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Personal Development Articles: Getting it Together in Life and Music

Getting it Together in Life and Music

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Personal development articles by Steve Pavlina. Music related commentary by M-A Seguin, 2012 for JazzGuitarLessons.net

These eight inspiring personal development articles by Steve are rather “down to earth”. If you’re not into personal development, spirituality (or vegan diets!) but you still want to get better at lots of important aspects of living, these will suit you well. It includes:

  • 30 Days to Success
  • What Will Other People Think of You?
  • 33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity
  • 7 Rules for Maximizing Your Creative Output
  • Overcoming Procrastination
  • Getting Organized
  • Time Management
  • Effective Online Forum Usage

Every piece can be applied to your life as soon as you’re finished reading (and this, whatever your current situation is.) Some of these articles helped me tremendously when I first started playing and practicing music seriously. I wanted to “get it together” as we say, to be a better person and, at least, an ok musician, but I didn’t know where to start!

So these personal development articles are full of practical suggestions to get it together in life and music and I’m sure you’ll find something worth giving a try. Enjoy!

30 Days to Success

A powerful personal growth tool is the 30-day trial. This is a concept I borrowed from the shareware industry, where you can download a trial version of a piece of software and try it out risk-free for 30 days before you’re required to buy the full version. It’s also a great way to develop new habits, and best of all, it’s brain-dead simple.

Let’s say you want to start a new habit like an exercise program or quit a bad habit like sucking on cancer sticks. We all know that getting started and sticking with the new habit for a few weeks is the hard part. Once you’ve overcome inertia, it’s much easier to… [read full article]

What Will Other People Think of You?

Don’t waste a moment of your precious life worrying about what other people will think of you. No good can come of it.

The truth is that you’ll waste far more energy imagining what others think of you than those people will ever invest in it themselves. Most people are far too preoccupied with their own lives to devote considerable attention to what you’re doing. While you’re worrying about what they think of you, they’re… [read full article]

33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity

[Note: These are three personal development articles with 33 suggestions each… for a total of “99 Rules to Boost Your Productivity”]

Heuristics are rules intended to help you solve problems. When a problem is large or complex, and the optimal solution is unclear, applying a heuristic allows you to begin making progress towards a solution even though you can’t visualize the entire path from your starting point.

Suppose your goal is to climb to the peak of a mountain, but there’s no trail to follow. An example of a heuristic would be: Head directly towards the peak until you reach an obstacle you can’t cross. Whenever you reach such an obstacle, follow it around to the right until you’re able to head towards …[read full article]

7 Rules for Maximizing Your Creative Output

After my last article on experiencing creativity, there was a question in the resulting forum discussion about how to enter this highly creative flow state, the state where you lose all sense of time, your ego vanishes, and you become one with the task in front of you. Is this peak creative state a rare chance event, or can it be achieved consistently?

For me the creative flow state is a common occurrence. I usually enter this state several times a week, staying with it for hours at a time. I’m able to routinely enjoy the flow state as long as I ensure the right conditions, which I’ll share with you in a moment.

My first memories of habitually entering this flow state date back to … [read full article]

Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life. Side effects include missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt. This article will explore the root causes of procrastination and give you several practical tools to overcome it.

The behavior pattern of procrastination can be triggered in many different ways, so you won’t always procrastinate for the same reason. Sometimes you’ll procrastinate because you’re overwhelmed with too much on your plate, and procrastination gives you an escape. Other times you’ll feel tired and lazy, and you just can’t get going. Let’s now address these various causes of procrastination and consider… [read full article]

Getting Organized

This is an updated version of an older article called “Clean Up That Mess” which I wrote in 2000. This article provides a basic method for cleaning up clutter and organizing any physical space, such as an office, kitchen, or garage.

I think the main cause of clutter is a failure to systematize decision-making about where items should go. People who experience pervasive clutter problems almost invariably lack an intelligent system for deciding where each new… [read full article]

Time Management

Time management is a subject I’ve investigated extensively, and this article explores my most recent thoughts about it. When I first began seriously studying time management in 1992, I learned a myriad of low-level tactics that allowed me to increase my personal productivity. Graduating college in three semesters was one significant result of this tactical approach to time management.

Recently, however, I’ve been taking a more strategic approach to time management, meaning that I’m more concerned with making correct decisions than with optimizing… [read full article]

Effective Online Forum Usage

This is a straightforward piece with 8 tips on using forums productively, with an emphasis on avoiding (or recovering from) forum addiction.

For years I was a heavy user of online forums, newgroups, and message boards (most of them software-related), figuring it to be a relatively benign habit. I even met my wife on a computer bulletin board system in 1994. But in 2004 when I figured out how much time it was actually costing me to support this habit and what I was giving up in order to maintain… [read full article]

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