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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at optimize.me.)
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Mar 1, 2018
In our last +1, we took a quick look at Warren Buffett’s three-step goal setting process and then chatted about how it fits into our Big 3: Energy + Family + Service.
 
First, pop quiz: Did you do that exercise? If not, all good but… 
 
If we want to move from theory to practice and from merely consuming these ideas to actually deeply thinking about and LIVING these ideas, we’ve gotta do the work.
 
The image that comes to mind for me is a stonecutter. 
 
Imagine a guy (or gal) banging away at a HUGE rock with a sledgehammer. He pounds and pounds and pounds at that rock with his sledgehammer again and again and again.
 
And absolutely nothing happens.
 
Just a big rock. And a sweaty sledgehammer guy.
 
Then, apparently out of nowhere, on the next strike the rock splits. YAYUH!!!
 
Now, if you happened to be walking by that guy right when he made the swing that cracked open the rock you might think that a) the guy was super strong and/or b) splitting rocks is easy.
 
But… 
 
You missed all the tiring, potentially frustrating swings our sledgehammer guy made BEFORE he cracked the rock.
 
It’s kinda like Jim Rohn’s combination lock. You might be ONE digit away from unlocking a level of clarity you thought was still super far away.
 
Moral of the story: We’ve gotta show up and hit the rock. Every day. If we want to make sure our ladder is leaning up against the right wall and that we’re living a life of deep, authentic purpose and meaning, we NEED to show up and do the work.
 
We’ve gotta turn off the entertainment at night so our brains can relax and we can get a good night of sleep. Then wake up early, feeling energized as we choose to go Deep into Creative work before we splash around in the Shallow side of the Reactive pool of life.
 
Over. And over. And over again.
 
Any one session might not yield epiphanies but we’re accreting,” as Cal Newport would say, just a little more value in each Deep Work session. Knowing that, like the rock splitter, if we continue showing up and doing the work SOMETHING good will happen.
 
So…
 
Today’s +1. 
 
How can you take another swing at that rock today?
 
Enjoy it. I can hear the rock splitting from here.
Feb 25, 2018

Ready to conquer anxiety? Our first step is to embrace the fact that it happens and then we’ll quit making it worse as we choose a target (calm confidence!), get our fundies in order, remember to breathe (deeply + properly), turn the serenity key in our brains, do some Olympic-style focus training so we see challenges not threats as we exit our mind and enter the moment. We’ll also look at how to create calm confidence in 5 steps and how to tap into infinite calm confidence. Tame those gremlins and rock it!

Feb 24, 2018
Rick Snyder was the founder of research into the science of hope. And, he was one of the pioneers of the positive psychology movement. In fact, he literally wrote the textbook on Positive Psychology.”
 
He documented just how important hope is to our overall well-being and tells us that there are three primary components to having high hope: Goals + Willpower + Waypower.
 
It all starts with a Goal. Happy people have projects. And, happy, hopeful people have GOALS! They have a future they’re excited about.
 
Then we have what Rick calls Willpower.” In this context, Rick tells us that Willpower is that spark of determination that says, We’ve got this!!” It needs to be there in the beginning AND it needs be there after you get knocked down a few times. (Rick’s protege Shane Lopez described this as Agency” a sense of personal power that we have what it takes to make our dreams a reality.)
 
Then we have what Rick calls Waypower.” Waypower is all about mapping out the plans for how you will attain your goal along with the wisdom to know that your first plan probably won’t work out perfectly requiring you to continue optimizing your strategy while pursuing different routes to your goal. (Shane Lopez called this Pathways.”)
 
So, again: Goals + Willpower +  Waypower.
 
To be high hope, we need to have all three of those Optimized. It’s obviously not enough to have Goals without Willpower or Waypower. But it’s also not enough to have Goals and Willpower but not have the Waypower. You could be really fired up and really believe you can crush it but… If you’re not also doing the planning to find all the routes to your goal, your hope will take a hit. 
 
Today’s +1. Let’s do a quick check in on the status of your hope.
 
Do you have specific, meaningful, and challenging yet doable Goals
 
Do you have a spark of determination or Willpower” that gives you the confidence that you can achieve your Goals and helps you move through the inevitable obstacles you’ll face along the way? 
 
And, do you have a plan on how you can achieve your Goals (and a willingness to constantly tweak that plan as you get feedback from the world) via a strong sense of Waypower”? 
 
Once more: Goals + Willpower +  Waypower.
 
Where are you strong? What needs work?
 
