Living Intelligently with Steve Pavlina

Article by Shannnan Heinitz

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Steve Pavlina's book

I have been a fan of Steve Pavlina ever since I discovered when it was created, so I was looking forwards to his new book, Personal Development for Smart People. In it he explains the foundation of personal development of Truth, Love and Power. I would like to share how applying these principles can enrich your understanding of your own personal meaning to life to unlock the secret of the most intelligent way to live.

The first half of book covers the core principles of Truth, Love and Power and the secondary principles of Oneness, Authority and Courage. The primary principles are:

When all primary principles are aligned together, a final principle that Steve labeled "Intelligence", the highest form of human expression that is greater then the sum of its parts.

The Secret to Living Intelligently

Before you can truly live intelligently, you have to seek a purpose to living that goes beyond satisfying your basic needs. Steve Pavlina has previously written the benefits of knowing your purpose in life, why it matters and he offers an exersize in discovering your life purpose.

In his exersize, he asks you to answer "What is my true purpose in life?". Even when I first thought about that question, I realised it approached the secret of life purpose from a very narrow angle. I started noticing other ways of determining your life purpose, such as "What would I do for free?", "What do you fear the most?" and later when Steve acknowledges following your heartbreak is a powerful way reframe your life purpose.

That led me to realise something. If we imagine Steve’s Truth, Love and Power triangle and imagine in the centre holds life’s purpose as the most intelligent way of living, then we could discover that secret from a variety of angles. I realised the question "What is my true purpose in life?" seeked through truth and "What would I do for free?" sought the secret via power.

As you tackle the exersize, you can expect a variety responses as you get closer to your true purpose. In my own experience I found:

Truth, Love, Power and Cobwebs

I like to imagine that the secret to living intelligently is a bright shining light globe in a realm of Truth, Love and Power. Surrounding that light globe is layers of cobwebs caused by years of misconception and of others telling you the life they want you to live. If you don’t have a good sense of your life's purpose, then the light doesn’t won’t be bright at the moment because it is hidden by layers and layers of cobwebs.

Just because you are searching from one angle doesn’t mean that the only cobwebs you are clearing. All this searching also works in the opposite direction, fear is opposite of courage, just as heart break is opposite of love. Your life purpose be comes clearer by either pulling the cobweb out or wading through it. The more cobweb you clear the brighter light and the clearer your purpose in life becomes. Without further ado, here are twelve further questions to consider.

Sometimes you approach your purpose from one angle and you suddenly find you've unlocked another. For example, I search for purpose by seeking through truth and felt immense clarity but also very inspired and motivated as the cobwebs surrounding power were cleared. In Steve's example, he also searched for purpose by through truth but unlocked a big chunk of his purpose hidden behind cobwebs surrounding love.

What I love most about Steves book is that he provided a framework that stronger then any I’ve come across before.

Happy searching!


Hi there fellow fans of Steve! If you’re like me and want to see what other fans are up to, I promise you this website will have a bit more substance once I full filled my current work commitments. I hope you enjoy what you see. If your interested in what I’m up to, send me an email at cartoonmazes @ so I can let you know when I have a few more mazes published. I guarantee it’d be worth your time :)