Steve, first of all, I want to say that you've been a great inspiration to me and your insights helped me a lot over a course of few years during which I've been reading your blog. I've also met a lot of great people here on these forums. Thank you very much for that!
Now, please forgive me for being blunt, but to be honest I think that shutting these forums down is very selfish of you.
I know that most people seem to accept your decision, and obviously we don't have much say in that, but it really doesn't make much sense to me.
Many of active members here are lucky enough to have supportive friends and even mentors or teachers. Many people all over the world aren't that fortunate and have to deal with their problems all alone. These forums are the place where people who are misunderstood by their families or communities can find a supportive group who accept them without judgement and can give wise advice. Think about all the serious thread that have been started here. Think about people who come to these forums to ask for advice how to deal with extreme social anxiety, with abuse they've experienced as kids, with rape, with death or suicides of their loved ones. Think about people who are contemplating suicide and they come to these forums as their last place to go. You have friends and probably mentors. I have friends and mentors. They don't. They are alone.
Steve, obviously, you're the owner of this site and you can do whatever you want with it, but these forums aren't about you, are they? They're about community which we have here, a community where people who are going through very serious hardships all alone can find refuge. Yes, your own growth is your first priority in life..but to be in a place where you've built a massive online community where people who are dealing with abuse, rape and suicidal tendencies can find help and decide to shut it down because you don't feel like it anymore? Come on.
I do understand that you've outgrown these forums and that's perfectly fine.That doesn't change the fact that these forums have tremendous value to many people all over the world. Do you really need to shut these forums down in order to grow, or are you emotional because of the recent events in these forums?
Steve, do you really have to shut those forums down, or can you simply leave these forums to members and mods?
I don't know how much you're doing behind the scenes since I'm not a mod, but community probably won't fall down only because you stop showing up here.
I understand that these forums have your name on it and therefore you feel responsibility for them. What about dropping that responsibility by keeping forums alive but renaming them so it would be a general personal development forum, not Steve Pavlina's Personal Development For Smart People forum and then leaving the community to the mods?
Steve, really, it's your decision, but before shutting down this forum, take a look at all these threads: My fiancee is afraid of sex Rape consequences Coping with the suicide of family member Dealing with the death of my brother Considering suicide
These are just few of the threads on really serious issues. How many more threads there are like this?
It's people who need help behind threads like that and they often can't speak to ones around them. They can speak with people here. Why take that away from them?