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Heroic with Brian Johnson | Activate Your Best. Every Day.

Heroic with Brian Johnson features the best big ideas from life-changing books and practical tools to help you move from Theory to Practice to Mastery and flourish in Energy, Work, and Love. Get more wisdom in less time so you can activate your best, every day—so that we can change the world, one person at a time, together, starting with you and me and us, today! (Learn more at https://heroic.us)
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Heroic with Brian Johnson | Activate Your Best. Every Day.
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Now displaying: 2022
Oct 17, 2022

Break Arrows with Your Neck Lately?

 
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that Brian Cain recently visited me and the Johnson fam out here in the country outside of Austin. 
 
I casually mentioned that the kids and wifey and I had fun learning how to eat fire and break an arrow with our necks and do other fun things we didn’t think we could do. 
 
Today I’d like to talk more about those broken arrows.
 
First, a little more context. 
 
As we discussed, Brian is one of the world’s leading mental toughness coaches. He’s also a long-time student of mine and easily tied for first as one of the most inspiring, energized human beings I know.
 
His client list includes four Major League Baseball Cy Young Award winners, eight UFC world champion mixed martial artists, World Series and Super Bowl Champions and MVPs, Olympic medalists, and countless other elite athletes and coaches.
 
When he visited, he left a couple books with me as gifts: The 10 Pillars of Mental Performance Mastery and One Percent Better.
 
They’re both super-quick reading, inspiring fables packed with a ton of wisdom. I read both of them in the same weekend. (That’s like me! nerd face)
 
Think: If Paulo Coelho wrote about mental toughness. And kinda like Robin Sharma’s The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari or Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior.
 
10 Pillars is all about the foundation of Brian’s mental performance mastery program while One Percent Better is all about, as per the sub-title, “How to Close the Gap from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.” How? By getting ONE PERCENT BETTER. When? TODAY, Hero.
 
Now…
 
In One Percent Better, Brian shares a little formula with us that will be the basis of Today’s +1.
 
Here it is: 
 
A + S + GOYA = R.
 
As the character in his book puts it: that acronym means Ability + Strategy + Get Off Your Anatomy and do the work = Results.
 
Then she says: “Ability is not something you are lacking to be the optimal version of yourself. You are simply blocking it. How we unblock our ability is by giving you the right strategy. … When you do that, you will see better results.’”
 
So…
 
Want to become Heroic and tap into your ultimate potential?
 
You’re not necessarily lacking the Ability. The real issue might be that you don’t have the right STRATEGY.
 
This was a lesson that Brian made vividly real for me and the kids when he visited recently. How he’d do it? He showed us how to break an arrow with our neck and eat fire.
 
What’s breaking arrows with your neck and eating fire have to do with this idea? Everything. 
 
Here’s the short story.
 
Brian took a wooden arrow and placed one end against the wall and the other end against his neck. Then he took a deep breath, stepped forward and SNAPPED THE ARROW in half.
 
Then he invited us to do it. To which we were all tempted to say: “Nope! We’re good!” (Hah.) Then he told us, “You don’t lack the ABILITY to break the arrow with your neck. You just lack the STRATEGY on how to easily do it safely.”
 
Then he taught us how to do it. Then I did it. BOOM!
 
Same thing with eating fire. There’s a STRATEGY on how to do it. Once you know it, it’s EASY.
 
And, well, same thing with pretty much E V E R Y T H I N G in our lives.
 
BJ Fogg echoes this wisdom in Tiny Habits. He tells us: “We are not the problem. Our approach to change is. It’s a design flaw—not a personal flaw.”
 
Again, it’s a STRATEGY issue not an ABILITY issue.
 
Which brings us back to the equation A + S + GOYA = R.
 
Ability + Strategy + Get Off Your Anatomy and DO THE WORK if you want the results!!
 
You can’t just know what to do. You have to DO IT. 
 
Which is why the #1 thing we are most committed to with Heroic is helping you move from Theory to Practice to Mastery. We need to know the right strategy then we need to actually DO the things we know we could be doing. 
 
Not someday. TODAY.
 
So…
 
GOYA and, as Brian Cain likes to say: Go Dominate the Day, Hero!!
Oct 16, 2022

What to Do the Next Time That Happens

 
Brian Cain is one of the world’s greatest mental toughness coaches. 
 
His client list includes four Major League Baseball Cy-Young Award winners, eight UFC world champion mixed martial artists, World Series and Super Bowl Champions and MVPs, Olympic medalists, and countless other elite athletes and coaches. 
 
He’s also a friend and longtime student of mine who has his clients read PhilosophersNotes to go to the next level. (Cainer: raising hands !!!)
 
We’re going to be talking about him and his wisdom more in the weeks and months ahead—check out the PhilosophersNotes on his books The 10 Pillars of Mental Performance Mastery and One Percent Better
 
Today I want to chat about one of his clients. 
 
Quick context. 
 
Brian recently visited me and the Johnson fam out here in the country outside of Austin. The kids and wifey and I had fun learning how to eat fire and break an arrow with our necks and do other fun things we didn’t think we could do. 
 
Now…
 
There was a big UFC pay-per-view event a few weekends after his visit. Brian happened to be coaching one of the fighters in ALL THREE of the top three fights (two for championship belts). He invited me to go to the event but, me being me, I told him thank you but (laughing), I’m going to be in bed hours before the championship fights so…
 
Although I didn’t go to watch the fights, I DID do a little research on his fighters. 
 
I read an article on one of the guys fighting for a title. His prior competitors talked about how much he freaked them out because he seemed to LOVE getting hit in the face. The harder they hit him the more he smiled as he asked them if that was all they had. 
 
Them: flushed face!!!
 
I share that story because, in my AM Heroic meditation, right after Epictetus tells me to practice my philosophy and to remember the Choice of Hercules, he often reminds me to remember that particular fighter—telling me that if HE can smile when he LITERALLY gets punched in the face, I can smile when *I* inevitably get metaphorically punched in the face. 
 
And, well, that’s Today’s +1. 
 
I understand the fact that the whole “martial art” metaphor thing might not be your thing but it’s been a handy philosophical teaching tool for thousands of years so…
 
If you feel so inspired, the next time you get metaphorically punched in the face (note: NOT “if” but WHEN!), I encourage you to remember Epictetus and his boxers and Cainer and his mixed martial artists and see if you can have fun flipping the switch and SMILING as you ask the Heroic gods if THAT is all they’ve got. 
 
That very next challenge you’re going to face sooner than you may like?
 
That’s PRECISELY what we train for. 
 
Day 1. All in. 
 
Let’s give life all we’ve got. 
 
TODAY. 
 
boxing glove boxing glove boxing glove 
grinning face grinning face grinning face 
Oct 15, 2022

Stay in the Ring and Let’s Go!

 
In our last +1, we spent some time riding appropriately big waves and reminded ourselves that, when we’re wisely surfing the beautiful oceans of life, we remember to ENJOY the waves. 
 
Today we’re going to bring my all-time favorite teacher (Epictetus!) back to the party to hear his take on the subject. 
 
But… 
 
Before we go there…
 
Let’s pause for a moment and think about the great big-wave surfer, Laird Hamilton
 
The guy is obsessed about finding THE BIGGEST POSSIBLE WAVES HE CAN FIND! 
 
Why?
 
Because that’s how he knows he can see what he’s made of and HAVE THE MOST FUN!!
 
Crazy?
 
Of course. 
 
And that’s how he is fulfilling his idiosyncratic, Heroic destiny and inspiring all of us to do the same in our own unique ways as well. 
 
Side note: Have you seen Finding Joe yet? Laird tells his story in it. Along with Tony Hawk. They talk about all the FEAR they felt pursuing their big, hairy, audacious dreams. Watch the trailer here. Full movie for free here
 
Now…
 
Let’s talk about the ancient Stoic philosopher, Epictetus
 
Epictetus was a former slave who taught the guys who taught Marcus Aurelius. 
 
Every morning, I invite his presence into my consciousness during my AM Heroic meditation. 
 
Every morning, he tells me pretty much the same thing: “Practice your philosophy and remember the choice of Hercules!”
 
As we’ve discussed, Hercules was one of the ancient Greek and Stoic philosophers favorite heroes. They liked to tell the story about Hercules BEFORE he was Hercules. We talk about it in our Notes on How to Think Like a Roman Emperor and this +1 on The Choice of Hercules.
 
