100+ of the Most Powerful Personal Development Concepts of All Time

The following ideas are distilled from $100,000-worth of the best personal development books, courses, and seminars, and further refined with personal experience. My goal is to find the biggest leverage points for changing the quality of one's life. This is it!

If you're unhappy with any area of your life, we can trace it down to one of these root causes.

Tips & Warnings:

  • Each of these concepts is multi-layered and unbelievably deep. Fully integrating just one concept can take months or even years of active work. Each concept needs to be individually studied, contemplated, and applied. Reading them won't produce significant results.
  • Not all of these concepts will be equally beneficial to you. Some will be much more meaningful than others based on your particular life experiences and current level of personal development. Work on the concepts that resonate most.
  • There is no single right way. There are many ways to do personal development. This is not a comprehensive list, although it's pretty damn extensive.
  • This is a live document, undergoing frequent and major revisions as I do more research.
  1. Life Purpose

    Have a Life Purpose — Commit to a life calling. Immerse yourself in deeply meaningful work that channels your creative energy and gives you a sense of contribution.

  2. Strategic Thinking

    Live Strategically — Make methodical, long-term plans for your life. Analyze your life and have your actions lead to some ultimate objective. A quality life is designed, it doesn't happen spontaneously.

  3. Mastery

    Understand the Process of Mastery — Understand what it takes to master any area of life. Choose what you're going to master, embrace the mastery process, learn to love the plateau, and practice for practice-sake.

  4. Just Do It

    Just Do It — Action is essential to all results and trumps thinking, talking, or planning. Shortcut a lot of mental-masturbation, debate, and self-help theory by simply taking consistent action. Action tends to self-correct.

  5. Mission Statement

    Have a Personal Mission Statement — Write out your personal mission statement and spend 5 minutes reading it every morning, no matter what. Live your mission statement every day.

  6. Resistance

    Be Prepared for Resistance — Your brain creates resistance to change and growth. Be prepared to encounter serious resistance when you undertake any creative project that taps into your highest self. Be ready to wrestle and negotiate.

  7. Happiness

    Understand How Happiness Works — Most of us don't understand what will truly make us happy. Happiness is living with integrity. It's living your top strengths and values every day, consistently. Happiness is not about acquiring tangible or even spiritual "things".

  8. Top 5 Feelings

    Articulate How You Want to Feel — Identify which feelings are most important to you and make them your ultimate goals. If you're going to chase anything, chase feelings, not material or spiritual things.

  9. Top 10 Values

    Articulate Your Top 10 Values — Identify and articulate what's most important and meaningful to you in life. Keep refining and prioritizing your values over time. Align your actions with your values.

  10. Be Patient

    Be Patient — Be patient with large, ambitious life goals. Lack of patience is often the only thing that stands between your success and failure. Patience creates a sense of groundedness and peace.

  11. Motivation

    Use Vision to Generate Motivation — Motivation can be consciously created and sustained by using your imagination to come up with a compelling vision of the future. The best kind of motivation is positive and internally grounded.

  12. Self-Actualization

    Know Your Potential as a Human Being — Your actualized self is your ideal self, the greatest possible you. Get inspired by just how much personal growth is possible for you. Commit to self-actualization as a life-long pursuit.

  13. Inner/Outer World Distinction

    Master Your Inner World — We live simultaneously in two worlds: the inner world of thoughts and feelings, and the outer world of physical things. Take control of your inner world to create the outer world you want.

  14. Charged Life

    Commit to Living a Charged Life — You will live one of three types of life: a caged life, a comfortable life, or a charged life. You only have one life. Commit to living a charged life. Commit to being all that you can be despite the challenges.

  15. Deliberate Practice

    Practice Deliberately — Design concentrated practice sessions that train you faster. Apply deliberate practice to important areas of life that you've committed to mastering.

  16. Failure is Good

    See Failure as Good— Acknowledge that failure is an essential part of the learning process. Train yourself to think about failure in an empowering way. The most successful people are the ones that failed the most. Adopt an explorer mindset.

  17. The Waking Daze

    Raise Your Level of Consciousness — You are a puppet pulled by strings. You are far less conscious than you think. Start to notice just how many of your actions are actually unconscious, automatic reactions; take back control.

  18. Positive Thinking

    Be a Positive Thinker — Develop the habit of thinking constructively. Stop thinking about the things that distress you. Think about the things you want to create in your life and teach yourself to let go of the rest.

  19. The Gremlin

    Tame Your Gremlin — You are constantly limiting yourself with automatic negative thoughts. Develop a habit of spotting your inner negative self-critic, and learn strategies for managing this negative self-talk.

