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Locked Philosophers Notes

The Second Mountain

The Quest for a Moral Life

David Brooks is one of the nations’ leading writers and commentators. He is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times and appears regularly on PBS NewsHour and Meet the Press. I loved his book The Road to Character. I loved this one even more. David tells us there are two mountains: The first mountain? That’s what society tells us we should pursue: all the normal trappings of success. The second mountain? That’s where the magic (and joy!) exists: where we move beyond ourselves and COMMIT (important word for this book!) to giving ourselves most fully to something bigger than ourselves. David identifies four potential commitments: to our families, to our vocations, to our faith/philosophy of life and to our communities. Ultimately, the book is intended to be a guide to the ULTIMATE quest in life: “The Quest for a Moral Life.”

Locked Philosophers Notes

Letters from a Stoic

by Seneca

Seneca. He was born around the same time as Jesus and was one of the leading figures in his Roman Empire. He was also one of history's leading Stoic philosophers (along with Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus who we also profile) and has some powerful wisdom to share. In this Note, we'll explore the purpose of philosophy, the importance of focusing our attention and the mojo that comes from facing our fears.

Locked Philosophers Notes

The 5 Second Rule

Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

Mel Robbins is funny, witty and wise. Her TEDx Talk (called How to stop screwing yourself over) is one of the most popular of all time, with more than 18 million views. This book is also super popular—with over 1,000 Amazon reviews. It’s pretty awesome. Actually, the book is REALLY (!) good. In fact, Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule might just be one of THE most elegantly efficient Tools we can use to close the gap between who we’re CAPABLE of being and who we’re ACTUALLY being. (Seriously.) Big Ideas we explore include The 5 Second Rule (and how/when to rock it), how to win the game of life (hint: start, stay in, for the long game!), excitement + anxiety (and how they feel the same in the body), managing distractions (today a good day?), and changing your life with one moment of everyday courage.

Locked Philosophers Notes

The Bhagavad Gita

A Classic of Indian Spirituality

The classic text of Hinduism is *packed* with wisdom. In the Note, we take a super quick look at the context for the book and then jump into some powerful wisdom—including the importance of meditation, the fact that making mistakes is an inherent part of our growth process and the uber-importance of letting go of our attachment to results.

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Locked Philosophers Notes

Self-theories

Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology)

Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading researchers on the science of motivation. This book is a collection of brief essays on various aspects of “self-theories.” It’s essentially a bridge between her extensive academic research studies and her popular book Mindset. It’s amazing. Big Ideas we explore include the two frameworks (entity vs. incremental) and their two goals (performance vs. learning), attributional retraining (aka learning the best way to respond to failure!), and moving from contingent self-worth to wholehearted self-esteem.

Locked 101 Classes

Optimizing for the Modern Hērō 101

How to harness your soul force to create the strength for two so we can change the world together

I created this class after my friend Matt McCall (who helps run the Pritzker Group Venture Capital fund) asked me to do a talk for 60 of their portfolio CEOs. He was thinking “Optimizing for Supheroes 101.” I loved that idea and decided it would be the perfect context to share my absolute best stuff and here we are. 🤓

In this extra-long class, we start by connecting “Optimizing” and “Hērō” to their ancient Greek philosophical roots then we proceed to walk thru how to go about integrating ancient wisdom, modern science and practical tools to harness our soul force to build strength for two such that we can create our best, most heroic lives.

Locked +1s

#67 110-Year-Old You

Ready for Some Time Travel?
In his great book Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar tells us that we have all the wisdom we will ever need—as evidenced by individuals who undergo a
Locked +1s

#678 A Quick Trip to Hell

How to Avoid That As Frequent/Ultimate Destination
In Greatest Year Ever 2019, we kicked the party off by reminding ourselves of the ultimate game we’re playing—leaning into Aristotle’s
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Locked +1s

#23 Dominoes

Ready to Amplify Your Latent Potential by 2 Billion?
Are you familiar with the physics of dominoes? It’s fascinating. And wonderfully applicable to the power of lining up a series of
Locked +1s

#212 Eulogy Virtues

How to Chisel on Your Road to Character
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that the word character comes from the Greek word for “chisel.” David Brooks wrote a book all
Locked +1s

#50 Perfectionist vs. Optimalist

Which Are You?

Speaking of perfectionism, let’s look at the essence of Tal Ben-Shahar’s great book The Pursuit of Perfect. Tal is one of the world’s leading positive psychologists.

Locked +1s

#481 Reclaiming Lost Hours

By Making Everything (!) Our Practice
Before we bid farewell to George Leonard, how about ONE more little idea from the Aikido (and life) master? This might be the most important
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Locked +1s

#504 Rehearsing Your Death

As a Way to LIVE (Seneca Says…)
In our last +1, we talked about the idea that the siren you might hear today wails for YOU. Then I suggested you actually IMAGINE yourself
Locked +1s

#1011 Soul Force Forge

How’s Yours? Join Ours!
In our last +1, we talked about the importance of Virtue Management vis-a-vis Energy Management and Time Management. At the end of that I
Locked +1s

#1004 The Cardinal Virtues

Of Stoicism + Science + Optimize
The other day we chatted about my recent staycation with my Stoic friends. (btw: Laughing as I type this but you know what I do when I’m
Locked +1s

#309 The Definition of Hell

Meeting the Person You Could Have Become
In Getting Grit, Caroline Adams Miller walks us through the science of grit and then helps us apply it to our lives. One of the main lessons
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Locked +1s

#1014 The Heroic Coach Diploma

Want One? Come and Get It!

As you may have noticed (ahem and hah!), I’m super fired up about the launch of our 2020 Mastery Series and Heroic Coach

Locked +1s

#21 The Rise of Superyou

Introducing a New Mantra: “No Pressure, No Diamonds.”
Steven Kotler wrote a great book called The Rise of Superman. In it, he challenges some myths of mastery—telling us that it’s not so
Locked +1s

#1002 The Stoic Paradox

The Stockdale Paradox - Part 2
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been having fun hanging out with some Stoics—some modern guys and some ancient ones. It started with
Locked +1s

#1005 Thoughts + Heartbeats

Meditating? Thoughts Are NOT Your Enemy!
Emily Fletcher was a Broadway performer living the dream. Only… Her hair was graying at 27, she was always stressed and had chronic
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+1s

#258 You vs. Your Problems

Size Yourself Up then Step Up!
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that the law does not concern itself with trifles and we busted out some old-school Latin and
Locked +1s

#1012 Your Limitations

Idea: Stop Arguing for Them

In our last +11 (that got long didn’t it?!), we talked about my love of the word forge and I invited you to join our Heroic Soul Force

Philosophers Notes

The Tools

Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity

The Tools. This was easily the best book I read in 2012. It's *packed* with goodness. Stutz and Michels are two no-nonsense therapists who developed powerful tools to transform our problems into courage, confidence, and creativity. In this Note, we'll take a quick peek at how to put these powerful tools to work to create real change in our lives.