The quick recap. 
 
Young pre-Heroic Hercules is walking in a forest. He comes to a fork in the road, at which point two goddesses approach him. 
 
One goddess rushes ahead of the other. She’s overly made up and preening a bit as she tells him that, if he follows her, his life will be easy and awesome. She says her name is “Happiness” but she’s lying. Her name is really “Vice.”
 
The second goddess waits patiently then steps forward. She has a stern yet beautiful countenance and tells Hercules that if follows HER, his life will be full of pain and challenges AND… as he strives to overcome those challenges in service to something bigger than himself, he will earn the respect and admiration of the gods. Her name? Areté
 
Hercules, of course, chose wisely. 
 
Epictetus reminds me (EVERY MORNING!) that I need to make that Choice of Hercules EVERY DAY—especially TODAY. 
 
A noble life worthy of the respect and admiration of the gods (and ourselves!) is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EASY. 
 
Those challenges we face? Those are the waves that give us a chance to flourish. 
 
Epictetus often reminds me of another thing.  
 
He tells me that, if I complain about the inevitable challenges of life, then I’m kinda like the boxer who enters the ring only to walk out the moment he gets punched in the face. 
 
That, of course, would make NO SENSE. 
 
What did the boxer expect? To do yin yoga with his opponent? face with tears of joy 
 
Let’s quote the ancient Stoic sage directly here because it’s so good. 
 
He tells us: “But what is philosophy? Doesn’t it simply mean preparing ourselves for what may come? Don’t you understand that really amounts to saying that if I would so prepare myself to endure, then let anything happen that will? Otherwise, it would be like the boxer exiting the ring because he took some punches. Actually, you can leave the ring without consequence, but what advantage would come from abandoning the pursuit of wisdom? So, what should each of us say to every trial we face? This is what I’ve trained for, for this my discipline!”
 
I repeat: IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE CHALLENGING. 
 
And…
 
Yet…
 
I repeat: When we approach our inevitable challenges with the right mindset and consistent practices, life eventually becomes a LOT “easier” and those waves and punches become a joyful part of the Heroic, eudaimonic, noble, well-lived life. 
 
Let’s remember that Today as we paddle out to our waves and step into the arena that is our lives. 
 
Love ya. Let’s go!!!
 
P.S. Speaking of stepping into the arena, check out this +1 on The Optimizer in the Arena for some old-school Teddy Roosevelt wisdom!
 
+1 boxing glove +1 boxing glove +1 boxing glove 
+1 water wave +1 water wave +1 water wave 
Oct 14, 2022

With Yoda and Laird

 
In our last +1, we revisited our thinking on our Targeted Thinking practice. 
 
As you may recall, we added a Step 0 to the protocol that involved accepting our reality COMPLETELY before we shift to figuring out how we’d like to create a better reality and what, specifically, we will do RIGHT NOW to create it. 
 
Today I want to chat more about acceptance. 
 
We’ll bring my Yoda, Phil Stutz, back to the party to tap into more of his near-infinite wisdom. 
 
Btw. Phil and I have been working together for nearly six years now. It’s remarkable to me just how deep we can go these days as I have fun truly practicing my and our philosophy at deeper and deeper levels. 
 
Btw2. The reason I’m able to practice even more deeply is because I have taken on bigger and bigger challenges—as Phil says, I’m dealing with “real bullets” now. 
 
And, as another dear friend and mentor (Matt McCall!) puts it: I’m officially working out in “the big boy gym.” face with tears of joy 
 
(Lifting Real Weights vs. Styrofoam Weights for the win, folks!!)
 
Now…
 
Phil doesn’t tell us to just *accept* reality. He tells us that we need to RADICALLY accept reality. 
 
One of the metaphors he likes to use is to imagine that you’re a surfer. 
 
When you’re surfing, you have ZERO control of when and how the waves show up. (Right?)
 
But…
 
You have pretty much COMPLETE control over how you choose to respond to any given wave. (Right?)
 
That’s Part 1 of this +1. 
 
The wise, eudaimonic surfer embraces that fact. How? By not complaining about the waves. They are what they are. 
 
And, the wise life-surfer knows that the waves, when viewed properly, are what make the whole experience FUN!! No waves, no fun. 
 
Now for Part 2. 
 
Question time…
 
Two parts to the question. 
 
First, if you’re REALLY committed to becoming a REALLY great (!!!) surfer, do you go to the beaches with the tiniest waves? 
 
Or…
 
Do you find the beaches with the right-sized big waves to have the most fun challenging yourself with your current level of skill?
 
Note: Finding the right-size waves is an important distinction that’s part of a longer chat. We want to make sure we find our flow channel—not too little or too much stress or we’ll be bored or anxious! (Superyou for the win!)
 
Second, when you arrive at the beach and swim out to start catching the right-sized (appropriately big!) waves, do you COMPLAIN when a big wave approaches or do you smile and get after it, seeing just how well you can ride it while—very importantly—ENJOYING the thrill of the experience??
 
Of course, unless you’re crazy, you ENJOY those (appropriately) big waves. That’s the whole reason you showed up at the beach in the first place, right?!
 
And THAT is how we want to approach our lives and all the inherent “waves”/challenges that show up on our heroic quests. 
 
Friendly reminder: THIS IS WHAT WE’VE TRAINED FOR, HERO!!
 
So…
 
Got any waves in your life right now?
 
Awesome. 
 
Surf’s up. 
 
Let’s go get it as we enjoy the ride!!!
 
+1 water wave +1 water wave +1 water wave 
Oct 13, 2022

An Update on Our Targeted Thinking Protocol

 
In our last +1, we continued our discussion about what to do when you’re going 0 for 12 in life and discussed the importance of doing that ONE thing that is most important RIGHT NOW.
 
Then, because I can’t go longer than a few +1s without referencing my tattoo that serves as the one-word summation of my entire philosophy, we brought my right forearm into the discussion and celebrated the ancient word ARETE.
 
(Cue Maui from Moana’s “You’re welcome!” for the incessant repetition. rolling on the floor laughing )
 
Today I want to chat about YET ANOTHER way to win that ultimate game of life—closing the gap between who you’re CAPABLE of being and who you’re ACTUALLY being RIGHT.THIS.SECOND!
 
It’s time to chat about Targeted Thinking. (Again.)
 
Since our last chat, I’ve refined my thinking on it. Here’s how I currently practice and teach it. (See Basic Training Objective 2, Lesson 5 for more!) 
 
Actually… 
 
First…
 
Here’s how I framed it in that +1 from a couple of years ago. 
 
Step 1 of Targeted Thinking is to step out of Victimland and take a step into Heroicland by asking ourselves a simple question: WHAT DO I WANT?
 
Note: Victims complain about what’s not working in their lives. Creators create what they want in their lives by asking THAT question. (See Power of TED* for more.)
 
Then, once you’ve gotten even an inkling of clarity on what you want in any given moment, the follow-up question is simple: NOW WHAT NEEDS TO GET DONE?
 
In prior +1s, we brought that wisdom to life with discussions about its efficacy in dealing with chicken poop and flat tires
 
Today I want to hone our practice by adding a few more steps to the Targeted Thinking protocol.
 
Yes, knowing what you want is ESSENTIAL to the process of living Heroically and creating a better life. And, of course, taking action in pursuit of creating that ideal, is also essential.
 
And…
 
Before we even get to asking ourselves what we want, I think we need to step back an inch or three and ACCEPT REALITY EXACTLY AS IT IS.
 
This is what Byron Katie describes as “Loving What Is.” Which, as we’ve discussed, is just a modern take on the ancient Stoic practice known as “The Art of Acquiescence.” (See the +1 on Suffering = Pain x Resistance and the +1 on Deo Volente + Thy Will Be Done for more.) 
 
So…
 
Step 0 with our updated Targeted Thinking protocol is simple: Acceptance—complete and utter acceptance of EXACTLY what is happening right now. Period. 
 
That, of course, is much easier said than done but the wisest among us get the power of this practice.
 
Then…
 
Once we’ve stopped arguing with reality (reminding ourselves that we will ALWAYS lose when we argue with reality!) we are ready for the first step in our protocol.
 
Step 1. Asking ourselves: WHAT DO I WANT?
 
Feeling energetically sluggish? Unproductive or lacking purpose at work? Disconnected from yourself and/or your loved ones?
 