  20. Emotional Awareness

    Develop Emotional Awareness and Range — Emotions have various levels of meaning that must be understood. Learn to identify and manage your emotions so they don't control you. Expand the range of emotions you feel.

  21. Be Principle-Centered

    Be Principle-Centered — Live your life according to deliberately-chosen principles. Ground your happiness and success in your ideal values, not external circumstances. Do not ground yourself in family, work, church, material possessions, or pursuit of pleasure.

  22. Be a Creator

    Be a Creator — See yourself as someone who creates. In whatever you do, be a creator and artist. Take your work personally. Seek to contribute something new to the world.

  23. Be Proactive

    Be Proactive — Take control your circumstances and show initiative. Make decisions that increase your agency over your external environment. Do not be passive. Do not be a victim.

  24. Power of Honesty

    Be Honest — Be honest with yourself and others even when it's costly. Honesty is powerful, attractive, and creates an unshakeable foundation for success in your business and personal life.

  25. Top 5 Strengths

    Live Your Top 5 Strengths — Identify and align your life with your top 5 strengths, especially the top two. Live your top strengths ever day at work and at home.

  26. Zone of Genius

    Live Your Zone of Genius — Identify your zones of genius, excellence, competence, and incompetence. Commit to living in your zone of genius even though you are comfortable in your zone of excellence.

  27. Eliminate Addictions

    Eliminate Addictions — Toxic, addictive behaviors keep you from living a charged life. Eliminate negative addictions like: TV, food, alcohol, shopping, internet, porn, drugs, gossip, worry, and negative thinking.

  28. Take Responsibility

    Take Full Responsibility for Your Life — Take full responsibility for everything in your life, even those things that are seemingly outside your control. Own every aspect of your life and believe that you have the power to change it all.

  29. Flow

    Create More Flow Experiences — Design your life so that you're "in the zone" more often. Do not multitask. Focus on one task at a time and develop technical mastery so you can easily become absorbed in the moment.

  30. Normalize Expectations

    Set Reasonable Expectations — Set reasonable expectations for yourself by studying the process and results of others. Know what you're getting into and how much time and effort it will take. When you feel down, check back with your expectations.

  31. Be World Class

    Commit to Being World Class — Strive to be world class in your career or business. If you're not going to be world class, why even bother? You're leaving the peak experiences off the table! Dedicate yourself to excellence.

  32. 10,000 Hours

    Commit to Investing 10,000 Hours — Realize that it takes 10,000 hours to become world class at anything. Prepare yourself for the long-haul. Commit to and focus on mastering 1 or 2 things. Then, practice, practice, practice!

  33. Eat Healthy

    Eat Healthy Food — Take control of your nutrition. Stop feeding yourself low-grade, processed garbage. Eat whole foods that makes you feel clean, keep your body healthy, and optimize your brain function.

  34. Exercise

    Exercise 5 Days Per Week — Take control of your body. Exercise daily to keep your body and mind strong, keep your energy up, and stay attractive for the opposite sex. Join the gym and do a combination for cardio and strength-training.

  35. Principle of Right Action

    Always Take Right Action — Do what is necessary even when you don't happen to feel like it. Be religious about this. Imagine how great your life would be if you followed through on everything you know you need to do every day.

  36. Kaizen

    Commit to Constant Improvement — Baby-step your success. Build your life up with steady, incremental improvements. Stop trying to sustain knee-jerk, dramatic changes.

  37. Sleep

    Get Quality Sleep — Take sleep seriously. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every day no matter what. Your body and mind need high-quality sleep to function at their peak. Design your life to give you sufficient sleep.

  38. Read

    Read Every Week — Read high-quality, non-fiction books every week, and take notes and implement ideas. The life-changing potential contained in a good $12 paperback is mind-blowing! The answer to any problem can be found in some book.

  39. Extrinsic Motivation

    Eliminate Extrinsic Motivation — Don't do things for the sake of others. If it's truly important, make it a part of you. Either ground it intrinsic or shed it entirely. Extrinsic motivation is not strong enough to make you truly happy or competitive.

  40. Information Intake

    Monitor Your Information Intake — Cut out all sources of low-grade, mindless, negative information. Feed your brain with information that raises, rather than reduces, your level of consciousness.

  41. Mind Power

    Practice Mind Power — Create a daily habit of training your mind and programming your subconscious with techniques like visualization, seeding, affirmations, contemplation, and acknowledging. Your mind needs daily training.

  42. Growth Friends

    Have 5-7 High-Quality Friendships — Build 5-7 high-quality friendships that you intend to sustain for the rest of your life. Invest time in enjoying and maintaining your growth friends. Shallow friendships don't count.

