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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at optimize.me.)
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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time
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Now displaying: Category: +1
Nov 2, 2017

Get instant access to hundreds of free Optimize +1s (and unlock the full Optimize experience) at https://Optimize.me
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+1 #20: How to Stop Thinking The #1 Tip on How to Master this Important Lost Art (Inspired by Patrick McKeown)

https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-...

Patrick McKeown is one of the world’s leading experts on optimal breathing.

When I interviewed him recently, he made a very interesting point. He said that we spend all our lives in school learning how to think but that we’re never taught how to STOP thinking.

Fact is, most of our “thinking” isn’t thinking at all. We’re simply looping the same unproductive thought over and over again.

Get this: According to a study done at USC, the average person has 70,000 thoughts per day. And, according to some experts, 80-90% of those thoughts are useless.

That’s crazy. (Literally.)

It’s also really enervating. We waste a ton of energy spinning our mental wheels—creating more stress and anxiety and fatigue while diminishing our performance and well-being. (Not a winning combination.)

So, learning how to STOP thinking is a very important skill.

Patrick’s #1 tip on how to master the art of not thinking?

Breathe.

Specifically, breathe through your nose. Deeply (but lightly!) into your diaphragm.

(One of Patrick’s Big Ideas we’ll talk about more in another +1 is the fact that we all breathe way too much—which, paradoxically, decreases the amount of oxygen released into our cells.)

For now: Breathe through your nose. Deeply. Yet lightly.

And, ahhhhh…

Our mind has slowed down. All that wasted energy is recouped.

btw: Two other ways to stop that mental chatter? Put your attention on your body = #2. And the final tip from Patrick? Immerse yourself in the present moment.

Let’s think productively when it’s appropriate to do so. And then get really good at turning the brain off.

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Get instant access to hundreds of free Optimize +1s (and unlock the full Optimize experience) at https://Optimize.me

Oct 31, 2017
Gold-medal-winning mental toughness coach and author Lanny Bassham is all about focusing on the PROCESS of goal achievement. He tells a great story about one of his clients—a pro golfer. 
 
Now, this professional golfer was struggling a bit. He was setting his goals for the year and Lanny told him not to think about winning tournaments but to put all of his attention on mastering the process of playing well—identifying the key components of a successful shot and then taking it, literally, one shot at a time. 
 
So, this golfer embraces the wisdom. Early in the season, he's out on the 18th green in the final round of a big tournament. He's lining up his putt, following the process he and Lanny established. He makes the putt. 
 
His playing partner shakes his hand and congratulates him. 
 
Then he realizes something must be up when his wife runs on to the green cheering. 
 
"Did I win?" he asks. 
 
Yah. You just won the tournament and 1 million dollars. 
 
Imagine that. Imagine being so focused on executing the next baby in your process that you don't even know you're sinking a million dollar putt. 
 
And guess what? 
 
You are (of course) much more likely to sink the putt when every ounce of your creative energy is focused on doing your best and not leaking out in concerns about doing well enough. 
 
Process vs. Outcome.
 
Where’s your focus? 
Oct 30, 2017
In his great book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb walks us through the fact that there’s a big difference between being fragile, being resilient, and being ANTIfragile.
 
In short:
 
If you’re fragile and life hits you hard, you break.
 
If you’re resilient and life hits you hard, you withstand more and… eventually…  you break.
 
But…
 
If you’re ANTIFRAGILE, when life hits you hard you actually get stronger.
 
Think about that. 
 
The more you get kicked around and challenged by life, the S T R O N G E R you get. 
 
Wouldn’t that be awesome?
 
As Nassim tells us and we would be wise to remember: A wind extinguishes a candle but fuels a fire.”
 
Let’s build a bonfire.
 
(On that note, how about this gem from Rumi: I am burning. If anyone lacks tinder, let him set his rubbish ablaze with my fire.”)
Oct 28, 2017
At this point, most of us know that Roger Bannister was the first person to break the 4-minute mile. Very smart people of his era said that it was impossible. Period. End of story. He, of course, wasn’t so sure.
 
But here’s what’s awesome: Do you know how Roger trained to do the impossible? 
 
Hint: He broke down his goal into bite-sized pieces.
 
Here’s how: First, he trained until he could run a quarter mile in a minute. (Nice job!) Then he trained until he could run half a mile in two minutes. (Well done!) Then he trained until he could run three-quarters of a mile in three minutes. (Sweet!) Then he trained until he thought he could run the full mile in less than four minutes.
 
And, voila!
 
On May 6, 1954 at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, the time keeper looked down and saw these magic numbers: 3:59.4.
 
Roger achieved the impossible by breaking his impossible” goal into little bite-size, do-able pieces—which is always a very good idea. (As Henry Ford once said, Nothing is particularly hard if you break it into enough small pieces.”)
 
How about you?
 
What’s your jumbo-big exciting goal? You know, the thing you would do if you weren't afraid?
 
Yah. That one. 
 
Write it down in a few words. 
 
Now, let's chunk it down and give you your next bite-size doable target.
 
What's the very next micro-goal you need to hit en route to that big goal?! The thing that, once you achieve, will make it possible to hit the next target?
 
Got it? Awesome. 
 
Now… What’s your next baby step?
 
And, most importantly: Is now a good time to take it?
Oct 27, 2017
In our last +1, we had fun applying Rumi’s wisdom that God turns us from one feeling to another so we have two wings to fly and not one.
 
Today, we’ll look at another one of my favorite gems from Rumi.
 
He tells us: If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”
 
Think about that.
 
If you want to be polished (aka Optimized!!), how do you expect to get there if you’re irritated by every little rub of life?
 
Guess what?
 
It’s those rubs” (aka challenges!) that are MAKING YOU SO SHINY!!!
 
Rumi also tells us: This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace to extract the silver from the dross. This testing purifies the gold by boiling the scum away.”
 
Yep. 
 
That’s the ticket.
 
We need to embrace all the little rubs antifragile-style as we step into the furnace so we can burn the scum away. 
 
That’s Today’s +1.
 
Got any challenges these days?
 
Can you see how the ONLY way you’ve grown in the past is by overcoming challenges?
 
And that the challenges you’re facing today are simply opportunities for you to actually APPLY all these tools to get a little shinier?
 
Rub rub rub.
 
+1. +1. +1.
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