Locked Philosophers Notes

Authentic Happiness

Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment

Martin Seligman is essentially the father of the Positive Psychology movement and in this Note we explore how important it is for us to use our Signature Strengths consistently throughout our day-to-day lives. We've got tips on how to discover our Strengths and how to move from a job to a career to a calling as we live a life of meaning and purpose. Good times.

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Locked Philosophers Notes

Flourish

A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being

Martin Seligman is one of the founding fathers of the Positive Psychology movement and this is the third Note we’ve done on one of his books. (Check out the Notes on his other classics: Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness for more science of happiness goodness.) In this Note, we’ll explore his shift from Authentic Happiness Theory to Well-Being Theory as we wrap our brains around PERMA, his model of well-being that consists of Positive emotions + Engagement + Relationships + Meaning + Achievement. Good times.

Locked Philosophers Notes

The Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle's writings have been extraordinarily influential since ancient times. This treatise is named after his son and is a collection of his lecture notes--imagining attending his Lyceum and listening to him teach 2,300 years ago! Of course, it's packed with culture-changing Big Ideas. Some of my favorites we cover include the ultimate end: eudaimonic happiness (vs. "happiness" as most of us think about it!), how to achieve that eudaimonia (hint: "virtuous activity of the soul" aka areté), how to win the Olympic Games (hint: you can't just show up; you need to ACT!), the doctrine of the mean (and the vice of deficiency + excess) and the virtue of magnanimity: meet YOUR great soul.

Locked +1s

#659 “Hi, Optimus!”

How to Invite Him or Her to the Optimizing Party
As we discussed in Greatest Year Ever 2019, one of my core themes for this year is to operationalize virtue—to help us (really!) move from
+1s

#1 +1 or -1 = Destiny Math

What Must YOU be?
Abraham Maslow studied the greatest people of his generation. People like Eleanor Roosevelt and Albert Einstein. He told us about the
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Locked +1s

#186 100 Questions

An Exercise to Create a Meaningful Life
In our last +1 we met our Angel’s Advocate via Michael Gelb’s great book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. Here’s another
Locked +1s

#404 Caterpillars, Butterflies and You

(And Maslow, Aristotle, Stoics and Others)
In our last +1, we talked about Abraham Maslow’s wisdom and the ancient etymology of the word clamor in the context of your capacities
Locked +1s

#13 Good Bad Days

Mastering the Art of Playing Badly Well
Jack Nicklaus once said that the real key to being a great golfer was “playing badly well.” It’s one thing to play well when
+1s

#3 How to High Five Your Inner Daimon

My Philosophy in One Word
To the extent that there’s a gap between who you’re capable of being in any given moment and who are actually being in that moment, you
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+1s

#281 How to Learn Optimism

Enter: The 3 P’s: Permanence + Pervasiveness + Personalization
In our last +1, we talked about Martin Seligman and the science of flourishing. Quick recap: It’s all about PERMA: Positive Emotion +
Locked +1s

#11 Psychological Flexibility

A Hallmark of Happy Humans
Dan Siegel is one of the world’s leading mindfulness / neuroscience / interpersonal neurobiology experts. Dan tells us that the healthy
Locked +1s

#9 Simmer vs. Boil

Let's Turn Up the Heat
Have you ever heard of “activation energy”? It’s a chemistry thing. The dictionary tells us that it’s “the minimum quantity of
+1s

#2 The #1 Key to Happiness + Flourishing

Hint: Become BFFs with your Inner Soul
Imagine your ideal self. Smiling and waving at you. See ‘em?! (Seriously. Take a deep breath/10 seconds and bring that epically awesome
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Locked +1s

#200 The 5 (Greek) Keys to Optimizing

Areté + Eudaimonia + en*theos + Hērōs + Euthymia
We’re hitting another exciting milestone in our +1 series today: #200. Let’s celebrate in style. We celebrated #100 with one of my
+1s

#4 Your Infinite Potential

And Where to Find It
Phil Stutz and Barry Michels wrote a great book called The Tools. There are five Tools in the book and we may chat about others later but I
Locked Philosophers Notes

Falling Upward

A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Alexandra got this book for me after I told her how much I loved David Brooks’ The Second Mountain. Apparently it is recommended alongside that book on Amazon. With 1,400+ reviews, Alexandra thought I might like it. Not only did I like the book, I loved it. And, I fell in love with Richard Rohr. Father Rohr is a Franciscan priest who beautifully integrates his faith with wisdom from various perspectives. Big Ideas we explore include our main Job in life (remembering that we're light bulbs and staying screwed in!), life's two major tasks, the fact that the way UP is DOWN (hence, the title of the book: Falling Upward), the hero and the heroine and their journeys, the paradox of the ego ("You ironically need a very strong ego structure to let go of your ego"), and how to become a Serene Disciple (let God drive).

Locked Philosophers Notes

Coming Alive

4 Tools to Defeat Your Inner Enemy, Ignite Creative Expression & Unleash Your Soul’s Potential

I’m a HUGE fan of Phil and Barry's first book, The Tools. Coming Alive is kinda like The Tools Part 2. In this book, we get four new tools to go along with the original five tools. Big Ideas we explore include how to connect to our Life Force, defeat Part X (their name for that part of each of us that gets in the way), build our confidence and learn to see problems as gifts as we live a GREAT life.

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Locked Philosophers Notes

Everything Is Figureoutable

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!

Locked Philosophers Notes

The Obstacle Is the Way

The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Ryan Holiday is brilliant. So is this book. The ancient Stoics taught us how to not only accept challenges but to thrive on them. Ryan brings their wisdom to life with compelling stories of great peeps who have rocked it in the face of adversity. In the Note we'll take a quick look at the three keys to making obstacles work for us: Perception + Action + Will.

Locked 101 Classes

Antifragile 101

How to use everything to fuel your heroic growth

You can be fragile, robust or antifragile. Do you break when you get hit by life? Or are you kinda resilient? Or… Are you antifragile—do you actually get STRONGER the more life kicks you around?! Learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable as you step into your infinite potential and use *everything* to fuel your heroic growth.

Locked +1s

#107 Hērōs

Building Strength for 2
Speaking of heroes and the reverse indicators we can expect to see on our heroic, dragon-slaying quest(s), do you know what the word
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+1s

#76 Victim vs. Creator

Two Questions: "Why Me?" vs. "What Do I Want?"
David Emerald wrote a great book called The Power of TED*. In it, he makes the distinction between being a Victim vs. being a Creator. The
Locked +1s

#10 Antifragile

vs. Resilient vs. Fragile
In his great book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb walks us through the fact that there’s a big difference between being fragile, being
Locked +1s

#247 Aristotle’s Virtuous Mean

Versus the Vices of Excess + Deficiency
In our last +1, we talked about Seneca’s take on flexibility. Quick recap: Too much flexibility and you’re fickle. Too little and
Locked +1s

#88 Hope: Leadership’s Secret Sauce

How to Increase Engagement from 1% to 69%
While we’re chatting about the science of hope, let’s focus on a key leadership stat. First, imagine yourself as a leader. (Which, of
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Locked +1s