  43. 80/20 Rule

    Focus on the Top 20% — Identify the 20% of your effort that's responsible for 80% of your results. Amplify that 20% by giving it more time and energy. Ruthlessly cut out the rest. Learn to say "No!" to the other 80%.

  44. Goal-Setting

    Set Effective Goals — Develop a habit of setting, writing down, and constantly refining your goals. Have short-term, medium-term, and very long-term goals. Set goals that are specific, compelling, and aligned with your highest values.

  45. Habit-Building

    Build Positive Habits — Invest your willpower strategically in building positive habits. Lock down your results. Routines are powerful because they free you up to focus conscious attention on your biggest goals and challenges.

  46. Momentum

    Build Momentum — Realize that you will have to slowly ramp up your effort to hit peak performance and that this ramp-up process can be difficult, requiring patience.

  47. Emotional Buttons

    Dismantle Your Buttons — Identify which situations and behaviors trigger negative emotional reactions in you and eliminate them. With introspection, visualization, and journaling, dismantle your buttons so other people cannot control you.

  48. Invest in Yourself

    Invest In Yourself — View yourself as your greatest asset. Actively invest in skill development, learning, and personal improvements that will make you more effective and valuable to others. Prioritize investment in yourself over investment in external things.

  49. States vs Stages

    Turn State Experiences into Stage Experiences — Don't beat yourself up for not being able to lock down state experiences, but do strategize and work toward turning your favorite states into permanents stages of being.

  50. Learning = Behavior Change

    Raise the Bar for What it Means to Learn — Raise your standard for what it means to "learn" something. True learning only occurs when your behavior has changed. Merely intellectual knowledge is not enough.

  51. Provide Value

    Provide Value to Others — Seek to provide massive value to others in everything that you do, from business to relationships. Take satisfaction in making people feel like they got the better part of the bargain. Don't be a value leech.

  52. Sedona Method

    Learn and Use Sedona Method — Learn to release negative emotions like worry, anger, and fear, so you can act from a position of good feeling. Develop emotional awareness and imperturbability.

  53. Shadow Work

    Invest in Shadow Work — Spend time introspecting and journaling about your past to release repressed emotions and get closure for past traumatic events. Integrate marginalized aspects of your psyche so you aren't held back by the past.

  54. Limiting Beliefs

    Eliminate Limiting Beliefs — Identify your greatest limiting beliefs and eliminate them one by one with techniques like visualization, seeding, affirmations, contemplation, shadow work, and journaling.

  55. Meditation

    Meditate Daily — Develop a habit of meditating consistently, every day, for at least 20 minutes. Meditation calms the monkey chatter in your head, puts you in flow, raises your consciousness, and unhooks you from stimulation.

  56. Law of Attraction

    Only Focus on the Things You Want — Build a habit of only thinking about the things you want. Stop worrying. Stop thinking about what you don't want. Stop planning for worst-case scenarios. Think constructively.

  57. Relationship Abundance

    Create Relationship Abundance — Design your life to have relationship abundance. You should be able to find another mate quickly if you wanted to, otherwise your intimate relationships will be unhealthy because you will feel and demonstrate scarcity.

  58. Journaling

    Journal Consistently — Develop a habit of journaling consistently. Have an easily accessible journal and use it to vent feelings and organize your thoughts. Journaling creates deep self-awareness.

  59. Subconscious Mind

    Leverage Your Subconscious — Your subconscious mind plays a big role in your performance and happiness in all areas of life. Program your subconscious to align it with your conscious intentions.

  60. Commonplace Book

    Keep a Commonplace Book — Great Enlightenment-era thinkers like Voltaire and Da Vinci kept scrapbooks for collecting their greatest ideas. Have a commonplace book to organize all the information you're processing as a life-long learner.

  61. Willpower

    Use Your Willpower Strategically — Willpower is your most precious resource and wanes from morning to night. Invest your willpower wisely each day. Use your willpower to create positive habits.

  62. Identity-Level Change

    Change Your Identity, Not Your Behavior — Focus on changing your beliefs, values, and ways of thinking rather than brute-forcing behavior. This is much more sustainable. Right behavior flows naturally from proper inner game.

  63. Force Your Mood

    Force Your Mood — Don't be a victim of your mood. Mood can and should be dictated. Choose 3 adjectives to define the mood you want to feel every day and commit to feeling this way regardless of circumstances.

  64. Embrace Paradox

    Embrace Paradox — Learn to tolerate paradox, contradiction, and simply not knowing. Be flexible, open-minded, and intellectually humble.

