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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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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time
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Now displaying: 2018
Dec 28, 2018

Ready to make 2019 the Greatest Year of Your Life? Me, too. It’s time to Operationalize Virtue—getting (even more) clarity on what our Optimus selves look like and getting even better at consistently showing up AS that best version of ourselves. In this class, we review why we do what we do together, take a quick trip to hell (yikes!) then to Michelangelo’s studio (yay!) then we get to work sculpting our Energy, Work and Love—taking the time to wrap our souls around our Identity + Virtues + Soul Goals + Algorithms that will drive our Masterpiece Days as we Dare to step thru Fear Doors into all we’re destined to be. Hope you love it and looking forward to LITERALLY making this year the greatest year of your life in an unending string of such awesome years!

Dec 27, 2018

Dr. Mercola is a super-popular alternative health physician who runs the equally popular site Mercola.com. In this book, we get a look at his “Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy” program. MMT for short. As you could probably guess, this is a high-fat (+ “adequate” protein + low-carb) diet. If that approach fires you up, I think you’ll love the book. If not, well… :) Big Ideas we explore include: meeting our mitochondria (the key to health), why “adequate” protein is where it’s at (not low or moderate or high but “adequate”!), mTOR (the cancer switch), good fats (vs. bad ones), peak fasting, and how to win the urge war.

Dec 26, 2018
In our last +1, we talked about LeBron James and the fact that he tries to get 11 to 12 hours of sleep per day when he’s training. (So does Roger Federer. And, Tom Brady is in bed at 8:30.
 
Let’s talk about LeBron a little more today. 
 
Renowned mental toughness coach Bob Rotella kicks off his book How Champions Think with a story about how LeBron thinks. 
 
It goes something like this.
 
Once upon a time early in LeBron’s career, Rotella spent some time working with LeBron. He knew the basics. Six-eight. A chiseled two hundred fifty pounds with explosive speed. A proven superstar. But it wasn’t until they sat down and chatted that he REALLY got LeBron’s power.
 
Rotella asked him about his goals. LeBron told him: “I want to be the greatest basketball player in history.” 
 
Rotella thought: “Beautiful. This is a truly talented guy.” 
 
He tells us what he was MOST impressed by: “It was not that he had physical gifts. It was LeBron’s mind.” 
 
Specifically, it was the way he saw himself that most moved Rotella: “The vital importance of that sort of attitude is the foremost thing I have learned about exceptionalism in my decades of work with people striving to be great.”
 
That’s worth repeating. Rotella has worked with THE top performers for DECADES. The “foremost thing” he has learned about exceptionalism and people striving to be great? The vital importance of seeing themselves and their potential with such audacious (!) clarity.
 
Which begs the question: How do YOU see yourself
 
Now, continuing our story… After LeBron told Rotella he wanted to be the greatest basketball player in history (!!!), Rotella asked him where he thought he stood in relation to that goal. LeBron told him he thought he was doing pretty well but that he wasn’t going to be the greatest if his teams didn’t win championships and they weren’t going to do that unless he became a better three-point shooter.
 
Long story short: Rotella told him to create a video montage of him nailing threes from every spot on the court. Set it to music. Watch it every night. FEEL it. Program his subconscious mind.
 
And, he told him to hire a shooting coach, work with him every day and make two hundred three-point shots off the dribble every day while imagining the best defender guarding him. Then make another two hundred catch-and-shoot three-pointers. “I told him I didn’t care how many shots it took to make those four hundred three-pointers, or how long it took. If he wanted to be great, he would find the time and find the energy.”
 
Rotella continues: “The actual number of shots I suggested was not as important, in my mind, as the idea that LeBron would set a practice goal for himself, commit to achieving it every day, and wait patiently for the results.”
 
Fast-forward. LeBron went from being a 29% three-point shooter in his rookie season to a 40% beast—collecting a few championships en route to his quest to be the greatest player ever.
 
Of course, this Idea has nothing to do with LeBron James and his three-pointers. 
 
It has to do with YOU. 
 
In what domain are you committed to being exceptional
 
Where do you think you stand in relation to that goal? 
 
