Life Lessons in the Real World

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The 7 Best Personal Development Stories on this Website

икониикона за подаръкХудожникI write a lot of true stories from my own life on this Website. You may be wondering why I tell stories when so many other personal development authors are turning out short bulleted lists instead.

I write stories for two reasons: I enjoy it, and I honestly believe that a good story is often the best way (and sometimes the only way) to accurately communicate complicated life lessons.

We do not live in a neat little world where all our personal development philosophies can be connected with clean lines and wrapped up with a beautiful bow. We do not live in a world where all of our goals, ambitions, and motivations can be quantified in cute little bulleted lists. No, you and I, we live in the real world, where life gets messy and our attempts to improve our lives are often thwarted by very real obstacles. And sometimes, when a situation gets really messy, a good story is the only way to cut through the muck to what really matters.

Don’t get me wrong. Quick numbered lists (like the one in this post) still have their place, and I’ve written plenty of those too.

But if you’re looking for something that’s a little deeper and a little more entertaining, I offer you the 7 best story-format posts on this site. Each story comes with a series of take-away points and life lessons. I hope you find these stories entertaining, educational, and inspiring.

1.Life Lessons from a Cranky Old Man.
2.Jason’s Story: Life Lessons from a Tragedy.
3.How to Learn from your Parents Even if They Weren’t the Greatest.
4.How to Stand Up to Your Mother When You’re 42 Years Old.
5.Life Lessons from the Ghosts of Christmas Past.
6.The Top 4 Lessons I Leaned from a Horsefly Attack!
7.Reading Road Signs on the Highway of Life.


26 Responses to “The 7 Best Personal Development Stories on this Website”

  • Tim Brownson says:

    John, I applaud your approach and it’s the reason why this is one of only 5 blogs that I subscribe to the RSS Feed. There are a lot of people banging out lists that could have been read in any book and replicated, but it’s stories that connect with people and stories that stand the test of time.

    I was talking to a very bright blogger the other day. He’s new and young and will do well, but he needs to put his own stamp on his blog. Make it unique, separate yourself from everybody else and above all, have fun.

    I try to do all those and I know you do too.

  • JohnPlace says:

    Thank you Tim. What you’re saying is so true. Not every blogger cares about growing an audience, but those who do tend to spend a long while in the copy-cat zone. Even the really successful blogs often echo each other.

    There are a lot of ways to judge the success of a blog: readers, subscribers, comments, community. Or, you can judge its success by the consistent quality of its archives, which may yield value far beyond the typical advertising dollars when all is said and done.

    I’m not really sure what my point is here. I guess I’m rambling. Or maybe I’m just trying to say that I find it far more appealing to post when I have something important to share and not a moment sooner, advertisers or no, and I’m trying more and more to put my personal stamp on everything I write. I think the blogosphere is full of bloggers who are in a big hurry to fill their archives before they have anything of note to say.

  • Lin Burress says:


    It’s the fact that you DO write personal stories, things you’ve lived and experienced firsthand, that draws readers (including me) into your blog.

    Even with my own blog, I receive emails from readers who ask me why I put so much of my own life into my posts, rather than simple facts or as you say copycat posts.

    One of my most important elements of developing sustainable readership is allowing readers to really get to know the person behind the posts. Those aren’t just words people see on their computer screen, it’s real life events whether good or bad, happy or sad.

    Some readers only email me after reading my posts but don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment about how they can personally relate to whatever the specific post is about, and I believe that building community and a regular following isn’t necessarily determined by the number of the comments shown on a post.

  • JohnPlace says:

    Thanks for the comment, Lin.

  • John,

    You are unique. Undoubtedly, more refreshing than any journalist in the media on any given day. You have the gene to write fluid, yet compelling stories similar to what I found in Leo Tolstoy’s stories.

    You have inspired me to embed more of my personal experiences into my blog articles. Thank you for everything.

    P.S. I couldn’t resist to subscribe to your blog. You are master at what you do.


