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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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Now displaying: January, 2018
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!
Jan 1, 2018
In our last +1, Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin told us that leadership is all about EXTREME Ownership. No excuses. No blaming. Ever.
 
They tell us that, ultimately, there are no bad teams per se, only bad leaders. To bring the point home, they tell us a story about guys in boats.
 
Imagine Navy SEAL training. You’re already exhausted from weeks of basic training. Now it’s time for Hell Week.
 
One of the most brutal aspects of the training is when the aspiring SEALs are split into boat crews”—each with seven guys. Each team gets an old-school World War II-era inflatable boat that weighs 200 pounds. They need to carry this boat up and over 20-foot-high sand berms and run with it for miles. Then they get to paddle it out to the ocean, dump it over so everyone’s out and freezing wet and then paddle it back in.
 
And...
 
They’re always competing with everyone else. If you lose, you have to go through extra, bonus brutal stuff while the winners get to take the next race off. (The instructors constantly remind everyone: It pays to be a winner!”)
 
So, with that in mind, imagine Boat Crew II. These guys win every single race. They’re simply crushing it. And, although they’re physically hammered, they’re actually smiling throughout the process.
 
Then we have Boat Crew VI. These guys are LOSING every single race. To put it mildly, they are simply NOT crushing it. And, as you can imagine, they’re not too happy about it—cursing and blaming one another for all their problems.
 
So…
 
Each crew has a leader. Boat Crew VI’s leader is convinced that they’re losing because his team sucks. He’s certain that Boat Crew II is simply made up of the best guys and his team isn’t.
 
Now, our wise instructor knows that there’s no such thing as a bad team, just a bad leader.
 
So, he devises a little experiment. He commands the leaders to swap teams. The leader from the always-winning Boat Crew II would now switch places with the leader from the always-losing Boat Crew VI.
 
What happens?
 
Well, the worst boat crew suddenly became the best. They went from losing nearly every race to winning nearly every race.
 
As Jocko and Leif remind us: There are NO bad teams. Only bad leaders.
 
Today’s +1.  Let’s shine the spotlight on you.
 
Whether it’s at home or at work, do you ever think you’re on a bad” team?
 
Guess what…
 
You’re the problem. (Hah. Seriously.) 
 
Quit blaming and criticizing and start taking EXTREME OWNERSHIP for the situation.
 
Find solutions. Make it better. Lead. Win.
Jan 1, 2018
In our last +1, we talked about the Cal Newport-inspired Shut-down complete!”
 
First, quick check in: You win that game?
 
Get this: Seneca was talking about the same thing 2,000 years ago. 
 
As you may know, Seneca was born around the time Jesus was born. He was one of history’s leading Stoic philosophers. In addition to being one of the wealthiest people of Rome and a statesman plus advisor to emperors, he was also a playwright and is considered the creator of the essay.
 
In one of his great books called On the Shortness of Life, Seneca talks about the importance of giving our minds time to rest. 
 
Specifically, he says: Our minds must relax: they will rise better and keener after a rest. Just as you must not force fertile farmland, as uninterrupted productivity will soon exhaust it, so constant effort will sap our mental vigour, while a short period of rest and relaxation will restore our powers. Unremitting effort leads to a kind of mental dullness and lethargy.”
 
He tells us that back in the good ol’ days of the Roman senate, they couldn’t introduce anything important after the tenth hour. Checking our math, we’ll note that the sixth hour was for rest (and, as we discussed, is the origin of siesta”). That was at noon. So, our 10th hour? That was 4pm.
 
The ancient Roman senate didn’t allow anything new to be introduced that would tax their brains after 4pm.
 
If that policy was good enough for the Roman senate, I say it’s good enough for our lives! (Hah.)
 
Again, we’ve gotta give our minds time to rest. 
 
End your days at a reasonable time.
 
Turn your brain off.
 
Restore your power. 
 
Rise better and keener after a solid rest!
Jan 1, 2018
Mark Twain tells us that twenty years from now we will be more disappointed by the things we didn't do than by the things we did do. So, he says, we should throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor—catching the trade winds in our sails.
 
Get this: Science agrees. 
 
In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky walks us through the fact that we are surprisingly resilient in the face of adversity. 
 
