Steve Pavlina Separation from His Wife

Surprise, Cult Leader Steve Pavlina is going to divorce his wife. I tell you it's just shocking! Utterly shocking that the guy who would come out and publicly announce that he will be cheating on his wife isn't going to stay married to her. He insisted that she was okay with it, including a mind numbing podcast on the issue of polyamory where HE said how she was just fine with the arrangement, and SHE would say Uh huh.

Who ever would have guessed that his marital strategy wasn't really going to work? Hmm, it's almost as if sex changes things. Steve rejected the notion that there was anything wrong with sleeping with women other than your wife, even though many told him it wasn't going to work. I figured that Erin was okay with the deal under the assumption that she must have a low sense of self worth, but I guess she values herself more than I had given her credit for. Good for her.

Steve Pavlina is a person that has some good fundamental ideas, but they are all tainted by two things. One is that he has a very poor ability to express his ideas. The other is that his only strategy is to move towards pleasure.

Moving towards pleasure is great, but having that as your ONLY strategy is very self limiting. Steve even recently wrote a series of articles about encouraging people to quit their day jobs under the premise that it's a waste of your life to do something day in and day out that you hate. I agree with that, but a better strategy is to find ways to enjoy things instead of making them unpleasant.

It's funny how it occurred to me that his polyamory announcement was entirely predictable considering his inflexibility towards making things simply be enjoyable, rather than limiting himself to only moving towards pleasure.

Here's what I mean. If you hate going to work everyday, you could quit your job and do what you love, as Steve suggests, OR... You could learn to enjoy life regardless of what you are doing. This is what I like to do with my life. I used to hate my job, but now I wake up and think, "Awesome! I'm in great health and I get to go to work and contribute to society. I wonder what will happen today that will make me laugh so hard it makes tears come out my eyes." It's the same job. I've been there 9 years. Smae job, different attitude.

By loving what you do, regardless of what that is, it gives you much more flexibility in what you are capable of doing. You are not limited to only doing things that seem fun. You can take anything and MAKE it fun.

Think about that. That means you don't have to avoid doing your taxes, or inviting with Uncle Bert for Christmas dinner. You can do those things and know that you can find a way to make it enjoyable. It's still good to aim for doing those things you love, but you're not limited by doing ONLY those things.

By Steve's philosophy, if it seems like it would feel good to sleep with a woman that is not your wife, then you have to do that, because that is moving towards pleasure. My attitude is to spend as much time as you can thinking about how wonderful your wife is and why you married her. If you compare her weakenesses ot another woman's strengths, then you're not going to feel good about her, but if you compare her strengths to another woman's weaknesses, then it is a big win for the wife.

My wife has an amazing ability to create perfect moments. We went on vacation and she insisted on going to this one restaurant that was a 45 minute drive to get to. We got there, and it happened to be the one night of the year that they had this local celebration. The moon rose over the lake, and it was big, orange and full, reflecting off the lake. The food was great, and it was a magical moment to remember. It was amazing. You can't plan that sort of thing.

And I sure as hell would never risk that for a fling with a younger girl. Fuck no. Never.

She'd probably be some horrible had that makes everything miserable and tedious. Oh, yay. But shed be temporarily more physically attractive. Screw that.

Magical memories, or quick fling. It's no contest. My wife wins every time. As a result, I continue to fall even MORE in love with her as time goes by.

You see, but I chose to do that. I made a choice to make the most of what my life IS, then move forward, rather than take Steve's approach and ditch anything that is mildly unpleasant, I make it be the best that I can make it, and then I make it better and better until it evolves into something even greater.

Instead of wishing for the perfect woman and leaving people in my wake, like Steve does, I made a choice to realize that my wife IS the perfect woman, flaws and all.

This sort of mentality simply doesn't occur to Steve. I'm not the least bit surprised he and Erin are going their separate ways.


Lucid Dreaming is Stupid

Many people seem to have an interest in lucid dreaming. I see articles about the topic frequently on many personal development sites, as well as on general blogs. Personally I don't understand the fascination with the process.

How to have Lucid Dreams
The process of learning to have lucid dreams is basically this. Intend to have a vivid lucid dream, that you will realize is just a dream. Keep a dream log. Wake yourself up in the middle of the night and right down the contents of your dream to the degree that you remember them, Keep doing this night after night until you become more cognizant of your dreams and eventually begin to realize when you are dreaming.