Perfect. Accept that. 
 
Now… What do you want?
 
To feel Heroically Energized? Heroically (and Purposefully) Productive? Heroically Connected?
 
Awesome. Spend THREE SECONDS (!) getting a little more clarity on that. 
 
Note: We’re not talking about a 3 months worth of 30-minute journaling sessions to get clarity. 
 
SPEND THREE SECONDS RIGHT IN THE MOMENT YOU FEEL WOBBLY THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT. 
 
Got it? Awesome. That’s Step 1.
 
Step 2. Ask yourself: What can I do RIGHT NOW that would take me one step closer to getting more of what I want? 
 
AGAIN: We don’t need a 101-page polished strategic plan you’re going to submit to some higher authority for a grade here. 
 
SPEND THREE SECONDS RIGHT IN THE MOMENT YOU FEEL WOBBLY THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO GET MORE OF WHAT YOU JUST DECIDED YOU WANT. 
 
Got it? Awesome. That’s Step 2.
 
Now we’re ready for Step 3. 
 
This is, unquestionably, the most important of all the steps but it’s useless unless you do the first ones. 
 
Here it is…
 
Step 3. TAKE ACTION.
 
SPEND THREE SECONDS GETTING INTO ACTION DOING THE THING YOU DECIDED YOU NEED TO DO TO GET MORE OF WHAT YOU JUST DECIDED YOU WANT. 
 
(Yes, that’s a lot of ALL CAPS. rolling on the floor laughing )
 
To recap.
 
Step 0. Accept your current reality. 
Step 1. Create a Target of what you want.  
Step 2. Decide what you can do RIGHT NOW to move in the direction of your desired outcome.
Step 3. Take action.
 
Final step? 
 
+1. REPEAT that process.
 
All day. Every day.
 
ESPECIALLY TODAY, Hero.
 
Day 1. All in. Let’s go!
 
+0. +1. +2. +3. +1.
Oct 12, 2022

To Get What You REALLY Want

 
Not too long ago, we chatted about MLB All-Star Sean Casey (The Mayor!) going 0 for 12 one season when he was batting nearly .400. 
 
As you may recall, his coach told him that he didn’t care about those numbers. What his coach cared about was whether or not he was dominating his protocol.
 
In that context, I asked you if YOU were going through a rough patch—perhaps feeling like you were going 0 for 12 in your Energy or your Work or your Love.
 
Then I gave you a couple of hugs as I playfully told you that I love ya (hugging face) and… I don’t ultimately care about the current state of those things. 
 
Then I said that what I DO care about is whether or not you are working your protocol. 
 
I asked:
 
Do you know who you are at your best in your Energy, your Work and your Love? Are you recommitting to being that best version of yourself every morning?
 
Do you know what virtues that best version of you embodies? Are you recommitting to showing up with those virtues every morning?
 
Do you know what specific things you DO when you’re most on fire? Are you recommitting to those things every morning and then ACTUALLY DOING those things every day?
 
Now…
 
All that’s nice and hopefully helpful even if it’s not all that warm and fuzzy (!) but…
 
Let’s simplify it even more.
 
ULTIMATELY, although it’s VERY helpful to know who you are and how you show up when you’re at your best in your Energy, Work and Love (which, of course, is why we architected the Heroic app to help you do exactly that!), we can simplify the game of life even more.
 
Let’s invite some more great thinkers to the party to tell us what they think…
 
First, the great spiritual teacher Byron Katie tells us that there’s always (!) only (!) ONE THING we need to do. 
 
If it’s doing the dishes, do the dishes. If it’s doing the laundry, do the laundry. If it’s taking a deep breath or going on a walk or sending that email or making that phone call or apologizing to that loved one or turning the electronics off to get a good night of sleep or … FILL-IN-THE-BLANK with whatever might be the next thing, do that FILL-IN-THE-BLANK next most important thing—however mundane or scary you may think it is. 
 
Repeat. Over and over and over again. Ideally, with a smile… Loving What Is as you show up as your best self.
 
Then we have David Reynolds. He’s a Zen therapist who wrote the great little book Constructive Living. What’s he tell us? The SAME THING. 
 
The question he gives us is as powerful as it is simple.
 
Here it is: Now what needs to be done?
 
Life feel overwhelming? 
 
Perfect.
 
Now what needs to be done?
 
Still feel a little wobbly?
 
Perfect.
 
Now what needs to be done?
 
Navy SEAL sage Mark Divine echoes this wisdom. The metaphor he uses comes from the battlefield of war. When chaos shines its dark light on our world, he tells us that we need to SIMPLIFY THE BATTLEFIELD and create FRONT-SIGHT FOCUS.
 
In other words, what’s THE next most important thing you need to do?
 
DO THAT.
 
Repeat.
 
Over and over and over again.
 
Peak performance coaches say the same thing. They tell us that elite performers maintain a “task focus” in the midst of extreme pressure. They don’t think about everything that could go wrong (or right), they think about…
 
WHAT NEEDS TO GET DONE RIGHT NOW.
 
Over and over and over again.
 
So, yah. Even without thinking about who you are your best in your Energy, Work and Love, you can always win the ultimate game of life by doing one simple thing: Whatever that moment demands of you.
 
btw: We can simplify ALL THAT wisdom even further.
 
How about we distill ALL THE GREAT WISDOM across ALL THE GREAT WISDOM TRADITIONS into one simple word?
 
I tattooed it on my right arm.
 
ARETE.
 
Close the gap between who you’re capable of being and who you’re actually being. 
 
Not someday. 
 
TODAY.
 
Not some moment. 
 
RIGHT NOW.
 
+1. +1. +1.
 
All day. Every day. 
 
Especially TODAY.
 
Bonus points: Do it with a smile! 
 
+smiling face with smiling eyes +smiling face with smiling eyes +smiling face with smiling eyes 
Oct 11, 2022

“Why Is It on the Ground Again?!”

 
In our last +1, we talked about our rooster, Happy. He’s still hanging in there. folded hands 
 
Today I want to continue the theme we explored in that +1 and see if we can get better at using the things that currently trigger us to feel annoyed, to instead, trigger us to feel grateful.
 
Here’s an example from the Johnson house to help you think of things YOU might want to reframe in YOUR house. 
 
So…
 
My son Emerson is a high-energy kid. 
 
Note: I was going to say my “little guy” Emerson but he’s almost 10 as I type this and he’s NO LONGER little. It’s shocking to see the speed with which he’s growing!
 
As we’ve joked before, when he wakes up, he kinda runs out of the room like Kramer from Seinfeld—all energy all the time. 
 
It’s FANTASTIC.
 
Except, of course, when it’s not. (Hah.)
 
So…
 
Mundane example. 
 
For some strange reason, when Emerson uses the toilet paper in the bathroom, he often rips it off the little horizontal bar it rests on and the roll of toilet paper winds up unraveled and strewn across the bathroom floor
 
L O L.
 
Now…
 
I’m a parent AND a teacher so, of course, we’ve had some Conquering Toilet Paper 101 classes on how to gently roll the toilet paper and gently rip the amount you need from the roll while ensuring it stays in place at the end of the job. (10 Big Ideas, folks! rolling on the floor laughing)
 
And…
 
That lesson just hasn’t stuck.
 
L O L.
 
So…
 
After Emerson’s done his thing, that toilet paper roll often winds up strewn across the bathroom floor.
 
And…
 
I can choose to use that toilet paper everywhere (again!) as either a trigger for my annoyance (and yet another lecture on the mechanics of toilet paper)….
 
OR…
 
I can use that same trigger as an opportunity to appreciate the fact that, one day WAY too soon, that toilet paper roll is going to be perfectly and permanently affixed to its resting place—never to see the floor again.
 
And…
 
I just got tears in my eyes typing that.
 
I’m not ready for that day yet.
 
I want to fully enjoy the incredible enthusiasm of my not-so-little-boy who is becoming a wonderfully enthusiastic young man for as long as I can—knowing that, like all the other wonderful things in my life, will not last forever.
 
That’s Today’s +1.
 
Got a trigger?
 
Seriously. 
 
Pause.
 
Think of at least one little thing a loved one does that, if we ACTUALLY practiced our philosophy with a little more rigor, could EASILY be alchemized from annoying to charming…
 
Go it?
 
Awesome.
 
Let’s remember the fact that life is preciously short. 
 
And…
 
Let’s use everything we can as a reminder of just how precious it is.
 