And, we consistently overestimate how bad we’ll feel in the future if something goes wrong. 
 
This is one of her myths” of happiness. 
 
In fact, this is such a common phenomenon that scientists actually have a name for it. They say we have poor affective forecasting” abilities.
 
So, back to our quote to go for it. 
 
If you go for it and fail, odds are you’ll bounce back faster than you think. 
 
But…
 
If you don’t go for it, you run the risk of torturing yourself with an infinite number of scenarios where it could have worked out. Enter: Regret.
 
So…
 
Do you have any dreams that you need to pursue?
 
Here’s to sailing away from the safe harbors—knowing we have what it takes to bounce back from the inevitable storms (and occasional shipwrecks)!
 
Twenty years from now, let’s look back with a smile at all the things we had the courage to do.
Jan 1, 2018

Once upon a time, no British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France. Over 100 years of trying, and, precisely, zero wins.

Then a guy named Sir David Brailsford stepped in and created Team Sky. He said that a British cyclist would win the Tour within five years. People thought he was crazy.

Until they won it in two years.

Then, for good measure, they won four of the next five races as well. 

How’d he do it?

Marginal gains.

He looked for all the tiny little places where he could Optimize. 

Things like making sure the riders uniforms were always washed in the same skin-friendly detergent for a little more comfort. 

Things like making sure the riders always slept on the same exact mattresses every night to give them the best shot at a good night of sleep. 

Things like making sure the hotel rooms were always properly vacuumed to reduce potential infections.

TINY little things.

Any one gain wouldn’t do a whole lot, of course.

But, as we know, when you aggregate and compound enough of those tiny little incremental optimizations MAGIC happens.

In this case, Tour de France victories. 

As Brailsford puts it (via Matthew Syed in Black Box Thinking): “I realized early on that having a grand strategy was futile on its own. You also have to look at the smaller level, figure out what is working and what isn’t. Each step may be small, but the aggregation can be huge.”

Guess what?

The same rules apply to our lives. A grand strategy, although important, is futile on its own. We need to go granular and figure out what’s working and what isn’t.

So… Today’s +1.

What’s working for you? Do more of it.

What’s NOT working for you? Do less of it.

Specifically: Do you have a better day when you begin your day in a certain way? Do you have more energy when you eat less of x and more of y? Do you feel better when you exercise or go to bed by a certain time? What other data can you collect?

TEST!!! Get feedback. Look honestly at what’s working and at what’s not and dial it in. 

FIND THE MARGINAL GAINS.

Not complicated. Easy to overlook. But super powerful.

Echo: When we aggregate and compound marginal gains over an extended period of time we get EXTRAORDINARY gains. 

In cycling, that’s what separates you from the pack and leads to Tour de France victories.

In life, that’s what separates us from our old selves so we can actualize our potential.

Here’s to marginal gains!

+1. +1. +1.

Jan 1, 2018
Continuing our theme of sharpening our saw and resting before we get tired, let’s figure out how to avoid burnout.
 
Tal Ben-Shahar wrote a great book on how to quit being a perfectionist. He tells us that the root cause of fatigue, anxiety, depression and burnout in the corporate world is not hard work; the problem is insufficient recovery.”
 
Think about that for a moment.
 
The problem isn’t that we WORK too hard per se. It’s that we don’t RECOVER enough.
 
That’s a really powerful distinction. 
 
Which, of course, begs the question: Are YOU recovering enough?
 
Tal recommends we think about recovery on three levels: Micro + Mid + Macro.
 
Micro-level recoveries include things like taking a 15-minute break every 60 to 90 minutes.
 
Mid-level recoveries include things like making sure you have a shut-down complete that helps you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night and that you take at least a day off every week.
 
Macro-level breaks include taking 2-4 weeks off every year.
 
Let’s do a quick inventory. How are we doing?
 
Micro? Mid? Macro?
 
Personally, I’m pretty good at the Micro- and Mid-level breaks. And, I’m pretty terrible at the Macro-level. (Hah. Needs work!)
 
How about you?
 
Where are you rocking it? Celebrate that.
 
And, where can you Optimize just a little more? Get on that. 
 
Remember: It’s not that we work too hard. It’s that we don’t recover enough!
 
