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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: September, 2020
Sep 30, 2020

Quick creative update Today. Good times at Optimize!

Sep 29, 2020

#1: Today I kinda go off on a ton of stuff: From HRV/RHR ice-bath spikes to Soul Force and Deep Work and the Handbook. Hope you enjoy. Let’s do this. Together. TODAY.

As always: Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/

Sep 29, 2020

Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (← Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!)
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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Discover the Power Within You by Eric Butterworth. Hope you enjoy!

Eric Butterworth was a prolific author and Unity minister—one of the great spiritual teachers of the 20th century. We featured another one of his books called Spiritual Economics. That one transformed my consciousness around money/ambition/etc. (I *highly* recommend it.) Butterworth was also Maya Angelou's spiritual teacher. And, Oprah says that this book is one of her all-time favorites. Big Ideas we explore: Where to find the Divine (hint: look within!), the great decision, the true meaning of “meek” (it's not what you think), going the second mile, and how to create a heaven (or hell) right NOW!

Get Discover the Power Within You on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Discover-Power-Within-You-Unexplored/dp/0061723797

Learn more about Eric Butterworth: https://www.optimize.me/authors/eric-butterworth/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: WHERE’S THE DIVINE?
- +1: Spiritual Economics | Your New Wealth Vocabulary (#349) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/spiritual-economics/
- +1: How to Live with Radiant Enthusiasm | Hint: Create a Nice Home for God (#556) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-live-with-radiant-enthusiasm/
- +1: How to High Five Your Inner Daimon | My Philosophy in One Word (#3) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-high-five-your-inner-daimon/
- +1: The Golden You | Just Chip Away at the (Not-so) Bonus Layer (#553) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-golden-you/
- +1: The Golden Buddha: Part II | The Historical Reality + The Parable (#603) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-golden-buddha-part-ii/

Big Idea 2: THE GREAT DECISION
- +1: Eudaimonism vs. Hedonism | Don’t Want to Be Depressed? Science Says… (#1166) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/eudaimonism-vs-hedonism/
- +1: Lightbulbs in the Temple of God | Less Graffiti, More Shining (#887) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/lightbulbs-in-the-temple-of-god/
- +1: My New Energy Identity | A Screwed-In Light Bulb (#1091) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/my-new-energy-identity/

Big Idea 3: PRAEIS = _______
- +1: Jesus Said: Who Shall Inherit the Earth? | Was It the “Meek” or the “Disciplined”/”Tamed”? (#438) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/jesus-said-who-shall-inherit-the-earth/

Big Idea 4: THE 2ND MILE
- Going the Second Mile | Jesus Says: It's the Way to Roll (#431) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/going-the-second-mile/

Big Idea 5: HEAVEN + HELL
- +1: Demons vs. Daimons | What to Feed Them (#919) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/demons-vs-daimons/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on The World According to Mister Rogers and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 28, 2020

Thanks for all your Handbook love! Here's the Optimize Handbook link I mention: https://optimizehq.typeform.com/to/sFx8AlU1

Quick edition as it's time for shutdown complete/meditation and Deep Love!! LOVE!!
Sep 27, 2020
In this Sunday edition, we talk about doubling my basic training protocol (it's the 200 burpees and 20k steps a day that provide the best challenge!) and some iterative creative progress on the book.
 
As always: Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/
Sep 26, 2020

Weekend edition: Today we take a quick trip to the back of the property for a "Before" look at what (Deo Volente) will soon be an awesome outdoor office. Fun. :)

Sep 26, 2020

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. Hope you enjoy!