Here’s to cultivating your resilient, grounded, yet high hope day in and day out especially (!) when you don’t feel like it. 
 
P.S. Remember: If your basic fundamentals aren’t Optimized there’s no way you’ll be able to get yourself into that high-hope state consistently. Eating, moving, and sleeping well? That’s THE best way to boost your hope. Period.
Feb 19, 2018
In No Mud, No Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that when he was a young monk he thought the Buddha never suffered. 
 
Then, as he matured, he realized that OF COURSE the Buddha suffered. He had a body so he had to at least occasionally get a headache or a stomachache. And, when a friend died, he’d feel sad. He was a human being. Therefore, he experienced pain and suffering.
 
Of course, he was also the enlightened Buddha so he was very good at regaining his equanimity.
 
Which leads to another interesting discussion.
 
If the Buddha was enlightened, Thich Nhat Hanh asks, then why did he still meditate after attaining his enlightenment? 
 
Hmmm… Fascinating question, eh?
 
Answer: Because the Buddha’s happiness and equanimity was, like EVERYTHING else in the world, IMPERMANENT. 
 
The Buddha needed to tend to his own well-being. Every day. Even after his enlightenment.
 
Now, if the Buddha needed to keep on doing his fundies after he attained his enlightenment, I’m pretty sure that means we do as well. (Hah.)
 
So…
 
Today’s +1.
 
How’re your fundies? 
 
Want to maintain your high levels of awesome? Continue crushing your fundamentals long after you think you need” to.
 
P.S. I’m reminded of peak performance and mental toughness trainers Lanny and Troy Bassham. They tell us that average performers practice something until they get it right. Elite performers? They practice until they can’t get it wrong. (That’s a really cool distinction.)
 
The jumbo, uber-elite? They never stop practicing.
Feb 14, 2018
Continuing our Harry Potter theme, let’s explore how to deal with dementors in your life.
 
Recall that dementors are big, ugly, wraith-like creatures that feed on and suck all the happiness out of you. And, if they’re feeling really feisty, they’ll give you a kiss that sucks your soul right out of you. (Yikes!) 
 
Also recall that there’s a special way to deal with these foul creatures. It’s called the Patronus Charm
 
Here’s how Professor Lupin describes it to Harry in The Prisoner of Azkaban: The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the dementor feeds upon hope, happiness, the desire to survive but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the dementors can’t hurt it. But I must warn you, Harry, that the charm might be too advanced for you. Many qualified wizards have difficulty with it.”
 
Harry wonders what the Patronus looks like and Lupin tells him that each one is unique to the wizard who conjures it.”
 
How do you conjure it? Well, Lupin tells us: With an incantation, which will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory.”
 
So…
 
Dementors feed on our happiness. And, if we allow them to, they will suck our very souls out of us. 
 
Sounds a lot like depression, eh? Indeed it does.
 
Fighting dementors requires magic that even many qualified wizards have difficulty with. Alas, so it is with depression.
 
The charm? We must concentrate WITH ALL OUR MIGHT on a single, very happy memory. Yep. That does the trick with depression as well. We know that the mind can’t simultaneously hold both the depressed and happy thoughts. But we must be fierce in our resolve and concentrate WITH ALL OUR MIGHT if we want to win the battle when the dementors glide into our daily lives.
 
Eating, moving and sleeping well help, too. So does training your ability to focus WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT via a meditation practice. Oh. And deep breathing helps as well flips the old switch from the fight-or-flight response (which dementors love) to a relaxation response (which they don’t like so much).
 
Back to Harry. The specific incantation we powerfully speak as we focus on that happy memory? EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!
 
Which reveals another key facet to fighting the dementors: We must expect that our efforts will work.
 
All that leads to a wonderful creature flowing out of your wand and standing between you and the dementor. As Lupin says, it’s different for each of us. For Harry it was a stag. For Hermione it was an otter. What’s yours? (Mine’s a lion.)
 
Today’s +1. Got any dementors gliding around in your life? 
 
Focus WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT on what’s awesome in your life. KNOW that you can protect yourself from them. 
 
“EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!”
 
P.S. If you have a bad encounter with a dementor, Rowling tells us that the best way to recover is to eat some chocolate. (Hah! Science agrees that chocolate does boost our mood but let’s just make sure we limit it to 1 ounce per day and make sure it’s 80%+ dark chocolate. Too much sugar DOES NOT help the cause.)
 
