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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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Self-Care 101

How to honor your goddess body and create a beautiful life (special guest teacher: alexandra!)

Alexandra joins us as a guest teacher for this class! In today’s society it’s truly a revolutionary act for women to take exquisite care of themselves. In this class, we will challenge some of the beliefs that stop you from truly caring for your unique body as we find creative ways to align your life with who you are. You’ll discover how to come home to yourself, create a blueprint to help you flourish, know and trust your beautiful body, own your greatness, and live from a place of good enough and love. Basically, remembering that you’re awesome and all you need to do is let your goodness shine!

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The Power of Full Engagement

Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

Loehr and Schwartz tell us we've gotta manage ENERGY not time if we wanna really optimize our lives. Their book is pure goodness. In this Note, we'll explore the four principles of full engagement, why we want to be more like sprinters rather than marathon runners, that there's a pulse of life and we need to honor it, and the power of positive rituals. And some other really Big Ideas on getting our Full Engagement on.

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Eat Move Sleep

How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes

Eat Move Sleep. The simple, powerful keys to optimal health and well-being. We talk about these fundamentals ALL the time and this is my new favorite book on health. Big Ideas we explore include 10,008 hours and 36 minutes (the magic # of elite performance), candy for cancer cells, the power of measuring whatever it is you want to improve, how to buy willpower at the store, and a vaccine for the common cold.

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The Healthy Deviant

A Rule Breaker's Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World

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

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The Power of Rest

Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough

Rest. You getting enough? If you're like most of us, the answer is No. Leading medical doctor, Matthew Edlund shows us how sleep isn't enough. We need to cultivate "active rest" into our day-to-day lives. In this Note, we'll look at how to integrate active Mental + Physical + Social + Spiritual rest while working out our brain, breathing and optimizing our lives.

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Are You Fully Charged?

The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life

Are you fully charged? Tom Rath tells us it’s all about what we do DAILY and that if we want to improve the quality of our lives (and sense of aliveness!), we need to focus on optimizing three key conditions: Meaning + Interactions + Energy. Big Ideas we explore include the meaning equation, doubling down on your talents, embracing the 500 million moments of our lives, and The iPhone Effect.

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Clean

Are you feeling a little funky? There’s a very good chance that your body’s detox systems are overworked and could use a little re-start! And, helping you do that wisely is pretty much what Dr. Alejandro Junger’s great book is all about. In this Note, we take a look at what’s creating all that toxicity and what you can do about it!

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When

The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Dan Pink is the author of a number of bestselling books. We’ve covered a couple of those books so far: Drive and To Sell Is Human. This one, of course, is about timing. Specifically, as per the sub-title: “The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” As with all of his other books, it’s brilliantly written—weaving in fascinating stories with solid science and practical tools to cap it off. Big Ideas we explore include: The hidden pattern in everyday life, the importance of breaks (for the strong not the slothful!), your afternoon nappuccino, beginning before you begin, midpoints as sparks rather than slumps, and your new end-of-day ritual.

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Super Human

The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever

Dave Asprey is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and professional biohacker. In fact, he’s basically the founder of the whole biohacking movement. We’ve featured two of his previous books: The Bulletproof Diet and Head Strong. As we discussed in our other Notes, his explicit aim is to live to 180. This book is basically his operating manual on how he’s going after that astonishingly ambitious (and equally inspiring) goal. The book has three parts: Part I: Don’t Die. Part II: Age Backward. And, Part III: Heal Like a Deity. Big Ideas we explore include: The #1 rule of biohacking (and Optimizing), How not to die (aka Rules 1 ,2 and 3), Food = Anti-aging drug (how's your nutrition?), Sleep or Die (featuring a view of Dave's crazy Oura stats along with mine from last night), and getting ready to celebrate your 180th (!) birthday.

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Healthy at 100

How’d you like to be Healthy at 100? Me, too. John Robbins shares the scientific wisdom we have on *how* we can go about rockin’ that and in this Note we’ll have fun looking at my favorite Big Ideas including the fact that, as the Vilcabambans tell us, we all have two doctors (our right leg and our left leg :). Plus, we’ll look at the importance of love and gratitude along with the true fountain of youth.

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Brain Rules

12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

Dr. John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist focused on the genes involved in human brain development and the genetics of psychiatric disorders. He’s also a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in its Department of Bioengineering. And, perhaps most importantly for our purposes, he’s a great writer and storyteller. This is a fascinating look at his 12 “brain rules.” I loved it—especially the first five rules which are a nice confirmation of why our fundamentals are so important! Big Ideas we explore include: a quick glance at our 12 brain rules, the importance of: moving (remember our Olympian ancient ancestors!), sleep (sleep loss = brain drain), attention (multitasking is a MYTH), memory (how we learn), and exploration (we're all scientists running experiments!).

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Dare to Be 100

Dare to be 100! Why not? If you believe one of the world’s leading scientists on longevity, Stanford Med School Professor Walter Bortz, we should *definitely* go for it! Get gives us 100 ways we can go about it and in this Note, we’ll explore some of my favorite Big Ideas—starting with the fact that we need to quit blaming our genes, see work as our greatest friend and exercise as our first line of defense. Great stuff!