My wife Alexandra has been a huge fan of Marie’s for a long time. I knew she was awesome. But... As I told Alexandra: “I had no idea Marie was THAT awesome!!!” My excuse: I’ve been in hermit-mode and have done nothing but read books for 5 years (no blogs/videos/etc.) so I wasn’t able to get the full sense of Marie’s heroically brilliant and grounded and HILARIOUS power until this book came out. I’ve read and created PhilosophersNotes on well over 500 books. This is one of my ABSOLUTE (!) favorites of all time. I HIGHLY (!!!) recommend it. It’s in the same league as some of my other favorites like Deep Work Atomic Habits and The 5 Second Rule. (In fact, on my chalkboard right now, I actually have “EVERYTHING IS FIGUREOUTABLE” right above “5-4-3-2-1-GO!” <- Winning combo!) The book is PACKED (!) with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

Get Everything Is Figureoutable on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Figureoutable-Marie-Forleo/dp/0525534997

Learn more about Marie Forleo: https://www.optimize.me/authors/marie-forleo/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: “THANKS, MOM!”
- PN: Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/everything-is-figureoutable-marie-forleo/

Big Idea 2: MAGIC OF BELIEF
- PN: The Relaxation Revolution by Herbert Benson → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-relaxation-revolution-herbert-benson/
- +1: Your Identity = ? | Whether You Think You Can or Think You Can’t… (#654) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/your-identity/
- "It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” ~Seneca → https://www.optimize.me/quotes/seneca/19068-it-is-not-because-things-are-difficult-t/
- PN: Letters from a Stoic by Seneca → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/letters-from-a-stoic-seneca/

Big Idea 3: 42% (!!!)
- Optimize Interview: Stillness is the Key with Ryan Holiday → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8GZMsKklPA
- +1: Spiritual Windshield Wipers | Eudaimonia, Journaling, and the Science of Writing Down Our Goals (#993) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/spiritual-windshield-wipers/
- +1: Hedonic Eudaimonia | A Close Relative of Flow Junkies (#908) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/hedonic-eudaimonia/
- How to Journal Carpe Diem Style! → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFMOrHcrGWU&t=4s

Big Idea 4: 4-LETTER WORD
- +1: Can’t vs. Won’t | Two Four-Letter Words (#986) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/cant-vs-wont/
- +1: Fail Alchemized to FAIL | Fail = Faithful Attempts In Learning! (#988) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/fail-alchemized-to-fail/
- +1: The Growth Mindset | Jordan, Picasso and You (#622) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-growth-mindset/
- +1: Mistakes? They’re Just Mis-takes | You As the Director of Your Life (#59)
- PN: Mindset by Carol Dweck → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/mindset-carol-dweck/
- +1: Mistake-Learner’s High | Enjoy It as You Pursue Audacious Goals and Endlessly Evolve (#370) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/mistake-learners-high/

Big Idea 5: GROWTH ZONE
- +1: Your Infinite Potential | And Where to Find It (#4) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/your-infinite-potential/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on Everything Is Figureoutable and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 25, 2020
Today we have fun with my (re-)new(ed) identity: Philosopher + CEO and some Handbook +1s. As always: Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/
Sep 24, 2020

Today we take a sneak peek at v1 of the OPTIMIZE Handbook cover and look at some Oura data on a good bad night saved by an algorithm! As always: Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/

Sep 23, 2020

Today we chat about missing the ol' mark on the 3:00 last-input target. And simply recommitting. And... Finished Phase I of the Handbook construction process. Scaffolding is in place. Fired up. (Just noticed this is #50. Time flies when you're having fun!) As always:

Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/

Sep 22, 2020

Afternoon edition of our #1 post 6 hours of DEEP Work on the Handbook. We chat about some creative systems and do the quick Oura review.

Sep 22, 2020

Did you know there are 101 days left in 2020. Yep. Time to finish strong. I share a little on how I'm going to do that with the Handbook, etc. How about YOU?

Sep 22, 2020

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Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (← Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from The Healthy Deviant by Pilar Gerasimo. Hope you enjoy!

I’ve been eagerly awaiting for my dear friend Pilar Gerasimo to write a book that captures her wisdom on how to Optimize our lives and give the world all we’ve got. And... The wait is over! Pilar is one of the wisest people I know. Among many other things, she created Experience Life magazine (which currently reaches over 3 million people per year) and is the co-host of the Living Experiment podcast with Dallas Hartwig (co-founder of Whole30). The lead quote for this book perfectly captures the thesis of the book. It’s from Jiddu Krishnamurti. He tells us: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Yep. That’s about right. In a society in which the VAST majority of us are sick and tired and anxious and depressed and, well, blah... IT IS NO MEASURE OF HEALTH TO BE WELL ADJUSTED TO THAT SICK SOCIETY. (Right?) Enter: The Healthy Deviant. This “Rule Breaker’s Guide" is packed with Big Ideas on how we can "Be Healthy in an Unhealthy World.”