  65. Be Your Own Cheerleader

    Be Your Own Cheerleader — Acknowledge and champion yourself even for the tiniest, most insignificant achievements. Reduce your reliance on external validation. Validate yourself. Your own validation should be the most rewarding.

  66. Nominalized Identity

    Don't Be Attached to Your "Who" — Stop labeling yourself as being this or that type of person. You are not a fixed and static "who". Your identity is plastic. Don't be stubborn about who you are and how you're supposed to be.

  67. Money

    Think Properly About Money — Learn to think about money properly. There is a set of beliefs about making and managing money that you need to put in place or you will always be poor.

  68. Quadrant 2 Activities

    Prioritize Quadrant 2 Activities — Make important, non-urgent activities the core for you schedule. Minimize time spent on putting out urgent fires or dilly-dallying with unimportant activities.

  69. Contemplate Death

    Contemplate Death — Contemplate the shortness of your life and the finality of death. Have a sense of urgency and scarcity about life. Use this to focus your attention on the things that really matter.

  70. Top 5 People

    Surround Yourself With Great People — Surround yourself strategically with people who are successful, positive, intelligent, and support what you're doing. Cut toxic, unsupportive people out of your life.

  71. Meaning of Life

    Contemplate the Meaning of Life — Recognize that life is entirely neutral to your purposes. Meaning doesn't exist in the external world. Meaning is whatever you make it out to be. Choose to live a meaningful life.

  72. Block Time

    Work in Block Time — Work in focused, uninterrupted 1-2 hour blocks of time. Work less hours but with more focus. High productivity comes from focused effort, not pure time.

  73. Theory vs Practice Ratio

    Balance Your Intake of Theory to Practice — Strike a balance between the amount of theory you're learning and its implementation. Each concept requires hours of practice to internalize. You are probably not practicing enough.

  74. Enlightenment

    Understand What Enlightenment Is — Know what enlightenment is, and that it's an option for you to go down this road at any time. Your identity is largely illusory. Your true nature is not your thoughts or your feelings or your beliefs, but your awareness of it all.

  75. Outcome-Independence

    Be Outcome-Independent — Stop obsessing over the result you're trying to get. You don't have control over the result. Instead, focus on the process. Be happy to do the work even if you fail to get the result.

  76. Write Manifestos

    Write Manifestos for Major Projects — For every major project you undertake, write a one page document outlining its purpose, costs, most likely causes of failure, and points of consolation. Read the manifesto when you feel like quitting.

  77. Marketing

    Learn the Principles of Marketing — You have to understand basic marketing principles to be successful in business, career, and even relationships. Learn the psychology of selling and persuasion. Marketing is more universal than it seems.

  78. Reading Self-Help

    Do the Exercises When Reading Self-Help — It's too easy to read-help and not get the promised results. Realize that 95% of the results from reading a self-help book come from doing the exercises. You must absolutely do the exercises.

  79. Career

    Build Your Career Strategically — Make your job into a passionate, life-long career. A desirable career is built by committing to being really good at what you do and testing the waters to find your ideal niche. Build career capital.

  80. Be More Authentic

    Be More Authentic — Strive to be more of your authentic self at work, at home, in relationships, and in social situations. Accept who you are and give yourself the freedom to express your uniqueness. Trust that people will accept the real you.

  81. Stop Judging

    Stop Judging Things and People —Judging things and people is toxic. It will poison your mental wellbeing and distract you from what you want to create. Let things and people be as they are. Stop trying to fit them into your mold.

  82. Emotional Labor

    Lean Into Emotional Labor — Don't shy away from situations that feel emotionally difficult. In fact, seize this opportunity to separate yourself from your competition. All valuable work nowadays involves emotional labor.

  83. Challenge Yourself

    Challenge Yourself — Design challenges to keep yourself sharp. Too much comfort, counter-intuitively, leads to dissatisfaction and poor performance.

  84. Life-Long Learning

    Commit to Life-Long Learning — Read, listen to CDs, attend seminars, talk to smart people, study, subscribe to magazines, follow bloggers, etc. The more knowledgeable you are, the more options and opportunities you'll have.

  85. Male/Female Psychology

    Understand How the Opposite Sex Thinks — The male and female brain work in very different ways, leading to asymmetrical interactions. Learn and respect the differences or suffer the consequences.

  86. Delayed Gratification

    Avoid Short-Term Gratification — Good things come when you resist short-term for long-term rewards. Train yourself to resist short-term gratification, which usually comes at a high cost to your health and happiness.

  87. Social Conditioning

    Free Yourself of Limiting Social Conditioning — Identify areas in which social conditioning has limited you and consciously challenge it. Free yourself from the shackles of government, society, media, friends, employers, and family.