#219 Begin with the End in Mind

Habit #2 of Highly Effective People
In our last +1, we talked about Stephen Covey’s Habit #1: Be Proactive. How? Be response-able. Step into the gap between stimulus and
Locked +1s

#109 Being Exonerated

Is NEVER Going to Happen (Sorry to Break the News!)
In our last +1, I casually mentioned the fact that our heroic reframing of challenges is something we will work on forever. Yes, I literally
Locked +1s

#192 Death Cookies

Fuel for the Journey to Your Infinite Potential
Continuing our theme of how to become Antifragile Heroes, let’s look at another way to rock it. A couple +1s ago we talked about
Locked +1s

#361 Resurrections and Crucifixions

Can’t Have One without the Other
Joseph Campbell once said that we can’t have a resurrection without a crucifixion. Think about that for a moment. If you want to be
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Locked +1s

#22 Acres of Diamonds

Got Any Priceless Gems in Your Backyard?
In our last +1 we had fun with our new mantra: “No pressure, no diamonds.” Continuing the diamond theme, let’s talk about Acres of
Locked +1s

#191 Infinite Optionality

The Ticket to Antifragility
Let’s talk some more about how to become Antifragile. We’ve already talked about it on a high level. Super quick recap: If you’re
+1s

#12 Keep Shooting

A True Story About Moving thru Some Serious Obstacles
Once upon a time (1938 to be precise) there was a pistol shooter. He was incredibly good. Hoped to be the very best, in fact. Unfortunately,
Locked +1s

#95 Mediocrity vs. Excellence

How to Avoid Getting Stuck in the Middle of a Rugged Mountain
In our last few +1s, we’ve been chatting about reaching the Peak of our potential. What’s the alternative? Well, did you know that the
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Locked +1s

#714 Noli Timere

<- “Be Not Afraid” (= The #1 Phrase in the Bible)
In our last +1, we spent some time hanging out with my friend Katherine Collins who is, I am quite sure, the only human on the planet who
Locked +1s

#65 Sacrifices vs. Decisions

There’s a Big Difference between the Two
George St-Pierre is one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the world. Ever. Of course, he wasn’t always one of the greatest. At one
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#325 The Psychology of Hope

Goals + Willpower + Waypower
Rick Snyder was the founder of research into the science of hope. And, he was one of the pioneers of the positive psychology movement. In
Locked +1s

#87 Swimming Rats

How to Increase Your Endurance by 240x (!!!)
Although I’m not a huge fan of some of the drawbacks of animal testing, this study is astonishing and worth knowing about. Get this: In
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Locked +1s

#597 The Price of Success

Let’s Figure It Out and Pay It
In our last +1, we talked about paying the price to achieve our wildly important goals—whatever they may be. I shared a partial accounting
Locked +1s

#29 The Stockdale Paradox

I’m Confident It’ll Happen AND… I Know It Will be Challenging
Vice Admiral James Stockdale was shot down during the Vietnam War. He spent seven and a half years in a brutal prison camp. He spent four of
Locked +1s

#97 Turning Around Glitches

What True Confidence Looks Like and How to Build It
True confidence doesn’t come from thinking everything will always go perfectly. That’s crazy. In fact, as Phil Stutz pointed out in one
Locked Philosophers Notes

The Enchiridion

Epictetus is one of three Stoic philosophers we profile (Marcus Aurelius and Seneca are the other two) and this former slave turned leading philosopher of his era is incredible. He echoes the wisdom of all the great teachers as he reminds us that, if we want to be happy, we've gotta realize the only thing we have control over is our response to a situation. We'll have fun tapping into a lot more of his vast mojo in the Note.

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Locked Philosophers Notes

The Stoic Challenge

A Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient

William B. Irvine is a professor of philosophy at Wright State University. He’s also a fantastic (and prolific) writer. And… Unlike many of his academic, professor-of-philosophy peers, he is a practicing Stoic philosopher. In the words of Donald Robertson (another Stoic author and practitioner; see The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), he is both a librarian AND a warrior of the mind. We featured another one of Professor Irvine’s great books on Stoicism called A Guide to the Good Life. I enjoyed that one quite a bit but I REALLY (!) enjoyed this one. Like, jumbo loved it. In fact, I’m going to put this one right at the top of our growing collection of books on Stoicism—along with the must-read classics by Aurelius (Meditations), Seneca (Letters from a Stoic, On the Shortness of Life), and Epictetus (Discourses, Enchiridion) plus the modern classics like Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way and The Daily Stoic. If you’re looking for “A Philosopher’s Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient,” I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Locked Philosophers Notes

With Winning in Mind

The Mental Management System

This is a SHOCKINGLY good book. Want to get your mind right? Lanny Bassham, an Olympic gold medalist, has been teaching the art of mental training/peak performance for decades and this book tells us just how to rock it. In the Note, we'll look at the importance of making the process primary and other fundamentals of mental mastery.

Locked Philosophers Notes

The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Got problems with your soul? These days, you’d see a psychotherapist. But, back in the day, it was the philosopher who’d help you optimize—they were the preferred physician of the soul. This book is about the philosophical roots of modern psychotherapy. Specifically, it outlines the connection between cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Stoicism. Big Ideas we explore include being a warrior of the mind vs. a librarian of the mind, your highest human purpose, getting on good terms with your inner daimon, practicing the reserve clause and modeling your ideal sage.

Locked +1s

#496 An Indestructible Mind

The Creation Of
In our last +1, we talked about inviting the Conquering Hero to your mind-wandering party and escorting out the Suffering (Whiney) Martyr.
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Locked +1s

#125 Follow Your Grunt

Bliss + Grunt + Grunt = Magic
In our last +1 we had fun exploring the ancient wisdom that led Joseph Campbell to tell us: “Follow your bliss!” Later in his career,
Locked +1s

#108 Hērōic Reframing

How to Build Antifragile, Heroic Confidence
Continuing our heroic theme, let’s talk a little more about how to build antifragile, heroic confidence. Here’s a question we want to
Locked +1s

#183 How to Get Super Shiny

Hint: Don’t Get Irritated by Every Rub
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.
Locked +1s

#754 How to Make a Pearl

To Go with our Diamonds
One of our very first +1s was on a brilliant line from Steven Kotler. At the end of our interview about his great book The Rise of Superman,
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Locked +1s

#598 How to Use Our Optimizing Tools

Hint: Practice THE MOMENT You Need It
A little while back, we talked about the keynote talk I was getting ready to present (as part of the Pritzker Group Venture Capital’s
Locked +1s

#207 Idiosyncratic Optimizing

Creating Your Own Unique Mixture of Awesome
Idiosyncratic. Isn’t that a fun word? Idiosyncratic. I just love saying it. And, I love the meaning and etymology as well. The definition
Locked +1s

#59 Mistakes? They’re Just Mis-takes

You As the Director of Your Life
Imagine yourself as the Director of a movie. Huge budget. You have an amazing crew. Best actors in the world and an impeccable script.
Locked +1s

#41 OMMS

The Hero’s Mantra

Ultimately, what we want to get *really* (!!!) good at alchemizing any and all challenges into fuel for the bonfire that is our

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Locked +1s

#700 UPERSIST!