Get The Healthy Deviant on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Deviant-Breakers-Guide-Unhealthy/dp/1623174252

Learn more about Pilar Gerasimo: https://www.optimize.me/authors/pilar-gerasimo/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: THE UDR
- The Living Experiment Podcast Interview (49s) → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JWTNyW_bTQ
- “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti → https://www.optimize.me/quotes/jiddu-krishnamurti/1335215-it-is-no-measure-of-health-to-be-well-adjusted/

Big Idea 2: HEALTHY DEVIANCE
- “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~Mark Twain → https://www.optimize.me/quotes/mark-twain/20637-whenever-you-find-yourself-on-the-side-o/
- PN: Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/self-reliance-ralph-waldo-emerson/
- +1: The Choice of Hercules | Vice Dressed up as Virtue (#1036) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-choice-of-hercules/
- Conquering Cancer 101 + 102 → https://Optimize.me/cancer
- PN: Eat, Move, Sleep by Tom Rath → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/eat-move-sleep-tom-rath/
- +1: The Invisible Gorilla | And the Spotlight of Your Attention (#859) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-invisible-gorilla/

Big Idea 3: RENEGADE RITUALS
- +1: AM + PM Bookends | How to Create Masterpiece Days: Start Here! (#78) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/am-pm-bookends/
- +1: Micradian Rhythms | The Rhythms of Life: Circadian + Ultradian + Micradian (#283) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/micradian-rhythms/
- +1: Digital Sunset | Bedtime for Your Electronics (#152) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/digital-sunset/
- +1: Cortisol and Melatonin | Teeter Totter Buddies (#1173) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/cortisol-and-melatonin/
- +1: PM Counts Twice | PM → AM + DAY + PM = #carpediem (#1007) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/pm-counts-twice/
- Energy 101 → https://www.optimize.me/master-class/energy-101/

Big Idea 4: DITCH YOUR DIET
- +1: Don’t Drink Sugar | “The Single-Biggest Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Health” (#1247) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/dont-drink-sugar/
- Optimal Weight 101 → https://www.optimize.me/master-class/optimal-weight-101/

Big Idea 5: SOMETHING WRONG
- +1: Make the Connection | What’s Working? What Needs Work? (#374) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/make-the-connection/
- Learn more about Pilar and her work at https://TheHealthyDeviant.com/
- Learn more about The Living Experiment Podcast at https://livingexperiment.com/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on Everything Is Figureoutable and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 21, 2020
In our last +1, we got our inner Freak on as we spent some time with Dav!d Rendall and learned to embrace constraints as we reminded ourselves to approach this whole game of life as Optimalists rather than Perfectionists—using our ideals as GUIDING STARS not distant shores.
 
We explored the value of constraints on a high level. 
 
I promised to talk about the idea in a little more detail in terms of choosing what we want to do with our lives AND in the day-to-day of actually making things happen.
 
So…
 
Dav!d kicks off the chapter on the power of limiting our options with a quote from Seth Godin who tells us: “You really can’t try to do everything, especially if you intend to be the best in the world.” 
 
Amen.
 
And, as I read this chapter I thought of chats I had back in the day with Steve Chandler when he and I worked 1-on-1. 
 
He loved Alan Watts’s wisdom that tennis is more fun with a court (constraints!) and Igor Stravinsky’s wisdom that “The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees oneself. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision in the execution.”
 
As I searched the ol’ database of 600+ Notes on my Mac to find that Stravinsky quote, I found this parallel wisdom from Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist.
 
He tells us: “In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s really important to them. Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities.
 
The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying. The way to get over creative block is to simply place some constraints on yourself. It seems contradictory, but when it comes to creative work, limitations mean freedom... The right constraints can lead to your very best work. My favorite example? Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat with only 236 different words, so his editor bet him he couldn’t write a book with only 50 different words. Dr. Seuss came back and won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, one of the bestselling children’s books of all time.”
 