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#28 Emotional Stamina

What to Do When You’re Having a Rough Day
What do you do when you’re having a rough day? Maybe it starts the moment you wake up and you just don’t feel like doing your normal
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#30 Sharpening the Saw

/Building a Chainsaw
Stephen Covey‘s seventh habit of Highly Effective People is “Sharpen the Saw.” He tells us about the importance of renewal if we want
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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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#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
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#173 Higher Highs and Higher Lows

Embracing the Tides of Our Lives
In our last +1, we talked about Rebound Days and the fact that you’re not going to be on every (!) single (!!) day (!!!). We need to
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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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#224 Rest Before You’re Tired

Remember Your Heart and Its Billions of Beats
Do you know how many times your heart beats in a lifetime? That obviously depends on a number of factors, but for the sake of discussion
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#225 How to Avoid Burnout

Micro + Mid + Macro Recovery
Continuing our theme of sharpening our saw and resting before we get tired, let’s figure out how to avoid burnout. Tal Ben-Shahar wrote a
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#236 Circadians + Ultradians

The Rhythms of Life
At this stage, we’re all familiar with the idea of “circadian” rhythms. The word comes from the Latin circa + dies which literally
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#237 Making Waves

And Riding them to Your Highest Potential
In our last +1, we talked about the importance of honoring your ultradian rhythms—remembering the fact that our performance atrophies
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#567 Dare to Be Healthy at 100

Party Planning + Birthday Invitations
In The Endurance Handbook, Phil Maffetone teaches us how to tap into our athletic endurance potential. He also teaches us how to perform
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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 Optimize goodness including exciting opportunities on the Social side of things (!) and the
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#742 Think You Can Get By on Little Sleep?

Science Says: Think Again (Struck by Lightning Lately?)
In our last couple +1s, we’ve had some fun hanging out with our suprachiasmatic nuclei and chatting about how to Optimize our sleep.
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#745 Sleep: The Miracle Drug!

Let’s Pop The Metaphorical Pills to Reduce the Real Ones
Why We Sleep is a life-changing kinda book. (You get it yet? Trust me, you’ll thank me!) We’re going to spend a few more days mining a
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#781 Health Is a Vehicle

Not a Destination
Joshua Rosenthal created the Institute for Integrative Nutrition—one of the leading health coaching certification programs in the world.
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#884 The Fundies

Eat + Move + Sleep + Breathe + Be Present + Prosper
It’s hard to believe we’re already in the home stretch of the Mastery phase of our Optimize Coach program. I have a stack of notes on my
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#886 You, the Lightbulb

Turning Up Our Wattage
In our last couple +1s, we’ve chatted about a couple of my favorite ideas from the Mastery series lecture on The Fundies: How to Energize
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#953 Doing Everything Possible

To Create Vibrant Health to Give Back (aka: Be Fit to Be Useful)
In our last +1, we explored the (brilliant) five-word philosophy of Georges Hébert: “Be fit to be useful.” Today we’re going to
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#1025 Exercise: It’s a Well-Being Tool

Not a Weight-Loss Tool
In our last couple +1s, we talked about a key (arguably the #1 key) predictor of our long-term health/morbidity: our visceral fat. We also
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#917 Sleep Curfews

Caffeine + Exercise + Eating + Screens + Work
Continuing our (second!) trip through Sleep Optimizing, let’s talk about some important curfews. Remember our Top 10 Sleep Kryptonites?
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#920 Borrowed Energy

Where’s the Energy-Mint App to Track It?!
In one of our very first Notes, we took a quick look at Brendan Brazier’s The Thrive Diet. I read the book when it came out nearly a dozen
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#940 Stress Curfews

When's Yours?
Not too long ago, we talked about Sleep Curfews. Five of them, to be precise. One for Caffeine. Another for Exercise. Plus Eating. Plus
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#743 Optimizing Z’s: 12 Tips

Your #1? (Tonight the Night?)
In our last several +1s, we’ve been having fun Optimizing our Z’s. Let’s continue. We wrapped up our last +1 with a quick inventory of
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#449 Rule #1 of Nutrition

Fountain of Youth vs. Poisons
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that your taste buds are all shiny new every two weeks—which is good news if you’re addicted to
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#752 Food Rule #1: Eat Food

vs. Edible Foodlike Substances
Let’s continue the Food Rule fun with one more +1 on Michael Pollan’s classic little food manual. Today we’ll explore Food Rule #1.
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#1228 The Perfect Breath

5.5 + 5.5 + 5.5
In our last +1, we spent some time breathing with James Nestor. His book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art is now tied for first as my
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#1232 How to +3 It

When -1 → +1 = +3
This morning I was preparing for the third session in our Algorithms Module in our Mastery Series for our Coach program. In the first
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#1270 Spray Painting Leaves