How to Be Unstoppable
In our last +1, we talked about you feasting on your Hero Bars—using memories of your past success as fuel to walk through fear doors
Locked +1s

#66 Warriors vs. Librarians

Let’s Not Just Catalogue these +1s, Let’s LIVE Them
Our last +1 was about a modern-day warrior, Georges St-Pierre. Let’s talk about old-school philosophical warriors for a moment. In his
Locked +1s

#71 Wearing Scars As Medals

What a Hero Does with the Dragon Claw Marks
In our last +1 we chatted about the fact that, as Campbell tells us, when we go for bliss on our hero’s journey we need to remember that
Locked Philosophers Notes

Rethinking Positive Thinking

Inside the New Science of Motivation

Gabriel Oettingen is one of the world’s leading researchers in “The New Science of Motivation.” The basic idea of the book is captured in a clever image on the cover: Rose colored glasses with one lens cracked. Oettingen walks us thru the compelling research that demonstrates the power of seeing both the positive AND the challenges. When we contrast our wishes with the obstacles to their attainment we, almost magically, catalyze an extraordinarily higher level of performance.

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Locked Philosophers Notes

Grit

The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Angela Duckworth is the world’s leading authority on the science of grit. In fact, she pioneered the field and, as Daniel Gilbert says on the cover: “Psychologists have spent decades searching for the secret of success, but Duckworth is the one who found it.” In this Note, we explore the two facets of grit (hint: passion + perseverance, why they’re important and how to cultivate them.

Locked Philosophers Notes

Mindset

The New Psychology of Success

Carol Dweck, Ph.D is a Stanford Professor and one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of motivation. She tells us that our “mindset”—how we see the world—determines a *huge* part of our overall happiness and well-being and achievement. In this Note, we’ll explore the difference between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset” and some Big Ideas on why we want to learn how to live from a growth mindset. And, of course, how to do it!

Locked +1s

#63 “That’s NOT Like Me!”

Part II on How to Optimize Your Self-Image
In our last +1 we had fun cultivating a strong Self-Image via “That’s like me!” imprints. Quick recap: All the elite performers agree:
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#5 3:59.4

How to Run a 4-Minute Mile and/or Do Other "Impossible" Stuff
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
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Locked +1s

#94 Adaptability + Homeostasis

Why Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone Is So Important
We’ve talked a lot about how important it is to get out of our comfort zones. But why is it so important? Two words: Adaptability +
Locked +1s

#18 Deo Volente + Thy Will Be Done

Wisdom from Apollo, the Patron God of Philosophy
Deo volente. It’s Latin for “God willing.” The ancient Stoics told us that it’s important to have clear goals but we need to qualify
Locked +1s

#122 Dynamic Equilibrium

You As a Tightrope Walker
Osho had a great line. He told us that, in life, there’s really no such thing as “balance.” Certainly not “static balance” where
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#121 Dynamic Tension

How to Manage that Tension between Your Hoped-for Future and Your Current Reality
So, we have the ONE thing you’re going after in your epically awesome heroic quest. (Right? You identify that dream with a ton of pull
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#19 How to Build Your Grit

The 4 Key Scientific Variables
Angela Duckworth created the science of Grit. It’s fascinating. She defines it as intense passion + intense perseverance. In short,
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#8 Motivation = ENERGY x (Value x Expectancy / Impulsivity x Delay)

A Modified Look at the Science of Motivation
Yesterday we talked about our motivation equation. You know: Motivation = Value x Expectancy / Impulsivity x Delay Quick re-cap: Our
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#72 Now What Needs to Be Done?

Remember: Feelings Follow Behavior
David Reynolds wrote what might be the best book you (and most other people) have never heard of. It’s called Constructive Living. David
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#16 Relentless Solution Focus

60 Seconds of Whining and Then You're On!
Jason Selk is one of the world’s leading mental toughness coaches. He tells us that the best among us have a “relentless solution
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#106 Reverse Indicators

How to Interpret Your Encounters with Dragons
So, let’s say you’ve decided to embark on a heroic quest. It’s time for you to leave the normal, routine life and really go for
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#515 Running Experiments

Like Good Scientific Sapiens
In our last +1, we talked about Professor Harari’s two world maps—one before The Scientific Revolution that was all filled in (including
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#407 Styrofoam Weights

And Your Heroic Gym™ Membership
As we’ve discussed, years ago I did 1-on-1 coaching with one of my favorite authors, Steve Chandler. It was awesome. One day, Steve and I
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#62 "That's Like Me!"

How to Optimize Your Self-Image
Whether you’re an athlete, entrepreneur, teacher, parent, manager, or — fill in the blank here —, what percentage of your game do you
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#405 The Dreaded “U-Lag" on Your Heroic Quest

And How to Conquer It
Returning to our Hero’s journey theme, imagine yourself at the start of an epic journey. You’re looking out across a canyon. You can see
+1s

#274 The Power of Micro Wins

Wisdom from the Head of Research at Harvard Biz School
Continuing our theme of spending time with some of the best productivity thinkers on the planet, let’s cruise on over to Harvard Business
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#336 Threat vs. Challenge

How to You Respond to Life’s Stressors? (It Matters!)
In our last +1, we met our telomeres and learned how important they are in protecting our chromosomes so they can do their job and keep us
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#6 WOOP! There It Is

The Science of Making Your Dreams a Reality
Gabriele Oettingen is a world-class researcher who has spent her career studying the science of making your dreams come to life. In her book
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Locked Philosophers Notes

The Alter Ego Effect

The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life

The Alter Ego Effect. This is one of the most fun and compelling and inspiring books I’ve read in awhile. I REALLY (!!!) enjoyed reading it, had a ton of fun constructing and playing with some potential Alter Egos and highly recommend it. I also really enjoyed how high-performance coach and mental game strategist Todd Herman describes the science behind the power of “secret identities” to transform our lives and I loved the parallels between his perspective and our Big 3 Identities > Virtues > Behaviors model. Big Ideas we explore include Superman + Clark Kent (who's who?), activating your Heroic Self (the science of), motivation and emotion (share a common Latin root), virtues as super powers (more on the science of), and Crossing the Threshold (Today the day?).

Locked Philosophers Notes

On Becoming a Leader

Warren Bennis is one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership. This is, as Peter Drucker puts it, his “most important book.” Big Ideas we explore include the basic ingredients of leadership (#1 = Guiding Vision!), the importance of self-invention (hint: write your own story!), the power of trusting ourselves, choosing to express ourselves rather than prove ourselves, how to cultivate trust, and becoming a world-class leader.

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Self-Reliance

Ralph Waldo Emerson. He’s the great-great-grandfather in my spiritual family tree. We named our son Emerson after this great 19th century philosopher and when I imagine the heroes whose qualities I want to emulate, he’s on the top of the list. Big Ideas we explore include: Trust thyself (every heart vibrates to that iron string!), nonconformity (and the integrity of your own mind), what must you do? (vs. what will they think?), Hobgoblins (begone), your voyage (of a thousand zigs and zags), and the Royal You (act like that now!).

