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.
I’m a HUGE fan of Phil and Barry's first book, The Tools. Coming Alive is kinda like The Tools Part 2. In this book, we get four new tools to go along with the original five tools. Big Ideas we explore include how to connect to our Life Force, defeat Part X (their name for that part of each of us that gets in the way), build our confidence and learn to see problems as gifts as we live a GREAT life.
This is a quick-reading, simple, practical guide to, as the sub-title suggests, “Stop Worrying and Quieten Your Mind—Featuring the Buteyko Breathing Method and Mindfulness.” If you’re looking for a general introduction to the power of Oxygen, I’d recommend you go with Patrick’s more recent and more all-purpose Oxygen Advantage. If you suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks, this might be a great place to start. Big Ideas we explore: The #1 rule of breathing, the 2 key benefits of putting your attention on your breath, why CO2 is your friend and how to play nice, avoiding rat poison and becoming a good mind gardener.
Patrick McKeown is one of the world’s leading teachers of the Buteyko Breathing Method which was created in the 1950s by a Russian doctor named Dr. Konstantin Buteyko. McKeown suffered from asthma for decades until he found the Buteyko Method. At which point, he reversed his asthma symptoms and then dedicated his life to helping others optimize their breathing. In this book, he extends the Buteyko Method into an approach he calls the Oxygen Advantage. Big Ideas we cover include the #1 obstacle to optimal breathing, Oxygen Delivery 101, the #1 breathing tip, and how to dial in your sleep.
This book is an adaptation of a series of essays Katy created over the last five years in which she unpacks her evolving views on what she calls “movement ecology.” It’s not your typical “do X, Y, and Z” optimal living guidebook. It’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at why—as you can guess by the title—Movement Matters and a challenging look at how our individual and cultural decisions have created a sedentary culture and a significant nature debt that few of us ever stop to think about. Big Ideas: Stacking your life, minimalism vs. maximalism, the tree of your life, and redefining success.
Welcome: Your Heroic Quest + Making it a Reality
Our world needs heroes today more than ever before. We need YOU to be a Hero. We hope you enjoy this video from Friday Night of our weekend immersion workshop: Hero Training 101. Let’s do this!
Watch the entire weekend workshop here:
Do you know why we call our modern marathon a marathon? You may think you know the real story behind the very first marathon, but in this captivating, inspiring tale, Dean Karnazes (named by Men’s Health as one of the 100 Fittest Men of All Time) gives us a deeper look at the man who, 2,500 years ago, ran the first ULTRAmarathon and, in doing so, effectively saved Western civilization. :) Big Ideas we explore: a history lesson The Battle of Marathon, why balance doesn’t lead to happiness (and what does), a 24 Hour Fitness with Harvard profs, heroes are ready and how to play the pain game.
I love Stoicism. In this class we take a quick look at the cast of characters (from founder Zeno to Seneca + Epictetus + Marcus Aurelius) and then dive into the ultimate goal of Stoicism (hint: become bff’s with your inner daimon so you can experience a state of well-being and flourishing) along with the practices that help us apply this wisdom to our lives. We’ll create energized tranquility and equanimity as we have fun becoming our own ideal sages.
Here's what David Allen has to say about Hero Training 101.
James Kouzes and Barry Posner are two of the world’s preeminent researchers on leadership. This is the 25th anniversary, fifth edition version of their best-selling classic that has sold over 2 million copies. One of the things I most like about this book is the fact that it covers the SCIENCE of leadership. Kouzes and Posnar have been conducting empirical research for over three decades. Big Ideas we explore: The 5 Practices (<— key word!) of Exemplary Leaders, the foundation of leadership (= credibility which = …), Law #2: DWYSYWD, and the best-kept secret of leadership = …
A former U.S. Navy SEAL Commander, Mark Divine integrates the ancient warrior traditions with grounded, practical virtue and 21st century get-it-done effectiveness in a way that I find incredibly inspiring. Big Ideas we cover include the power of front-sight focus, how to DIRECT your mind, going Yoda on your commitments and creating micro goals when things are tough.
Here’s another behind-the-scenes look at how I’m thinking about The Big 3: Energy + Family + Service as we raise our standards to heroic levels. Primary questions: What does you at your best look like in each domain? What will you experience/who will you be when you are your best? (Aka: The Why) And, most importantly, what ONE thing will you do every.single.day to make that ideal self a reality? Hope you enjoy! More on Hero Training 101: optimize.me/hero
Join us for my first ever offline immersion workshop. It will be at our new Optimize Oasis in Ojai in April. We’re calling it Hero Training 101. It’s time. Learn more: https://optimize.me/hero
So I figured out my one word for 2017: Hērōs. Popped up in meditation this AM. It’s basically the perfect expression of what we discussed yesterday: Community + Consistency. Here’s how I’m thinking about Hērōs + Virtues vs. Bling on this fine first day of 2017! Here’s to stepping into the highest version of ourselves and serving profoundly!!!!