Wise Gardening for Mind Body and Soul
In our last +1, we hung out with some scientists and doctors who decided to test whether or not FOOD prescriptions would be more
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#1285 The Optimize Food Rules

The Big 3 (+1!)
One of my favorite parts about creating our Optimize Mastery Series is that it forced me to go to the next level of clarity on the most
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#645 Boundaries or Burnout

100% On + 100% Off <- Repeat
In our last +1, we talked about how the Peak Performance guys recommend we craft our optimal work-to-rest ratio. Pop quiz: You recall the
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Bounce

Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success

What do you think about excellence? Do you think it’s primarily driven by natural, inborn talent? Or, do you think that it’s primarily driven by effort? Matthew Syed tells us that’s a very important decision that has a broad impact on how we show up and shows us how to Bounce into our highest potential. Big Ideas we explore include: the iceberg illusion, 1 million balls, doublethink and the importance of purposeful practice + the growth mindset.

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Brain Power

Improve Your Mind as You Age

Want to learn how to improve your mind as you age? You can and this book by Michael Gelb (author of one of my favorite books: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci) and Kelly Howell (creator of Brain Sync’s Destiny meditation which I’ve used hundreds of times!) tells us how. In the Note, we’ll take a peek at their eight ways to boost brain power--ranging from optimism, learning and nutrition to exercise, love and rest! Powerful stuff.

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Go Wild

Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization

Ready to go wild?! John Ratey, MD, and Richard Manning are here to give us the guidebook on how to make that happen! In the Note, we explore Big Ideas ranging from wild nutrition to getting out of bad moods, getting adequate sleep and pulling levers that will change our lives!

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Movement Matters

Essays on Movement Science, Movement Ecology, and the Nature of Movement

This book is an adaptation of a series of essays Katy created over the last five years in which she unpacks her evolving views on what she calls “movement ecology.” It’s not your typical “do X, Y, and Z” optimal living guidebook. It’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at why—as you can guess by the title—Movement Matters and a challenging look at how our individual and cultural decisions have created a sedentary culture and a significant nature debt that few of us ever stop to think about. Big Ideas: Stacking your life, minimalism vs. maximalism, the tree of your life, and redefining success.

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Sitting Kills, Moving Heals

How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death — and Exercise Alone Won’t

Joan Vernikos was the former Director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division. Basically, she was responsible for understanding how to optimize the health and well-being of our astronauts. In this book, she walks us through how our sedentary lifestyles are surprisingly similar to the gravity-free lifestyles of astronauts in space. Just as an astronaut’s health rapidly deteriorates outside of gravity’s pull, OUR health erodes when we adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Big Ideas we cover include Gravity 101, why gravity is so N.E.A.T., how to build G-Habits and why your telomeres don’t like you sitting so much.

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The Genius Life

Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary

Max Lugavere is a filmmaker, TV personality and health and science journalist. This book is a distillation of his research into how to “Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary.” Big Ideas we explore include rule #1 of getting your genius on: Don't fork around! (Aka it starts with food), Carpe (Circa) Diem! (remember to honor rhythms), when to eat (timing is everything!), move your body (to get your mind right), and get your sleep (and get your genius on!).

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The Master Key

Qigong Secrets for Vitality, Love, and Wisdom

Robert Peng is one of the world’s leading Qigong masters. In addition to some powerful Qigong practices and an overview of how it all works, Robert shares his utterly fascinating and captivating personal story about how he met and trained with his master as a boy in China. (I felt like I was reading Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior. But Robert’s master, Xiao Yao, is a) real and b) even more powerful than Dan’s fictional Socrates. :) Big Ideas we explore: the meaning of Qigong, #1 goal of spiritual development, The Four Golden Wheels and a sense of destiny.

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The Pleasure Trap

There are hidden forces undermining our health and happiness. They're called Pleasure Traps. And ~Douglas Lisle + Alan Goldhamer are here to help us navigate thru the traps. In this Note, we'll look at the #1 way to deal with the tasty traps of modern food and a bunch of other goodness.

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The Telomere Effect

A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer

Elizabeth Blackburn won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of telemorase—“the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, which protect our genetic heritage.” Elissa Epel is one of the world’s leading health psychology researchers. Together, they have created a great book that walks us through the best of what we know about telomeres, why they’re so important and what we can do to Optimize them. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about telomeres, THIS is the book to read. Big Ideas we explore include why telomeres are the secret sauce to aging well, the fact that your cells are listening to your thoughts (#1 tip? Shift from a threat response to a challenge response!), how to mind your telomeres (move from negative thinking to resilient thinking), how to eat, move, sleep your way to happy telomeres, and a challenging question: What will YOUR cellular legacy be?

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Trust Your Vibes

Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living

Did you know you’ve got six senses? Yep. And the brilliant Sonia Choquette describes the why's and how’s of "six sensory" living in her great book. In the Note we'll look at some of my favorite Big Ideas on how to trust our vibes and rock it—from learning how to take care of ourselves and being flexible to no longer dwelling on the past and breathing deeply, we'll have fun playing with our vibes.