(btw: As I reread that, I thought of our Note on the brilliant biography Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel where we talk about those exact same constraints. Check it out!)
 
As I chat about in our Notes on Steal Like an Artist, I LOVE constraints. 
 
They are my friend (when I remember them). 
 
Obvious constraints I use creatively include: Each PhilosophersNote is SIX pages long. Not 3 or 8 or 12 or... SIX. 
 
The +1s are short and sweet not crazy long. (Except for the rare +11. lol) 
 
The Optimal Living 101 classes and Mastery Series sessions? They’re each 10 Ideas and around an hour. Not 3 or 7 or 14 or 22. TEN! (Hah.)
 
Today’s +1.
 
Back to YOU. 
 
What limitations can you impose on yourself? 
 
How can you CONSTRAIN your options more so you can enjoy your life more?
 
Remember the Paradox of Choice. And The Illusion of Choice.
 
Simplify. Go all in. On being your best.
 
TODAY.
Sep 21, 2020

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Food Fix by Mark Hyman, MD. Hope you enjoy!

Mark Hyman, MD, is head of strategy for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and board president for the Institute for Functional Medicine. He is also the bestselling author of a number of books, including Eat Fat, Get Thin. This is a very important and equally sobering book. As Mark says: "If we were to identify one big lever to pull to improve global health, create economic abundance, reduce social injustice and mental illness, restore environmental health, and reverse climate change, it would be transforming our entire food system. That is the most important work of our time—work that must begin now.” In the Note we take a quick look at the dysfunction of the food system and how to fix it while talking about the #1 thing YOU can do TODAY to address it. We also chat about the fact that your food label may be lying to you, the ENORMOUS amount of money the junk food industry spends on junk science (think: $12 BILLION) and the social justice issues of food.

Get Food Fix on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Food-Fix-Economy-Communities-Planet-One/dp/031645317X

Learn more about Mark Hyman, MD: https://www.optimize.me/authors/mark-hyman/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: THE BROKEN SYSTEM
- Mark Hyman → https://www.optimize.me/authors/mark-hyman/

Big Idea 2: #1 FIX = RULE #1
- +1: Don’t Drink Sugar | “The Single-Biggest Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Health” (#1247) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/dont-drink-sugar/
- +1: Cancer Candy (Aka Sugar) | And All It’s Secret Identities (#1177) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/cancer-candy-aka-sugar/
+1: The Case Against Sugar | Is Very Strong (#685) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-case-against-sugar/

Big Idea 3: LYING LABELS
- +1: Your Food Label | Is It Lying to You? (#1244) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/your-food-label/

Big Idea 4: JUNK SCIENCE
- +1: Junk Food’s Junk Science | Did You Know…? (#1245) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/junk-foods-junk-science/
- +1: Sugar Math | It Adds Up. Fast! (#1178) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/sugar-math/
- Optimal Weight 101 | How to Optimize our Metabolism to Easily Sculpt our Ideal Bodies while Energizing to Actualize → https://www.optimize.me/weight/

Big Idea 5: FOOD Rx
- +1: Cancer’s Roots & Leaves | Modern Medicine: Strengths + Weaknesses → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/cancers-roots-and-leaves/
- Tom Rath → https://www.optimize.me/authors/tom-rath/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on Food Fix and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 20, 2020

Today we tap into some insights after a good night of sleep, chat briefly about Surveillance Capitalism (and Digital Minimalism) before I share the first steps in my new book: OPTIMIZE - A Handbook for the Modern Hero.

Sep 20, 2020

Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (← Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!)
Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (← Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Breath by James Nestor. Hope you enjoy!

Breath. It’s the missing pillar in health. We’ve been talking about this for years and we’ve included breathing among our fundamentals since I first read Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage. And, I just LOVE the way James captures the importance of breathing in this book. The first words on the inside flap of the book deliver the point with a sledgehammer: “No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or strong you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly.” Big Ideas we explore include how to breathe optimally and why it's so important, the #1 tip, oral posture (how's yours?) and the perfect breath (think 5.5 + 5.5 for 5.5!).