And what do you think you need to do every day (!!) to have a shot at being your exceptional best?
 
Find the time. Find the energy. Be an exception. Be exceptional.
Dec 25, 2018

Susan Peirce Thompson is a Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. She’s an expert in the psychology of eating and creator of Bright Line Eating Solutions, “a company dedicated to helping people achieve long-term, sustainable weight loss.” Plus... She used to be obese and, as she says, addicted to *everything.* She integrates her background in neuroscience with her personal experience conquering her diet and other addiction issues in this super popular book. Big Ideas we explore include why bright lines are where it’s at, the susceptibility quiz, the saboteur, self-perception theory, and the four bright lines of eating.

Dec 22, 2018

Solitude. It’s the secret sauce to leadership. But... In their great book Raymond Kethledge and Michael Erwin tells us: “Solitude is a state of mind, a space where you can focus on your own thoughts without distraction, with a power to bring mind and soul together in clear-eyed conviction. Like a great wave that saturates everything in its path, however, handheld devices and other media now leave us awash with the thoughts of others. We are losing solitude without even realizing it.” Big Ideas we explore include the big 4 of solitude (clarity + creativity + emotional balance + moral courage), the threats from our "Input Age," how MLK and Eisenhower used solitude, FOMO (get over it!) and how to change the world (starting with YOU!).

Dec 21, 2018
Today I’d like to talk about a little more wisdom from Seth Godin’s Icarus Deception
 
As we’ve discussed, his book (and his entire body of work for that matter), is basically a plea for us to step up and into our highest potential. 
 
He tells us: “Your ability to follow directions is not the secret to your success. You are hiding your best work, your best insight, and your best self from us every day.”
 
That’s inspiringly true. 
 
(Note the references to your best,” your best, your best.” And, think: Optimus, optimus, optimus.)
 
But here’s the passage that’s been rattling around in my head: “It’s too bad that so much time has been wasted, but it would be unforgivable to wait any longer. You have the ability to contribute so much. We need you, now.”
 
It’s funny because when I recalled that passage in my head, I thought he said, “It’s unfortunate that so much time has been wasted. But it would be unforgivable to wait any longer.”
 
Unfortunate vs. Unforgivable.
Unfortunate vs. Unforgivable.
Unfortunate vs. Unforgivable.
 
That’s the phrase that’s been bubbling up for me…
 
Yah. It’s a bit of a bummer we’ve wasted so many years (or decades!) living at less than our best. (“Gosh darnit!! GAH!!! Oh, to have that time back!!!”)
 
Yet…
 
As UNFORTUNATE as that wasted time is, it’s UNFORGIVABLE to wait any longer.
 
So, let’s capitalize all the lessons learned and GET BUSY GIVING OUR BEST SELVES MOST FULLY TO THE WORLD.
 
How might you do that just a little more today?
 
Remember: Unfortunate vs. Unforgivable
 
And give us what you’ve got!!
Dec 18, 2018

Robert Lustig is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco. He has authored 120 peer-reviewed articles and 70 reviews and is a leading voice on childhood obesity. And, his YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” has been viewed over 7 million times. Obesity is a global pandemic. It’s astonishing how rapidly it’s expanding. And it’s COMPLETELY preventable. Lustig has dedicated his career to helping us understand the causes and how to “beat the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity and disease.” Big Ideas we explore include: Meeting the Darth Vader of the Food Empire (“Hi, sugar!”), two hormones driving the show (insulin + leptin), which fat you need to worry about most (big belly vs. big butt fat!), why so many diets work (reduced sugar + fiber), exercise (best ROI in medicine) and voting with ever dollar we *don’t* spend.

Dec 16, 2018
With all this talk about sports heroes and scoring touchdowns and winning forever, I think it’s time to remind ourselves that sports simply provide the perfect (over-simplified) context for SPIRITUAL truths. 
 
That’s why we love watching the Olympics, Super Bowls and World Cups so much. When we watch an athlete performing at their absolute (optimus!) best we’re simply reminded of our own heroic potential.
 