Pardon me, but that just seems like too much work to have a fantasy. You see, there's this thing called an imagination. It's really cool. And it's totally simple to use. All you do is take a few minutes and begin to imagine something happening. As you do this, you focus in on what you are fantasizing. The more you focus, the more you see the images clearly, hear the sounds vividly, and even feel the sensations. Your brain and body don't really know the difference between something that is vividly imagined, and something that happens for real.

On the other hand, Lucid dreaming requires you to go to sleep. Then you need to dream, and realize it. Then you need to begin to take control of the dream, and hope that you don't wake up in the middle even though in all the time leading up to the dream you have programmed yourself to wake up every time you dream, so it's unlikely that you will actually succeed.

It all seems a bit stressful to me. I like to go to sleep and have a deep, restful restorative sleep and wake up rejuvenated, re-energized and ready to take on the day. In fact, that is the intention I offer when I go to sleep at night. The last thing I need is to turn sleep into work by making myself need to accomplish some task in the middle of it.

It's not bad enough that everyone structures their lives to say, "I just need to get more things done. If only I could get more done, then I wold really be able to be happy." Now you have to add to it by piling on a list of things to get done during your sleep rather than just letting go at night so the body can recharge, you have to give it more things it is supposed to accomplish.

Then you go and say: "There's not enough time. I never have enough time for myself. If only I could get more done, then I would have some time for myself." So you look at these stupid tips for getting things done until your dead. That way, you can get through your email more efficiently and pile another dozen items on your to do list just to make sure you stay frazzled about not having enough time.

Instead of trying to get more done in less time, it would make more sense to realize that worrying is a task, and it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of energy too. If you would work on ways to cut out the time you are wasting worrying about things, that would free up plenty of time right there to take 20 minutes and daydream.

Daydreaming is great. It's where ideas come from, and ideas solve problems without taking all that time and energy going:

Well, should I do this, or start with that. I might start with this thing, but that could be the wrong thing, and I only have 769 items on my to do list, and if I pick the wrong one, then I will only have 768 items left when I should have done something else instead, so I thing I should sit here worrying about which thing I should do first so that I can make sure that I pick the right item off the list and don't do the wrong one instead, and now another email came in and I need to do three more things so now I have 772 items to do and there's no time to do it so I REALLY had better pick the right thing to work on or I simply won't have enough time left to do anything for myself. Oh, look. 773 items on the to do list and now I have even less time to get them done, I will never get it all done. I'm fucked.

If you would take a few minutes to daydream, you would KNOW what to do, and what doesn't even need to be done at all. You will find out what can be ignored, what needs to be done first, and what can be outsourced to someone else. And you won't have an ever increasing to do list. And you won't add to it with stupid ideas like Do shit while I sleep because my life just isn't stressful enough.

If that's how you really want to live, go ahead. It's your funeral. I really don't care, but do me a favor and when you're one foot in the grave, just finish the job. Don't go an get heart surgery and take all these medicines to lower your blood pressure, because you've done such a bang up job of killing yourself so far. Why stop now?

Or you could realize that life isn't about feeling stretched too thin, and your actually supposed to be enjoying the adventure of learning, and experiencing. Then you can begin to undo the harm that you've been doing to yourself all this time. Then you won't need the heart surgery.

Lucid dreaming is just another stupid idea in the self help pop culture. You don't usually consciously control you're unconscious processes. And that's what dreaming is. You go to sleep and dreams work out your issues that you need to work through, and offer solutions to problems you need to solve. Unconsciously, you know what needs to be worked out, and how to do it. Consciously, you may think that you would like to do something, but that may not be what you really need.

Daydreaming, on the other hand, is something that you do when you sit down and say, I am going to imagine what it would feel like if this were to happen, and then you do it, and you do get to consciously control it if you want to. You also don't have to not wake up or it's ruined, because you can just pick up where you left off. That's not so easy with lucid dreaming.

Because it's stupid.


15 Second Marketing in Less Than 3719 Words

When I wrote about the Site Build It Cult, I made a brief mention that Steve Pavlina had written 3719 words about 15 second marketing. What I had not done was read it. It turns out the whole thing is really just a crappy attempt at making affiliate sales for a book about 15 second marketing. What I also didn't realize was just how unintentionally funny it would be to read.