Get Breath on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Breath-New-Science-Lost-Art/dp/0735213615

Learn more about James Nestor: https://www.optimize.me/authors/james-nestor/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: MOUTH vs. NOSE
- Breathing 101 → https://www.optimize.me/breathing
- PN: The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-oxygen-advantage-patrick-mckeown/

Big Idea 2: CO2
- +1: Breathe Less | To Breathe Right (#1231) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/breathe-less/

Big Idea 3: #1 TIP
- +1: The Rules of Breathing | The Big 3: Nose + Belly + Exhale (#485) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-rules-of-breathing/

Big Idea 4: ORAL POSTURE
- +1: Oral Posture ← How's Yours? | High Fiving the Magic Spot in Our Mouths (#1229) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/oral-posture-hows-yours/
- +1: The Thread Thru Your Head | Pull It Up for Poise and Relaxed Power (#462) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-thread-thru-your-head/
- +1: The Magic Spot in Our Mouths | High Five It and Shine! (#1230) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-magic-spot-in-our-mouths/

Big Idea 5: PERFECT BREATH
- +1: The Perfect Breath | 5.5 + 5.5 + 5.5 (#1228) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-perfect-breath/
- +1: The Greatest Predictor of Longevity | Genetics? Diet? Exercise? Nope… Try: Lung Capacity! (#1227) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-greatest-predictor-of-longevity/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on Breath and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 19, 2020

Today we have fun meeting the new Optimize (Hero) (Virtue) Compass and I share some interesting HRV and RHR data over last three days looking at effects of last meal, ice baths, etc.

Sep 19, 2020

Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (← Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!)
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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Life's Great Question by Tom Rath. Hope you enjoy!

I’m a big fan of Tom Rath and his work. And... I’m not alone. His 10 books have sold over 10 million copies. Dan Pink (author of Drive and When) calls him “One of the most successful nonfiction writers of his generation.” We featured two of his earlier books: Eat Move Sleep and Are You Fully Charged? Plus: His children’s book called The Rechargeables remains one of my all-time favorites. “Life’s Great Question” that beckons all of us (“What can I contribute?”) is beautifully framed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that kicks off the book: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” This book is a field manual to help us go about answering that question so we can, as per the subtitle of the book: “Discover How You Contribute to the World.” Big Ideas we explore include creating a sense of urgency in life, Purpose 2.0, connecting what we do to those we serve, undivided attention (our new secret weapon), and creating the energy to be our best.

Get Life's Great Question on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Great-Question-Discover-Contribute/dp/1939714176

Learn more about Tom Rath: https://www.optimize.me/authors/tom-rath/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 2: PURPOSE 2.0
- +1: Purpose 2.0 | Time for a Purpose Upgrade? (#1094) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/purpose-2-0/
- +1: Life’s Great Question | Can You Guess What It Is? (#1093) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/lifes-great-question/
- PNTV: The Courage Quotient → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-courage-quotient-robert-biswas-diener/
- +1: Love 2.0 (vs. Love 1.0) | Ready to Upgrade Today? (401) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/love-20-vs-love-10/

Big Idea 3: CONNECTING
- +1: How to Meaningify Your Work | In One Simple Step… (#1095) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-meaningify-your-work/

Big Idea 4: UNDIVIDED
- PN: Deep Work by Cal Newport → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/deep-work-cal-newport/
- +1: Deep Work | How to Escape Shallowville and Go Deep (#36) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/deep-work/
- PNTV: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/digital-minimalism-cal-newport/

Big Idea 5: ENERGY
- PN: Are You Fully Charged? by Tom Rath → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/are-you-fully-charged-tom-rath/
- PNTV: The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb, PhD → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-upward-spiral-alex-korb/
- +1 Make the Connection | What’s Working? What Needs Work? (#374) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/make-the-connection/

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Sep 18, 2020

After a very brief retirement, I'm back. lol. Missed you. Let's goooo! As always: Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101

Sep 18, 2020

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from The Practicing Stoic by Ward Farnsworth. Hope you enjoy!

