#1564 Areté +1° #190: Masterpiece Day Checklist

How To Reduce Mortality Rates By 47%

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, a micro-chapter from my new book, Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

451 little micro-chapters like this. This is from Objective IV: Making Today a Masterpiece, second chapter.


Atul Gawande is a world-class surgeon.

In his great book The Checklist Manifesto, he walks us through the astonishing power of simple checklists.

I got the book after reading Teresa Amabile’s The Progress Principle in which she raved about it.

Professor Amabile is the head of research at Harvard Business School. She says: “The results are astonishing. In a three-month experiment in eight different hospitals around the world, the rate of serious complications for surgical patients fell by 36 percent after introduction of the checklist, and deaths fell by 47 percent. Even Gawande himself, a highly trained surgeon with years of operating experience, found that his own performance improved notably after he started using the checklist. His point is that surgery, like any complex task, requires a regular check of all the fundamentals—to liberate the team to focus on the work and any unexpected circumstances that may arise.”

The surgical checklist was crazy simple. So simple that many surgeons (who trained for decades to do what they do) thought it was laughably useless.

It included very basic things like each member of the surgical team introducing themselves and confirming which side of the body the surgery would be performed on.

But the results from that super simple checklist were astonishing. Deaths fell by 47%.

I repeat, this time in bold caps to make sure you don’t miss the memo…


The research is clear…

You can (and should!) use checklists for any complex thing you do that you want to make sure you consistently do well— whether you’re a surgeon, a pilot, or a Hero on a quest to create a masterpiece life.

Here’s the short story on a good checklist: It’s short. It’s precise. And, most importantly, it’s SUPER PRACTICAL.

For our Heroic purposes, we want to make sure we have a simple little checklist to reduce the fatality rate of our Masterpiece Days.

So… What’s on your list?

Let’s create a super simple v1 Masterpiece Day Checklist. Short. Precise. Practical. What THREE things do you do when you have your best days?

Think about that for a moment.

What are they?

  1. _______________________________________
  2. _______________________________________
  3. _______________________________________

Figure out the few super-basic things you do to help you have great days. Create a checklist to make sure you do them.

And make TODAY a masterpiece.

P.S. We architected our Heroic app with this wisdom in mind. Set up YOUR Heroic Big 3 (checklist!) protocol today and watch your Masterpiece Day mortality rates drop by AT LEAST 47%!!

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