I did realize the irony of 3719 words on 15 second marketing, but I didn't yet know how much Steve would twist himself into knots trying to figure out how to make people interested in the answer to a question that they have no interest in the answer to before they even ask it. Let's not be too hard on Steve. He's "Smart People™" after all. Somehow, despite how vastly intelligent he claims to be, he just can't wrap his mind around the fact that someone he encounters just might not give a shit about his "fascinating" life.

Steve explains:
The basic idea is that when someone asks what you do for a living, you want to offer a response that stimulates the right kind of discussion. So if you’d like to grow your business, you need a marketing message that serves as a good lead-in to a discussion that will help you generate new leads and attract more clients. This is not as easy as it sounds.

That's because they don't give a shit what you do. There is no right answer here, Steve. You're not generating leads. You are making idle chatter with someone that simply does not care. Of course it isn't easy to turn that person into a business referral. Especially when you stubbornly refuse to pick a label for your business.

Steve goes on to talk about how readers are better at referring people to his website than he is. That's because his readers don't have a mental block against saying something like, "there's a self-help blog I like at stevepavlina.com. I think it would interest you too." Steve would never be so ordinary as to put it so simply.

Where it gets truly hilarious, and in epic proportion, is where he tries to actually come up with his own elevator pitch. His first try is this:
I teach people who are living below their potential how to feel energized and motivated, how to earn lots of money doing what they love, and how to make a real contribution to humanity, so they can finally enjoy the life that deep down they know they were meant to live.

I had to pause a grab a fresh breath of air after reading that. Now, Steve claims the problem with this is that it is too long. I was thinking about if I met someone and they told me this, what would my response be? Probably something like "Cuckoo. Cuckoo."

Then he tries again with shorter versions.

I help people grow.

What are they? Trees?

I help people live more consciously.

You work with coma patients?

I help people overcome their fears.

I'm beginning to fear that this elevator ride will not end.

I help people quit their jobs so they can fulfill their life’s purpose.

So, do people tend to thank you when the bank forecloses on their house?

I help people break bad habits and overcome addictions.

So you're an addiction counselor now?

I help people take more risks and live more courageously.

I get it. You're an Army drill sergeant.

Sadly, Steve realizes what the problem is in the third paragraph, but he refuses to acknowledge that there really isn't any more substance to a quick conversation. It's not going to be deep and meaningful, no matter how you answer a meaningless question. Steve says, "At best the other person may ask a few follow-up questions, but deep down they don’t really care about your answers.They’re just making polite conversation."

That's it. They don't care about your answers. By definition, they don't care even BEFORE asking the question. They're just making polite conversation, and there are no business leads to be had. There is no deep meaningful friendship to be made. If Steve was not so adamantly against labeling himself in a simplistic way, if he was not so hell bent on attempting to be too complex for the common person, he would see that most people just really don't give a shit.

As for me, My elevator pitch is to remain awkwardly silent, and hope that the other person doesn't feel compelled to even make polite conversation. I don't feel an urge to "connect" with everyone I meet. Actually, I don't even like most people that I meet. I don't want to be their friend. I don't care.

I can sum up Steve Pavlina in 15 seconds or less. Bullshit Artist.

I hope I never have to take an elevator ride with Steve Pavlina. It will probably be the most insufferable 15 seconds of my life.


Site Build It Vs. Steve Pavlina: Which Is the Scarier Cult?

Recently, there has been a big flap in the Internet marketing sphere about a product called Site Build It! No, I'm not excited about this, the exclamation mark is part of the name. The post in question is by Lis Sowerbutts, and is called Site Build It Scam Review. Now, you're thinking, why would this be on a site about personal development? Well, it seems our favorite Cult leader, Steve Pavlina is currently endorsing this product. In fact, here's what Steve had to say about it:
Building a good distribution network isn’t that hard these days. I think the best way to do it is by building a website because online solutions are very cheap compared to the alternatives. My speaker friends have to fly all around the world to distribute their value. I just click “Publish.”

The current solution I recommend for most people looking to build a website is Site Build-It. Follow that link if you wish to read my review of the service and why I recommend it. If you’re very technically savvy, you won’t need this service, but it’s great for those who don’t understand the ins and outs of Internet marketing and want someone to guide them through it step by step.

