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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: Page 5
Aug 17, 2020
In our last +1, we Optimized our oral posture.
 
Bet you didn’t think we’d be talking about that when you signed up for Optimize! (Hah.)
 
I know I didn’t but here we are!
 
Recall: We want to turn our S-shaped bodies into a J-shape and then close our lips and gently place our tongues up toward the front of the roof of our mouths.
 
As it turns out, my favorite breathing expert, Patrick McKeown, wrote an awesome kid’s book in which he gives us a name for that spot. 
 
He calls it “The Magic Spot.”
 
So…
 
Teaching ourselves AND our kids how to breathe properly is SUPER important. (As in: WAY more important than we may realize.)
 
Patrick’s book is called Always Breathe Correctly. I highly recommend it. 
 
The book features a wizard who teaches kids how to breathe. 
 
Of course, he teaches us that the nose is for breathing and the mouth is for eating while teaching us to breathe gently into our bellies, etc.
 
And… 
 
He teaches us how to find that “Magic Spot”— with our tongues gently touching the area on the roof of our mouth right before our front teeth. When we hit that spot, we automagically close our lips and breathe through our nose.
 
Which is why if I ever see Emerson with a gaping mouth, I’ll say, “Magic spot, buddy!” 
 
He’ll immediately smile, close his lips, and proudly breathe through his nose as I give him a thumbs up and a quick sign-language “Love you, buddy!”
 
So…
 
As you go through the day Today, if you ever happen to find yourself with a mouth gaping open and air going in through the wrong hole, perhaps you can playfully hear me say to you:
 
“Magic spot, buddy!”
 
Then we’ll smile together and celebrate our little win as we get our shine on.
 
Together.
 
One breath at a time.
 
TODAY.
Aug 17, 2020

This morning we take the quick look at the ol’ Oura score and briefly reflect on the imperfect nature of sleep (especially when your wife stops breastfeeding and you sleep in a family bed! lol) then hit a ton of little things I thought might be interesting—ranging from thoughts on my pre-inputs creative process and systems and wrapping up with Being So Good and Energized and Awesome That They Can’t Ignore Us but they can Feel Us and Adore Us!

Hope you enjoy and Happy Monday.

Let’s do this!!!

-bri

Aug 16, 2020

This morning (after the 1-2-3!) I spent a few minutes going through the 100+ PhilosophersNotes on which I'll be doing PNTVs soon (YEEHAH!) and then got to work on my PN on Driven by Doug Brackmann. Here are some thoughts on Optimizing in general (Measure! Consistency!) and also on how to harness our drives in particular.

Hope you enjoy. Let's do this. TODAY!

-bri

Aug 15, 2020

Quick one this morning. 1-2-3, PNTVs are coming back—in black and white! lol—and this gem: “A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself he always seems to be doing both. Enough for him that he does it well.” ~ Lawrence Pearsall Jacks

Hope you enjoy and here’s to dissolving the apparent dichotomies between our work and our play! TODAY!

-bri

Aug 14, 2020

This morning I did the normal 1-2-3 (x2) and celebrated completing the Mastery Series. Then I got to work on reading a book called “Together.” It’s by Vivek Murthy, who was the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. It’s AMAZING. I share a few of my favorite ideas from chapter #1 and also give a little behind-the-scenes look at how I read a book, mark it all up and get ready for a PhilosophersNote.

Hope you enjoy and let’s make sure we write that social prescription TODAY!

Love and high fives,

-bri

Aug 13, 2020

Today I had fun hammering out the Introduction Module for the Mastery Series. Fired up. Done!! YES!! I also filmed this #1 on the fascinating Audience Effect and another test. 9 hours in bed for 8 hours of sleep for the win!! :)

Aug 12, 2020

This morning I ran a little experiment and got out of bed a little earlier than I normally do. It’s always fascinating to see the data from experiments and use it to get a little better! In this case: I really like 8 hours of sleep so, note to self: Be in bed for 9 hours and get that little extra bonus kick of REM, yo!

Hope you enjoy and here’s to crushing the fundamentals and making Today and awesome day!