P.P.S. Remember the epic stag Harry created to fight off the 100+ dementors near the end of The Prisoner of Azkaban? Hermione couldn’t believe he could do that. Even HARRY couldn’t believe it. But… Because of Hermione’s handy dandy time turner, Harry had actually ALREADY SEEN himself do it. 
 
As he said in disbelief: I knew I could do it this time, because I’d already done it ... Does that make sense?”
 
Which reveals yet another scientifically-proven piece of wisdom. Recalling prior success is one of the fastest ways to boost your self-efficacy in the moment. 
 
So… 
 
Let’s add that to the mix. Focus WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT on what’s awesome in your life. KNOW that you can protect yourself from them. Recall a time in the past when you successfully faced down your biggest challenges and give me a big ol’ EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!”
 
Nicely done! What a beatiful Patronus!
Feb 9, 2018
In No Mud, No Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that suffering is a part of life. 
 
You can’t create a beautiful lotus flower without some stinky mud. As he says, lotuses don’t grow in marble. And… You can’t create a happy, flourishing life without some suffering. That’s just how it is. We need to embrace that reality.
 
In fact, Thay (as he’s known to his students) tells us that a big part of happiness is learning how to suffer well.” We want to quit making our suffering worse than it needs to be.
 
To bring the point home, the Buddha shared a story about two arrows. The first arrow strikes you and it hurts. But, if a second arrow hits you in the exact same spot, the pain won’t just double, it’ll go up TEN fold. (Ouch!)
 
But, here’s the deal. WE are the ones shooting ourselves with that second arrow. How? By complaining about it, wishing it didn’t happen, moping around, etc. 
 
In Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff tells us the same thing in a slightly different way. She tells us that pain is inevitable in life but that suffering is a function of how much we resist that pain. 
 
She shares an equation: Suffering = Pain x Resistance. Pain happiness. Our suffering is a function of how much we resist it. Shoot ourselves with that second arrow and suffering goes up exponentially. So, let’s not do that.
 
Today’s +1. Got any challenges in your life right now? 
 
Are you shooting yourself with a second arrow? If so, stop. 
 
Let’s accept that suffering is a part of life and remember: No mud, no lotus.
Feb 7, 2018

Michael Gelb is one of the world’s leading creativity teachers. He’s also a qi gong and aikido master who wrote one of my favorite books: “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci.” In this book, he teaches us the art of creating connection. Big Ideas we explore include how to optimize our ability to connect (practice with the little moments!), The Pygmalion Effect (aka the self-fulfilling prophecy), the importance of centering for conflict resolution, and how our addiction to digital devices (ADD) is leading to attention deficit disorder (ADD) which is leading to troubles in connecting and what to do about it.

Feb 4, 2018

​​In our last +1, we explored the analytics of American farting behaviors and compared that to the even more prolific Facebook-liking behaviors. (Laughing.) Today, we’re going to explore the subject of farts a little more.​ ​​A particular, shall we say, spicy variety of farts.​​ Spiritual farts. ​​Yes, spiritual farts. ​​What are spiritual farts, you ask?

Feb 2, 2018

This book started out as a blog post by Carolyn Gregoire based on Scott Barry Kaufman’s work that went viral: 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently. Scott is one of the world’s leading creativity researchers. Carolyn is a senior writer at the Huffington Post. Together, they wrote a great little book on the mysteries of the creative mind. Big Ideas we explore include: the fact that creativity is a messy business (embrace complexity!), the power of walking for daydreaming (all the cool philosophers do it!), creating a nice home for your genius to visit (she’s got the magic!), creating again and again (and again), unitask rather than multitask (unless you want to atrophy the best part of your brain), and STAMP your life with your own personality (but only if you want to be great … and happy!).

Jan 31, 2018

Emma Seppälä is the science director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. She also has a popular blog called Fulfillment Daily. In this great little book, she walks us through the latest scientific research on everything from resilience, willpower and compassion to positive stress, creativity, and mindfulness. Big Ideas we explore include how to find fulfillment (hint: it’s in this moment—right now!), how to skillfully surf stress waves, the most powerful lever to optimize your mind (hint: your breath), how to succeed in failure Jack Ma style, and the science of compassion.

Jan 31, 2018
Epictetus told us that we don’t always get to pick the position we have in life. Our job is to make sure we play that role well. 
 
Specifically, he said: Remember that thou art an actor in a play of such a kind as the teacher (author) may choose; if short, of a short one; if long, of a long one: if he wishes you to act the part of a poor man, see that you act the part naturally; if the part of a lame man, of a magistrate, of a private person, (do the same). For this is your duty, to act well the part that is given to you; but to select the part, belongs to another.”
 