In the review, he states that the Creator of Site Build It! Dr. Ken Evoy, ran into a "problem" where no matter what he did to teach people how to create a website, they would still screw it up, so he created SBI to do it for them.

Just wait a second here. If you can't wrap your mind around how to get a website started, or hire (most likely for free) someone to help you. You have already failed in your Internet business. I can't emphasize this enough. I didn't know where to start either, but signing on to blogger.com was super easy. Later, when I took a website to the self hosted route, I ran into a few difficulties, but what was still super easy ( and remains so to this day) is finding people willing to do what you need done for free. They ought to charge $100 bucks an hour or more, but they do it totally free.

Do you know how hard it is to find a person like this? What exactly is required? A casual acquaintance with someone. Seriously. All you need to do is find someone that knows a little about coding, web design, or whatever, have a few casual interactions, and they'll be willing to help. Short of that, drop a comment asking for help at virtually any popular blog or forum, and help will swarm upon you.

You can ask to be taught what you need to do, or simply have it done for you. No charge. If you can't figure out how to get that far on the Internet, you will NOT have a successful web based business. Not now. Not ever.

This is Steve Pavlina, once again at his finest, making blogging for dollars sound easy. I can't help but wonder how many people have found themselves homeless after having the delusion that they should quit their job and start a website to collect passive income because Steve Pavlina said it was a good idea. Steve knows his stuff, but what he doesn't do is share HOW, or emphasize that it is NOT easy. It is not a good business model at all for most people, in fact.

As a side note, I find it amusing that he has a post about "15 Second Marketing" that is 3719 words long. Irony anyone?

So this is why Site Build it is the topic of discussion. I have listed many reasons why I see the followers of Steve Pavlina as being a cult. The thing that is scary about the response to Lis's critical evaluation of SBI is that the comments in support of Site Build It! are way over the top. I had not initially observed it as cultish, but once a few people decided to label it as such, I began to consider the idea.

I am starting to think there is something to this, based on certain comments. On SBI user named Anna states:
The only reason we sound cultish is because you’re driving us mad your false accusations about SBI.

My God Lis, wouldn’t you have defended something you truly believed in yourself? What if someone made false accusations about a person or something you really cared about?

Hit the brakes! "Truly believed in?" "Really Cared about?" She's talking about a fucking website platform. Holy crap. I really like Wordpress as a publishing platform, but I would not say that I "truly believe in" it, nor would I say I "really care about" it. It's a blogging platform. Do you understand this people?

SBI is a TOOL. Feeling strongly about it is a absurd as "truly believing in" a hammer or screwdriver. I like my cordless drill, but I don't "Really care about it." For fuck's sake. Get a grip on reality. I really like my reciprocating saw, but I feel no need to defend Ryobi against "False accusations" and certainly don't work myself into froth about it.

Another commenter said:
I’d bet if GoDaddy’s founder had a forum and actually participated and personally ASKED their customers what they’d like to see more of - you’d see a ton of people defending “GoDaddy”, too




I can't even respond to this. It's so utterly stupid, that I am literally dumbfounded. Perhaps there would be a few people that are a little to fiercly loyal, but for the most part there would be two sides to any given debate. If not 3 or 4 or 5 viewpoints on an issue. They would not be zombies marching in lockstep, reciting affiliate sales scripts like they have memorized them during their bible study every morning.

So, back to the original question. Which is the scarier cult, Site Build It! or Steve Pavlina?

Check out the Site Build It review video from Allyn Hayne where he states like I did that you have no business running a business you know nothing about. Great video, Allyn.


Getting Things Done Until You're Dead

One thing that has always perplexed me is the obsession some people seem to have with wanting to get things done. The GTD craze got it's start with David Allen Getting Things Done. Since that point the Internet is plagued with tips on how you can do more crap all day long everyday.

I was reading a humor blog I enjoy called The Deep Friar. Although it's a humor blog, there's probably more in there that offers good and sensible advice than you will see on the majority of supposed personal development sites. One example of how humor - He's Canadian, so I suppose it should be humour - combines with nuggets of good advice is his how not to avoid procrastination.