Aug 11, 2020

Today we’re going to take a quick look at THE Ultimate Algorithm for Optimizing. But, first, we drool over Alexandra’s RIDICULOUSLY awesome Oura #s. lol. Then we have fun with some wisdom from two Phils: My Coach, Phil Stutz, and NBA great, Phil Jackson. Guess what? They both say the EXACT same thing about how to win the game of life.

As Phil Jackson puts it (in The Last Dance ← awesome): “You’re only a success in the moment you perform a successful act. You have to do it again.” ← And again. And again.

btw: THAT is what our Optimize Mastery Series is all about. Join us for Optimize Coach - Class III? Kicks off in less than 2 weeks!!! https://www.optimize.me/coach/

That is all. That and LET’S DO THIS! Today.

Aug 10, 2020

This morning I worked on the “Prospering” session for our Mastery Series (which is the foundation of our Optimize Coach program). After a 1-2-3 / 1+2+3! Breakfast of Champions (including savoring some *more* SEAL mojo), we move on to a quick overview of how to get your Prospering on—starting with the etymology lesson on the fact that the word “prosper” LITERALLY means “to go forward with hope.” The opposite isn’t “to be be poor” per se—unless we’re talking about “poor in spirit.” The opposite of “prosper” is “despair”--to be WITHOUT hope.

Then, of course, we talk about how to get our prospering on. Hope you enjoy and hope you have an awesome day!

More on Sleep at: https://www.optimize.me/sleep/
More on Coach at: https://www.optimize.me/coach/

Aug 9, 2020

This morning I worked on the “Celebrating” session for our Mastery Series (which is the foundation of our Optimize Coach program). After a 1-2-3 / 1+2+3! Breakfast of Champions (including savoring some SEAL mojo), we move on to a quick overview of how to get your celebration on—starting with acceptance then moving on to gratitude and finishing with you winning (or learning!) all day every day as you step into the Optimizing arena and give us all you’ve got while celebrating the whole process with deep, eudaimonic joy.

Hope you enjoy and hope you have an awesome day!

Aug 8, 2020

This morning I thought it would be fun to share how I start my day. Jocko Willink has his 4:00 AM Timex watch. Awesome. I’m thinking I’ll share my Oura data every day and how I quickly use that data to get a little better via a three-step process we teach our Optimizers and Optimize Coaches: 1. What’s working? 2. What needs work? 3. What will I do differently?

BOOM! Repeat. Aggregate and compound and let’s see what we’re capable of as we show up day in and day out for an extended period of time.

I also share my Breakfast of Champions and some more thoughts on the messy process of creativity! Now it’s time to hit the Trail and then take my kids to the zoo. LET’S DO THIS. TODAY.

Aug 7, 2020
In our last +1, we got an inspiring (Hoosiers-inspired) pep talk from Admiral McRaven right before engaging in our next most important mission.
 
I mentioned the fact that I had a chat with an Olympic swim coach shortly after reading that passage from McRaven. He and I chatted about that wisdom in the context of measuring the length of the pool, the number of inches the starting block is off the water. Etc. Etc.
 
We also talked about flipping the switch and striking an Amy Cuddy-inspired power pose—which can literally change our underlying physiology by increasing our testosterone and decreasing our cortisol while priming us to give the world all we’ve got.
 
Then I referenced a passage from Cuddy’s great book Presence in which she actually talks about an Olympic swim coach who used that very technique.
 
Here’s the passage: “In the first month after my TED talk posted, I heard from an Olympic swimming coach who explained how he’d been using a power posing-type strategy—with great success—for years: encouraging some of his swimmers, beginning on the morning of the race, to physically behave as if they’d won their events. Swimmers, as he pointed out, are notorious for their use of dominant body language in the moments before races, not only to signal their power to their competitors but also to loosen their muscles and pump themselves up. Sometimes they will literally pound their chests, like gorillas. But the approach this coach used—encouraging swimmers to adopt ‘alpha’ nonverbal postures from the minute they wake up on race days—was most helpful to swimmers who’d been thrown off by a poor performance or who were feeling a wave of insecurity and self-doubt.”
 
I love that. 
 
Imagine a swimmer on the morning of her event acting as if she’d already won (and getting the benefit of all that extra power).
 