Ward Farnsworth is the Dean of the University of Texas School of Law. As you can imagine, he brings a logical precision to his discussion of Stoicism that is distinct and powerful. (Seriously. It’s actually ASTONISHINGLY powerful.) I really enjoyed the book and I highly recommend it for the aspiring Practicing Stoic. Big Ideas we explore include Principle #1 of practical Stoicism (Judgment!), the good life vs. the good mood (virtue for the win!), what others think (<- pro tip: ignore it), preferred indifference (committed but not attached), and using adversity as fuel for our Optimizing (use Hermes' magic wand!).

Get The Practicing Stoic on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Practicing-Stoic-Philosophical-Users-Manual/dp/1567926118/

Learn more about Ward Farnsworth: https://www.optimize.me/authors/ward-farnsworth/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: PRINCIPLE #1
- Stoicism 101 → https://Optimize.me/stocisim
- +1: The Space | Between Stimulus and Response (#452) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-space/

Big Idea 2: THE GOOD LIFE VS. THE GOOD MOOD
- +1: The Good Life | vs. The Good Mood (#1126) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-good-life/
- +1: Don’t Aim at Success | Dedicate Yourself to a Cause Bigger Than Yourself (#1040) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/dont-aim-at-success/

Big Idea 3: WHAT OTHERS THINK
- +1: Euthymia | How to Live with Energized Tranquility (#100) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/euthymia/
- PN: Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/self-reliance-ralph-waldo-emerson/
- +1: Trust Thyself | Every Heart Vibrates to that Iron String (#614) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/trust-thyself/

Big Idea 4: PREF’D INDIFFERENCE
- +1: Arrows and Our Friend Apollo | A Handy Tool for Rocking It (#199) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/arrows-and-our-friend-apollo/
- Donald Robertson → https://www.optimize.me/authors/donald-robertson/
- PN: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Roberton → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/how-to-think-like-a-roman-emperor-donald-robertson/

Big Idea 5: ADVERSITY = FUEL
- +1: Your Secret Weapon | Thank You, Epictetus and Hermes (#1129) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/your-secret-weapon/
- Behind-the-Scenes at Optimize Coach Graduation Weekend: OMMS → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUw5E1gRf0U

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on The Practicing Stoic and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
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- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 17, 2020
In our last couple +1s, we’ve been chatting about Trevor Moawad’s wisdom on what he calls “neutral thinking.”
 
We started by hanging out with Russell Wilson en route to winning a Super Bowl. Then we visited the Johnson Ranch to discuss my relationship with our new chickens and their poop.
 
(Yes, I can’t get enough of those emojis…)
 
So…
 
The morning after that chat I had with Emerson about how to approach the chicken situation either negatively, positively, or neutrally, we were doing our family workout—which currently features me chasing the kids on their bikes as we have fun going around the 1/2-mile Trail-loop we created around our property. 
 
Only…
 
This morning, Emerson’s bike had a flat tire. 
 
He immediately started crying—super bummed he wouldn’t be able to ride his epic lime green (lol) bike around the Trail as planned.
 
So…
 
I cruised over and said, “Buddy! Your tire’s flat. That’s a bummer. I get it. And.. Remember that chat we had last night about neutral thinking?” 
 
Emerson: “Yah.”
 
Me: “Well…. Let’s get neutral! WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
 
He said, “To ride my bike.” 
 
I said, “Exactly. So what can we do to make that happen?” 
 
He said, “Get the bike pump and fill up the tire.” 
 
I said, “Exactly.” 
 
We cruised into the barn, found it. Pumped up the tire. The air surprisingly held. 
 
<- Boom. Done.
 
Tire was filled. He was off to the Trail races.
 
And, that’s Today’s +1.
 
Got any metaphorical flat tires in your life?
 
(Echo: Of course you do. You’re human!)
 
How are you reacting? 
 
Negatively? Positively? Neutrally?
 
Back to Trevor: “That’s neutral. Staying in the moment, giving each moment its own history, and reacting to events as they unfold. It takes away emotion and replaces it with behaviors. Instead of asking, ‘How do I feel?’ you should be asking yourself, ‘What do I do?’”
 
You can develop these skills if you’re willing to let go of a few things. Negative, cynical thinking doesn’t make you more realistic. It just makes you negative and cynical. Biased thinking doesn’t help you either. You need to steer clear of your feelings and make an honest assessment of each situation you face. Don’t worry about what you feel. Rely on what you know.”
 