He opens with the hypothetical that something that needs to be done, and asks what the consequences are if it do4es not get done.
If there’s an unpleasant task ahead, ask yourself these questions: If I don’t do this, will anyone die or get hurt? Will it jeopardize someones job? Will it ruin a friendship? Will it bankrupt me? If the answer is “NO”, then chill out, have a beer, and don’t worry about it.

Think about this for a second. This is sage advice. So many people put emphasis on running their lives on a schedule. They are convinced that what they really need is to get more done, more efficiently. Then they'll be happy. Then everything will fall into place and the world will be the frutopia it was intended to be.

This is so completely wrong. Life is not about getting more done, faster. That's not what will make you happy. That will not solve all your dreary feelings that things are just not right somehow. The fact is that if you are having a great deal of difficulty "getting things done" you're probably doing the wrong things in the first place.

The biggest issue you are most likely to need to sort out for yourself is acceptance. Accept that there are things you suck at. Accept that there are tasks you don't merely dislike, but even resent doing. Accept that the rest of the world is not incompetent and may well do it just fine if you let your illusion of control slip from your fingers.

Outsourcing and Delegating

Most likely, if you can outsource the task, or delegate the responsibility to someone else, it will get done just fine. If you attempt to micromanage the process, you will probably find yourself frustrated, but if you simply put your trust in the person to be a competent individual, they will most likely reach the proper result just the same as you would.

For whatever reason, most people seem to have no issues at all with letting certain things be done by other people. This can vary from one person to the next, of course. Some people are just control freaks that think nothing will ever be done right if it's not done by them.

One thing that gets on my nerves is when people with school age children complaining that their house is a mess and they can't keep up with all the mess and clutter claim that it is the fault of the children that their home is bordering on being declared a toxic waste dump. They have the perfect little helpers to delegate responsibility of picking things up, vaccuming, doing dishes, laundry, and various other tasks. Yet, instead, they let their children have the run of the household, and teach them no responsibility. Teach your children to clean up. Give them chores. You'll be getting things done in no time, instead of claiming you don't have enough time to get things done.

My Dad owns a business. He suffers from micromanagement syndrome. In fact, I'm fairly certain that if he was more willing to trust people to do things correctly, he could conceivably have grown his business somewhere between 5 and 10 times the size it is. He doesn't trust people to do things. He's a micromanager.

One time he got into a bind and had no one to fill in for him on a scheduling mix up. The real reason this happened is because he never hired someone to do the work in the first place. What he needed done should not have been his job in the first place. He should have been business owner, and someone else should have been event coordinator, but that is not his way. He won't trust anyone to take over, so he's stuck with one event at a time, because he can't be in two, or three, or ten places at once.

So, I filled in for him. Believe me, this took a lot from both of us for this to be agreed to. He gave me the instructions on what needed to be done, and it was amazing just how little faith he had in my abilities. I am his own son. I am of slightly above average intelligence. I have worked for him in the past. Not as the big chief, but I am familiar with the events he runs.

So, the big day came, and I was the boss for the event. I had my 9 year old step-daughter do one of the easier jobs for the day. She loved it. I loved that it was one less thing to round up a volunteer to do. She did great. The event went off just fine. No problems at all. I totally did NOT do things the way my Dad would have, but the end result was indisputably the desired outcome.

Later, I told my Dad about how it went and he told me that there is no way in Hell, not now, not ever, he would have trusted a 9 year old with "such an important job." It may have been important, but it was also EASY. If you have a little faith, people will pull through. Things will be okay.


Chances are that if you're really truly having a hard time getting through some sort of task, you basically just suck at it. That's okay. See the previous tip. Get someone else to do it for you. If buying the help with money is not an option in your current financial situation, then perhaps you could barter or trade for someone's service. Whether it's a job at work, or something you need done at home, there must be something that you don't suck at. Find someone to trade jobs with. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Then you can spend your time doing things you are good at and let someone else do the drudge work for you. In the meantime, you are doing what they consider to be drudge work. Everyone wins.

Do something else entirely

If you are having a hard time keeping up with the things you need to get done at work, you are most likely in the wrong job. Face it. There are really only three reasons you aren't getting your work done.
* You suck at it.
* You hate your job
* You're good at your job, and don't hate it, but everyone else sucks, or you're company is understaffed. This is the syndrome of being the only competent worker in a sea of worthless coworkers.