As Cuddy tells us: We need to fake it until we become it. Not to manipulate others and gain power over them but to slightly trick ourselves for the moment so we can gain personal power to express the best, boldest, most authentic version of ourselves.
 
Love it. Let’s do it. Pom poms. Rah rah. Etc. 
 
And…
 
I say: Why limit it to the day of a swimming event?
 
How does the best, boldest, most authentic version of you think and breathe and walk and talk? 
 
Let’s bring that wonderfully bold version of ourselves to our lives all day ever day.
 
Especially: TODAY!
Aug 7, 2020

After filming Eating, Moving, Sleeping, Breathing, and Focusing over the last 5 days (YES!), I took a step back and did some messy creative work on Celebrating. Today I’m excited to share some thoughts on how I plan to approach that Mastery Series class along with some powerful wisdom from Abraham Maslow.

Hope you enjoy and here’s to Radical Acceptance, Profound Gratitude and Ceaseless Celebration!

Aug 6, 2020

This morning I prepared for my film session on Focusing for our Mastery Series that is the core part of our 300-day Optimize Coach program. Here’s a super-quick look at some core ideas from that class. Hope you find it helpful!!! Here’s to having an awesome day, one FOCUSED (!) moment at a time!!

Remember: Soul Force = T x (E x F x W.I.N.)^C

Aug 5, 2020

This morning I prepared for my film session on Breathing for our Mastery Series that is the core part of our 300-day Optimize Coach program.

Here’s a super-quick look at some core ideas from that class. Hope you find it helpful!!! Here’s to having an awesome day, one Optimized breath at a time!! 

Remember: 1. Nose. 2. Belly. 3. Exhale!!

Aug 4, 2020

This morning I was preparing to film a Mastery Series session for our Optimize Coach certification program. We have 7 core fundies: Eating, Moving, Sleeping, Breathing, Focusing, Celebrating and Prospering. Today I was prepping for Sleep.

So… Here’s a video with a super-quick overview of the wisdom we’ll be sharing with an emphasis on one of the key practices we want to engage in if we want to Optimize our Sleep. I call it “Training Tranquility.” If you’re having trouble falling/staying asleep you may want to try this out!

Hope you enjoy!!! Here’s to some epic sleep.

Aug 2, 2020
A couple +1s ago we spent some time pulling some weeds together as we created some new habits.
 
How? 
 
By STARTING SMALL and MAKING IT EASY!
 
(Am I repeating myself AND yelling?! Lol. Yes and Yes.)
 
Today I want to spend a little more time on our new property. We’re going to talk about my new weed whacker and the little running Trail Emerson and I created. 
 
First, a confession. 
 
I’d never used a weed whacker before we arrived at our new place out here in the country. (Note: I did mow the lawn (and our elderly neighbor’s lawn) every weekend growing up but I never got promoted to the weed whacker.)
 
And…
 
Just so you know: I’ve spent more time at Home Depot over the last few weeks than I had in my entire life. (Hah.) It’s been awesome.
 
New Identity: Rancher Bri! 
 
Yeehah!
 
So… 
 
One of the first things I did after we arrived? 
 
I created a little running Trail around the perimeter of our property. It’s a heavenly little loop that just so happens to be almost exactly a third of a mile. (Of course, I think in threes so running a mile was a good opportunity to think of The Big 3.)
 
Then Nama visited and suggested we create another part of the Trail at the other side of the property. I mapped it out and saw how it would perfectly connect with our existing loop. Then, after a nice day of Deep Work, I put on my Rancher Bri outfit and got to work.
 
And that’s when I started thinking about neuroplasticity.
 
Quick context: After going through my fair share of weed-whacker re-charges (and re-strings), I’m becoming a little more adept at this whole Trail-creation process.
 
What I learned is that it’s best to start with a simple little narrow strip that’s about a weed-whacker wide to kinda draw a basic directional line of where you want the Trail to go. 
 
Once I get that, I go a little wider. 
 
Then I go a little wider. 
 
Then I’ll rake it out to see what I missed.
 
Then I go back over it and make it just the right width.
 
And, of course, I’m trimming some branches back that might be hanging in the way and all that jazz as I go.
 