-1 to +1.
 
All day. Every day. 
 
ESPECIALLY Today.
 
rooster toilet 
Oct 10, 2022

Alchemizing Bread Crumbs, Dishes and Legos

 
Alexandra just walked into my office to tell me that she thinks our rooster, Happy, is dying. 
 
Before we talk more about that…
 
Yes, our rooster’s name is Happy
 
Emerson and Eleanor are phenomenal pet namers. We have Happy the Rooster, Lovey and Floppy and Spikey and Longbeak and Goldie the chickens
 
Then there’s Zap—the dog that showed up on our property one New Year’s Day a couple of years ago and adopted us. And don’t forget Wags, another awesome dog who decided he wanted to move in one day as well. 
 
Now…
 
If you’ve ever listened to one of my Zoom calls, you’ve probably heard a rooster in the background. 
 
Sometimes, I have to admit, I find his crow charming while other times I find it distracting—whether it’s on a Zoom or in my morning meditation when he’s doing his thing RIGHT outside my office window. 
 
But…
 
This rooster is truly an awesome rooster. We hatched him ourselves and he does his job protecting his hens Heroically well and he’s not an ornery guy like his dad rooster was. 
 
So…
 
When Alexandra came in and told me she thinks he’s dying (while she does her country-nurse thing with him to try to save him!), I felt a deeper sense of sadness than I’ve felt when we’ve lost some other chickens and found other dead creatures on the property. 
 
I always use those moments as another Stoic reminder of Memento Mori but this one hit me deeper. 
 
I really like this guy!!
 
Then I thought of a story Alexandra shared once. It was about bread crumbs. 
 
I forget the relationship book from which she got the wisdom but the basic idea was this…
 
In a significant long-term relationship with ANYONE (let alone a spouse or kids) there will INEVITABLY be things about that person that annoy you. 
 
Maybe they leave bread crumbs on the counter (which irritated the author of the book who told the story) or maybe they leave the dishes out or maybe they leave their Legos all over the house if they’re kids (which, in his less-than-enlightened moments can irritate the author of this +1 winking face). 
 
Or maybe they do any number of things people do because they’re human and none of us are perfect
 
It’s easy to find those little things annoying. 
 
And…
 
What if…
 
One day…
 
Those breadcrumbs or dishes or Legos or whatever weren't there because that loved one was no longer there?
 
All of a sudden we’d MISS those breadcrumbs or dishes or Legos or whatever. 
 
That’s what I thought of when I heard Happy might not make it. He hasn’t been crowing for the last several days because he hasn’t been feeling great. I already miss him. 
 
And I want to make sure I don’t let those little things my kids and wife and others do that I might find annoying distract me from the fact that their presence in my life—with ALL the imperfections—is a profound GIFT. 
 
In fact, what I try to do these days is use those VERY things I used to find annoying as THE TRIGGER for me to appreciate just how blessed I am. 
 
I hope our rooster makes it so I can remind myself of this wisdom every time I hear him crow. 
 
Cock-a-doodle-do!!!
 
Day 1. 
 
Let’s go. 
Oct 9, 2022

And… How to Make Yours Heroic 

 
In the last few +1s, we spent some time talking about how to win the game of life by focusing on WHAT’S IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW. 
 
I’d like to continue that discussion. And, this time, I’d like to invite my friend Sean Casey back to the party so he can share HIS insanely (!) inspiring take on the subject. 
 
Quick context. 
 
As we’ve discussed, Sean was voted the friendliest guy in baseball. They nicknamed him “The Mayor.” He’s now part of Major League Baseball’s Emmy-winning show MLB Tonight
 
He also has his own podcast. It’s appropriately called “The Mayor’s Office.”
 
Recently, he had a guy on his show who was also a fan of Heroic. They had a little chat about the app. 
 
And…
 
Sean WENT OFF about how the app has changed his life. It’s probably the best overview of the app (especially for sports fans!) I’ve ever seen. 
 
It’s so good that I want to share it here now. So, let’s head to The Mayor’s Office for a special field trip. I’ll see you in less than two minutes!!
 
flushed face!!!
 
If that doesn’t fire you up, I don’t know what will!! Haha!!
 
That’s Today’s +1. 
 
Here’s to making the game of life Heroically fun!! 
 
As always… Not someday…
 
TODAY. 
 
P.S. Here’s the transcript from that fire segment above! astonished face !!
 
I look at it this way, and Brian Johnson talks about this. If you, me and Chinch went out and played baseball right now, and we were on this open field and I pitch to Tim, Tim crushes one, Chinch goes and runs and gets it. We come back. We're like, “yeah, this is fun!”

Well, that's not as much fun as if we take the foul lines and we run 'em down each line and we put foul poles up. We put a 330’ sign in the corner, 385’, 410’. We put a fence up that says, if you hit it over this fence, you get one point. If guys are on base, you get three, four, you know, 2, 3, 4 points. 

This guy, we're gonna put a mound up with a rubber. It's gonna be 60 feet, six inches away because that seems fair. You're gonna throw it to me. We're gonna compete. We're gonna get after it. 

Holy [edited]. Here we go. This is a ton of [edited] fun. Right? 

I think of that as Heroic. 

Heroic is my foul lines…

It’s my game! It's my game of life. 

So I line up, what are my routines? What are my habits? What am I gonna do to win my morning? What am I gonna do at night to get better sleep? What time do I need to get upstairs? What book am I gonna read? How am I gonna serve my kids today? How am I gonna serve my buddies today? 

And all of a sudden at the end of the day I go, man, that was a great game today. Holy [edited]. 

You know what I mean? It's like, you start creating your own game because you've created the boundaries and that Heroic app…when you're shooting that arrow into your targets, it's a dopamine. It’s just like, man, this is so freaking awesome. 

And all of a sudden you start to realize, wow, you've created some habits and routines that is giving you the life that you've always wanted. Let's go, let's go.
Oct 8, 2022

Gandhi, the Gita, Bagger Vance, and YOU

 
In our last couple +1s, we’ve had fun hanging out with some world-class peak performance coaches: Harvey Dorfman and Phil Stutz. 
 
What did they teach us?
 
They tell us that it’s ALL ABOUT focusing on the PROCESS of TAKING ACTION rather than the unhealthy obsession on the OUTCOMES. 
 
They, of course, are not alone in this perspective. 
 
We talk about it in one of my all-time favorite +1s called “Did I Win? How to Sink a $1m Putt and Do Other Great Things.
 
Short story: Lanny Bassham worked with a golfer who hadn’t won in a while. Lanny told him to not even think about winning a tournament. Instead, they developed a protocol. His job was to EXECUTE that protocol every shot of every round he played. 
 
Fast forward a few tournaments. It’s the final shot on the final hole on the final day of the tournament. Our golfer steps up, executes his protocol and makes the putt.
 
Then his wife runs onto the green and leaps into his arms. 
 
His response?
 
“Did I win?”
 
I just got goosebumps typing that out. I’ve told that story COUNTLESS times. And it gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME.
 
Imagine stepping up for a $1 million dollar putt and being SO FOCUSED on the PROCESS that you’re OBLIVIOUS to the OUTCOME.
 
Boom. That’s how it’s done.
 
Then there’s Gandhi. 
 
He tells us the same thing in his own words. 
 
In Eknath Easwaran’s FANTASTIC biography Gandhi the Man (check out those Notes!), we learn that Gandhi liked to say: “The goal ever recedes from us. The greater the progress the greater the recognition of our unworthiness. Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.”
 
BOOM. That’s how it’s done.
 
Where’d Gandhi get that wisdom?
 
From his bible, the Bhagavad Gita (check out those Notes!) where we learn the fact that: “The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.”
 
I could go on and on and on. I’ll leave it at that for now. 
 
Actually…
 
Let’s bring it back to the 21st century and hear how Steven Pressfield puts it in The War of Art (check out THOSE Notes as well!).
 
He tells us: “The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.”
 
btw: Pressfield actually wrote a book on the subject that became a movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon. Ever heard of The Legend of Bagger Vance? Did you know that that movie is basically the Bhagavad Gita on a golf course? 
 
Yep. 
 
In the Gita, a wise god (Krishna) advises a reluctant warrior (Arjuna). In The Legend of Bagger Vance, a wise caddy (Bagger Vance) advises a reluctant golfer (Rannulph Junuh).
 