Of course, we want to make sure we get off the couch and get into the arena of life and use their demonstration of greatness as an inspiration for our own pursuit of excellence (rather than as mere entertainment by people who are somehow gifted in ways in which we aren’t).
 
(Remember: According to Anders Ericsson, the preeminent researcher on what makes great people great: We ALL have “The Gift.”)
 
So…
 
Bringing it back the spiritual arena, Today we’re going to talk about Rumi.
 
As you may know, Rumi was one of the greatest spiritual beings in history and his beautiful poetry is beloved around the world. He was a Sufi—which is, essentially, a Muslim mystic. He was born in the 13th century in what is now Afghanistan. He lived and taught in Konya, Turkey which was, at the time, the capital of the dominant Selcuk Empire.
 
I smile as I recall studying Rumi and visiting his grave in Konya on my little philosophical tour over 15 years ago (during which I also studied Socrates in Athens, Jesus in Jersualem, and Marcus Aurelius near the Danube in Hungary).
 
So… 
 
What does he say about how we should live? Well, in terms of the intensity with which our sports heroes lived, I love the way he encourages us to play the much bigger game of life. 
 
These passages capture some of his spiritual intensity:
 
“I am burning. If anyone lacks tinder, let him set his rubbish ablaze with my fire.”
 
“Travelers, it is late. Life’s sun is going to set. During these brief days that you have strength, be quick and spare no effort of your wings.”
 
He is a letter to everyone. You open it. It says, ‘Live!’”
 
Yep.
 
All in.
 
If Rumi played football, he would have played it like Jerry Rice.
 
If he coached basketball, he would have coached it like John Wooden.
 
Today’s +1.
 
If you feel so inspired, I’d love to have you join me in opening Rumi’s letter.
 
Let’s spare no effort of our wings as we set ourselves on fire so that others may feel the warmth of our glow and we can change the world, one person at a time, together, starting with you and me. Today.
Dec 13, 2018

Elizabeth Blackburn won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of telemorase - “the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, which protect our genetic heritage.” Elissa Epel is one of the world’s leading health psychology researcher. Together, they have created a great book that walks us through the best of what we know about telomeres, why they’re so important and what we can do to Optimize them. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about telomeres, THIS is the book to read. Big Ideas we explore include why telomeres are the secret sauce to aging well, the fact that your cells are listening to your thoughts (#1 tip? Shift from a threat response to a challenge response!), how to mind your telomeres (move from negative thinking to resilient thinking), how to eat, move, sleep your way to happy telomeres, and a challenging question: What will YOUR cellular legacy be?

Dec 11, 2018

Robb Wolf is a former research biochemist and is one of the leading thinkers/writers/practitioners in the Paleo or Ancestral Health movement. The essence of this book is the that while there are general principles of nutrition that work for everyone AND... Ultimately we need to figure out what works best for us as individuals if we want to rock it. Big Ideas we explore include: the fact that one size diets do NOT fit all (remember: "rough" tools vs. precision tools), discordance theory (there's a mismatch between our genes and our environment!), an anti-inflammatory diet (aka Paleo aka Phase I), personalized nutrition (aka 7-Day Carb test aka Phase II), the other pillars of health (sleep, stress, move, connection), and genetic + environmental lotteries (what to do if you lost them--lol).

Dec 11, 2018
A couple +1s ago, we talked about Optimizer Jessica’s kind words and then had fun talking about Mr. Anonymous Troll Guy as well.
 
Today I want to talk about a line from Jessica’s little note that I didn’t share before. 
 
In addition to her kind words about my commitment to sharing my own struggles and how that has helped her build resilience, she said this: “Furthermore, the partnership he and Alexandra have built is exemplary — I only wish they weren’t so hard to emulate!”
 
Now, again, I’m super touched by that and honored that we serve as potential relationship exemplars and I know Jessica wasn’t saying that she thought we were perfect…
 
AND…
 
(Laughing as I type this…)
 
As Maslow said and we discuss ALL THE TIME (but still nowhere near enough!), THERE ARE NO PERFECT HUMANS. And, by extension, THERE ARE NO PERFECT RELATIONSHIPS.
 