Then…
 
Voila. 
 
We have a v1 Trail.
 
Then, the more we go down that path, the more awesome it gets.
 
As it turns out, that’s actually a pretty good metaphor for how our brains wire (and rewire) themselves as we create new behaviors. 
 
I think it was in The Brain That Changes Itself (an amazing book that, for some reason, I haven’t done a Note on yet) that I was introduced to another, similar metaphor. 
 
Enter: Google search for “The Brain That Changes Itself sled metaphor.”
 
Yep.
 
In that great old-school book on neuroplasticity, Norman Doidge quotes Alvaro Pascual-Leone who tells us about the fact that when you go sledding on a freshly-snowed-on mountain, you tend to create a little groove that you tend to follow—both on the way up and the way down. By the end of the day after a bunch of trips up and down, you’re MUCH more likely to follow the grooved pattern.
 
(And, if you want to change those patterns, you're going to need to figure out how to block the old pathways and create some new ones!)
 
That’s what I was thinking about as I weed-whacked the extra .2 miles to our Trail—extending it to a nice .5 mile loop. (Those two laps for a mile make me think of having Strength for 2! Yes. I always think in Optimize-eze. lol)
 
So…
 
Today’s +1.
 
What Habit-Trails are you trying to create in your life?
 
Let’s have a basic MAP of where we’d like to go, be willing to start small (Tiny!) and lay the path for new behaviors as we widen those neural pathways with each pass through.
 
Weed whackers optional. 
 
Oh! 
 
Don’t forget. 
 
When you’re whacking away (on your new habits) in tall grass in a sub-tropical climate, the bug bites and scratches are to be expected.
 
Yeehah!
 
Let’s do this.
 
Today.
Jul 23, 2020
Today we’re going to revisit BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design Lab at Stanford. 
 
We’ve already talked about his equation: B = MAP. (Recall: Behavior happens when Motivation & Ability & Prompt converge at the same moment.”)
 
Professor Fogg also has some ABCs to help us master the process of Optimizing our behavior: Anchor + Behavior + Celebration.
 
Here’s how he describes the anatomy of Tiny Habits: 
 
1. ANCHOR MOMENT
An existing routine (like brushing your teeth) or an event that happens (like a phone ringing). The Anchor Moment reminds you to do the new Tiny Behavior.
 
2. NEW TINY BEHAVIOR
A simple version of the new habit you want, such as flossing one tooth or doing two push-ups. You do the Tiny Behavior immediately after the Anchor Moment.
 
3. INSTANT CELEBRATION
Something you do to create positive emotions, such as saying, ‘I did a good job!’ You celebrate immediately after doing the new Tiny Behavior.”
 
Want to install a habit? 
 
(Yah? Which one? Seriously. Pick one now and let’s work on it together…)
 
Know your ABCs: Anchor + Behavior + Celebration.
 
What’s the existing routine that can serve as your Prompt? (Note: James Clear and Charles Duhigg call our “Prompt” a “cue” in Atomic Habits and The Power of Habit, respectively.)
 
That “existing routine” is what BJ calls an ANCHOR. He tells us that “anchoring” our new behavior to something we ALREADY do is a really powerful way to Optimize the Behavior-changing process.
 
Now that you’ve got your Anchor, it’s time for the new behavior.
 
NOTE: We want that Behavior to be TINY. As in, CRAZY tiny.
 
One of the examples BJ uses is that after (key anchor word: “after”) he went pee while working from home, he’d do two push-ups. That’s it. TWO. Not twenty. TWO.
 
Now that we’ve got our Anchor and our (tiny!!) Behavior, it’s time to Celebrate.
 
How? 
 
IMMEDIATELY and INTENSELY. 
 
We’ll talk about this more soon. For now, give yourself a little fist pump with a “YES!!! That’s like me!” (Or whatever it is you do when you celebrate something awesome.)
 
Anchor + Behavior + Celebration.
 
That’s Today’s +1.
 
If you feel so inspired, MAP out the behavior you’d like to install. 
 
Then ABC it.
 
Let’s change our lives one Tiny little Habit at a time. 
 
TODAY.
 
