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.