And, as I always like to say: You and I won’t be the first perfect people. Nor will we have the first perfect relationship. (At least Alexandra and I certainly won’t!)
 
Here’s what’s funny. 
 
The morning after we received that note (LITERALLY the morning after!), Alexandra and I got into a nice little argument. Now, to be clear, we weren’t crazy yelling at each other or anything, but it was a nice little testy one. (Laughing.)
 
About what?
 
Well, that’s the best part.
 
Basically about the proper way to Optimize and build sustainable habits. (Laughing.)
 
I won’t bore you with the details but the point I want to make is that, and I know this is obvious but I want make sure we’re all on the same page, WE AREN’T PERFECT. Individually or together. 
 
NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!
 
Again, I realize that’s obvious, but I want to make it jumbo explicit.
 
Why do you think I work so hard on this stuff? And why do you think I come back to the same themes again and again and again?
 
BECAUSE I NEED IT!!! (More laughter.)
 
Ahem.
 
So, yah. There ya go.
 
btw: In a chat with Cal Newport not too long ago (we’re actually chatting in a couple hours—which I’m really looking forward to), we talked about my Big 3: Energy + Work + Love. He was breaking it down with his “I-have-a-Ph.D.-from-MIT brain” when I shared my Wildly Important Goal for “Love.” It’s always evolving but, basically, it’s to celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary with Alexandra and be best friends with my adult kids.
 
I told him that no one sets a goal like that unless not hitting it is a possibility. (Laughing yet again.) In other words, Alexandra and I being married in another 39 years isn’t a foregone conclusion. We have challenges like everyone else. And, we’ll choose to work on them and preserve/Optimize our relationship as a key component of our Optimizing and actualizing or we won’t.
 
But the challenge remains. For all of us.
 
Again, I repeat, off the soapbox now in a more relaxed tone: There are no perfect human beings; and, there are no perfect relationships.
 
So, I’m honored to be an exemplar for those who find inspiration in my life and I’m absolutely (!!!) committed to being worthy of that role. 
 
AND…
 
That’s Today’s +1.
 
Let’s remember that NO ONE is perfect. And, as hard as we work, we won’t be the first.
 
Then let’s rub our hands together at all the challenges we face and strive to be imperfect, always-Optimizing-and-actualizing exemplars for our families, communities and world.
Dec 8, 2018

James Clear has a super-popular website (jamesclear.com). Millions of people visit it every month and hundreds of thousands subscribe to his email newsletter. After reading this book, I can see why. He’s a great writer and distills the essence of habit formation into, well, its fundamental components—the “atomic” structure if you will—while showing us how those TINY little incremental improvements add up to MIGHTY results. I rarely say a book is a must-read but this one’s as close as it gets. Big Ideas we explore include: The math behind 1% gains compounding over a year (and a decade!), navigating the Plateau of Latent Potential (ever given up on a habit? Take note!), the importance (and etymology) of our Identity (get this: it *literally* means 'repeated being ness'), The 4 Laws of Behavior Change (remember: cue + craving + response + reward and... make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, make it satisfying), and the Sorites Paradox (can a single habit change your life?).

Dec 6, 2018

James Clear has a super-popular website (jamesclear.com). Millions of people visit it every month and hundreds of thousands subscribe to his email newsletter. After reading this book, I can see why. He’s a great writer and distills the essence of habit formation into, well, its fundamental components—the “atomic” structure if you will—while showing us how those TINY little incremental improvements add up to MIGHTY results. I rarely say a book is a must-read but this one’s as close as it gets. Big Ideas we explore include: The math behind 1% gains compounding over a year (and a decade!), navigating the Plateau of Latent Potential (ever given up on a habit? Take note!), the importance (and etymology) of our Identity (get this: it *literally* means 'repeated being ness'), The 4 Laws of Behavior Change (remember: cue + craving + response + reward and... make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, make it satisfying), and the Sorites Paradox (can a single habit change your life?).

