Three days ago, Steve Pavlina announced the closing down of the PDSP (Personal Development for Smart People) Forums. A lot of upheaval had been generated the days before and is still being generated after the announcement. After all, the PDSP forums have existed for more than five years and accumulated more than 1,000,000 posts since then.
In the PDSP forums people discussed all kinds of topics with a focus on personal development, for example: health, personal effectiveness, business & financial, intention manifestation, spirituality and relationships.
I became a member of the forums in May of 2008, about six months after I had become a fan of Steve Pavlina’s blog. Although I never stayed active for long (I had phases were I posted daily and other phases were I wouldn’t visit the forums for months), I always benefited from it: I came across brilliant advice, got in touch with intelligent perspectives and learned about things I hadn’t even heard before.
But the greatest thing about this is place was WHO I found there: People like me. Not exactly like me. But like me in the way that they were interested in personal growth, they wanted to change the world, they weren’t interested in the life that society wanted to ascribe to them and that they hadn’t given up dreaming. Honestly, a lot of them were weirdos. Just like me. And I felt like I found a new home. Maybe the first real home at all since I had left my childhood.
We weren’t just hanging out in the forums, btw. We soon became Facebook friends and Skype buddies. We founded circles and created mastermind groups. We helped each other, supported those who needed support, inspired each other.
I had been active on a few forums before (not personal development related, though) but I had never made such connections before. What we had in common went way beyond hobbies or interests.
I’m sure I wouldn’t have come that far if it hadn’t been for the people on the PDSP forums. For example, my email course “How To Change Your Life” is based on the experiences I made in the mastermind group that consisted of PDSP forum members. Seriously, I’m not even sure this website would exist without the PDSP people. One of the reasons why I opened this blog was so I could share my ideas about personal development with my english-speaking (= PDSP) friends.
It’s funny that this forum has to close exactly when I decide I want to spend more time there. I actually wanted to share more of my ideas outside of my blog and meet more PD interested people from all over the world and the PDSP were of course the perfect place for that.
Although, the PDSP forums meant and did a lot to/for me, I’m emotionally okay with the closing down. That doesn’t mean that I’m not a little sad. And it doesn’t mean I’m on Steve’s side. I’m not on any side in this messy endeavour, really. I do understand the different perspectives.
If you’re upset about the closing down, I’d like you to consider that only because you’re not able to see “oneness” or other of Steve’s principles in his decision, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. As consciously living people we need to understand that we can not know what’s the right path for somebody else. Maybe this is exactly the right path for Steve, who knows? Maybe it’s not. But even then, who are we to judge?
Also, Steve does not owe you a forum. The forum was a free service he provided and only because many people found it extremely valuable (like me), doesn’t mean that he has to provide that service forever. And nothing ever lasts anyway.
We can try to resist change but it won’t make us happy (and neither will resisting create positive results in your life). So, what to do instead?
I think, no matter on whose side we are, most of us want this: We still do want communities where we can meet like-minded people. We want to meet people who are living their life of personal growth. We want to connect with them, share our own growth experiences with them and build things together that are greater than everything we could do on our own. We want to unite.
And I’m sure we will just do that. I’m sure that we will find ways to unite and re-unite. I don’t know how this will look like, yet. Many of the PDSP people are connected on Facebook. But how will we meet new people? How will we stay in touch with the ones that aren’t on Facebook? Which structures can we use to support a community that’s personal growth oriented?
Until we have found new solutions, I want to ask you to add me on Facebook or Google+ (I’m not very active on Google+, though!). Also, maybe you know forums and communities for growth oriented people? Or you have some other ideas? Please share them in the comment section.