Locked Philosophers Notes

What To Say When You Talk to Yourself

Powerful New Techniques to Program Your Potential for Success!

What do you say when you talk to yourself? Is it empowering? Or not so much? Shad Helmstetter tells us nothing matters quite as much as that. Big Ideas include why and how we need to upgrade our programming, the 5 levels of Self-Talk, and conquering our greatest challenge.

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#679 A Quick Trip to Michelangelo’s Studio

Sculpting the Epic Version of You
In our last +1, we took a quick trip to hell in which (in the last moment of your life!) we met the version of you that you COULD have been.
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#357 Big 3: Decade View + Core Habits

Energy + Love + Work ← Yours?
In our last couple +1s we talked about taking the decade-long view of our lives. Then we chatted about how to create great days
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#73 Identity → Behaviors → Feelings

Not the Other Way Around

Continuing our theme of feelings following behavior, let’s chat about some wisdom from the author of Resilience. He's a fascinating guy. Rhodes

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#1020 Learning Cycles

And How to Optimize Them
In our last +1, we talked about the PM ritual Pythagoras came up with 2,500 years ago (!) that the Stoics liked to follow: Allow not sleep
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#492 Sweeping Streets with Martin Luther King

Like Shakespeare, Beethoven and Michelangelo
In our last +1, we talked about Martin Seligman’s ideas on the science of having a Job vs. a Career vs. a Calling. I proposed we aim to
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#590 The 4-Hour Workday

The Magic Number for Greatness?
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that we need to train our recovery the same way we train our Deep Work. We want to create nice,
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#213 Today's To-Be List

Goes Nicely with Your To-Do List
In our last +1, we talked about living your eulogy virtues TODAY. We don’t want to think of our eulogy virtues as some abstract notion of
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#1010 Virtue Management

vs. Time Management vs. Energy Management
Last night as I was falling asleep, I was reflecting on the wonderful time I spent with a dear friend who came up to Ojai for a hike to chat
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+1s

#210 You + Michelangelo + Your Potential

What’s in the Way of You Being Your Best?
Legend has it that when Michelangelo stepped up to a block of marble, he could see the finished statue in his mind’s eye. His job was
Locked Philosophers Notes

The Power of TED*

*The Empowerment Dynamic

David Emerald's wonderfully wise fable rocks. In this Note, we'll take a quick look at one of my favorite books as we explore the importance of stepping out of DDT (the Dreaded Drama Triangle) and stepping into TED (The Empowerment Dynamic) as we learn to more consistently live from a Creator's perspective (rather than a Victim's) and learn how to hold the tension between our ideals and our current realities by taking baby steps.

Locked Philosophers Notes

The Procrastination Equation

How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done

Did you know there’s an equation for Procrastination? Yep. Expectancy x Value / Impulsiveness x Delay = Motivation. Thank you, Piers Steel. In this great book, Piers (a leading researcher on the science of motivation/procrastination) walks us thru the power of that equation. Big Ideas we explore include: Mental Contrasting (and why it beats creative visualization), goal setting (3 scientific keys) and how to add a month of productivity to your year.

Locked Philosophers Notes

On the Shortness of Life

Life Is Long If You Know How to Use It
by Seneca

Seneca was an old-school Roman statesman and one of history’s leading Stoic philosophers. In this book he tells us that life is only short if you don’t know how to use it and also gives us some tips on how to deal with challenging times and cultivate tranquility. Big Ideas we explore include making T.O.D.A.Y. the day, how to deal with being exiled (never know when it could happen ;), and why flexibility is the virtuous road to tranquility (and how to avoid the detours).

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Locked Philosophers Notes

Meditations

Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor-Philosopher of the Roman Empire and one of the most enlightened leaders ever. Meditations is a collection of journal entries he wrote to himself and in this Note, we'll explore some Big Ideas of his Stoic philosophy—from the importance of never confusing ourselves with visions of a lifetime all at once, to not worrying about what others think of us and living a life of purpose and service.

Locked 101 Classes

Masterpiece Days 101

How to create a great life one great day at a time

Great lives are created one great day at a time. Which is why this class is a key component to rockin’ it. Step 1: Make TODAY the day. Know what your ideal days look like (we’ll help you figure it out), set clear targets, make progress while you make waves, control the kryptonite, create AM + PM bookends, remember the Deep Work + Deep Love blocks and iterate, iterate, iterate.

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#356 5 Core Habits

How to Consistently Create GREAT Days
In our last +1, we talked about Matthew Kelly’s encouragement to slow down, step back, and take the decade view on our lives. Quick check
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#226 Carpe Diem

Seize the Day! (Or Is It “Pluck the Day”?!)
Carpe Diem!! … Seize the day!! I don’t know about you, but I get fired up just saying that. (Hah.) Today we’ll have fun looking at the
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#668 Emotional Stamina - Part 2

Execute Protocol: The Worse You Feel AND the Better You Feel

The other day, Phil and I were celebrating some Heroic goodness including exciting opportunities on the Social side of things (!) and the

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#324 Masterpiece Day Checklist

How to Reduce Masterpiece Day Mortality Rates by 47%
In our last +1 we talked about the three reasons why we err: necessary fallibility (we’re not omniscient and some things are outside of
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#381 Seneca: The Worse a Person Is the Less He Feels It

Aurelius: Don’t Like Yourself? Why Would I Care Whether or Not You Like Me?
Continuing our good times with our Stoic friends, how about couple more gems from Seneca and Aurelius? Seneca once said, “The worse a
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#523 The Power of Solitude

Clarity + Creativity + Emotional Balance + Moral Courage
In our last +1, we talked about an exercise to get a little more clarity on the trade-offs you might be making in regard to your top
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#91 The Pursuit of Happiness

Don’t Chase Happiness—Practice It
In our last +1, we celebrated our prior Declarations of Independence (and successful Revolutionary Wars) and we made a new Declaration of
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#1017 Theory vs. Practice

Musonius Says: One Is More Important Than the Other
In our last +1, we got some great marriage advice from the Roman Socrates, Musonius Rufus. He told us that: “When this mutual care is
Locked +1s

#228 There Are No Enlightened Beings

Only More or Less Enlightened Moments
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that we can’t seize the day per se—we can only seize the moment. Enter: Carpe punctum. In
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#79 Today's the Day

What to Do When a (Daimon) Reporter Follows You Around All Day
Here’s another way to create a Masterpiece Day filled with you at your best. In Die Empty, Todd Henry tells us to imagine that from the
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Philosophers Notes

Why We Sleep

Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Matthew Walker is one of the world’s leading neuroscientists and sleep experts. He’s a professor at UC Berkeley (and former professor at Harvard) who has spent decades studying why we sleep and how to, as per the sub-title of this book, unlock the power of sleep and dreams. As you know if you’ve been following along, I’m a HUGE advocate of Optimizing our sleep as a fundamental practice in Optimizing our lives. This book has made me EVEN MORE bullish about the power of sleep. The consequences of chronically depriving ourselves of the sleep we need? Well, they’re astonishingly devastating—dramatically increasing the odds of having everything from mood disorders to cancer (and everything else we don’t want). Big Ideas we explore include the fact that you're more likely to get struck by lightning than have the gene that let's you get by on less than the recommended sleep, the universality of sleep (even worms sleep!!), resetting baselines, the iPad effect (did you know how much using one before sleep messes w/your melatonin?), and some tips to Optimize your sleep TONIGHT!!!

