12 Best Personal Development Articles For 2012

With this year coming to an end I thought it would be interesting to make a recap of all the best material I stumbled across throughout the net. Following many blogs myself, I picked the 12 posts that had the biggest influence on me in this previous year.

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Being a personal development junkie, running this blog and writing many articles on the subject, I thought that sharing these articles would serve both as a reminder of all the things that I, myself, should implement, as well as offer you a great resource for building your New Year’s resolutions, or just level up your self-improvement game.

Each and every one of these articles is unique in terms of resonating with a different message, one that will be embedded in your behavior even long after you scroll all the way down to the bottom of each page.

Consider them as 12 amendments that will for sure influence your life and change you towards the better. I will stop my rant right here, and without further ado leave you with the list.

  1. Show up early, show up often, and stay late

    Srinivas RaoThe first article comes from Srinivas Rao. We interviewed Srini here at this blog, so be sure to check the interview as well.

    The article itself is remarkable in terms of the message. You see, it’s never the smart ones, or the lucky ones that finish the race. The first place is always for the persistent. Always.

    Srini makes the perfect analogy between success in life and surfing on the board, extrapolating an even stronger point from his message.

  2. An intentional life

    The second post is something that may as well start a movement. Why do we go through whatever that is in life? Is it just the routine that forces us to, or we might find a deeper meaning?

    Leo BabautaLeo Babauta, maybe the best personal development blogger in the world, decides to delve deeper and use this question as to dramatically improve the quality of our life. You will be surprised how so small of an article can carry such big of a message. Spoiler- this article may indeed change your life.

  3. Dedicated but balanced

    Another gem from Zen Habits, Leo’s blog. This time a guest post by Brad Pilon. This is probably my second favorite one, and if you and I resemble even a tiny bit in terms of how obsessed we are with personal development of any kind, then this will be a jewel for you as well.

    If you want to make a long term relationship with personal development and improve while not hindering sanity, this is a must read!

    You will also recognize the discrepancy between your personal development efforts and what they really brought you in 2012.

  4. Deliberate practice: What it is and why you need it

    Cobertt BarrAnother one of my favorites, Corbett Barr’s article on deliberate practice. It’s an article dissecting the possibility of becoming an expert through practicing. But not all practicing and repetition is created equal.

    In short, Corbett does a great job explaining how you can attain an expert status in any field by implementing deliberate practice, intentional practice. If you want to improve in a certain area as bad as I want in some, then this article is definitely for you.

    Oh, and while there make sure to bookmark Expert Enough – the site, and enjoy transforming yourself into an expert one step at a time.

  5. 5-year commitments

    steve pavlinaI read Steve Pavlina’s blog for a long time now, and regard him as one of the best personal development bloggers in the world (if not at the very top). I planned on listing another article from his site, but one month ago he really left me wordless with something that he wrote.

    Spoiler – this article will change the way you look at personal development. For good. The small wins are great, and at least according to me they build your character, your persona. And that counts more than anything else. But what determines success on a big scale is something rather more complex.

    Read this post, throw a retrospective look at your life, and you will figure it all out. I will be repeating myself again, but this is a must read!

  6. The best way to advance your expert status

    Another one from Expert Enough, which is fairly quickly becoming one of my favorite sites. A guest post on the site by Fredrick Hertzberg, this one is great for those who are knees deep into personal development.

    In short, if you are already improving tremendously at something, you can take a shortcut and speed things up. The idea is to implement the things that you already know by teaching others. This alone will improve your expert status, while allowing you to speed up your personal development in that field.

    I can totally relate to this article, since I started coaching people in fitness, and this event indeed changed the curve I was taking in improving myself fitness wise. Faster improvement, attaining an expert status, being recognized for your improvement along the way… Enjoy this article.

  7. Where does creativity come from?

    Personal development often times overlaps with creativity and the roots of the creative process. And sometimes the lack of creativity frightens us to the extent of abandoning personal growth altogether.

    We think, at least in times of doubt, that creativity is not for everybody, and that it is this elusive thing that decides to manifest only with selected few. Writing a lot about creativity on this very site and slowly entering a line of work where creativity is one of the ultimate currencies, I found my resolve to understand it to be rather growing.

    Rand FishkinRand Fishkin’s article on creativity is, according to me, the best article on creativity that showed up on the net for 2012. The notion is derived from a TED talk by Kirby Ferguson, and it points that creativity is not something that is unique, but rather that everything is a remix.

    I’ll quote Sir Ken Robinson here: “...In fact, creativity, which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value, more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things.

    Different disciplinary ways of seeing things that were already there if you ask me. We just find a new connection, a new wiring.

  8. The difference between who you are and what you do for a living

    Another post from Srini’s Skool of Life (another of my favorite blogs). This one makes you think about your identity in terms of it being broader than just what you do for a living. If we are to pick the smallest article comprising the biggest message, then this is the winner.

    Read this and see the potential you have, that is entirely different and way broader from what you do for a living. One of the roots of personal development if you ask me. It definitely had a big impact at the way I see it.

  9. Get your shoes on, get out of the door

    Joel RunyonJoel Runyon has been an inspiration for many people both in fitness as well as many other areas of personal development. His site has indeed started a movement of people defining the circumstances and doing the impossible.

    This post is a no-brainer advice that for some may not hold the same value that I attach to it. And maybe it was just me, or the timing in which I read this post, or the direct no BS message it tries to pass, but it resonated deep with me. Now I look to this post as a reminder of how simple things are- just freaking start.

  10. 24 things I know now that I wish I knew then

    Another great post from the CEO of SEOmoz, Rand Fishkin. This time, 24 lessons which he learned along the way that he thinks would have made a big difference if he knew them way back. Really not the average article you would stumble across StumbleUpon.

  11. How to do so many diverse and awesome things that people will want to punch you in the face

    Johnny B TrauntBack to the “blog of impossible things”, but this time with a guest post from Johnny B Truant, author of How to be Legendary. The post is something that will make you throw aside the myth that you are able to do well only one thing at a time.

    Really guys, a different ball game; self-improvement on a whole other level here. This post will make you embrace the fact that you can indeed be good at everything.

  12. 6 harsh truths that will make you a better person

    And finally, my favorite, the champion of personal development articles for 2012, something that came through the furnace of Cracked, a comedy site, and something none of us even slightly expected. This article, written by David Wong being so meticulously crafted, will dramatically influence your life at least.

    Read only this if you have to, and get ready for a different kind of personal development for 2013.

    The crème de la crème guys, this article immediately made me better at personal development. The most persuasive article, a literary jewel too if you ask me, and as far as it can be from soft and flowery prose on how to improve your life; it will open your eyes in the sense of realizing that you must stop chasing the beauty in the haute couture gown that is wealth and success in life, but transform yourself into the kind of person that attracts the same one.

    It will make you realize that all you have inside is worth a squat if you don’t create an opportunity for it to manifest into the world, into your life and the life of others.


I consider these articles to be a valuable list for personal development junkies, since I too felt the benefits from them and they, in a way, partially, contributed to changing my life for the better.

I hope that they will at least have some impact on your New Year’s resolutions, and the resolve you will have to make this a better year by making you a better person.

Enjoy the best personal development articles for 2012, and see you in the comment section below.

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3 opinions already. What's yours?

    • Slavko Desik

      It is a great post Fredrik. Something that is thought provoking indeed. I especially love how it offers a model which, when perfected, can be applied to many areas in life.
      As for the list, I’m glad you enjoyed it- it took some time to decide which ones deserved to enter the “12 best for the year”.

      Reply

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