Bagger Vance” <--> “Bhagavad Gita.” Get it?
 
So…
 
Quick check-in…
 
What do YOU want in your life?
 
More Energy? More Productivity? More Connection?
 
Awesome. 
 
What can you do RIGHT NOW (!) to take ONE STEP toward to achieving it?
 
Get on that. 
 
Release attachment to outcomes.
 
Repeat. 
 
All day. Every day. 
 
ESPECIALLY… 
 
TODAY. 
 
+1. +1. +1. 
Oct 7, 2022

On Action, Action, and More Action

 
In our last +1, we hung out with one of the friendliest guys in baseball (The Mayor Sean Casey!) and his legendary coach Harvey Dorfman. 
 
I want to spend a little more time with Sean and bring another legendary coach to the party—MY coach, Phil Stutz
 
It’s funny because when Sean told me the story shout how Harvey RUTHLESSLY focused on the process goals NOT the outcome goals, I immediately thought of Phil. 
 
As we’ve discussed, Phil says the same thing in his own way. 
 
He says that most people focus on the OUTCOMES in their lives when they should be focused on the ACTION they are taking in pursuit of their desired outcomes
 
The way he frames it is to imagine pearls
 
You can spend all your time COUNTING how many pearls you have (or don’t have!)…
 
Or…
 
You can ignore the counting and simply focus on STRINGING THE NEXT PEARL
 
Over and over and over again we focus on what needs to get done right now. 
 
What’s important RIGHT NOW?
 
Do it. 
 
String the next pearl. 
 
Over and over and over and over again. 
 
You do that enough time and you know what happens?
 
You get a LOT more of the outcomes you’ve been wanting. 
 
And…
 
Somewhere along the way you learn that the REAL prize is knowing how to flip the switch and get into action—showing up as the best, most Heroic version of yourself. 
 
Not someday…
 
Today. 
 
Let’s do that. 
 
+1. +1. +1. 
 
Let’s go!
 
P.S. I love pearls. I have one on my desk at all times to remind me of the wisdom from this +1 on How to Make a Pearl and this wisdom from this +1 on The Pearl in My Pocket.
Oct 6, 2022

Who Cares? Work Your Protocol, Hero!

 
One of my new dear friends is a guy named Sean Casey. 
 
Sean is a former Major League Baseball player. He was an All-Star who played first base. They called him “The Mayor” because he chatted up EVERYONE who made it to first base. face with tears of joy 
 
He was SUCH a nice guy that Sports Illustrated declared him the friendliest guy in baseball. 
 
I met Sean through a mutual friend named Brian Cain who happens to be a longtime student of mine AND one of the world’s best mental toughness coaches. We’ll talk more about Cainer and his wisdom soon. 
 
For now, I want to talk about a story Sean told me about his playing days. It goes something like this…
 
Once upon a time, while playing with the Cincinnati Reds, Sean was having an insanely great season. 
 
It was summer time and he was batting near .400—which, if you know anything about baseball, you know is an insanely hard thing to do. 
 
Then…
 
Sean went 0 for 12. 
 
Now, going 0 for 12 is never a good thing for a professional baseball player but going 0 for 12 after starting the season THAT strongly is especially painful. 
 
So…
 
Sean called a guy named Harvey Dorfman. Harvey was that era’s greatest mental toughness coach
 
Btw: Check out our Notes on his GREAT book called Coaching the Mental Game AND check out our full collection of Notes on a TON of mental toughness books—which, for the record, is probably my favorite category on Heroic!
 
Now…
 
Sean tells Harvey that he’s struggling. “I’m 0 for 12, Coach!!”
 
Harvey doesn’t care about those stats. All he wants to know is if Sean is executing the protocol they committed to
 
Sean tells him, “Yes! Of course. I’m doing exactly what we’ve talked about. I’m hitting the ball hard. And guys are just making great plays.”
 
Dorfman listens a little longer then he says something along the lines of (perhaps with a little profanity winking face !): “Why in the HECK are you calling me?! We have nothing to talk about. Quit looking at the results and keep on dominating your protocol.
 
Click. 
 
Call over. 
 
Haha. 
 
Of course, that story has nothing to do about Sean or baseball or batting .400. 
 
It’s all about YOU. 
 
Are YOU going through a rough patch? 
 
Not feeling very energized or productive or connected?
 
PERFECT. 
 
I love ya (hugging face ) and… Ultimately, I don’t care about those things. 
 
What I do care about is this: Are you working your protocol? 
 
Do you know who you are at your best in your Energy, your Work and your Love? Are you recommitting to being that best version of yourself every morning?
 
Do you know what virtues that best version of you embodies? Are you recommitting to showing up with those virtues every morning?
 
Do you know what specific things you DO when you’re most on fire? Are you recommitting to those things every morning and then ACTUALLY DOING those things every day?
 
Yes. I get it. Life can be incredibly challenging.
 
AND…
 
Love ya (hugging face ) but…
 
Life doesn’t need to be THAT hard. 
 
And the process of showing up as your best self is DEFINITELY not THAT complicated or THAT hard. 
 
It all comes down to this: Know who you are and what you do when you’re at your best. Then recommit to being that version of yourself and doing those things you do when you’re on. 
 
Every. Single. Day. 
 
Not someday. And definitely not only on the days when you really feel like it. 
 
TODAY. 
 
That’s the only way to move from theory to practice to mastery so we can change the world together. 
 
Day 1. All in. 
 
Let’s go, Hero!!
Oct 5, 2022

Breath + Heroes + Virtues + Stillness + Quest

 
In our last +1, we talked about my new Heroic Mantra Meditation practice. 
 
Our one-word mantra?
 
Areté. 
 
On the inhale…
 
Areté. Areté. Areté. 
 
On the exhale. 
 
Areté. Areté. Areté.
 
Repeat. 
 
I actually came up with that idea while rowing. I paused the workout on my ol’ Suunto watch, went into the house, grabbed my batphone (that I use for offline/deep work mode stuff like this), and wrote that +1. 
 
Then I got back to my workout. And started repeating my mantra. 
 
ARETE. ARETE. ARETE. 
 
Today I want to chat about my Heroic Meditation practice. 
 
Nearly every day in the 18+ months after I founded Heroic, I meditated for an hour every morning. The connection I felt with my daimon and our Heroic vision has been GREATLY enhanced from the practice. 
 
Here’s the Heroic meditation I created. You can make it work in as little as 3 minutes. 
 
With VERY rare exceptions, I meditate at the same time every morning: right after I get up. 
 
I repeat: Reduce the variability of your behavior to create sustainable habit change!
 
I start each session with breathwork. Then I invite a few of my top heroes to join me and share some wisdom for the day. Then I walk through our virtue compass in my mind. Then I reconnect to our Heroic vision. 
 
Then I go dominate the day. nerd face 
 
Let’s start with the breathwork. 
 
Actually, let’s start with our posture. As we discussed in Meditation 101 and our Notes on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s great book Wherever You Go, There You Are, the fastest way to find the right posture is to sit with dignity. 
 
Chest up. Chin down. Pull a thread through your head. You’re poised yet relaxed. 
 
In a word: You are sitting with DIGNITY. 
 
Like royalty. 
 
That’s a brilliant way to invite the best, most Heroic and noble version of yourself to the party. 
 
Then we take a nice, deep, quiet, relaxing breath. In through our nose. Down into our bellies. Back out through our nose. Slightly longer exhale than inhale. 
 
That’s the fastest way to flip the switch on our parasympathetic nervous system, get out of fight-or-flight and connect to our daimons. 
 
I practice a version of that breath for a minute or three or eleven, depending on the length of my meditation. 
 
Then I invite my heroes to join me. 
 
I have Heroic portraits of 22 of my favorite heroes on my wall. 
 
On one wall I have large portraits of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Steve Jobs, Joseph Campbell, and Phil Stutz. And… I have a Heroic portrait of ME—to remind me to try to live up to the best within me. 
 
On another wall I have slightly smaller portraits. Five columns with three heroes in each column, representing different wisdom traditions and qualities I aspire to embody. 
 
On the far left, I have Jesus, Saint Ignatius, and Mother Teresa—representing my Catholic upbringing and a commitment to Love and embracing the universal truths of ALL faith traditions.
 
Then I have Confucius, Epictetus (again!), and John Wooden—representing my commitment to a disciplined approach to life and the moral charisma that emanates from that integrity. 
 
