self-perpetuating cycle through which one can never be whole.
The problem is that most people don’t have any idea of what they actually want.
This lack of wholeness leads to much frustration, which is then fed back into the cycle, continuing forever in this futility. Most of the time, what a particular person is looking for is something much subtler and harder to define than money. Money only serves as a bad substitute, something which socially conditioned values put front and center for no other reason than the utter inability of coming up with a more creative alternative.
I for one am not at all surprised or displeased at the recent turn the economy has taken. This “crisis” just exposes the fact that a large percentage of people are still stuck going round and round, trying to apply the same solutions to their intangible problems over and over again. An evidently unsustainable model which was bound to come crashing down eventually.
Only through awareness can this larger problem of humanity be overcome. This century puts the tools of communication at our disposal in a way which greatly helps this process. As more and more people start finding alternate ways of living, the entire social model of what wealth means is starting to change.
The solution doesn’t lie in donating to poor kids in Africa once in a while and then looking the other way; it lies in fundamentally changing the way society as a whole perceives money. As soon as the people who are not in direct need start to care more about sharing than having, about giving than receiving, the rest will take care of itself.
And in the process, it’s getting easier for those who wish to lend a helping hand to people who are really in need, right now, to do so.
So, even if things are looking bad on the surface, now is a better time than ever for us as a whole to overcome poverty once and for all. I won’t ask you to run off and donate some cash; just take some time tonight and think deeply about the role money plays in your life, and how your attitude is affecting the collective consciousness of humanity. That is what will ultimately bring about change for all of us.
Let’s just pretend that weird ghastly kitsch experiment never happened, shall we?
Luckily that version never made it to the gallery, but this one will as soon as I get my computer undre control again.
Are you afraid?
What if you were immensely powerful? In such a state you would fear nothing but maybe one single thing… your own power. What is a nightmare? Turning your power against yourself. But what else can you do when you’re afraid? There has to be another way.