  • Andrew says:

    Hey john, where have you been? it’s been a while. We’ve missed you :)

  • JohnPlace says:

    Hi Andrew. I guess the blog is dead. Maybe I should bring it back to life? :-)

    I’ve had several things happen in my life recently and have had to put blogging on the back burner.

    I’ve come to the realization that this Website, in its current incarnation, is never really going to be a money making enterprise for me, so the only reason to do it is for the sheer joy of it, and I found that the joy of blogging is severely reduced when one has to work 8 hours a day at a day job and has a family to tend to afterwards.

    My life is an ever-evolving series of life lessons. Many of the things I wrote in April of last year I wouldn’t write today, although some I would. Basically what we have here on this Website is a catalog my ideas during a period of time in my life when everything had been turned upside down and I was forced to rely on all the things I’d learned over the years to get me through. Some of what I wrote is very good and still applies to my life today. Some of it isn’t so clear cut. I just hope that some of this has helped people.

  • Justin says:

    Yea I was wondering what had happend. lol I understand though… priorities right? I enjoy it though. Hit us up when you have time.

  • Mary Paddock says:

    Hi John,

    Just stopping in to say hello! I guess I could have checked the comments and seen what you were up to. I’d been wondering. ‘Hope all is well with you.

    mary paddock

  • dudeguy says:

    It’s ok to have a comment.

  • poker backer says:

    Good advice, now I just have to try it lol

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  • Bruce says:

    I “Stumbled” upon your blog. I like it, hope you continue and that your blogging can find the money niche though that is not your main purpose.

  • Govindaya says:

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for first aid for a heart attack and your post looks very interesting for me.

  • John says:

    Hay John, I read your post, (not going to to blogging any time soon. but just had to tell to tell you I LOVE YOUR BLOG. i found it on the internet over a year ago, and can honestly say your stories have made a difference in my life and I still go back and look at them(the stories).

    you inspired me to get an A in math last year, i eventually got bored with trying in school and went down to a low B. But that was probably the first time in like 4 years that i had gotten an A in math. SO THANX!!!

  • I just adore your weblog! Very wonderful post! Still you can do numerous issues to strengthen it.

  • This is a really nice post. thanks for sharing

  • Artem says:

    Спасибо, хорошо пишите

  • Chad says:


    So you haven’t posted anything new in two years, why not? It seems to me that you just gave up. You had so many people hooked on the thoughts you were sharing and people were responding that you were helping them. Was everything just a load of BS to get you through a low point in your life? In a comment to your last post you said, “Many of the things I wrote in April of last year I wouldn’t write today, although some I would.” So, what is that you woudn’t write about anymore? That comment tells me even you think what you were writing was BS.

    You didn’t even post a final farewell note. Instead you just left everyone hanging.

    I probably sound like I am a bit PO’d and you would be half right. In all honesty I am. But I still see value in many of the things you said in your posts and I believe that many people have been helped by them (I have) and that even more people will stumble onto your site and will be continue to be helped even if you don’t.

    What I don’t understand is why you didn’t keep writing even if it was only once a month. I can’t help but wonder did you really mean everything or is your work and family so much more important than the many people whose lives you touched in a positive and meaningful way. In a way it is like the best friend someone has ever had who for no reason at all just dropped out of your life forever with no explanation. You know they are still around but that they just don’t care about you anymore.

  • a very good writeup by the author hope to come back more very soon.

  • Quick Facts says:

    Maybe you should make changes to the page title The 7 Best Personal Development Stories on this Website to more specific for your webpage you make. I loved the blog post all the same.

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  • JohnPlace says:

    Chad, I’ve moved on to new adventures. Please don’t take it personally. I have my life. You have yours. The reality is that about 4 years ago I sat down to write an article about all the reasons I blog and I couldn’t come up with a single decent thing to say. So I stopped. Cold Turkey. No, I don’t think the things I wrote were BS – if I did, I would have just torn the website down. I left these articles here because I believe in their value.

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