April 28, 2016 by Stephen Bentley
Q: When is One Word One Hundred Words?
A: When the author is Dan Pedersen. I typed in self development in the search box at Medium. I found this article A Word About Self-Education And Personal Development by Dan Pedersen.
It intrigued me because it was a 1-minute read. The title also got to me. “One Word” has not to be taken literally. In Mr. Pedersen’s case it ended up as 100 words.
The title got to me because as a Brit I am used to the expression, “Can I have a word in your shell-like?” Shell-like means ear. And a word is more like a torrent because the expression (which isn’t a request) means that you are in for a bollocking!
Because the piece is so short I will reproduce it here for you in full before I turn to my usual self development series format.
Stick to your strengths, explore your intrigues, don’t get bogged down with subjects and ideas that easily cause you to become confused and frustrated.
We are all wired a bit differently and should be more concerned with developing our strongest attributes and less concerned with things that other people suggest that we ought to be interested in.
How much time do you really want to spend trying to acquire knowledge and skills that you have very little interest in and that do not serve your best interests?
Focus on what will yield the best return on your time and efforts.
This is a further post in what has become a series about self development. The idea is that I take an article or perhaps a video or an infographic and summarize what it really means. I have always been a believer in self development even before it became trendy!
Shucks I even write about self development in my About page! And if you need to know more then please check out my Personal Development page. Self development? Personal Development? C’est la même chose!
Summary of the Article
First off, it is brave! One hundred words is not the usual output if you, as a writer, are going to publish it. Yet, through being concise he gets across four main points in such an easily understood manner. Bravo!
Is it worth the read? A resounding yes.
If you have a thirst for information like me then I can help. I believe I have found part of the solution through Blinkist. It is an app that if used properly can be a tremendous aid to self development.
Reading Time of the Article
1 minute – it’s once more ironic that this post of mine will take longer to read!
Favorite Quote from the Author In the Article
About the Author and Lessons Learned From The Article
So who is this guy Dan Pedersen with balls of steel to publish 100 words about self development? His info on Medium is as succinct as his article – “Contemplating life. Writing from the heart.”
He does interest me so I took a look at his website to discover more than he was saying on Medium.
His ‘About ‘page adds very little but he informs us that:
These posts [on his site] represent some of my reflections on life. They are mainly notes written to myself. But I think you might find them helpful also.
A little about me: I’m originally from Canada, I’m married and I have a young daughter.
Dan is a master at being cryptic. A veritable man of mystery!
The lesson I learned was that it is possible to put over a strong message within 100 words. It is well written and perfectly clear.
I have the feeling that it is a ploy of Dan’s to be so mysterious and succinct. He is crafting a personal brand cloaked in secrecy. I don’t know the guy but he strikes me as being too introspective. I suspect that some of his writing and thoughts could be on the darker side of human nature.
Under the word ‘About’ on his website is this quotation – “What’s most personal is most universal” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen. Mr. Pedersen loves intrigue!
It interests me that he chose that quotation. Nouwen was a Catholic priest. One of Nouwen’s major ongoing themes involved his struggle reconciling his depression with his Christian faith. His most famous work on this topic is the Inner Voice of Love, his diary from December 1987 to June 1988 during one of his most serious bouts with clinical depression. Nouwen also explored this theme in Return of the Prodigal Son, describing love and forgiveness as unconditional. In the book, he invites the reader to follow him in his personal return to the spiritual fountains, and a parallel meditation on all the characters of the parable, and their rendering by Rembrandt, and the painter’s personal life.
I find it an irony that the Pedersen’s website is called Living With Confidence. From his writing, I suspect that Mr. Pedersen fights his inner self to be confident. His style brings to mind Ingmar Bergman, a Swedish film director whose films usually deal with existential questions of mortality, loneliness, and religious faith. That has something in common with Nouwen. And, coincidentally Bergman was the son of a priest.
I hope I am not being harsh on Mr. Pedersen for I have only read his article above and one other from his blog.
I cannot fault this article for its message and style. It is brilliant in its execution and brevity.
I took something away from this extremely short article. But I guarantee I will not remember anything about it in say 2 months from now. It isn’t instantly forgettable but it is forgettable.
One of the advantages of me going through many hurdles of trying to create and improve myself in my retirement is that I have discovered things that work. Things that aid productivity.
Self Development and Blinkist
One of those is Blinkist.
The aim of this series is to summarize to you articles that I believe assist in self development. Damn it! More than that – help you achieve, be a better person. Blinkist does that too. It will give you a synopsis of excellent books written by experts in their respective fields.
It helps you work smarter and be smarter! It is an aid to self development.
Formal Education vs Self Development
Indeed, I am a great believer in self development. Formal education can only teach you so much. The rest is up to you. Learning is within the capacity of all. We do it as soon as we leave the womb and it should be a continuous process. You are never too old to learn.
Through my passage in life, I feel qualified to pass on my wisdom about self development. I feel so strongly about it that I intend to eventually offer one to one consultations to help anyone who is prepared to listen. Listening and learning are the easy bits. You as an individual have to implement those lessons. No one can do it except you!
You can be the most intelligent person on earth but without self- awareness and self development then you run the risk of stagnating. Even worse, you could go backwards.
You know, writing is a tremendous source of self expression and development. It’s fun! Anyone can do it. Click the banner below to find out more –
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Click below to find out more about Nouwen’s books.
Reading is a cornerstone of self development!