About Me

I have been a personal growth enthusiast for many, many years (OK, I’m not that old!)… but with all the personal development material that I have gone through, I have not benefited as much as I had expected to benefit.

I would experience a change for a number of days, then I would revert back to my old ways, and would soon forget what I had read. And to recover, I would read even more, only to forget it even sooner.

I began to acquire more and more resources, which only made me feel overwhelmed by the amount of material I had to go through, and it did not impact my life in a noticeably positive way. In fact, I was lagging behind many people who couldn’t care less about personal development. They were getting things done in their lives while I was reading up on how to get things done, and made plans to get things done, but didn’t get anything done.

Was it because there was something wrong with me? Or is personal development an illusion people use to feel more hopeful?

I realised that the problem wasn’t with me, or with personal development, as a subject. It was to do with the approach I was taking. I didn’t clarify what it was that I wanted out of personal development, and how I planned on enhancing every area of my life. Once I put everything in perspective my worldview became clearer, and I started getting better results in all areas of my life.

This is the essence of the Personal Growth Map: it takes into account all areas of our lives, so that we don’t feel guilty for neglecting what is important to us.

28 replies on “About Me”

I stumbled upon your website coincidentally… but what a nice surprise I found. I usually do not comment online but your blog, interest, and especially this post really resonate with me, and because it’s coming from an Arab (now that I think about it I’m not so sure – if not, then Muslim?) I thought I’d leave a message to welcome you and wish you best of luck. I have bookmarked your link and hope to follow your articles/progress.

PS hope you come through your lost summary with an even better one than the original!

Dear MasiQ8,

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your feedback 🙂

Yes I am both an Arab and a Muslim. But I think the problems I highlighted on this page are being experienced by personal growth enthusiasts regardless of origin and religious convictions.

p.s. I managed to remember some of what I wrote in the lost summary and finished RE-writing it ;D

Agreed. I suppose, what I really meant to say is that it’s nice to “meet”, and more so, learn perspectives of other Arab and Muslim personal growth enthusiasts.

I read another one of your articles, and again found parallels with my own recent experiences, and even picked up some new tips that I want to try. Looks like I’m sold on your articles/blog 🙂

Hehe… I see you’re following Pavlina! He’s been causing quiet a stir as of late. Curious to see what you think of him and his latest experiment?!

MasiQ8, I’m happy to hear you’re finding my posts useful 😀

As for Pavlina’s recent “experiment”… I would have to email you my views… 🙂

But what I will mention here is that it’s sometimes difficult to make sense of someone else’s ethical values when you don’t take their beliefs into consideration. Usually, ethical values stem from a worldview (a belief system), and for you to judge their ethics, you need to take their beliefs into consideration.

Having said that, I believe Steve Pavlina has a lot of great advice to share but we disagree over a fundamental matter: he believes in a subjective reality and I believe in an objective one…

Wa alaikum assalaam Dr Saleh,

Thank you for passing by and leaving your feedback 🙂

I, too, read your blog on Zen Habits. I am interested in having you post on my blog. I would like permission to reprint your Two Simple Ways to Form New Habits Without Really Trying blog in my February newsletter (with your bio of course). You are talking to my clients in that article!

@Natalie: Please feel free to share my article with your clients. And I would LOVE to get their feedback! 😉

Dear Brother AlSalam Alykum,

Great job indeed..

Haider, Do you any other good technique to stay focused and complete the tasks quickly & effectively?

Just FYI, I am full time internet marketer and this is my problem, I am unable to focus on things…

thanks again Haider 🙂

Wa alaikum assalaam Brother Taqi,

Lack of focus is something I experience regularly, even though I know quite a few techniques on how to stay focused. This topic is very broad and requires a blog category on its own rather than a blog post. 🙂

If I am to offer a piece of advice here it would be: list some of the reasons why you are finding it difficult to keep your focus, and any suggestions you know right now to help you stay focused. Then go with one of the techniques/suggestions you come up with. Just one.

You might not completely overcome the problem, but you will make progress towards overcoming it. The odd thing is, whenever we have too many solutions, it can be more difficult to tackle the problem, especially when we lack focus!

So focus on one technique and put it into practice then you can incorporate more techniques into your routine later on.

I’d love to know what technique you go with. Partly so I can learn from you and partly so you can feel like you’re talking to a human being when you write your list rather than a piece of paper 😛


Like your personal growth map explanation. Can you give me some insight into what you mean under the area of pyschological? I am struggling as to how to define or delineate this as oppossed to intellectual.

Dear Natalie,

My next post will be on understanding the 7 life areas. For now, the short explanation is this:

“Intellectual” covers your capacity to learn, acquiring information and developing understanding. It deals with concepts, ideas and facts.

“Psychological” covers the ways in which your thinking (not your knowledge) affects your emotions. What do you choose to focus on? How does your perspective on a situation influence your emotions? The focus of psychology is on emotions. Motivation is primarily psychological, not intellectual.

I hope that’s a good answer (for now) until my next post is ready! 😀

I agree that in order to improve your life you have to work on multiple areas and broaden your ‘basis’. You’re the same person at home, at work, at play or wherevener. The more holistic and comprehensive your view of yourself is, the greater your chances of creating lasting change and significant growth. Coming out of a business context, I see it as the Balanced Score Card for people. If you neglect any one area, you will be influenced as a whole.

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for stopping by.

Having a holistic view of yourself is probably the most important aspect of personal growth. I’m still surprised by the many personal growth writers out there who make a single dimension of personal growth seem like the most important pursuit, to the neglect of all others.

I just came across your website, I opened it but did not go through it yet. The description about the website is pretty interesting, will take a look at my convenient time.

Your approach is extraordinarily interesting. I have been trying to create a similar categorization as you have done from hundreds of pd note cards I have assembled.

Of all the pd sites I visit, some extremely good, yours appears to come closest to my perspective.

Keep it up!

Dear Haider
Great inputs – and you express them so effortlessly! I am no authority on psychology, but as a person trapped in a mind-control cult for 20 years, have much to say!

I was directed to it by your post on another blog (Mindful Construct)

I’d like to read your blog more and leave further feedback. 🙂

Dear Burjess,

I very much look forward to reading about your experiences in that cult.

I personally believe that any religion, club, community, etc. can exercise a form of mind-control. As long as we’re unaware of how to effectively use our minds and judge for ourselves, as well as have sensible control over our own emotions, we are susceptible to other people’s control. This is a topic I’m extremely interested in, especially since I’ve changed my religious beliefs drastically, which offered me great personal insights into the process of belief-formation.

Welcome to the blog, and hope you find it useful. 😀

Thank you very much, Sandra.

And it’s great to see that you’ve contributed to the Life Lessons Series!

Welcome aboard! 😉

“I began to acquire more and more resources, which only made me feel overwhelmed by the amount of material I had to go through, and it did not impact my life in a noticeably positive way. In fact, I was lagging behind many people who couldn’t care less about personal development. They were getting things done in their lives while I was reading up on how to get things done, and made plans to get things done, but didn’t get anything done.”

Those words describe pretty much what I usually do… read and
learn more … I never get tired of learning! So there’s not enough time left to be doing!

Fran 🙂

I know what you mean, Fran.

I’ll soon be writing about the basics of human nature, and the importance of learning and doing.

We seek to learn about the world in order to act effectively, and taking action exposes us to information about how the world operates, which feeds into our learning, and helps us shed false assumptions about the world.

I’m creating an action bias in my life, so I can get to learn while I do and create, as opposed to while reading books and blogs.

It’s much more rewarding that way.

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