Turning the last page on my 2016 calendar is a pretty exciting thing for me. (Hah.) Here’s a sneak peek at what’s going to be important for me in 2017. You? Let's make 2017 the Greatest Year Ever!! Join nearly 10,000 people Optimizing at https://optimize.me/join
Here’s a quick look at Greatest Year Ever 101. Join us at our new Oasis in Ojai (907 El Centro Street, Ojai 93023) or via Livestream as a member: optimize.me/join. Let’s do this!
Today we take a quick look at my creative planning to help us make 2017 the Greatest Year Ever. Fun! (I mention our membership. If you haven't joined yet and it feels like a good fit, learn more/sign up here: http://optimize.me/join)
In this little trip behind-the-scenes we take a quick look at the evolving 2017 Q1 calendar and how fired up I am about PN-LIVE. Plus we have fun with two micro classes: one on identifying your #1 (or Top 3) goals for next year that’ll make it amazing (along with the 1 or 2 habits you need to install to make that goal happen); and, we have fun looking at chasms vs. cracks. Joseph Campbell said that when you get to a chasm, jump. It’s not as wide as you think. I share a couple stories of my own where I saw chasms were really cracks. You? P.S. Let’s do this.
Big visions are awesome, of course. But ultimately it's all about ACTION--taking gritty baby steps every.single.day in pursuit of our big audacious goals and purpose-driven destiny. One great tactic? Get Juicy!! Just ship it. #JUSI
After my strategy journaling I often send a quick video my right-hand genius ninja Evan. Today I started doing that and realized I should just share it with you as well as part of this series. So, here we are. Theme: Let's 10x--make that 20x!!-- the value we create for our members by sharing 250 PN-LIVEs + 250 Office Hours. Still noodling but basically, Monday thru Friday at 10am PST I'm thinking we can hang out and Optimize. Then on Saturday we'll have a longer lecture for more awesome. Then I rest on Sunday. :) (Got ideas on stuff you'd like me to cover?! Drop a comment, pretty please!!) LET'S DO THIS!!
Another quick peek at my prep for 2017. Short story: We're going to livestream awesome classes on my 100 favorite book ever. Q&A. etc. It's going to be awesome.
Every morning I spend ~5 minutes quickly journaling on what I am committed to doing and who I am committed to being in the world. Here's a quick peek behind the scenes on this AM's journaling in which I share the big vision for our business Optimize Enterprises, Public Benefit Corporation.
Hero Training 101. It's time.
Here's the full script:
Do you know what the word “hero” means?
In ancient Greek, the word “hērōs” (spelled with a cool line over the e and the o) meant PROTECTOR.
Not “killer of bad guys” or “super strong tough guy” but PROTECTOR.
A hero has strength for two.
The hero’s secret weapon?
A hero CARES.
And a hero is willing to do the work necessary to be strong enough to serve and to protect the people and community and country she loves.
Our world needs heroes today more than ever before.
That’s why I’m putting every single ounce of my energy into something we’re calling Hero Training 101.
We’re going to help you create the greatest year of your life and, in the process, help you create heroic mastery of every facet of your life.
We’ll start by figuring out what you’re here to do. How will YOU be heroic? What bold steps will you take to give your greatest gifts in greatest service to the world? Who must you become to make that vision a reality?
We’ll figure out your highest calling and then challenge you to STEP UP and create the strength to make that dream a reality.
We’ll start with your fundamentals. Absolutely dialing in your nutrition, your movement, your sleep, and your ability to focus your mind—putting your attention where you want, when you want for how long you want—the skill that psychologists tell us is THE most important attribute of the greatest and happiest among us.
We’ll master the process of setting and achieving goals. Building habits and using your willpower wisely. Cultivating humble yet heroic confidence. Mastering the process of getting stuff done while conquering any procrastination, anxiety or depression. We’ll step into our full leadership potential and master the process of using business as a force for heroic good.
And, most importantly, we’ll focus on love. Not just for a few people with whom we’re close. But for everyone and all of life—remembering that THE secret weapon of the true hero is LOVE. Fully embodied and expressed in every micro-moment of our lives as we dig deep and commit to most fully giving ourselves to our families, communities, countries and world.
Hero Training 101. It’s time.
You know what the foundation of leadership is? Credibility. Know how to build your credibility as a leader? Four key qualities. Here they are.