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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: May, 2018
May 30, 2018
Yesterday we reviewed our Motivation Equation. I hope you took the time to hang out with your #1 Wildly Important Goal and run it through the little magical formula. 
 
And, if not: Pardon the soapbox moment but… Um… Well, hmmmm… 
 
We can’t incrementally crush it together if we’re not actually PRACTICING these ideas on a consistent (read: daily!) basis. 
 
We’ve gotta move from THEORY to PRACTICE and there’s only ONE way to do that…
 
PRACTICE!
PRACTICE!!
PRACTICE!!!
 
Ahem. I am now stepping off the soapbox.
 
Today we shall review another super powerful not-so-secret weapon: WOOP!
 
As I mentioned in our last +1, we’re currently working on a big project. As such, I’m employing all the best stuff I know to rock it. 
 
And, it’s now officially I M P O S S I B L E for me to not WOOP something I really care about.
 
I mean, recall that science shows just how powerful this little practice can be in making our dreams a reality so…
 
The key? Once again: Start with a vision of your ideal. That’s your WISH. Know the OUTCOMES you think you’ll experience—aka why you’re fired up. Then… Rub that vision up against reality by seeing the OBSTACLES you might face then create a PLAN to deal with it. Voila! You’ve created a “necessity to act” and you’ve increased your odds of success.
 
So…
 
Today’s +1.
 
Let’s revisit your #1 Wildly Important Goal. (Note: Number ONE. Not ten. Or five. Or even two or three. ONE.)
 
Bust out a blank piece of paper or use our Worksheet. Let’s run through the WOOP! process.
 
What’s your WISH? If everything went perfectly, what, specifically, would you see in your life? (Awesome.)
 
What’s your OUTCOME? In other words, WHY are you fired up about achieving this? What benefits will you achieve? (Awesome.)
 
Now…
 
What OBSTACLES do you think you might face? Yep. That one. And that one. Don’t forget that one. (Awesome.)
 
Finally…
 
What’s your PLAN?! What will you do to go over and under and through those inevitable obstacles? OMMS!! (Awesome.)
 
W O O P!
 
There it is.
 
Again and again and again.
 
Let’s do this!
May 25, 2018
One of the themes we come back to again and again is the basic idea of loving what is — whether that’s via Byron Katie’s wisdom or the Stoics or the Serenity Prayer.
 
Here’s another take on it that I’ve found super helpful.
 
Vernon Howard tells us: “If your grand purpose in life is to wake up, then whatever happens to you is good, for it can prod you into self-awakening.”
 
And, he says: “If it takes apparent misfortune to turn us into true philosophers and doers of good to receive good, then apparent misfortune is our greatest fortune.”
 
Well that’s one way to look at it, eh?
 
Indeed it is. A very powerful way.
 
So…
 
Today’s +1.
 
What’s your GRAND purpose? The ultimate big ol’ purpose of your existence?
 
Mine?
 
In short: To actualize my potential. In service to the world. While enjoying the process.
 
Now, with THAT goal in mind, I can bring Vernon’s wisdom to mind and alchemize pretty much E V E R Y T H I N G into great fortune. From the mundane issues with the kids or the biz to the bigger challenges in life. 
 
It’s ALL antifragile fuel for the fire of actualization.
 
All of it.
 
So, again… What’s your grand purpose?
 
Get clear on it. Then make the connection between your response to this moment and that target. 
 
Let’s use E V E R Y T H I N G as fuel for our growth.
 
That’s how to turn apparent misfortune into great fortune.
May 20, 2018
In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche tells us: “He who cannot command himself should obey. And many can command themselves, but much is still lacking before they can obey themselves.”
 
How epic is that?!
 
Let’s slow down and read it again: “He who cannot command himself should obey. And many can command themselves, but much is still lacking before they can obey themselves.”
 
To translate: Can’t figure out what you should do? No big deal. Just get used to following orders from someone else.
 
