Friday Links 08-12-12

From the Web

Being Serious and Fun at the Same Time – Being ambitious and serious is necessary for achieving your goals.  However, if you can’t make fun of yourself, you’re hard to tolerate in a conversation.  Ben nails this point on the head.  It’s something I’ve struggled with myself of trying to match an intense passion and ambition with an equally important need to be lighthearted, fun and relaxed.  It’s not an easy balance, and I haven’t found an elegant way of simplifying this problem, but it’s something every goal-setter will eventually face.

From the Archives

To-Learn Lists – How many times have you said to yourself, “I’d really like to learn another language”, or, “I wish I could salsa” and then promptly forgot about any of those ideas?  I say capture them.  Keep a list of the books you’d like to read or the activities you’d like to learn.

From the Shelf

Personal Development for Smart People – I’ve read about 80% of Steve Pavlina’s new book.  For anyone considering buying, I would say that his book writing is very similar to his blog writing.  If you love the articles he writes for his blog, you’ll probably love the book, which is like a dozen or so longer articles.  If you hate him and think he’s a nutjob, I don’t think the book will change your mind.

  • Mark

    I like Steve Pavlina’s blog a lot, but I was very disappointed with the book. While I admire his attempt at reducing personal development to fundamental principles, his answer did not resonate with me at all.

  • barbara

    I’m still enjoying your blog off and on (Real Life(tm) gets in the way). I liked the “to learn” list. Do you take advantage of things like “google notebook,” “zotero,” google books.” (all or ‘full view only’), the many free ebooks sites available,, etc. etc. I have found that there are a lot of tools now for gathering and organizing information that weren’t available when I was your age.

    It’s obvious that you are learning much more on your own that you are in college. Do you feel that the formal classroom experience is important to your future?

  • J.D. Meier

    Serious and fun … Reminded me of the Alan Watts, Work as Play video, along with The Last Lecture.

  • Scott Young


    Steve Pavlina is often a mixed bag for me. I loved his early articles, and many of his writing today still changes the way I think about things. However, he has other posts that I don’t connect with at all, and I think that’s some of his appeal.

    Reducing personal development to a set of principles is ambitious, but it’s been done before, so I’m surprised Steve approached the topic that way. If I were writing a spin off of my blog in a book format, I would focus and elaborate on the very things that my readers found most useful. He’s done that to some extent in the second half (and more useful section of the book).


  • Kali

    But Scott, I don’t think Steve is as social as you.

  • Scott Young


    Perhaps, I’ve never met him. It’s hard to know someone’s personality just from their blog entries. Especially a website like Steve’s which is meant to write informative articles, not become a perfect lens from which to view his personal life.