The first two are strong indications that you need to start looking for a new career. The third may be solved with a confrontation with your supervisor. You can say, "look, I know everyone else sucks at their job, and I'm the only one you trust to do things. I may be the only competent employee, but I'm still only ONE competent employee, and it's just more on my plate than I can handle." Or maybe you need to look elsewhere for employment where the management knows how to hire worthwhile people.

There are plenty of occasions throughout my work history that I have said to my boss that something simply will not get done that day. There are plenty of times that I have even said "did you tell (whomever) to go fuck themselves?" The answer was usually "Yes."

So you see, the issue isn't so much that you need to be getting things done, as it is that you need to accept what you are good at, what you enjoy, and what other ways you could do things. Look for better ways to use your time. Look for employment that better uses your skills and ambitions. Look for ways to enjoy your life.

The title I chose was actually a tribute to one of Dave Barry's books, Stay fit and healthy until you're dead. I think it embodies the senselessness of "getting things done." If you don't enjoy your life, and enjoy the journey, then what exactly is the point? And to get back to Friar's questions, what really will be the consequences if you don't Get things done?


Personal Development for Dummies - Because Steve Pavlina Sucks

Steve Pavlina is the self-annointed guru of Personal Development on the Internet. He is the unrivaled king of writing epic length useless posts on self-improvement. He curries favor with his audience by telling his readers that his site is Personal Development for Smart People™, which (mis)leads his readers into thinking that since they are reading it, then that must mean that they are smart.

There is nothing particularly groundbreaking about the work of Steve Pavlina. His adoring fans worship him as a man-god for ridiculous reasons. They will overlook all his inane blather about raw diets, subjective reality, and talking to insects, because he wrote a post that helped them to wake up early.

No, it's not satire. You would think that something as mundane as how to be an early riser would not be enough to become a charter member of the Steve Pavlina cult, but somehow simple tasks such as how to wake up early, and how to stop drinking coffee, are enough to lock in the supposed Smart People™ for life.

Steve seems to be obsessed with a quest to deny his humanity, his physicality, and as this quest continues it is getting more and more absurd. From believing that a deceased friend helped him win in the casinos, to cutesy conversations with spiders. He even mentions the idea of living on sunlight without so much as batting an eye.

He is also the king of moronic experiments. In 2005 he experimented with polyphasic sleep. A ritual of sleeping only 20 minutes at a time a few times a day. This sleep pattern must be strictly adhered to, or it won't work. He meticulously documented this senseless sleep study, and it became ingrained in his mind that it was something that made him extraordinary.

In fact, ever since his preposterous polyphasic experiment, he can barely mention himself without pointing out how utterly awesome he is because he had a screwy sleep pattern for a month. Unfortunately, he never was able to find a way to top this unreasonable undertaking, until this year.

Steve Pavlina "treated" us to an even more unreasonable experiment when he decided to live on a liquid diet for over one month. Not surprisingly, the fad diet didn't work out too well. It seems that humans are actually intended to eat solid food. I suspect this is why we have teeth. Steve stubbornly refused to give in and realize that just maybe some of the things people do, they do because it's what we are designed to do.

Even when the so-called "juice feasting" wound up being an unmitigated disaster, Steve refused to draw the logical conclusion that living on a liquid diet is not a good idea. Nor is it something that sane, intelligent people would ever think is a plausible lifestyle. No, instead the self-help swindler evaluates his ludicrous liquid diet as possibly being something that readers might want to try.

Steve also routinely calls out anyone that is critical of him as being mindless minions of the Media. If you disagree with him, you may not be worse than Hitler, but you are most certainly worthy of condescension in his eyes. Do you actually find satisfaction in watching TV? Steve stands ready to shower you with scorn for you stupidity.

This is far from a comprehensive list of why Steve Pavlina sucks, but it is a beginning to act as an explanation as to why I felt the need to create a response to his site. Personal Development for Dummies™ will not treat anyone choosing not to follow the personal development scammers with adoring adulation as being somehow less than worthy. Instead, we will seek to find a balance to your life, between your quest for self improvement, and acceptance of your humanity.

Related to the Steve Pavlina Cult:

This post from MonkeyInMyMind.com is a very detailed and incisive analysis of His Lordship.