James Stockdale personified this wisdom when he found himself in a prisoner of war camp as the clandestine, commanding officer of what became hundreds of soldiers. He didn’t choose that role. But he did choose to play that given part as well as he possibly could.
 
Viktor Frankl echoed this wisdom. In the midst of his own experience in the horrors of a concentration camp, he chose to play his role well and told us: The meaning of our existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected."
 
Thankfully, most of us will never experience those types of extremes.
 
Yet, we may perceive ourselves to be stuck” in a life that’s not entirely our choosing or with responsibilities we may sometimes wish we didn’t have.
 
That’s a very good time to bring this wisdom to mind.
 
And choose to act well the given part. 
 
So…
 
Today’s +1.
 
What part have you been asked to play by the ultimate director of life?
 
Are you playing it well?
 
What’s one little way you can boost your performance today?
 
P.S. Martin Luther King, Jr. has some wisdom on the subject as well. He says: Be an artist at whatever you do. Even if you are a street sweeper, be the Picasso of street sweepers!”
Jan 28, 2018

I created 25 classes before we got to money/wealth/etc. That was deliberate. (Virtue for the win!) And… It was fun to create this class and share my thoughts on how to create true wealth. First idea? We’ve gotta remember that the Ultimate Currency/the reason we do *anything* is to be Happy. Therefore, we want to run our pursuit of material abundance through that lens. Then we talk about how to become psychologically wealthy (billionaires, baby!) (and look at how to Optimize your balance sheet), redefine economics from a spiritual plane and then… We talk about how to make and enjoy some more money. The theme? Wealth thru Profound Service. We talk about investing in the best stock on the market: You, Inc. And, we integrate Cal Newport’s Passion + Craftsman mindsets with what I call a “Servant” mindset for a new hedgehog-like concept plus we look at Ray Dalio’s 5 Steps to Getting What You Want in Life model—which is super powerful, kinda like WOOP by an uber-practical genius. Plus some other goodness I hope you enjoy!

Jan 26, 2018

Dave Asprey is a fascinating guy. He’s a professional bio-hacking machine whose publicly-stated goal is to live to 180. We covered his last book called The Bulletproof Diet and our kitchen’s pantry is filled with a bunch of his Bulletproof products. In this book, he unveils his best bio-hacks for, as the sub-title suggests, “activating untapped brain energy to work smarter and think faster.” Big Ideas we explore: Your brain on energy, kryptonite dust (what’re yours?), mitochondria (one QUADRILLION!), EZ water (how to drop into that spot between a gas and a liquid), and junk light.

Jan 26, 2018
In our last +1 we talked about Isaac Newton and his First Law of Motion. Recall the basics: An object at rest will stay at rest. An object in motion will stay in motion.
 
Today I’d like to look at the fine print of that Law.
 
Let’s dust it off and read the whole thing again. 
 
*unfurls parchment*
 
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by some outside force.”
 
Oh! We missed the last part in our last +1.
 
“… an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by some outside force.”
 
So, for example, if I start doing some Deep Living (whether that’s Working or Connecting), I’ll keep on doing some Deep Living UNLESS I’m acted upon by some outside force.” 
 
What outside force could possibly act upon me?
 
Hmmm…
 
Maybe a push notification? Or an email alert? Or simply having your smartphone in sight? (Hah.)
 
This is why, if we really want to take advantage of the power of Newton’s First Law, we need to put ourselves in a Deep Living bubble, remove all the potential outside forces” that’ll kill our momentum, and go Deep!
 
Today’s +1. Make Newton proud. Let’s create some distraction-free momentum.
Jan 24, 2018

William James once said: “If you want a quality, act as if you already have it.” In this book, Richard Wiseman, Britain’s official professor in “the Public Understanding of Psychology” walks us through the astonishing array of research that proves what he calls the “As If Principle.” Big Ideas we explore include an exploration of the fact that feelings follow behavior, how to make yourself happy, the paradox of rewards, and how to create a new you.

Jan 18, 2018

Edward Slingerland is one of the world’s leading experts on both ancient Chinese thought AND modern cognitive science. This book is a melding of those two realms. It’s a truly fascinating read. I read it in a day and felt like I was spending the day hanging out with a brilliant thinker—getting privileged access to twenty years of deep thinking. If you’re into ancient wisdom and modern science I think you’ll love the book as much as I did. Big Ideas we explore include defining wu-wei + de (one of the coolest words/concepts ever), what Confucius + Lao Tzu + Mencius + Chuang Tzu have to say about wu-wei, and the spontaneity of mirrors.