+1. +1. +1.
 
P.S. If you feel REALLY inspired, sing it with me: Now I know my ABCs. Next time won’t you sing with me? 
Jul 18, 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. (You can watch it on YouTube here.)
 
He wrote a great little book expanding on those ten lessons. It’s named after the first lesson: Make Your Bed. (Joining 5,000+ 5-star Amazon reviewers, I HIGHLY recommend it. Get a copy here.)
 
We’ll talk about why that’s his #1 tip soon.
 
Today we’re going to talk about lesson #4: “Life’s Not Fair—Drive On!” in which we get introduced to the SEAL version of a sugar cookie. 
 
First, the wisdom. 
 
McRaven tells us: “It is easy to blame your lot in life on some outside force, to stop trying because you believe fate is against you. It is easy to think that where you were raised, how your parents treated you, or what school you went to is all that determines your future. Nothing could be further from the truth. The common people and the great men and women are all defined by how they deal with life’s unfairness: Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking, Malala Yousafzai, and—Moki Martin.
 
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are, you still end up a sugar cookie. Don’t complain. Don’t blame it on your misfortune. Stand tall, look to the future, and drive on!” 
 
So…
 
Each chapter-lesson features some wisdom gained from McRaven’s SEAL training along with some stories to bring the point home.
 
This lesson features a story about him becoming a sugar cookie.
 
In case you don’t know what a SEAL sugar cookie recipe looks like, it goes something like this: Run into the pounding surf wearing your boots and gear. Get yourself soaking wet from head to toe. Then roll in the sand until every inch of your body is covered in sand. Then go on with your day cold, wet and sandy as you enjoy that sugar cookie.
 
McRaven tells us about a time when he was forced to do a sugar cookie. He couldn’t figure out what standard he failed to meet that resulted in the reprimand.
 
Here’s the dialogue with his instructor:
 
“‘Mr. Mac, do you have any idea why you are a sugar cookie this morning?’ Martin said in a very calm but questioning manner.’
 
“‘No, Instructor Martin,’ I dutifully responded.
 
‘Because, Mr. Mac, life isn’t fair and the sooner you learn that the better off you will be.’”
 
Imagine that. 
 
You do everything JUST right.
 
Bed’s made perfectly. Uniform is nice and crisp. 
 
You’ve rocked all your fundies and executed your business (or energy or relationship) strategy perfectly.
 
And, even after doing your best... 
 
You FAIL. 
 
Then what? 
 
Then we remind ourselves of the fact (!) that life’s not fair as we “stand tall, look to the future, and drive on!” 
 
btw: McRaven’s instructor in that story was a guy named Moki Martin. He was the quintessential super-fit, perfect specimen of a SEAL. Then he got in an accident while training for a triathlon. Paralyzed from the legs down. “For the past thirty-five years, Moki has been in a wheelchair. In all those years, I never once heard him complain about his misfortune in life. Never once did I hear him ask, “Why me?’ Never once did he display an ounce of pity for himself.”
 
Here’s to embracing the inevitable sugar cookies life serves up as we, one more time: “stand tall, look to the future, and drive on!” 
Jul 13, 2020
Today we’re going to go back to Jim Kwik and his great book Limitless one more time.
 
One of the key themes of the book is that we all have a unique blend of background and passions and skills.
 
He echoes the wisdom we talked about in a +1 back in the day featuring wisdom from Ken Robinson in which Ken tells us that the right question isn’t “Are you intelligent?” but… “HOW are you intelligent?
 
Jim tells us that we’re all unique and that our challenge is to discover our special combination of awesome that makes us shine.
 
Then he quotes Albert Einstein who once said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it’s stupid.”
 
And that’s Today’s +1.
 
Let’s quit asking ourselves whether or not we’re intelligent.
 
OF COURSE YOU ARE.
 
(And so are your kids and colleagues and, well, everyone else you’ll interact with Today.)
 
The question is: HOW are you intelligent?
 
Seriously.
 
How are you intelligent?!
 
Think about ONE thing you do REALLY well. Perhaps SO WELL that you take it for granted.
 
Let’s take that gift AS granted and go double down on it.
 