Here’s to having fun going hard and an equal amount of fun recovering deeply. 
Jan 1, 2018
We’re officially on a roll with the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We’ve covered Habit #1: Be Proactive and Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind.
 
Today? Habit #3: Put First Things First.
 
Here’s the short story: Covey tells us that some things matter and other things don’t. Highly Effective People know the difference and they Put First Things First.”
 
As Goethe said: Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”
 
Covey shares a handy-dandy four-quadrant model to help us get clarity on what’s really important. He organizes activities by Urgency and Importance. So, something can be Important or not and Urgent or not. 
 
In Quadrant I we have things that are both Urgent and Important.” These are fire drill-like activities. Unfortunately, way too many activities fall into this category. We need to do a better job of reducing the amount of stuff that shows up here or we’ll be constantly stressed and burned out.
 
In Quadrant II we have things that are NOT Urgent but ARE Important. This is our magic bucket. It’s where our real impact occurs. Unfortunately, most people are spending all their time reacting to stuff all day every day. They don't spend enough proactive time doing what really matters. 
 
In Quadrant III we have Urgent but Not Important stuff. These are really just interruptions. We want to identify and reduce.
 
In Quadrant IV we have Not Urgent and Not Important stuff. This is pure time-wasting stuff. Surfing the Internet, checking your phone for notifications every 5 seconds. Spend enough time here and you’ll get fired.
 
So…
 
If we want to Put First Things First” what do we need to do?
 
Very simple (but not easy): We need to prioritize the Quadrant II activities. 
 
How? Well, here’s one easy way: Go back to Habit #1 of being proactive and go back to +1 #201 of being Creative BEFORE you’re Reactive.
 
You simply CAN’T check your email (or news feeds or social media notifications) first thing in the morning and expect to be as Effective as you’d like. P E R I O D.
 
Do you?
 
Today’s question: What little thing can you do to put first things first today?
 
Get on that, +1 style!
Jan 1, 2018
When Peyton Manning was released from the Indianapolis Colts after fourteen seasons, a number of teams recruited him. He picked the Denver Broncos.
 
Now, when he decided to go with the Broncos, he didn’t say to himself, I hope this works out alright.”
 
He decided to PROVE HIMSELF RIGHT.
 
There’s an epically huge difference between those two perspectives.
 
In one, you kinda-sorta hedge and never really go all in. It’s a good way to protect yourself from the risk of being wrong but it’s also a really good way to be mediocre.
 
When you make a real decision, you, by definition, cut off all the other options and go ALL IN. Then you’re not interested in hedging. You’re interested in winning. So, you go to work, HUSTLING to make sure you prove yourself right.
 
Today’s +1.
 
Quick check in: What’s important to you right now? Like super important. If you could wave a wand and make THIS wildly important thing happen, what would it be?
 
Got it? You willing to really dream? Fantastic.
 
Now, are you hedging or are you going all in antifragile style?
 
Go prove yourself right.
Jan 1, 2018

Legend has it that when Michelangelo stepped up to a block of marble, he could see the finished statue in his mind’s eye.

His job was simple: Get rid of what was in the way.

That’s a pretty powerful image. Let’s apply it to our lives.

Step back from your current life for a moment. Fast-forward 5-10 years. Look within the block of marble that is you and your potential. 

SEE the best version of you sitting within that block of marble.

Can you see it? You at your best. 

Now…

What’s in the way of you expressing that heroic version of you more and more consistently? 

What little habits do we need to chip away at to reveal the most beautiful version of you hidden within that marble?

And, what’s the one little habit we’re going to let go of today to reveal just a little more of the awesome?

Fantastic. Here’s a chisel. Let’s do this! 

How? +1. +1. +1. 

Jan 1, 2018

William Shakespeare once told us (via Polonius in Hamlet): “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

For some reason, as a 15-year old in high school, I decided THAT would be the very first quote I ever wrote down and committed to memory.

I can still vaguely see my handwriting on a little index card in my mind’s eye. I laugh with joy as I think of that awesome younger version of me thinking that was a quote worthy of my attention. 

“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

To thine own self be true…

Are you?

Emerson echoed this wisdom centuries later when he said: “Trust thyself. Every heart vibrates to that iron string!”

Trust thyself…

Do you?

Today’s +1. Let’s live the wise words of our dear friends Will and Ralph just a little more today.

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