  88. Epistemology

    Have an Accurate Knowledge Framework — Develop a respect for truth and appreciate its importance in manipulating the world around you. Learn how to reason and beware of valid versus invalid sources for truth.

  89. Accept Selfishness

    Accept That We Are All Biologically Selfish — We are all biologically wired for selfishness. Accept this and don't try to fight it. Instead, take care of your needs so you can move beyond yourself and get to the point of being able to help others.

  90. Hero's Journey

    Understand the Hero's Journey — Your life is the hero's journey: you will be forced to start a journey, you will encounter threshold guardians, you will face your greatest fears, you will falter, and you will share your knowledge with others.

  91. Victim Energy

    Eliminate All Forms of Victim-Thinking — You are either operating from a place of victim energy or creator energy. Get control over areas of your life where you feel like a victim. You do not have to keep being a victim.

  92. Life Balance

    Balance Your Life — Live a well-rounded life, with attention put into career, intimate relationship, health, friends, hobbies, and personal improvement. Do not make the mistake of over-focusing on any one part of your life, like work.

  93. Perfectionism

    Stop Being a Perfectionist — Stop trying to make your work perfect. Accept that the path to mastery is full of screw-ups, big and small. Embrace kaizen. Your work will become good naturally, over a long period of practice.

  94. Reframing

    Develop a Habit of Reframing — Get good at reframing negative situations into positive ones. Use the power of your focus to pick out the good within the bad.

  95. Alignment

    Align Your Life With Your Values — The over-arching strategy of your life should be alignment. Identify what's most important to you and commit to changing your life to match that ideal. When you see a misalignment, resolve it.

  96. Bloodwork & Supplementation

    Get Regular Bloodwork; Take Essential Supplements — Get blood work done every year even if you're feeling fine and take essential supplements like vitamin D, omega-3, vitamin A, vitamin C, iodine, magnesium, etc.

  97. Relationship Types

    Build Independent Relationships — Understand the 3 relationships types: co-dependent, independent, inter-dependent. Identify and eliminate co-dependencies in your intimate relationships.

  98. 5 Love Languages

    Learn How to Communicate Love — People express and feel love in 5 different ways: words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, acts of service, and quality time. Learn exactly which behaviors make your lover feel loved and practice them often.

  99. Be Present

    Be Present — Live in the now. Most pain and suffering comes from dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. The happiest and most effective you can be is when your attention is fully in the present.

  100. Visualization

    Practice Visualization Every Day — Develop a habit of visualizing, every day, what you want your life to be like. You can use visualization to mock-practice, change your self-image, or program your subconscious mind to help you achieve big goals.

  101. Affirmations

    Practice Affirmations Every Day — Develop a habit of doing affirmations, every day, to program your mind with empowering thought patterns and beliefs. Consistent affirmations will permanently reshape your self-image.

  102. Acknowledgment

    Acknowledge Your Successes — Develop a weekly habit of acknowledging yourself for the many successes you already have in your life right now. When you give yourself credit you create a vibration of success that empowering you to achieve even more.

  103. Contemplation

    Dedicate Time for Contemplation — Spend time alone in thought, thinking about a topic with absolute focus. Contemplation peels back the surface layers of an idea, giving you more awareness, understanding, and options.

  104. External Validation

    Eliminate Reliance on External Validation — Stop chasing after the approval of others, whether it's friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors. Identify all the external sources of validation that you enjoy and re-ground them in yourself.

  105. Know Yourself

    Get to Know Your True Self — Develop a deep understanding of who you are. What do you like? What don't you like? What do you value? Who are you? What are you good at? What are you bad at? What must you have in life to be happy?

  106. Creative Process

    Follow the Creative Process — Understand that the creative process is driven by a vision: the thing you want to create. Use vision to generate creative tension, which generates the motivation for making your vision a reality.

  107. False Choices

    Learn to Spot False Choices — Avoid getting stuck in either, or thinking: either A or B. No, it can usually be both. Your life is long. Permanent tradeoffs are very rare. If you really want both, go for both. The question should be, Which one first?

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Published by: Invigorated Solutions.  Bob and Tracy are Co-Founders of Invigorated Solutions.  Tracy is a certified Life Coach specializing in life transition coaching, career changes, major life changes and family matters.  Both can be reached at info@invigoratedsolutions.com

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Passionate about life, learning, love and sharing their experiences of life, Bob & Tracy Wallace enjoy sharing their invigorated (energizing) solutions / advice and useful life tips for living life to the fullest on their popular life development blog, “Invigorated Solutions”.  Click HERE to visit our website for more valuable information.

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