T O D A Y.
Jul 8, 2020
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that, if we could figure out how to take 30 EXPONENTIAL steps, we’d be able to hop in a rocket and go around the Earth two DOZEN times.
 
Rather than get 90 feet down the street, we’d get a few BILLION steps further in our joyful jaunt around the Earth.
 
That’s crazy.
 
And, well, that’s the power of aggregating and compounding seemingly small changes that can have huge impacts on our lives as we watch the magic exponentially grow.
 
I LOVE all the metaphors we can use to think about the power of just showing up again and again and again.
 
We’ve talked about the doubling penny, collecting coins, melting ice cubes, hitting the rock, figuring out combination locks, and rocking marginal gains.
 
Obviously, the metaphors are just metaphors but they all make the same primary point: It’s all about CONSISTENCY.
 
We need to show up again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and …
 
BOOM! 
 
Magic.
 
Which is why I was so fired up to make a little distinction while I was preparing for our Mastery Series session on Work in our Module on Carpe Diem.
 
The basic theme of the class is how to create “Genius Work vs. Mediocre Work.”
 
(I’ll save the details on that distinction for another +1.)
 
As I was preparing for the class, I knew I was going to focus on the equation we’ve been talking about lately:
 
Astonishing Work = Time x (Energy x Focus x What’s Important Now)
 
or: T x (E x F x W.I.N.)
 
Then I had a wonderful epiphany.
 
I added a little C right at the end of that equation.
 
Like so: T x (E x F x W.I.N.)c
 
A choir of angels began to sing as I thought through the implications of the new, Optimized equation: Genius Work = Time x (Energy x Focus x What’s Important Now)Consistency
 
I quickly made some notes.
 
If your Energy is a 100 and your Focus is a 100 and you’re working on a 100-Level Important thing you’d get 1 million points of awesome. 
 
That’s 1,000 (!) times more awesome than if your Energy, Focus and WIN was at a 10.
 
But…
 
Get this.
 
If we believe CONSISTENCY is an exponential force multiplier, then we’d be better off plodding along at the lower numbers but at least doing so consistently.
 
Get this.
 
Although (100 x 100 x 100) is 1,000,000 points of awesome, we’ve gotta know that if we get a ZERO in the consistency score then (100 x 100 x 100)0 = ZERO.
 
Whereas, although (10 x 10 x 10) is only 1,000 points of awesome, we’ve gotta know that if we get a ONE HUNDRED in the consistency score then (10 x 10 x 10)100 = a HUGE number. It almost breaks the calculator coming in at 1e+300. ← That’s a 1 followed by THREE HUNDRED Zeros.
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
 
Now, here’s the kicker.
 
What do you think would happen if we were able to get ALL of our variables up to a 100?
 
Our Energy is a 100.
Our Focus is a 100.
Our W.I.N. is a 100.
 
AND…
 
Our Consistency is a 100.
 
What’s 1,000,000 to the power of 100?
 
Can you guess?
 
 
Answer: It’s INFINITY.
 
And, that’s Today’s +1.
 
Want to have fun seeing just how Limitless you can go?
 
Get your Energy Optimized. Get your Focus Optimized. Get your ability to focus on What’s Important Now Optimized.
 
And then go do it CONSISTENTLY.
 
Starting Today.
 
+100 +100 +100 to the 100th power.
Jul 3, 2020
Continuing our brief foray through Jim Qwik’s brain and book, let’s talk about the power of getting into Flow.
 
Jim tells us that being able to flip the switch and drop into a powerful Flow state is one of the keys to tapping into our (Limitless!!) superpowers.
 
He quotes Steven Kotler in The Rise of Superman to make his point.
 
Here’s how Steven puts it: “To put it another way: flow is the telephone booth where Clark Kent changes clothes, the place from where Superman emerges.”
 
I LOVE that image of Clark Kent stepping into the phone booth of Flow and coming out as Superman.
 
Reminds me of this +1 on Clark Kent flipping the switch and striking a power pose to get his Superman on.
 
And…
 
As I read this passage (and chapter from Limitless), I was reminded of our recent +1 on our new Astonishing Work Equation
 
Recall, if we want to REALLY crush it, we’d be wise to focus on three variables: 
 
Astonishing Quality Work = Time x (Energy x Focus x W.I.N.)
 