Dec 6, 2018
In our last +1, we met one of my heroes, Mrs. Kristie Kuehnast. I smile with joy (and in awe) every time I imagine her fifth-grade students coming back into the classroom after their mile run to sit down and watch a new +1 or PNTV. 
 
High fives, Kristie. We appreciate you. (Oh! Please walk through a cloning machine about 50 million times. Thank you.)
 
We also briefly touched on Yuval Noah Harari’s perspective on the subject of Education. Today I want to revisit some more wisdom from his new book.
 
As we discussed, Yuval shines a spotlight on 21 of the biggest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. With the rise of artificial intelligence, information technology and biotechnology, things are changing at an incomprehensible speed. And, it’s only going to speed up, not slow down.
 
He tells us: “The danger is that if we invest too much in developing AI and too little in developing human consciousness, the very sophisticated artificial intelligence of computers might only serve to empower the stupidity of humans.”
 
He also tells us: “To avoid such outcomes, for every dollar and every minute we invest in improving artificial intelligence, we’d be wise to invest a dollar and a minute in advancing human consciousness. Unfortunately, at present we are not doing much in the way of research into human consciousness and ways to develop it. We are researching and developing human abilities mainly according to the immediate needs of the economic and political system, rather than according to our own long-term needs as conscious beings. My boss wants me to answer emails as quickly as possible, but he has little interest in my ability to taste and appreciate the food I am eating. Consequently, I check my emails even during meals, which means I lose the ability to pay attention to my own sensations. The economic system pressures me to expand and diversify my investment portfolio, but it gives me zero incentive to expand and diversify my compassion. So I strive to understand the mysteries of the stock exchange while making far less effort to understand the deep causes of suffering.”
 
Let’s focus on the end of that passage…
 
Which are you most interested in understanding?
 
The fluctuations in the stock market? Or the fluctuations in your own well-being, and, by extension, the well-being of those around you and the world at large?
 
I remember a coaching session where an Optimizer and I had fun making the distinction that, rather than waking up and immediately checking the stock market, he may want to consider waking up and checking in how his ULTIMATE stock was doing—that stock being his OWN CONSCIOUSNESS, of course.
 
Seriously.
 
When you wake up, what do you do? Do you check in on the most precious “asset” you’ll ever have? (Again, I repeat: That would be YOU and your well-being, of course!)
 
Or, do you immediately check in on the world—whether that’s the stock market or the news or your email inbox?
 
Byron Katie comes to mind. She tells us: “The greatest stock market you can invest in is yourself. Finding this truth is better than finding a gold mine.”
 
Amen.
 
Today’s +1.
 
How can you invest in yourself a little more today?
 
Here’s to celebrating (and tapping into!) our gold mines.
Dec 4, 2018

When I first saw the title for this book I thought to myself, "Really, Steve? THIS is what you think I need to hear? That nobody wants to read my sh_t? I thought we were working on our Resistance and winning the War of Art!" Then I bought the book and embraced the tough love with a growth mindset. Big Ideas we explore include WHY people don't want to read your sh_t (or engage with your product/or listen to your talk, etc.) (hint: they're REALLY BUSY!), how to be worthy of their attention, why the hero's journey is essential for effective storytelling (the 10 main points), doing what scares you the most, and the importance of giving us your gift (mine the gold, please!!).

Dec 2, 2018

Weight. It matters. A lot. Although I’m obviously not a weight-loss guy, as I prepped for Energy 101 I realized that we needed to talk about Optimizing our weight. Enter, this class—which could more accurately be called Optimal METABOLISM 101. Fact is, if our weight is off, our METABOLISM is off. Specifically, our insulin levels (which disrupts another hormone called leptin that regulates our appetite). In this class, we take a quick look at why it’s so hard to Optimize our weight and how to make it easy (or at least a lot easier!). 

Dec 1, 2018
A few +1s ago, we talked about Walter Russell and the sound of joy
 
Today I’d like to talk about another one of his powerful insights.
 
Here it is. 
 
He tells us: Mediocrity is self-inflicted. Genius is self-bestowed.”
 