Locked Philosophers Notes

The 80/20 Principle

The Secret to Success by Achieving More With Less

Did you know 20% of beer drinkers drink 80% of the beer? And that 20% of streets account for 80% of the traffic? And that most peeps wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time? And that 20% of customers/products usually account for about 80% of profits? Yepperz. In this Note, we’ll explore the 80/20 principle and how we can apply its power to every aspect of our lives to "achieve more with less."

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Peak

Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Anders Ericsson is the world’s leading scientist studying expert performance—looking at how, precisely, the people who are the best in the world at what they do became the best. In this Note, we take a quick look at The Gift that we all have that’s the key to our potential greatness, HOW to go about tapping into the benefits of that gift via a certain type of practice (forget naive practice and go for purposeful + deliberate!), the fact that there is no such thing as a “10,000 Hour Rule,” and why we should be called Homo Exercens rather than Homo Sapiens. :)

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#78 AM + PM Bookends

How to Create Masterpiece Days: Start Here!
In The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy makes the important point that we have more control over the very beginnings of our day and the very
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#1019 Pythagoras’s PM Review

Via His Golden Verses

In our last couple +1s, we retraced my steps through the Heroic Stoic library of wisdom—going from Musonius Rufus’s Lectures and

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#1171 “Shut-Down COMPLETE!”

Not “Shut-Down ALMOST Complete!”
In our last +1, we spent some time with our snow globe and, if we’re practicing our shared philosophy, we DIDN’T shake it in the hour
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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

Michael Gelb profiles the seven attributes of da Vinci's genius in his great book and in our Note we'll have fun checking out some Big Ideas including one of the most powerful exercises I've ever done called "A Hundred Questions." The exercise literally shaped my life and I trust you'll dig it as much as I have. We'll also look at the power of affirmations (did you know da Vinci used them?!) and the body of a genius (did you know da Vinci was also an exceptional athlete?!). Fun stuff.

Locked Philosophers Notes

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

This classic has sold 15 million copies and was the first self-development book I read back in the day (1995 to be precise). In this Note, we'll take a quick look at all 7 Habits—from being proactive (huge!) to beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win/win, seeking first to understand, synergizing and sharpening the saw. Lots of goodness here to help us develop our character to create our ideal lives as we most fully give ourselves to the world.

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The Daily Stoic

366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

This book combines two of my favorite things: Stoicism + Ryan Holiday’s wisdom. Stoicism was one of the most influential philosophy of the Roman world and has continued to influence many of history’s greatest minds. As Ryan says: It’s time to bring it back as a powerful tool “in the pursuit of self-mastery, perseverance, and wisdom.” This is one of the my favorite books ever. Big Ideas we explore: the #1 thing to know about Stoicism, how to create tranquility, a good answer to “What’s the latest and greatest?!,” the 2 essential tasks in life and the art of acquiescence (aka amor fati).

Locked Philosophers Notes

Stillness Is the Key

This is our fourth Note on one of Ryan Holiday’s books. Ryan is one of my absolute favorite writers. One of the testimonials in the front of the book perfectly captures my sentiment. Screenwriter and director Brian Koppelman (Rounders, Ocean’s Thirteen and Billions) puts it this way: “I don’t have many rules in life, but one I never break is: If Ryan Holiday writes a book, I read it as soon as I can get my hands on it.” (btw: Cal Newport’s the first testimonial. He says: “Some authors give advice. Ryan Holiday distills wisdom. This book is a must read.”) Penguin Random House sent me an advance copy of this book. As I knew it would be: It’s fantastic. Of course, the book’s packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

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#412 "This is my way; where is yours?"

"… For the way — that does not exist." - Nietzsche
A couple +1s ago we had some fun with Nietzsche. We left his company all too quickly. Today we’ll take a quick look at another one of my
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#151 Digital Sabbaticals

Taking Breaks from Focus NOT from Distraction
Let’s revisit Cal Newport’s Deep Work for another genius idea. At the risk of repeating myself even more than normal (yes, it’s
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#374 Make the Connection

What’s Working? What Needs Work?
In our last +1, we talked about the importance of making the connection between your two ADDs: your addiction to digital devices and your
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#83 Name It to Tame It

How to Tame the Gremlins
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that Suffering = Pain x Resistance. I briefly mentioned one way to reduce our suffering—simply
Locked Philosophers Notes

Happier

Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment

Tal Ben-Shahar is one of my favorite teachers. He taught one of the most popular classes in Harvard's history and this book captures the essence of his class on Positive Psychology—sharing the best of what we scientifically know about how to create happier, more fulfilled lives. We'll explore how important it is to have goals AND be in the moment (and the perils of *just* being in the moment) along with mucho más goodness.

Locked Philosophers Notes

Turning Pro

Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work

Turning Pro. Steven Pressfield tells us that's how we win The War of Art against our nemesis Resistance. Brilliant stuff. In this Note, we'll take a quick look at Shadow Callings (w/a look at mine!), the blissful hell of Epiphanies and more goodness on how to officially turn pro.

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Locked Philosophers Notes

Presence

Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

Amy Cuddy is awesome. Her TED talk is the 2nd most popular ever. This book is just as good. Learn the science of cultivating your personal power to bring your boldest self to your biggest challenges. Big Ideas we explore: self-affirmation theory, priming + nudges, the magic of expanding your body to increase your power, iHunch (how’s yours?), and the boldest you.

Locked Philosophers Notes

The Inner Citadel

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

Pierre Hadot was one of the most influential historians of ancient philosophy. In this book, he gives us an incredible look at Marcus Aurelius and his classic Meditations. You can feel Hadot’s incredible intellectual rigor and equally incredible passion for engaged philosophy. It’s inspiring. Big Ideas we explore include spiritual exercises, your inner citadel, your daimōn, amor fate, turning obstacles upside down and carpe areté.

101 Classes

Energy 101

How to give your soul the energy it needs to live your greatest life

We’re going to have a hard time actualizing our potential if we have a hard time getting out of bed. Energy is SUPER important. In fact, it’s the engine for our actualization. In this class, we’ll integrate a lot of the most essential aspects of eating, moving, and sleeping. But first, we’ll start by stepping back and recognizing just how important it is that we flip the switch in our minds—raising our standards and TRULY committing to being our best, most energized selves so we can change the world together, one person at a time, starting with YOU and me.