Then I have Aristotle, Viktor Frankl, and Abraham Maslow—representing the integration of ancient wisdom and modern science in the form of three intellectual/philosophical heroes of mine. 
 
Then I have Alexander the Great, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr—representing leaders who embodied Soul Force in their own idiosyncratic, iconoclastic way: Alexander conquered the impossible in the material world while Gandhi conquered the impossible in the spiritual (and material!) world. 
 
Then I have Eleanor Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Dwight D Eisenhower—representing Heroic war-time leaders as symbols for the internal war between vice and virtue we each must mindfully wage every day. 
 
I ask a few (or all!) of them for a pithy piece of wisdom for that day. 
 
Emerson tells me to trust myself. And he reminds me to always (always always!) do the thing I’m afraid to do.
 
Epictetus tells me to practice my philosophy and to make The Choice of Hercules—not someday but TODAY.
 
Aurelius tells me to play my role well and to remember The Inner Citadel.
 
Jobs tells me to create something insanely great. 
 
Campbell tells me that we train heroes and reminds me that the demon you can swallow gives you its power.
 
Phil tells me to conquer the impossible and reminds me that Speed Is a Force.
 
I have connected with those heroes of mine so many times that I can literally hear their voices in my head as I created this +1. Every morning I commit to living in integrity with their wisdom and their example. 
 
It’s hard to put into words how much I believe this practice has changed my life. 
 
The questions for you are…
 
Who are YOUR heroes?
 
What wisdom would they like to share with you?
 
Would you be a better human being if you consistently reflected on and acted in integrity with those questions and answers?
 
Now…
 
After a quick trip through my heroes—which can take as little as a minute or as long as 11—I reflect on the core virtues of our virtue compass. 
 
Wisdom. Self-Mastery. Courage. Love.
 
Hope. Gratitude. Curiosity. Zest. 
 
The first set includes the four cardinal virtues of every major ancient wisdom tradition. 
 
The second set includes the virtues modern science says are most highly correlated with our flourishing. 
 
After silently saying each virtue, I go through the declaration for each virtue. 
 
Wisdom. I know the ultimate game and how to play it well. 
 
Self-Mastery. I have structural, reactive, and expansive discipline. 
 
Courage. I am willing to act in the presence of fear. 
 
Love. I am joyful, grateful, and encouraging. 
 
Hope. I have an inspiring goal, agency, and pathways. 
 
Gratitude. I appreciate all the blessings in my life. 
 
Curiosity. I pay attention to what’s working and what needs work. 
 
Zest. I dominate my fundamentals so I have Heroic energy. 
 
I can zip through that in a minute or three or take my time and imagine each for eleven minutes. 
 
Then I quiet my mind. And enjoy the silence. That can last from a minute to thirty minutes. 
 
Finally, I imagine a world in which 51% of humanity is flourishing by 2051. 
 
I see my Soul Force at 101 and commit to doing everything I can to help YOU get YOUR Soul Force to 101. 
 
Then I imagine 1M of us getting our Soul Force to 101 so we can fulfill our mission and change the world, one person at a time, together, starting with you and me. 
 
TODAY.
Oct 4, 2022

Here It Is…

 
This morning a friend of mine (thank you, Jon!) sent me a link to an article on Ray Dalio’s meditation practice
 
As you know if you’ve been following along, I’m a big fan of Dalio and his wisdom. 
 
We’ve featured Notes on his great book Principles and the kids and I enjoyed his kids book as well. 
 
We’ve also chatted about his 5-step process for success (note: Step 2 is FAILURE!!) as part of our win or learn” and “learning is winning” so “win or win!” philosophy. 
 
But…
 
It wasn’t until this morning that I learned about Dalio’s meditation practice. 
 
He says it’s his secret weapon. 
 
His approach? 
 
Transcendental meditation. Otherwise known as TM. 
 
The key features of that approach include two, twenty-minute meditation sessions. Dalio does his first session after waking up and his second before dinner. 
 
Note: He reduces the variability of his behavior to increase the likelihood of making the habit stick which—as you know if you’ve gone through Basic Training and/or the Mastery Series and/or Habits 101–is a scientifically proven way to master yourself.
 
Another key feature of TM? 
 
A mantra
 
With Transcendental Meditation, you get your mantra from your TM teacher. You’re not supposed to share it publicly. But it’s something kinda like “om.”
 
You come back to that mantra again and again and again. 
 
It’s the anchor (see Meditation 101 and our collection of Notes and +1s on Meditation) that helps still your mind so you can connect to something bigger than yourself while experiencing all the other proven physiological and psychological benefits of meditation. 
 
Now…
 
I’ve studied TM—and actually learned in the same room Maharishi Mahesh Yogi meditated in as I was blessed to be trained by one of his top students and teachers. 
 
I’ve also studied Vipassana. We chat about my experience with Vipassana in our Notes in As a Man Thinketh. We also chat about Vipassana in our Notes on Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Harari is one of my favorite writers. The lucidity of his writing is EXTRAORDINARY. Did you know he’s been practicing Vipassana and meditating for TWO hours a day for DECADES? It’s true. 
 
I’ve also practiced something called “Passage Meditation” developed by Eknath Easwaran (see those Notes) and the style taught by Nichiren Buddhism (see these Notes), and, well, a bunch of other approaches. 
 
I’ve also developed my own Heroic Meditation we’ll talk more about soon. 
 
But…
 
Today I want to share the new mantra meditation I’m going to start practicing as a little experiment. 
 
A single word. 
 
Can you guess what I’m choosing?
 
 
Hint: It’s tattooed on my right forearm. The one-word summation of my life philosophy and ultimate target.
 
 
Areté.  
 
That’s the new mantra. 
 
Areté. Areté. Areté. 
 
On the Inhale…
 
Areté. Areté. Areté. 
 
On the Exhale…
 
Areté. Areté. Areté.
 
Let’s close the gap between who we’re capable of being and who were actually being. 
 
Not someday. 
 
Not even some moment. 
 
Right now. 
 
And…
 
Here’s to soaking our consciousness in that ultimate target one breath at a time. 
 
+1 Areté. 
+1 Areté. 
+1 Areté. 
 
All day. 
 
Every day. 
 
Especially TODAY.
Oct 3, 2022

Gandhi’s Great Soul (+ Yours!)

 
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that YOU are my all-time favorite hero. (It’s true.)
 
We also talked about the fact that, although every hero expresses it in different ways, EVERY (!) hero has the SAME superpower. 
 
We named it… SOUL FORCE
 
Today I want to share a quick origin story on where I came up with that phrase.
 
But, first…
 
In case you’re wondering if you qualify to even aspire to be a “hero,” I have another question for you…
 
Do you happen to know what the word hero means? 
 
As you may have heard me say before (and I promise I’ll say it again!)… It’s an ancient Greek word. Etymologically, the word hero doesn’t mean “killer of bad guys” or “tough guy” or anything like that it. It means PROTECTOR." 
 
A hero has strength for two. And, very importantly, a hero is willing to do the HARD work to HAVE that strength for two. 
 
And, do you know what the secret weapon of the ancient hero was? LOVE
 
It’s LOVE that fuels our commitment to DO that hard work to HAVE the strength for two. It’s LOVE that gives us the Courage to be willing to act in the presence of fear. It's LOVE that gives us the Self-Mastery to do what needs to get done whether we feel like it or not.
 
And… If you haven’t noticed, our world needs heroes today more than ever before. 
 
We’re not just recovering from the effects of COVID-19. We have pandemic levels of anxiety and depression and cancer and diabetes and political polarization and social injustice and environmental degradation. 
 
And the ONLY possible way we are going to meet those *historically significant* challenges and create a more noble and virtuous world for ourselves and for our kids and for their kids is if each of us steps up and starts showing up as the best, most Heroic versions of ourselves. 
 
So…
 
Back to your Soul Force. It’s your superpower. 
 
And…
 
Activating this superpower is the whole point of EVERYTHING we do together.
 
As in… E V E R Y T H I N G!!!
 
Activating your Soul Force is the final Objective (Objective VII) in Basic Training in our Heroic app.
 
Your Heroic Soul Force score is the first thing you see when you open the Heroic app and it’s THE individual metric by which we measure our success in helping you show up as the best, most Heroic version of yourself. It’s by getting YOUR Soul Force to 101 then helping enough people ALSO activate their Soul Force that we’ll have a shot at LITERALLY (!) changing the world. 
 