Have a sense of what you should do but can’t follow through? Well, much is still lacking then, my friend. We must be able to command ourselves then obey those commands.
 
It’s why Leonardo da Vinci said: “One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.”
 
And… Well, pretty much E V E R Y O N E (! ! !) says that self-mastery is the secret sauce (to being the Boss of your own life).
 
(It’s also why, if I had to summarize my entire philosophy in one word I’d go with areté.)
 
So… Today’s +1. 
 
What the most important “command” the wise, Commander-in-Chief version of you would give to the “rest” of you? (aka: What’s the #1 thing you KNOW you could be doing that you’re not doing?)
 
And…
 
Is now a good time to obey that wise Commander?
 
Fantastic. 
 
Command. Obey. Repeat.
 
Spiral up today.
May 2, 2018
Dan Pink tells us that To Sell Is Human.
 
Although only 1 in 9 Americans is technically in sales, he says that the other 8 in 9 spend a ton of their time in “non-sales selling.” In fact, the research he commissioned shows that we spend around 40% (!) of our time (or 24 minutes out of every working hour!) trying to move people to do things—whether that’s pitching an idea to colleagues or trying to change someone’s behavior.
 
(That’s, obviously a lot. And, being good at that is, obviously, important to our professional and personal success.)
 
Then there’s the personal time we spend “selling”/”moving” others—from selling our kids on a philosophical idea (“mistakes are awesome!”) or your spouse on how to Optimize your nutrition (“sugar isn’t awesome!”).
 
In that context, he tells us we need some new ABCs of selling. As you may know, the “ABCs” of the old-school, hard-core sales approach are “Always be closing.” 
 
That, to say the least, is not where it’s at. Now? Now, Dan says, it’s all about Attunement + Buoyancy + Clarity.”
 
Check out our Notes for more. Here’s the jumbo-quick look:
 
Attunement is basically the ability to connect with others. We get there via three things: humility, trying to figure out what the other person is thinking (this is more effective, btw, than trying to figure out what they’re feeling) and strategically mimicking their movements and words (but doing it subtly and acting like a human being without being weird about it).
 
Buoyancy is actually what I want to focus on today. More on that in a moment.
 
Then we have Clarity. We need to be able to concisely communicate the essence of our offer—finding the 1% of what really matters while asking good questions, etc.
 
So…
 
All that to arrive at Bouyancy
 
Bouyancy is how we stay afloat in the “ocean of rejection” we all feel when we try to “sell” people on our ideas and/or products, etc. Dan offer us tips to stay buoyant before, during and after our pitch. 
 
Before: We want to make sure our self-talk is empowering (he offers a fascinating twist here that we’ll talk about in our next +1). 
 
During: We want to keep our positivity ratios Optimized. 1:1 isn’t going to do it. Nor will 2:1. Research shows that 3:1 is the sweet spot. (Note: 11:1 isn’t going to work either!)
 
After: We want to make sure our “explanatory styles” are rocking. Check out the +1 on How to Learn Optimism featuring Martin Seligman’s 3 P’s for more.
 
Now, we’re ready for the point of Today’s +1.
 
You know that positivity ratio? We want to target 3:1. Too little positivity isn’t going to work. AND (very important and!), TOO MUCH positivity isn’t going to work either.
 
I love the way Dan frames Barbara Fredrickson’s wisdom on this: “Fredrickson sees the healthy positivity ratios ... as a calibration between two competing pulls: levity and gravity. ‘Levity is that unseen force that lifts you skyward, whereas gravity is the opposing force that pulls you earthward. Unchecked levity leaves you flighty, ungrounded, and unreal. Unchecked gravity leaves you collapsed in a heap of misery,’ she writes. ‘Yet when properly combined, these two opposing forces leave you buoyant.’”
 
Levity + Gravity = Buoyancy.
 
I love that.
 
How’s your levity? How’s your gravity? 
 
Fantastic. Here’s to your buoyancy!
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