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#181 Energizers vs. Enervators

The Art & Science of How to Take a Good Break
We know it’s important to take good breaks. We want to work for a certain period of time (NASA says no more than 90 minutes or so) and
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#100 Euthymia

How to Live with Energized Tranquility
First: Welcome to our 100th +1. It’s a special milestone. Kinda excited about it. 😃 Let’s celebrate it with one of my favorite words
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#660 How Clark Kent Becomes Superman in 11 Seconds

Flipping the (Superhero) Identity Switch (Then Reflipping/Ducktaping It So It Sticks All Day Every Day)

In our last +1, we talked about our inaugural Heroic Coach program (there’s still a little more time to sign up and join hundreds of

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#27 "I'm Excited!"

What to Say to Yourself When You’re Feeling Nerves
Alison Wood Brooks is a researcher at Harvard Business School. She studies the most effective strategy for dealing with acute stress. First,
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#64 Smokeybot

The Little Guy Who Smokes the Tortoise and the Hare
Grant Cardone wrote a great book called The 10X Rule. In it, he tells us that we got the whole Tortoise and the Hare story wrong. Of course,
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#189 States vs. Traits

How to Quit Being a Cannonball
Ken Wilber tells us there’s a big difference between what he calls “states” and “traits.” It’s pretty easy to have a “state”
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#669 Three Forms of Discipline

Yoda Says: 1. Reactive + 2. Structural + 3. Expansive
In our last +1, we talked about the two facets of Emotional Stamina. Recall: The WORSE you feel, the MORE committed you are to your
Locked +1s

#630 Want to Be Great?

Find the Time. Find the Energy
In our last +1, we talked about LeBron James and the fact that he tries to get 11 to 12 hours of sleep per day when he’s training. (So
Philosophers Notes

Making Hope Happen

Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others

Did you know there's a science of hope? Yep. And Shane Lopez is the world's leading researchig studying the science of hope. This book is an inspiring look at the nuts and bolts of cultivating hope. Big Ideas we explore include differentiating hope from fantastizing and dwelling, the three keys to hope (goals + agency + pathways) , futurecasting, sirens, when/where plans and why hope is so important for leadership.

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Locked Philosophers Notes

The War of Art

This book is amazing. If you’ve ever struggled with rockin’ your creativity it’s pretty much a must-read. Written in an intense, no-nonsense style, Pressfield gets to the heart of the “Resistance” that stands in our way to fully expressing ourselves as he challenges us to become true “Professionals.” In the Note, we’ll check out some of my Favorite Big Ideas—from letting the results be by-products to the importance of simply sitting down and trying day after day after day.

Locked Philosophers Notes

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition)

John Maxwell is one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership. He’s trained millions (literally) of leaders and has written over 50 (!) books that have sold over 13 million copies—this one alone has sold over 3 million copies. After a super quick look at the 21 Laws, Big Ideas we explore: The Law of Process (aka: Leaders are learners), the foundation of leadership (= trust), leaders are practical AND visionary, the law of victory (!), and your legacy—what will people say when you die? + What’s your “life sentence”?

Locked Philosophers Notes

The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

I planned to read this book since Cal Newport referenced it in Deep Work. I finally did so in preparation to teach Productivity 101. It’s fantastic. If you’re a business leader or entrepreneur I think you’ll particularly enjoy it. Big Ideas we cover include the 4DX, the whirlwind, your Wildly Important Goals, Lag vs. Lead measures, the power of keeping score, and avoiding the blackhole of the magnificently trivial.

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#451 451°

Here’s to Your Burning!
Today we hit another special milestone. 451. “Why is 451 a special milestone?” Well, recall our lessons on activation energy. At 211°
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#424 Antifragile Buoyancy

How’s Your Barbell?

A couple +1s ago, we talked about the power of buoyancy and the optimal ratio of positive to negative. Recall that, as per Barbara Frerickson...

+1s

#201 Creative vs. Reactive

Choose One Before the Other (If You Want to Actualize Your Potential)
Creative and reactive. Two words with the same exact letters. Just a slightly different placement of that “c.” But, alas, that “c”
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#77 Dust

A Secret Tool to Master Non-Attachment
Let’s chat about something called “Dust.” It’s a secret tool I recently learned from Phil Stutz. Basic context: Remember Apollo,
+1s

#7 Handy Dandy Motivational Calculator

The Science of Solving the Procrastination Equation

Piers Steel is a leading research scientist. After analyzing hundreds of studies on motivation, he came up with a little equation to

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#128 How to Discover Your Deep Work Style

Hermit. Bimodal. Rhythmic. Journalistic. (Yours?)
Deep Work. As we’ve discussed many times, it’s increasingly more rare AND increasingly more valuable. The amount of high-quality work we
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#38 How to Schedule Your Best Work

Match Your Mental Energy to Your Task

He's the creator of DIlbert. (Over 10,000 of them by now, actually.) He also wrote a great book called How to Fail at Almost Everything and

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#37 Multitasking Is a Myth

What We Do Is Really Task Switching — And that Has a Big Cost
Multitasking is a myth. Our brains aren’t like computers with parallel processors. We can’t actually do multiple things at one time.
+1s

#54 Speed Is a Force

The Force Is with You - Use It Wisely
The very first thing Phil Stutz taught me in our very first session together was the fact that Speed Is a Force. He told me that the longer
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+1s

#268 The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Here They Are: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4
Stephen Covey’s son Sean wrote a great book with some other smart guys from FranklinCovey called The 4 Disciplines of Execution. I picked
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#1030 Want to Make It Stick?

Explain Like I’m 5
In our last +1, we talked about the research on the fact that The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note
Locked Philosophers Notes

The Tao Te Ching

by Lao Tzu

The Tao te Ching. It's the core text of Taoism and one of the top old school classics of all time. In this Note, we'll take a look at everything from making use of solitude to the fact that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step (heard that before, eh?!). We'll also learn to let go of our attachment to future results and gracefully roll with the ebbs and flows of life.

Locked Philosophers Notes

Love 2.0

Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection

Ready to upgrade your vision of love? Then you’re in for a treat with this fantastic book by Barbara Fredrickson. Barbara is one of the world’s leading positive psychologists. The book is incredibly well-written, deeply inspiring and incredibly practical as well. In fact, I just told Alexandra that this book might be the one that most positively impacts my life. Big Ideas we explore include: Love 1.0 vs. Love 2.0, taking a trip to Vagus, identifying our prevailing desire, #1 tip: create 3 loving moments today, exiting our cocoon of self-absorption via loving-kindness meditation, and Love 2.0 x 2: compassionate + celebratory love.

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie wrote this book in 1937. The publisher originally only printed 5,000 copies. It was an immediate best seller and went on to sell over 30 million copies. I’ve always had a very strong allergy to the idea of “networking” and trying to “win friends” and/or “influence people” so this one never quite resonated but I loved it. It’s packed with Big Ideas on how to Optimize our relationships and, perhaps in the process, win some more friends and influence some people as better humans and leaders. We explore: The #1 indispensable quality you need for Optimizing, Principle #1 of How to Win Friends (Never criticize!!), how to make a great first impression, the Golden Rule (you living it), what to do when you make a mistake, and what to think when you meet people today!