Then there’s the sub-title to the Heroic book I’m working on. Can you guess what that might be? 
 
Yep… 
 
“A Training Manual to ACTIVATE YOUR SOUL FORCE”!!
 
So…
 
Here’s the origin story on “Soul Force.”
 
It involves one of my heroes: Mahatma Gandhi.
 
(Btw: Did you know that mahatma means “great soul” in Sanskrit? Yep. Aristotle had a word for that in ancient Greek as well: magnanimous.)
 
We’re all familiar with Gandhi’s (paraphrased) admonition that, if we want to change the world, we each must be the change we want to see. 
 
What you may not know is just how FIERCELY disciplined Gandhi was. He practiced his philosophy with a relentlessness that I find deeply inspiring. He was the living embodiment of Areté.
 
Of course, Gandhi liberated India via what we called “nonviolent resistance” in the West. But “nonviolent resistance” is a VERY weak translation of the Sanskrit word he coined to capture the essence of his movement and practice. 
 
The phrase he used was satyagraha. That word comes from two Sanskrit words: sat and graha. Sat means “beingness” or “truth.” Graha means “polite insistence” or “force.”
 
Gandhi fiercely believed in and fiercely challenged his followers to stand in the power of truth. He knew that Britain’s domination of India was morally wrong and that, if he and millions of others could stand in that truth without resorting to violence, he could liberate the country without having to go to war. 
 
Now, like many ancient/foreign words that are difficult to translate into English (see: eudaimonia and areté!), satyagraha can be translated as not just “truth force” but also as “love force” or...
 
SOUL FORCE
 
There’s an ineffable and extraordinary power that is palpable in an individual who is standing in their truth—living with fierce integrity to their highest ideals. 
 
THAT is what Gandhi cultivated within himself and was able to help cultivate within enough people to LITERALLY (!) change the world. 
 
It’s also what every hero we’ve ever admired has embodied and what I am so fiercely committed to personally embodying and to helping you and enough people embody in your own idiosyncratic way such that we can LITERALLY (!) change the world. 
 
How do we do that?
 
By showing up and living in integrity with our highest ideals.
 
Not someday. 
 
TODAY.
Oct 2, 2022

Here’s Their (and YOUR!) Superpower

 
In our last +1, we re-activated our +1 series and I made a 10,000-day commitment to you. 
 
Well, technically I made a 10,319-day commitment to you.
 
Every day, from now until January 1, 2051, I commit to showing up in your inbox with a quick little splash of more wisdom in less time. If I don’t show up, assume either our technology died or I died. (Hah. Seriously.) (I’m all in.)
 
Why have I made that commitment? 
 
That’s a very good question. With a range of possible answers. 
 
One of the reasons can be found on one of the tattoos on my left forearm. 
 
If you look closely above the “I” and the “C” in my “HEROIC” tattoo, you’ll see “51 | 2051.” Then, if you look closely below the “I” and the “C” in my “HEROIC” tattoo, you’ll see “101 | 1M.”
 
The 51 | 2051 represents my commitment to helping create a world in which 51% of humanity is flourishing by the year 2051. The 101 | 1M represents HOW we will do that.
 
The 101 is shorthand for the Soul Force I am committed to helping you activate in your life.
 
But…
 
We’re getting ahead of ourselves.
 
Let’s step back for a moment and talk a little more about what “Soul Force” is in the first place.
 
To make the point, I’d like to ask you a question…
 
Who’s your favorite hero?
 
Seriously. Take a moment and think about that right now. Who comes to mind? 
 
I have a few of my favorite Heroes in my studio and on my office wall behind me. Great teachers and leaders who inspire me to show up as the best, most Heroic version of myself. 
 
Aristotle. Epictetus. Marcus Aurelius. Abraham Lincoln. Winston Churchill. Gandhi. Abraham Maslow. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
 
My wife and I even named our kids after two of our favorite Heroes: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Eleanor Roosevelt
 
So… Again… Who inspires YOU?!
 
Seriously.
 
What individuals—living or dead—embody the qualities you most admire? 
 
What individuals showed up and lived in a way that deeply inspires YOU to show up and give us all you’ve got?
 
As you think about that, know this… 
 
All those Heroes showed up in their own idiosyncratic way—Gandhi was frail and would go days without talking while Churchill was portly and rarely STOPPED talking!! … And those two guys didn’t even LIKE each other!
 
BUT…
 
ALL of those Heroes had ONE thing in common. 
 
It’s what Aristotle had and what he helped ignite in Alexander the Great. 
 
It’s what Epictetus had and what he helped Marcus Aurelius cultivate in his life.
 
It’s what Gandhi had and is the force that freed his nation. (And, for the record, it was GANDHI who actually gave this power its name.)
 
It’s what Martin Luther King, Jr. had, and, inspired by HIS hero Gandhi, something he actually talks about it in his “I have a dream” speech.
 
It’s what Eleanor Roosevelt had. And Florence Nightingale. And Helen Keller and Anne Frank and COUNTLESS others who may have made it into our history books or may have just humbly made an anonymous yet indelible mark on our world by deeply inspiring their friends and families and communities.
 
So… 
 
What's the ONE thing ALL the great Heroes across all cultures throughout history have had in common?
 
SOUL FORCE. 
 
It’s every Hero’s superpower. 
 
SOUL FORCE. 
 
It’s that ineffable power you can feel in human beings living in integrity with their highest ideals. 
 
SOUL FORCE. 
 
It’s the force that can (literally) change the world. 
 
And guess what…
 
It’s YOUR superpower as well. 
 
We just need to ACTIVATE IT. 
 
Not SOMEDAY. 
 
But TODAY. 
 
And then, very importantly!!, we need to REACTIVATE our Soul Force ALL DAY EVERY DAY. 
 
THAT, my dear friend, is how we can tap into YOUR Heroic potential and fundamentally and permanently change your life while fundamentally and permanently changing the world together. 
 
And doing THAT is what Heroic is all about. 
 
For now, I want to wrap up with one more question…
 
Ultimately, do you know who my all-time favorite Hero is…?
 
I’ll give you a hint… 
 
Go look in the mirror. 
 
My all-time favorite Hero is, unquestionably YOU
 
YOU are the Hero we’ve been waiting for. 
 
And helping YOU activate your Soul Force is my ultimate mission in life.
 
Day 1, Hero.
 
Let’s go.
Oct 1, 2022

It’s +1 Day 1 Again. And Always!

 
Hi, This is Brian. 
 
Welcome back to another +1. 
 
This is +1 number 1,289. 
 
And…
 
As you know if you’ve been following along, the last time I did a +1 was nearly two years ago—717 days ago to be precise. I took a little break to launch Heroic. I’m THRILLED to be back. 
 
We used to call these little micro lessons “Optimize +1s.”
 
Going forward, we’re going to call them Heroic +1s.”
 
When I first created the +1 series years ago (2005 days ago to be precise!), I committed to doing 1,000 days in a row. I wound up doing 1,288. 
 
This time, I’m committing to doing over 10,000 (!!!) days in a row. 
 
10,319 days in a row to be precise. 
 
At which point I may consider taking a day off. 
 
So…
 
If a new +1 doesn’t show up in your inbox, assume that either our technology died or… I died. (Hah!)
 
Seriously. 
 
I’m ALL IN. 
 
Why 10,319 days?
 
Because that’s how many days are left between now and January 1, 2051–the date by which we aspire to help create a world in which 51% of humanity is flourishing
 
We’ll chat more about the origin story for that target and the tattoo on my left forearm that reflects my commitment to that moonshot goal. 
 
Why +1s?
 
Because I believe that the only way to fundamentally and permanently change your life is to move from theory to practice to mastery TODAY
 
Not SOMEDAY. 
 
And definitely not only on the days when you (insert whiney voice) *feel* like it. 
 
If we want to forge antifragile confidence and more consistently express the best, most Heroic versions of ourselves, it’s simple…
 
We.
Must. 
Show. 
Up. 
TODAY. 
 
ESPECIALLY on those days when we don’t *feel* like it. 
 
Now…
 
The feedback we got from our community about how our +1 series changed their lives was incredibly inspiring. 
 
And…
 
After launching Heroic, I stepped back and looked at all the ways I (and we!) can best support you in getting your Soul Force to 101 (more on that soon!). 
 