I made the point that, math wise, if your Energy is at a 10 and your Focus is at a 10 and you’re working on the 10 What’s Important Now task, you can work ONE hour and still get a 1,000 on the Astonishing Quality Work scale.
 
But…
 
If your Energy is at a 1 and your Focus is at a 1 and you’re working on a 1-level What’s Important Now task, you’d have to work 1,000 (!) hours to match your Astonishing Quality Work score.
 
BUT…
 
You know what? That’s actually not even accurate.
 
The reality is, when we’re REALLY plugged in, we can create at levels that are simply IMPOSSIBLE to create at in any non-awesome state.
 
As such, I think we should swap out our 1 to 10 scale for a 1 to 100 to make the point even more powerfully.
 
So…
 
On a 1 to 100 scale, if your Energy is at a 100 and your Focus is at a 100 and you’re working on the 100 What’s Important Now task, you can work an hour and get 1 MILLION Astonishing Work points.
 
Drop your Energy to a 10 and your Focus to a 10 and your W.I.N. to a 10 and your 1,000 is 1/1000th of what you could have done.
 
Yep.
 
That’s about right.
 
Today’s +1.
 
How’s your SuperFlow Math looking these days?
 
What’s working Energy + Focus + W.I.N.-wise?
 
What needs some work?
 
And what can will you do to Optimize?!
 
Here’s to stepping into the telephone booth of Flow and tapping into our Superpowers.
 
TODAY!!!!
Jun 28, 2020
In our last +1, we had some fun playing with Cal Newport’s Deep Work equation. We modified it from: 
  • High Quality Work Produced = Time Spent x Intensity of Focus
to:
  • High Quality Work Produced = Time Spent x Quality of Energy x Intensity of Focus
The basic idea: You can get a TON of high quality work produced when you Focus your best Energy.
 
Today I want to add one more variable to our equation and then do some quick math to bring the point home.
 
Let’s go back to that last sentence and drop in another variable.
 
The basic idea: You can get a TON of high quality work produced when you Focus your best Energy on WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT NOW.
 
Think about it.
 
If we have GREAT Energy and we focus that like a laser beam on what’s truly most important right now? 
 
And then we write some algorithms to make THAT our default so we’re accreting more and more value day in and day out?
 
We can create at an astonishing level. 
 
Enter the latest edition of our equation:
  • Astonishing Productivity = Time Spent x (Quality of Energy x Intensity of Focus x W.I.N.!)
Now, let’s do some math to bring the point home.
 
For the sake of very round numbers while recognizing it’s much more nuanced than this, let’s say your Energy is at a 10. Your Focus is at a 10 and you’re working on a 10-level most important thing.
 
That part of the equation would be 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000.
 
Note: You could spend ONE hour working like that and achieve a 1,000 score on the Astonishing Productivity scale. (Go you!) (Reminds me of our +1 on The 1-Hour Workday. nerd face)
 
Now, to play with the other side of the spectrum, let’s say your Energy is at a 1, your Focus is at a 1 and you’re working on a 1-level of importance.
 
That part of the equation would be 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.
 
Note: You’d have to work 1,000 hours that day to achieve the same level of Astonishing Productivity. (Hah.) 
 
Again, it’s a bit more nuanced than that and we can tweak the equation to weigh different variables differently, etc.
 
BUT…
 
The point remains.
 
Get your ENERGY to as high a number as you can. FOCUS that (sun-like) Energy like a laser beam (through a magnifying glass) on THE MOST IMPORTANT THING and… 
 
VOILA.
 
Astonishing Productivity.
 
Do that again and again and again?
 
And, well, you’ll not just produce at an astonishing level, you’ll enjoy the eudaimonic Flow that comes when you consistently high five your daimon.
 
Let’s do that.
 
TODAY.
Jun 23, 2020
Continuing our brief tour through Kate Hefferon’s textbook on Positive Psychology and the Body, let’s flip open to the chapter on “Positive Nutrition.”
 
Hmmmm…
 
I wonder what science has to say about the impact of our diets on our wellbeing…
 
Guess where Kate starts her discussion? 
 
