Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Personal Development for Smart People: Habits and Career

This article is part of my series on Personal Development for Smart People. If you are new here I recommend you to first read my introduction to the book.

This is my first post about the second part of the book which talks about the application of the principles of truth, love and power to different areas of life. Below are my notes on the two life areas habits and career and their relationships with the 7 principles.


  • intro
    • habits are memorized solutions to get things done
    • sometimes inefficient, inaccurate or ineffective solutions are stored
  • & truth
    • list of positive habits
    • list of negative habits
    • list of new habits
    • bringing truth is important but nothing will change without action
  • & love
    • increase succes by reaching out for help
    • take advantage of the collective wisdom of others (mentors, friends, family, books, ...)
    • consider joining a group of persons with the same goal
    • strong addictions are rarely overcome without outside help
    • make a habit of reaching out and connecting with others
    • break the limiting pattern of trying to do everything solo
  • & power
    • most important for habit change
    • three phases
      • prepare yourself
      • apply the tactics for change
      • change the habit
    • 30-day trials
      • adapt the concept to concept to fit your level of discipline
      • works best with daily actions
      • get started on Day 1 : today
    • stair-stepping (gradually changing habits)
  • & oneness
    • consider the social consequences of your actions
    • make a habit of contributing to others
    • consider doing volunteer work, or find a way to contribute through your career
    • giving money is no substitute for direct involvement
  • & authority
    • you're the commander of your life
    • boost your effectiveness with new habits (list of 66 new habits)
    • simplest way to make an habit more significant and meaningful is to share it with others
  • & courage
    • must take the initiative and create the changes you desire
    • make a habit of doing something that scares you
  • & intelligence
    • consciously cultivate the most authentic habits you can, for each habit ask yourself : Is this really me?
    • ultimate goal is to create a set of mutually supportive habits
    • habits take care of the low-level details
  • conclusion
    • you'll have to invest a lot of time and energy
    • to live more consciously, you must cultivate good habits


  • intro
    • medium
      • how you express yourself
        • e.g. doctor, pilot, blogger,...
      • just a shell, doesn't define you as a person
    • message
      • what you express
      • message is who you are
    • sharing the same medium doesn't mean sharing the same message
  • & truth
    • essential part of career development
    • find the right medium for your message
  • & love
    • finding your true purpose
      • 1. take sheet of paper or open a blank text file where you can type
      • 2. write at the top : What is my true purpose in life ?
      • 3. write down an answer that pops into your mind, a short phrase is fine
      • 4. repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry, this is your core message
  • & power
    • current situation is result of previous decisions, free to make new decisions
    • go where your talents are appreciated
    • commit fully
    • up to you to develop your knowledge, skills and talents
  • & oneness
    • career is your primary outlet for contribution
    • don't accept work that dehumanizes you or anyone else
  • & authority
    • use your career to do work that truly matters to you
    • work for the ongoing betterment of yourself and others
  • & courage
    • if you aren't doing something that scares you and challenges you the you're playing the game of life to timidly
    • your career path should require courage
    • take calculated career risks, in the long run, you control the odds
    • you have to develop your failure tolerance
  • & intelligence
    • find a path that keeps you aligned with truth, love and power
      • needs : What must I do?
      • abilities : What can I do ?
      • desire : What do I want to do ?
      • contribution : What should I do ?
    • if not on the right career path, start doing what you love
    • there are no substitutes for true happiness
  • conclusion
    • must make conscious career decisions
    • don't compromise, get yourself on a path with a heart as quickly as you can
    • if you can't discover your ideal career, keep making the most conscious decision you can and you will get there eventually

Next post in this series is about Money.

All posts:

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