Philosophers Notes

Happy Together

Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts

Suzie and James Pawelski are two of the world's leading positive psychology experts. James cofounded the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania with Martin Seligman while Suzie is a graduate of the program and a leading freelance writer and consultant. Together they've written an incredible book on "Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts." I’ve been waiting for a very long time for the book that would make me say: “READ THIS BOOK if you want to figure out how to integrate Ancient Wisdom + Modern Science + Practical Tools to Optimize your relationship.” And, well, THIS book is it. I HIGHLY recommend it. In fact, it's not only my #1 Love book recommendation, it's also cracked the Top 10 all-time greatest list. Big Ideas we explore include The Relationship Gym (hit it!), Aristotelian Lovers (the REAL Soul Mates), SNAP (James geniuses x2), Know Thy... (self and thy partner!), and Love Is an Action Verb (let's commit to flourishing together TODAY!).

Locked +1s

#1048 “I Found Something!”

The "I Love You” Game
As we’ve discussed many times, one of my absolute favorite things to do in life is curl up in bed next to Emerson and read together.
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#70 5-Minute Sweaty Conversations

How to Navigate those Challenging Chats
You know those times when you need to initiate a tough conversation and you’re kinda sorta dreading it and avoiding it? One of my old
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Locked +1s

#32 Active Love

How to Get Out of a Mental Maze When Someone’s Annoying You
Here’s another really powerful tool from The Tools guys, Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. Use this tool whenever you find yourself in one of
Locked +1s

#17 Bring Forth

How to Be a Wise Parent (for Yourself + Others)
As you might have noticed, it’s easy to stress ourselves out as we strive to step up to our heroic potential. So… We need to make sure
+1s

#26 Celebratory Love

Gratitude’s Generous Cousin
In the last couple +1s we talked about the power of Gratitude and Grateful Flow. (You try them out yet? 😃) Today, let’s talk about
Locked +1s

#722 Encourage - Part 2

Making the Case for Elevating Its Status
In our last +1, I made the case for why the virtue of encouragement should be elevated to its proper status in the pantheon of how to best
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+1s

#280 How to Flourish

Science Says: PERMA
Martin Seligman is basically the Godfather of the Positive Psychology movement. He’s written a number of seminal books on the science of
Locked +1s

#727 Looking for Love (2.0)

Finding Those Micro Moments of Positivity Resonance (TODAY!)
As we’ve discussed, I absolutely love Love 2.0 by Barbara Fredrickson. As a super-introverted guy, it’s easy for me to get lost in my
Locked +1s

#574 Love Kryptonite

Strikes 8 Billion Times Per Day (in the US Alone)
In our last +1, we talked about Love. Specifically, we talked about Love 0.0. Love 1.0. Love 2.0. And, Love 3.0. Today, we’re going to
Locked +1s

#435 Other Image 101

What Do You See in the Faces of Those You Meet?
In Self-Image 101, we talked about how to create the most heroically awesome version of yourself by integrating the “Optimus” you and
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Locked +1s

#606 Parenting: 3 Tips

Lessons on How to Be a Great Dad
At the end of my recent talk I keep on talking about 😉, one of the CEOs came up and asked me how to apply the wisdom I shared to his
Locked +1s

#135 Repairing Relationships

A Key Practice for Optimizing the Love in Our Lives
In our last +1 we chatted about the difference between FALLING in love and STANDING in love. It’s easy to fall in love. It’s
Locked +1s

#1016 Stoic Love Advice

Musonius Says: Compete in Giving Care
As we discussed not too long ago, I recently had an epic party with some Stoics. And, by party, I mean, I hung out with some of the
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#488 The Golden (+ Platinum!) Rule

How’re You Treating Others? AND… Yourself?
We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule. But, today I have three quick questions: 1. Do you know just how ubiquitous that Golden Rule is across
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Locked +1s

#129 What's Your #1 Self-Care Habit?

Perhaps the Most Important Question We Can Ask Ourselves
As we’ve discussed, Michelle Segar is one of the world’s leading researchers studying the science of how to Optimize our health
Locked +1s

#130 What's Your Partner’s #1 Self-Care Habit?

Another VERY Important Question
In our last +1, we talked about the importance of identifying and installing your #1 self-care habit. Today I want to talk about another
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#307 You and an Elephant

A Parable About Blind Guys and Perspective
In our last +1, we talked about you and your donkey and the fact that you can’t please everyone all the time. Continuing our theme of
Locked Philosophers Notes

Leadershift

The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace

This is our 4th Note on one of John Maxwell’s books. We also have Notes on The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, and How Successful People Think. John is one of my absolute favorite writers and teachers. His books are *ridiculously* packed with Big Ideas. (Like, jumbo-ridiculously packed with practical wisdom.) As we’ve discussed, he’s one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership. He’s sold over 25 million copies of his dozens of books that have been translated into over 50 languages. His organizations have also trained leaders in EVERY single country around the world. This is his most recent book, written after FIFTY (!) years of leadership. As per the sub-title, John walks us through the “11 Essential Changes” he has made and that he encourages every leader to embrace. Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the 11 essential leadershifts, layered learning (compound those +1s!), consistency (how to pay the price of leadership), moral authority (the highest form of leadership!), and the Clock + the Compass (how to fulfill your destiny TODAY).

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Locked Philosophers Notes

The ONE Thing

The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

The ONE Thing. What's yours? Gary Keller (his Keller-Williams real estate is THE largest real estate company in the world--I bet that was a ONE Thing goal at some point!) shares his wisdom in this BRILLIANT book. We'll have fun exploring a few of my favorite Big Ideas: dominoes + extreme Pareto and other goodness.

Locked Philosophers Notes

Unstoppable Teams

The Four Essential Actions of High-Performance Leadership

Alden Mills is a three-time Navy SEAL platoon commander and the Founder/CEO of Perfect Fitness (which was one of Inc.’s fastest-growing companies in the country). He’s also the father of four boys, a great writer/storyteller and, most importantly, an inspiring human being. I loved Alden’s first book Be Unstoppable. This book (and the AMAZING Unstoppable Teams 101 class Alden created with us for our Optimizers!!) is packed with wisdom gleaned from Alden’s 25+ years of experience working with high-performing teams. It’s fantastic. Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the CARE loop, the Whiner vs. the Whisperer (+ Samurai swords), The A in CARE, achieving over-the-horizon goals, and jumping headfirst into leading your unstoppable teams!

Locked Philosophers Notes

Ego Is the Enemy

Meet the enemy: Your ego. Our guide, Ryan Holiday, wrote one of my favorite books of 2015: The Obstacle Is the Way. Ego Is the Enemy is now one of my favorite books of 2016. It’s fantastic. Big Ideas we explore include: defining ego, becoming more than a flash in the pan, finally answering the question of whether it takes 10,000 or 20,000 hours to attain mastery, the virtue and value of staying true to your own path and making it rather than faking it.

+1s

#270 2 Scorecards

One for the Lead + Another for the Lag
While we’re on a roll with the 4 Disciplines of Execution, let’s circle back and talk a bit more about the Lead vs. Lag Measures. This
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Locked +1s

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