With sugar.
 
She tells us: “Sugar has been a component within western diets since the sixteenth century. While 500 years ago, the average human would be lucky to come across sugar, it is estimated that today the average Westerner consumes 3 lb of sugar a week. Overall, our sugar consumption per year has risen from 5 lb per person, per year in 1700, to 152 lb per person in 2000. Recent research has found evidence that sugar, while not only bad for our waistlines, can have deleterious effects on our brain. Sugar has been found to shrink areas responsible for important functions such as memory and mood regulation, wearing on the hippocampus.
 
We’ve talked about this before but let’s pause and contemplate that math one more time.
 
500 years ago? Basically NO SUGAR.
 
(Pause, reflect on that. Pretty please. With sugar not on top?)
 
Then, 300 years ago, we were consuming about 5 lbs of sugar.
 
Today? 
 
Today the average Westerner consumes 150 lbs of sugar every year.
 
So… 
 
Millions of years of evolution. Close to zero consumption of sugar. Now 150 POUNDS of sugar on average EVERY YEAR.
 
Hmmm…
 
I wonder if that might have any negative consequences?
 
Back to Kate who tells us that researchers “conducted a cross-national study (Korea, USA, France, Germany, Canada, New Zealand) on the relationship between sugar consumption and incidence of major depression. They found that ‘there was a highly significant correlation between sugar consumption (cal/cap/day) and the annual rate of depression.’ While this study has some major limitations, it highlights the importance of re-assessing the manufacturing of processed food and the role of sugar within our diets.”
 
Today’s +1.
 
SUGAR!!! 
 
One more time: It does a mind and body bad.
 
Not only does it mess with our insulin/metabolism and lead to a lot of the crippling, chronic BODY diseases we’re dealing with as a society, it also wreaks havoc on our MINDS and leads to a lot of the crippling psychological challenges we’re dealing with as a society.
 
I can’t think of a more powerful lever to Optimize our nutrition than getting really smart on how much sugar we’re consuming and having fun seeing just how much we can eliminate.
 
So…
 
How much sugar are YOU consuming these days?
 
Note: It’s ubiquitous and probably a LOT more than you think…
 
Here’s to the -1 -1 -1 for the +1 +1 +1 wins.
 
TODAY.
Jun 18, 2020
In the last couple +1s, we talked about The Shattered Vase (and the power of taking those pieces and making a beautiful new mosaic) then we practiced The Art of Precious Scars (as we chatted about “golden repairs”).
 
Let’s imagine that art sitting on a desk in our dojo-studio. 
 
We’ve got the mosaic and that golden-seamed vase.
 
And…
 
Right next to those pieces of art, let’s put a snow globe.
 
A snow globe?
 
Yep.
 
Stephen Joseph actually introduced this metaphor in his book on posttraumatic growth. He used it in the context of being shaken up after a traumatic event and the fact that it takes time for the metaphorical snow to settle in our lives.
 
But…
 
When I imagined that snow globe, the first thing I thought of was our minds and what we often do to them right before we go to bed.
 
Maybe it was because I was prepping for the PM Bookend session of our Carpe Diem module in our Mastery Series.
 
We’ve talked (many times!) about the fact that your day begins the night before.
 
Want to create a Masterpiece Day that starts with waking up nice and early (without an alarm!) feeling all refreshed and ready to rock?
 
Well…
 
TURN OFF YOUR ELECTRONICS and GO TO BED EARLY!! (Hah.)
 
Seriously.
 
Science is unequivocal. 
 
All that digital stimulation—both the blue light AND the raw inputs—right before you go to bed isn’t helping the Deep (And REM) Sleep cause!!
 
You know what it’s like?
 
It’s like shaking a SNOW GLOBE right before you go to bed.
 
Your brain’s all hyped up right when you want it to be relaxed.
 
That’s Today’s +1.
 
Let’s leave the snow globe alone—quit shaking it by turning off all your electronic stimulation AT LEAST (!) an hour before you go to bed.
 
Remember: Sleep. It does a body (VERY!) good.
 
Let’s Optimize ours.
 
TONIGHT.
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