Jan 16, 2018

Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning NY Times journalist (and Harvard MBA) who wrote the best-selling book The Power of Habit in which he walked us through the science of building better habits. In this book, he walks us through the science of being productive so we can be smarter, faster and better at everything we do. It’s a great book packed with fascinating stories and practical applications. Big Ideas we explore include the 2 keys to motivation, how to build your focus, the best way to set goals (think: Stretch + SMART), why disfluency helps learning and how productivity is all about choices.

Jan 15, 2018
In our last +1, we had fun hanging out with your Genius. 
 
Recall: EVERYONE in ancient Roman times was said to have their own guiding spirit, or genius” that helped them rock it. 
 
That reminds me of Sir Ken Robinson. In The Element, he tells us that our whole concept of intelligence” is backward.
 
Rather than ask, How intelligent are you?” we SHOULD be asking HOW are you intelligent?”
 
We all have our own Geniuses. And… We all have our own different kinds of Intelligence. 
 
So…
 
How are you intelligent?
 
As we get clarity on that, Sir Ken tells us that we all have the potential to connect to what he calls the Element.” It’s that force within us that allows us to live with deeper meaning and mojo and joy. 
 
The Element has two parts: Passion + Aptitude.
 
Two questions will help us +1 our clarity:
 
  1. What do you LOVE to do? As in, you’d do this in your free time or even pay to do it? This is your passion.
 
  1. What are you naturally good at? What can you do relatively easily that most people can’t do at all? This is your aptitude.
 
Passion + Aptitude = The Element.
 
Sir Ken tells us the world NEEDS us to discover our Element. I agree. Now more than ever.
 
Let’s do the work to discover our Element and then, of course, have the courage to live it!
Jan 12, 2018

Breathing. It’s obviously important. And... I’m beginning to realize *just* how important it is. In fact, breathing properly is quickly becoming my #1 fundamental. Belisa Vranich is a clinical psychologist and one of the world’s leading experts on how to breathe right. In this Note, we take a quick peek at why breathing is so important, learn how to measure your Vital Lung Capacity, observe the difference between Clark Kent and Superman and get to work on training the most important and underappreciated muscle in your body (hint: your diaphragm).

Jan 10, 2018

Eric Barker is the creator of the blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree, which “presents science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life.” This is a REALLY engaging, well-written, compelling book. Eric takes us on a fun adventure through the science of what *really* works. And, as the sub-title suggests: How most of what you *think* works, is either a LOT more nuanced than you may have been led to believe or is just plain wrong. Big Ideas we explore include why valedictorians don’t typically top the success charts, how to get more willpower, why managing your energy is so key, the power of mentors (and how to get one), and the #1 thing to remember for success.

Jan 10, 2018
Martin Seligman is basically the Godfather of the Positive Psychology movement. He’s written a number of seminal books on the science of well-being.
 
When Seligman first kicked off the Positive Psychology party, he wrote a book called Authentic Happiness. A decade later, he updated his thinking with a book called Flourish.
 
Short story: A good life isn’t just about maintaining a positive emotional state represented by that big yellow smiley face. A good life is about moving toward your highest potential flourishing and that DOESN’T always feel like sunshine and rainbows.
 
(Of course, the ancient Greeks made a similar distinction with their two different types of "happiness”: hedonia and eudaimonia. We’ll save that for another discussion.)
 
So, Seligman tells us there are five key facets to the science of flourishing. He captures them in a handy-dandy acronym: PERMA
 
Here’s a quick look:
 
P is for Positive Emotion. Although experiencing a permanent, never-ending positive state isn’t necessary (or possible), having a consistent level of positive emotional affect is a key aspect of well-being. So, smile! Enjoy your life.
 
E is for Engagement. Want to feel great as you flourish? ENGAGE with your life. Create more and more moments of flow as you stretch toward goals that matter and give your best self to the moment. 
 
(Note: Want to feel really good? Engage in your core VIRTUES. The whole science of well-being is grounded on the universal virtues of all major religious and philosophical traditions.)
 
R is for Relationships. Science is unequivocal: Healthy relationships are a core component to a healthy, flourishing life. Invest your time here. Give someone a hug today and tell them how much they mean to you. 
 