Back to you.
 
NEUTRAL thinking. 
 
It works.
 
Try it.
 
TODAY.
Sep 16, 2020

Today we hit the pause button on the ol' #1s as it's taking a little more Energy + Focus than I'm willing to give it vis-a-vis my truly What's Important Now targets. I think I'll be back with these near the end of the year to make sure we're wrapping up 2020 with antifragile ferocity and getting ready to make 2021 THE Greatest Year of our Lives.

In the meantime, PNTVs every day thru end of year. And Top 3 kicking off October 1st. LET'S! DO!! THIS!!!

As always: Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/

Sep 16, 2020
In our last +1, we spent some more time with Trevor Moawad and explored some more wisdom from his great book, It Takes What It Takes.
 
As you may recall, we chatted about neutral thinking.
 
As Trevor says: “No matter where I work, the same truth keeps emerging. Neutral thinking is the key to unlocking a set of behaviors that can turn also-rans into champions and champions into legends.”
 
Today I want to bring that wisdom to life with a little personal example from the Johnson Ranch here outside Austin. 
 
So…
 
As I was reading the book, I took a break and explained this idea to Emerson. 
 
Here’s the example I used: Our chickens. And their poop. 
 
Quick context: As we’ve discussed, we just moved to the country. We got some chickens because we thought they’d be awesome. They are. The kids love them, etc. 
 
And... 
 
Those gals (and guy) sure know how to poop! And, they seem to especially love to do their work under our beautiful back patio where I often meditate in the morning as the sun’s rising.
 
Let’s just say that the meditation scene is slightly less idyllic with the chicken poop wafting up. (Hah.)
 
So…
 
Back to the book.
 
I told Emerson that the guy who wrote the book had a dad who was really into all this stuff and taught him a bunch when he was a kid. I smiled and rubbed his awesome little head as I imagined what HE might have to say in a few decades.
 
Then we talked about the difference between negative thinking, positive thinking and neutral thinking.
 
I gave him an example of my own negative thinking as it related to those chickens and their poop. (Note: That’s always one of the best ways to deliver a message. Start with our own shortcomings—don’t start with someone else’s!)
 
My negative thinking went something like this: “Those chickens!!! Their poop STINKS!! Why do they need to hang out under the porch and then poop where they hang out? I think we might want to find them a new home.”
 
(He might have heard me say something along those lines more than once in my less-enlightened moments, so the example was quickly understood. lol)
 
Then I told him that the “positive” thinking would go something like this: “It’s not so bad and the chickens are so great.”
 
He immediately knew that that simply wasn’t honest and true and wouldn’t be the optimal approach.
 
Then I told him that neither of those approaches was as effective as NEUTRAL thinking.
 
Neutral thinking would go something like this: “The chickens are pooping under the patio. It stinks. The kids love them and we need a better solution. So, let’s limit their access to that location and figure out a poop control protocol. Next step: Order some chicken wire for the bottom of the patio and install it.”
 
<- Boom. Done. 
 
Emerson got it immediately. 
 
And, he still has his chickens. 
 
Today’s +1.
 
Got any chicken poop in your life? 
 
If you feel so inspired, let’s run it through a quick analysis.
 
What’s the negative thinking you might be running on it?
 
How about the positive thinking?
 
And what about the neutral thinking?
 
All of which leads us back to Trevor’s dad. You know what he taught him as a kid?
 
To get rid of the “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
 
Let’s do that.
 
TODAY.
 
(And, please wish me luck with the chickens. lol)
Sep 16, 2020

Admiral William H. McRaven is a Retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served for thirty-seven years and commanded at every level. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment was as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. (During this time, he oversaw the covert mission that killed Osama bin Laden.) In 2014, he gave the commencement address to the graduates of the University of Texas at Austin. Millions of people wound up watching his speech on ten lessons he learned from his Navy SEAL training. This book takes a deeper look at those ten lessons. It’s a super-quick read—packed with simple, yet profound wisdom along with moving stories of moral exemplars. It's FANTASTIC.

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