Here’s the slightly longer version: “I believe that every man has consummate genius within him. Some appear to have it more than others only because they are aware of it more than others are, and the awareness or unawareness of it is what makes each one of them into masters or holds them down to mediocrity. I believe that mediocrity is self-inflicted and that genius is self-bestowed.”
 
Today’s +1 is very simple.
 
Are you bestowing genius upon yourself or inflicting mediocrity?
 
Well, which is it?
 
Genius. Mediocrity.
 
I agree with Walter (and countless other teachers). We ALL have “consummate” (Golden Buddha!) genius within ourselves. 
 
Can you see it?
Nov 29, 2018

This is Steven Pressfield’s 19th book. It’s the 10th book of his I’ve read and it’s the 4th book on which I’ve done a Note. As with all of his books, this one is written in his inimitable, pithy style. (In fact, as I consulted my dictionary for the precise definition of the word pithy, I realized just how much his style epitomizes that word. Pithy means “concise and forcefully expressive.”) Big Ideas we explore include defining the artist's journey (vis-a-vis the hero's journey; note: we all live both journeys!!), our #1 job (say hello to your muse), the superconsciousness (shuttle back and forth!), destiny acorns (daimon meet genius), how to let your soul shine (hint: SHOW UP!), Jay-Z in his studio (enter: 10,000 micro hero's journeys), and: Ready or not (you're called!!).

Nov 27, 2018

Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney are both academic researchers and professors who have been studying sports nutrition, ketogenic diets and peak performance for decades. To put it in perspective, Dr. Stephen Phinney (with his MD from Stanford and PhD from MIT) coined the phrase “keto-adapted” in 1980. Big Ideas we explore include: the accepted dogma (vs. compelling data), two fuel tanks (you want to go hours or days?), veto-adaptation (how to), protein (necessary but in moderation), fat (your most important fuel; the good and bad!), and the macro breakdown (here it is!).

Nov 26, 2018
In our last couple +1s, we talked about the lead-up to a recent keynote talk I gave and some wisdom gleaned in the process—including practicing the “Bring it on!” and “I’m excited!” tools THE MOMENT I experienced doubt/fear/etc. and… Hanging towels over mirrors to reduce the ol' self-consciousness.
 
Today I want to talk about being a ballet dancer. (Hah.)
 
Well, actually, I want to talk about some of my favorite feedback from the event. I had some great conversations with the people at the event but one nice little comment really stuck.
 
Short story: While I was holding Eleanor while Alexandra and Emerson were enjoying a quick little hot tub session at the hotel on Friday night, a woman who attended the event strolled by. We had a nice little Love 2.0 moment. 
 
She told me that she was trained in Russian ballet and that one of the first things she noticed when I started talking was my posture. 
 
She said that in her ballet training, she was taught to simultaneously go up AND go down. And that, apparently, I did that really well. 
 
She said I looked like I could be a ballet dancer. I said, “That’s AWESOME. Thank you!”
 
But, as awesome as that is (lol), that’s not quite the point of Today’s +1.
 
Today I want to talk about three things: Head Threads + Power Poses + Thor’s Hammer.
 
I take my posture/gait kinda seriously. (I think it was Phil Maffetone who says that how we hold ourselves (how we stand/walk/etc.) is, essentially, the sum total of our overall well-being and communicates to everyone around us.)
 
So… During my meditation this morning, the essence of this +1 bubbled up and I actually got up to capture the ideas (which is a very rare thing for me to do).
 
There are three essential things I think we want to have in mind posture-wise.
 
First, Head Threads. Quick recap: As per the Alexander Technique training I did on a tiny little island in Greece back in the day, imagine having a thread that runs from the top of your head down through your spine. Gently pull it up—lengthening (and widening) your spine. When you sit. When you stand. When you walk. All day every day. Experts in that method say that’s one of the keys to grace and poise.
 
Then we have Power Poses: I also like to think of Amy Cuddy’s research on the power of our posture. As it turns out, Amy was actually a ballet dancer as well. Recall her research on how to cultivate Presence. One of her big things, of course, is to strike a power pose. Channel your inner Superman or Wonder Woman. When you sit. When you stand. When you walk. All day every day. Experts in this field of research say this is one of the most effective ways to cultivate our presence and power.
 