M is for Meaning. We need to have a connection to a deep sense of purpose in our lives. What deeply inspires you? Bring that to mind each day and make your life an expression of those values.
 
A is for Achievement. Want to flourish? Then we’ve gotta stretch ourselves with goals that challenge us and experience the joy of achievement. What’s firing you up these days? Are you creating micro wins and celebrating the process?
 
PERMA. Positive Emotion. Engagement. Relationships. Meaning. Achievement. 
 
Where are you strong? Celebrate! And what can use a little work? +1!
 
Here’s to flourishing!
Jan 8, 2018

Travis Macy is best known as the record-setting champion of Leadman—“a sort of six-week Grand Prix of Ultra Endurance” that consists of a jaw-dropping number of challenges. This book is a fun look at the eight principles that make up the Ultra Mindset Travis uses to do extraordinary things. Big Ideas we explore include: Your new mantra, what to do when you don’t feel like it, thinking about thinking, making the choice to give up choice, and never quitting… except when you should quit (w/a great litmus test for when you should/shouldn’t quit).

Jan 5, 2018
One of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “First Things First.” He also wrote a whole book by the same name.
 
But you know where he got that phrase?
 
Peter Drucker.
 
It was Drucker who said “Put first things first.”
 
And you know what he said we should do with “second things.” He said we should ignore them. Specifically, he said, “First things first — and second things not at all.” (He also said, “If there is one ‘secret’ of effectiveness, it is concentration. Effective executives do first things first and they do one thing at a time.”)
 
Fact is, in any given moment there is only ONE most important thing to do. And, that’s what the best among us do. Over and over and over and over and over again.
 
Of course, this doesn’t just apply to executives. How about one of the greatest athletes of all time, Michael Phelps. Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history. Over the span of five Olympics (which, in itself, is an epic achievement), he won 28 medals — 23 of them gold. (Wow.)
 
In his great book No Limits, he tells us about one of the secrets to his success he learned from his coach Bob Bowman. 
 
It’s a very simple question that happens to form a powerful word: What’s important now? 
 
W.I.N.
 
What’s important now? Micro WIN.
 
How about now? Micro WIN.
 
And now? Micro WIN.
 
Over and over and over and over again.
 
He created little micro wins all day every day during his training and before his races. And, well, those micro wins added up to a TON of Big Wins.
 
So…
 
How about that as a guiding question for you today?
 
What’s important now?
 
To be clear: This doesn’t mean working all the time or obsessively grinding in any aspect of our lives. It means seeing the big picture and knowing when the most important thing is NOT working but, rather, turning off your technology so you can connect with your family or your higher self.
 
That’s TRUE Winning.
 
Remember: First things first. Second things? Not at all.
Jan 2, 2018

The Plant Paradox. In a nutshell: The plants that nourish us can also hurt us. Dr. Steven Gundry is a renowned cardiologist and heart surgeon. He’s a former professor at Loma Linda University and has authored 300+ peer-reviewed articles on using diet and supplements to eliminate a bunch of diseases. And, to put it in perspective: He’s Tony Robbins’s doctor. Big Ideas we explore include Rule #1 of nutrition (and life) (hint: STOP eating/doing stuff that doesn’t work for you), the little edible enemies that are taking you down, the vagus nerve and it’s communication from your gut to your brain, how fruit might as well be candy and 90% new you in 90 days.

Jan 1, 2018
As all parents know, one of the most amazing things about having kids is watching them hit new milestones—when, one day, they can do what was impossible just the day before.
 
This recently happened in the Johnson house.
 
Our little baby Eleanor went from not being able to crawl to being able to cruise all over the place in what appeared to be the span of 24 hours. Of course, that’s life changing not just for her but for mom and dad as well. (Hah!)
 
As a father who happens to be a lover of wisdom, I couldn’t help but notice that this huge shift in ability that seemed to be so sudden was arrived at in an incredibly incremental way.
 
Of course, Eleanor has been slowly developing all the requisite strength and skills to be able to crawl and then… BAM! It’s on.
 
But, it’s fascinating to reflect on the fact that each of the preceding micro-gains didn’t make it obvious that something so big was in the works.
 
And, of course, it’s the same thing with us.
 
We may not see any big” results in our lives as we work hard to implement these little       +1s.
 
But guess what?
 
One day a switch will flip and you’ll be able to easily do what was, up until that point, impossible. 
 
So, here’s to the +1s that lead to the +10,000s. 
 
And, here’s to making sure the house is officially child-proof. We’ve got a baby on the loose!
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