We’re fired up that the early research shows that the core Heroic app experience (featuring Basic Training and Target Practice) can help you flourish. 
 
And, we’re fired up that all the old Optimize content—including over 1,000 +1s, over 600 PhilosophersNotes, and 50 Optimal Living 101 classes—is now integrated into one Heroic app. 
 
We’re ALSO fired up that our Mastery Series (which research has *also* shown can help people change their lives and used to only be available as part of our Coach offering) is now part of our basic premium Heroic offering. 
 
Plus, we can’t wait to roll out our integrated Heroic Social features and welcome more Guides to the platform as we continue to execute our vision in the months and years ahead as we strive to create a world-class social training platform that can serve as an answer to The Social Dilemma and, literally, help change the world. 
 
If you haven’t signed up for the monthly/annual/lifetime options for Heroic, you can learn more about all that here: https://heroic.us/join
 
And… 
 
As I thought about how we could best support you in fully activating your Soul Force (aka your Heroic superpower!), it became really (!) clear to me that reactivating the +1 series would be a super important part of that commitment to you and to the rest of our community. 
 
As I said in the VERY first +1 on Destiny Math, it’s ALL (always!) about those tiny little decisions we make all day, every day. And, as we discussed in this +1 on Atomic Habits: Tiny = Mighty (inspired by wisdom from James Clear’s super-popular Atomic Habits—check out those Notes), the exponential benefits of aggregating and compounding tiny little gains over an extended period of time by showing up day in and day out are CRAZY. 
 
For now…
 
I’m thrilled to be back and, if you feel so inspired to have me in your life, I can’t wait to see you tomorrow morning and every morning you’d like a little dose of ancient wisdom, modern science and practical tools to help you optimize and actualize your potential. 
 
Of course, if you’d prefer NOT to hang out every morning, you can change your settings and get these +1s Weekly or never!
 
Your ideal is our ideal. 
 
Just click one of the links in the footer of this email if you want to change your settings. 
 
10,319 days. 
 
(Deo (and daimon) volente!)
 
It’s Day 1. 
 
Again. Always. 
 
You. Me. Our daimons. It’s going to be Heroic.
 
It’s time to change the world. One person at a time. Together. Starting with you and me and us. 
 
TODAY.
Mar 21, 2022
This podcast is a sneak peek of the welcome you will see Day 1 as part of Heroic Basic training, which will be available on the app on April 9th.

Head to https://heroic.us to learn all about our new Heroic social training platform that’s all about helping YOU to be the best, most Heroic version of yourself so we can change the world together—one person at a time, starting with you and me and us TODAY.

To learn more about how to join the movement as a Heroic investor go to: https://wefunder.com/heroic 

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Certain information set forth in this message contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws (collectively referred to herein as forward-looking statements). Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” intend,” “goal,” “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “would,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Except for statements of historical fact, the information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements and includes, but is not limited to, the (i) projected financial performance of Heroic; (ii) completion of, and the use of proceeds from, the sale of the convertible notes being offered hereunder; (iii) the expected development of Heroic’s business; (iv) execution of Heroic’s vision and growth strategy; (v) sources and availability of third-party financing; and (vi) future liquidity, working capital, and capital requirements. Forward-looking statements are provided to allow potential investors the opportunity to understand our beliefs and opinions as one factor in evaluating an investment.

These statements are not guarantees of future performance, and you should not rely on them. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or result expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Although forward-looking statements contained in this message are based upon what we believe are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Heroic undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or our estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws.

With respect to our intended Regulation A offering, no money or other consideration is being solicited, and if sent in response, will not be accepted.

No offer to buy the securities can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received until the offering statement filed by the company with the SEC has been qualified by the SEC. Any such offer may be withdrawn or revoked, without obligation or commitment of any kind, at any time before notice of acceptance given after the date of qualification.

An indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.
Mar 15, 2022
Are you showing up as the best, most Heroic version of yourself?

And if not, why not? 

www.heroic.us  ← Go here to learn more about the Heroic social training platform built to change the world by helping you be the best, most Heroic version of yourself.

To learn more about how to join the movement as a Heroic investor go to: https://wefunder.com/heroic 

---

Certain information set forth in this message contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws(collectively referred to herein as forward-looking statements). Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” intend,” "goal,” “plan,” “believe,” "expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “would,”“will” and similar references to future periods. Except for statements of historical fact, the information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements and includes, but is not limited to, the (i) projected financial performance of Heroic; (ii) completion of, and the use of proceeds from, the sale of the convertible notes being offered hereunder; (iii) the expected development of Heroic’s business; (iv) execution of Heroic’s vision and growth strategy; (v) sources and availability of third-party financing; and (vi) future liquidity, working capital, and capital requirements. Forward-looking statements are provided to allow potential investors the opportunity to understand our beliefs and opinions as one factor in evaluating an investment.

These statements are not guarantees of future performance, and you should not rely on them. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or result expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Although forward-looking statements contained in this message are based upon what we believe are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Heroic undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or our estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws.

With respect to our intended Regulation A offering, no money or other consideration is being solicited, and if sent in response, will not be accepted.

No offer to buy the securities can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received until the offering statement filed by the company with the SEC has been qualified by the SEC. Any such offer may be withdrawn or revoked, without obligation or commitment of any kind, at any time before notice of acceptance given after the date of qualification.

An indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.
Feb 6, 2022
Learn more about the Heroic social training platform built to change the world by helping you be the best, most Heroic version of yourself. www.heroic.us

Learn more about how to join the movement as a Heroic investor: www.heroic.us/invest

Get a lifetime premium Optimize Wisdom membership for FREE (used to be $250) as a gift from Heroic: www.optimize.me

Note: Any time we mention our prospective next crowdfunding round, our attorneys tell us we should mention the following:

Certain information set forth in this message contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws (collectively referred to herein as forward-looking statements). Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” intend,” “goal,” “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “would,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Except for statements of historical fact, the information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements and includes, but is not limited to, the (i) projected financial performance of Heroic; (ii) completion of, and the use of proceeds from, the sale of the convertible notes being offered hereunder; (iii) the expected development of Heroic’s business; (iv) execution of Heroic’s vision and growth strategy; (v) sources and availability of third-party financing; and (vi) future liquidity, working capital, and capital requirements. Forward-looking statements are provided to allow potential investors the opportunity to understand our beliefs and opinions as one factor in evaluating an investment.

These statements are not guarantees of future performance, and you should not rely on them. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or result expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Although forward-looking statements contained in this message are based upon what we believe are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Heroic undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or our estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws.

With respect to our intended Regulation A offering, no money or other consideration is being solicited, and if sent in response, will not be accepted.

No offer to buy the securities can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received until the offering statement filed by the company with the SEC has been qualified by the SEC. Any such offer may be withdrawn or revoked, without obligation or commitment of any kind, at any time before notice of acceptance given after the date of qualification.

An indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.
Feb 4, 2022

Learn more about the Heroic social training platform built to change the world by helping you be the best, most Heroic version of yourself. www.heroic.us

Learn more about how to join the movement as a Heroic investor: https://wefunder.com/heroic 

---

Note: Any time we mention our prospective next crowdfunding round, our attorneys tell us we should mention the following:

Certain information set forth in this message contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws (collectively referred to herein as forward-looking statements). Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” intend,” “goal,” “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “would,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Except for statements of historical fact, the information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements and includes, but is not limited to, the (i) projected financial performance of Heroic; (ii) completion of, and the use of proceeds from, the sale of the convertible notes being offered hereunder; (iii) the expected development of Heroic’s business; (iv) execution of Heroic’s vision and growth strategy; (v) sources and availability of third-party financing; and (vi) future liquidity, working capital, and capital requirements. Forward-looking statements are provided to allow potential investors the opportunity to understand our beliefs and opinions as one factor in evaluating an investment.

These statements are not guarantees of future performance, and you should not rely on them. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or result expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Although forward-looking statements contained in this message are based upon what we believe are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Heroic undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or our estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws.

With respect to our intended Regulation A offering, no money or other consideration is being solicited, and if sent in response, will not be accepted.

No offer to buy the securities can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received until the offering statement filed by the company with the SEC has been qualified by the SEC. Any such offer may be withdrawn or revoked, without obligation or commitment of any kind, at any time before notice of acceptance given after the date of qualification.

An indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.

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