Finally we have Thor’s Hammer: Eric Goodman is one of the world’s leading biomechanic experts. He wrote a book called True to Form. You know who wrote the foreword to his book? Thor!! Well, technically, it was Chris Helmsworth but he attributes his superpowers to Eric’s wisdom. The key tip from Eric I have in my mind often throughout the day? “Chest up. Chin down.” Try it. Chest up. Chin down. All day. Every day. Thor says: It does a body good.
 
That’s Today’s +1.
 
Let’s (literally!) embody the idea of buoyancy by simultaneously having levity AND gravity.
 
Remember: Head Threads. Power Poses. Thor’s Hammer.
 
Simultaneously UP and DOWN.
 
And, most importantly: Let’s dance!
Nov 22, 2018

Tim Grover was Michael Jordan’s trainer and, basically, his mental toughness coach. Kobe Bryant’s as well. And Dwayne Wade’s. And... Well, a ton of other elite athletes. He’s one of the world’s top mental toughness coaches and this book is, as per the sub-title, a manual on how to go “From Good to Great to Unstoppable.” Big Ideas we explore include: relentless commitment (vs. "Meh, good enough"), Do. The. Work (eat frogs and dominate), Pressure (pressure, pressure! BRING IT ON!), the source of true confidence, greatness math (remember: effort counts twice; just ask Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice), and turning your dreams into reality (ready?).

Nov 21, 2018
We’ve been talking a fair amount about the idea that some of history’s greatest creators didn’t work all that much. To be clear, they worked hard and (very importantly!) CONSISTENTLY, but the fact is that it’s really hard to put in any more than 4 to 6 hours of really high-quality work.
 
Of course, we all have our own idiosyncratic professional responsibilities. And, in addition to Deep Work, we all have (and, for the record, all of history’s greatest creators had!) some Team Work and some Monkey Work to do. (Even hermits like me can’t get all that to zero—as hard as I may try! lol)
 
But I get the fact that, for a lot of people, the idea that we can structure our lives such that we’re basically hammering out four hours of deep work and then calling it a day feels a bit impossible. 
 
Fair enough. 
 
Maybe we can’t currently (or ever!) wave our wands and instantly manifest our ideal Masterpiece Days. 
 
But…
 
a) Have you actually stepped back and REALLY thought about how you COULD structure your life so you more consistently execute a pretty epically masterpiece day?
 
b) What about just ONE hour of Deep Work hammer time per day? If four hours feels like an “impossible” stretch, can you carve out ONE hour to go DEEP on what REALLY matters most to you before jumping into the whirlwind of other people’s priorities?
 
Perhaps part of that Deep Work time can be dedicated to mapping out how you create four hours of sheer awesome such that you can consistently accumulate twenty hours of REALLY solid Deep Work per week?! (And, the “impossible” becomes “what’s for breakfast” as per a recent +1?)
 
You know how much four hours of Deep Work per day/twenty hours of Deep Work per week adds up to in a year?
 
1,000 hours. 
 
You know how many hours that adds up to in a decade?
 
10,000 hours. 
 
You know who you would be if you logged in 10,000 (!!!) hours of REALLY Deep Work?
 
Of course you don’t. That, as Ellen Langer would say, is UNKNOWABLE. 
 
But… You know what? I’m super-curious to know what it could look like.
 
How about YOU?
 
That’s Today’s +1. 
 
If you’re struggling to find your Deep Work rhythms, how about an hour of awesome today?
 
Let’s run the math on that as well…
 
You know how much one hour of Deep Work per day or five hours of Deep Work per week adds up to in a year?
 
250 hours. 
 
You know many hours that adds up to in a decade?
 
2,500 hours. 
 
You know who you would be if you logged in 2,500 (!!!) hours of REALLY Deep Work?
 
(… Echo…) Of course you don’t. That, as Ellen Langer would say, is UNKNOWABLE. 
 
But… You know what? I’m super-curious to know what it could look like.
 
How about YOU?
 
Here’s to your 1-Hour (Deep)Workday!
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