Mission progress

Locked 101 Classes

Journaling 101

How to Create a Foundation of Clarity, Confidence and Consistency by Using a Journal

Journaling. It’s a powerful way to create a foundation of clarity, confidence and consistency. This is my most personal class ever as I walk thru the precise way I journal every morning (I call it “The Five-Minute Foundation” and share the 10 scientifically proven ways to Optimize I’ve integrated—from Goals and Grit to Hope, Virtues and Process) and how I WOOP my #1 goal. Plus, we’ll look at how to create Masterpiece Days, Optimize the Big 3 (Energy + Family + Service) and a bunch of other goodness.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Artist's Way

25th Anniversary Edition

This is the 25th Anniversary Edition of the classic book that has inspired millions of creative people around the world. It’s essentially a 12-week course in helping us “discover” and “recover” our creative selves. It’s *packed* with exercises and questions to help us connect with the “Great Creator” within as we free up our latent creative potential. Big Ideas we explore include: the spiral path, morning pages, artist dates, gain disguised as loss, and the magic, grace and power of action.

Locked PhilosophersNotes


How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier

Robert Emmons is one of the world's leading experts on the science of gratitude and this book is packed with the whys and hows of getting our gratitude on. In this Note, we'll explore Big Ideas on how we can boost our happiness by 25% by simply keeping a daily gratitude journal, how to get our relationships flourishing, the importance of seeing challenges as opportunities for growth and more goodness.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Happy for No Reason

7 Steps to Being Happy From the Inside Out

Marci Shimoff created Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and integrates great stories about happy people with scientifically established ways to boost our happiness in her great book. In the Note, we'll explore the fact that we all have a happiness set point that's genetically determined and dive into a bunch of Big Ideas about what we can do raise our happiness levels.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The How of Happiness

A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want

People often ask me what *one* book I would recommend they read. I never had an answer I felt good about until I read this book. It's amazing. The most comprehensive and readable look at what we *scientifically know* works to boost our happiness—from gratitude and exercise to optimism and kindness. (btw: The other #1 book I'd recommend? The PhilosophersNotes workbook. How can you beat 1,000 Big Ideas from 100 great books packed into 600 pages? ;)

Locked PhilosophersNotes

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 PhilosophersNotes

The Road to Character

In today’s world, the road to character has a much less defined map than the road to external success. In this thoughtful, penetrating book, New York Times op-ed columnist and author David Brooks walks us through the evolution of our culture away from a character ethic toward a society all about what he calls the “Big Me.” And, of course, he shows us the way back to character. Big Ideas we explore include résumé virtues vs. eulogy virtues, answering the summons, conquering yourself, living for holiness and becoming strongest at your weakest point.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Primary Greatness

The 12 Levers of Success

Stephen Covey passed away in 2012. This book was published posthumously and features a collection of wisdom focusing on the fact that private victory precedes public victory. Primary greatness. It’s all about what’s on the INSIDE. Covey tells us there are 12 levers of success—each with its own chapter in this great book. Big Ideas we explore include: Esse Quam Videri (“to BE rather than to seem”), Virtues: meet your parents, say “YES!,” your high-tech power saw and living in crescendo.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Born for This

How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do

What were you born to do? As you might have guessed, that’s what this book is all about. Our guide, Chris Guillebeau, gives us a bunch of helpful tips and strategies to help us find the work we were meant to do. Big Ideas we explore include how win the career lottery (hint: think JOY-MONEY-FLOW), playing the elimination game, remembering that if Plan A fails you still have 25 other letters, Warren Buffett on goals, and getting good at quitting.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Off Balance

Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction

Matthew Kelly asks: If you had to choose between balance and satisfaction, which would you choose? Satisfaction, right? 10,000 out of 10,000 people agree. Who wants “balance” anyway? And who came up with the idea of “work-life” balance? Big Ideas we explore include figuring out what you *really* want in life, becoming the best-version-of-yourself, answering the ultimate question, mastering energy management and learning to take the decade view of your life.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Undefeated Mind

On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self

How'd you like to have an undefeated mind while constructing an indestructible self? (I'll take 'em!) Alex Lickerman, MD shows us how--blending Western science with practical Eastern mysticism in this powerful book. In the Note, we'll explore how to find your mission and turn poison into medicine.


Gratitude Works!

A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity

I’m grateful for Robert Emmons. He’s dedicated the last three decades of his life to understanding the science of how to boost our well-being. In the process, he’s conducted ground-breaking research on the power of gratitude. In fact, he’s basically THE researcher we have to thank for understanding *just* how powerful gratitude journaling is. (He's also served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.) I consider myself a reasonably grateful guy but this book has opened my eyes to JUST how powerful gratitude is. And, to just how important it is to DELIBERATELY PRACTICE it. Big Ideas we explore include: How to give yourself a 25% (!!!) boost in happiness, the top gratitude practices, the #1 obstacle to gratitude (and its remedy), and using challenges for grateful fuel!

Locked +1s

#35 Journal Lately?

Science Says: It’s one of THE Most Robust Ways to Boost Our Optimism
Here’s another simple way to keep your motivation high: Journal. Sonja Lyubomirsky is one of the world’s leading scientists studying
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

#112 Your Best Possible Self

Science Says: This Is a Powerful Way to Boost Your Optimism
In The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky tells us that one of the most scientifically-robust ways to boost your optimism is to take 20-30
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

#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
Locked +1s

#203 You As Your Three Heroes

Who Are Yours? (Here Are Mine)
In the documentary Finding Joe on Joseph Campbell and the modern hero’s journey, Deepak Chopra shares some great wisdom. He tells us to
Locked +1s

#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
Locked +1s

#214 Success List

Throw Away Your To-Do List & Focus Here
In our last +1, we talked about adding a To-Be List to go with your To-Do List. But, you know what? We should really start with our To-Be
Locked +1s

#329 Warren Buffett on Goal Setting

Three Steps to Clarity
In Born for This, Chris Guillebeau tells us that, according to legend, Warren Buffet once gave a struggling friend a three steps process for
Locked +1s

#355 The Decade View

What’s YOURS look like?
Matthew Kelly has written a number of great books. We have Notes on three of them: Perfectly Yourself, The Rhythm of Life and Off Balance.
Locked +1s

#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
Locked +1s

#368 Zero-Based Thinking

What Goes if You Started at Zero?
Brian Tracy is one of my favorite old-school self-development teachers. I can still remember listening to his CDs back in the day when I was
Locked +1s

#498 How to Discover Your Mission

3 Steps to Clarity on Your Life’s Work
While we’re talking about Alex Lickerman and his ideas on how to create an indestructible self while turning poison into medicine and all
Locked +1s

#627 “If I Had Zero Fear…”

I Would Do THIS!
In our last +1, we talked about driving with your brakes on. We took a nice, deep breath and then we took our foot off the fear-of-failure
Locked +1s

#850 Aurelius on Death

And Appreciating the “Uncovenanted Surplus” That Is Life
In our last +1, we reflected on the idea that little (and big) oopses provide us with opportunities to appreciate that we’re still alive
Locked +1s

#930 Micro Prospectus

Moving Forward with Hope Carpe Diem Style
Not too long ago we talked about the fact that the word prosperity literally means “to go forward with hope.” Then, as you may recall, I
Locked +1s

#993 Spiritual Windshield Wipers

Eudaimonia, Journaling, and the Science of Writing Down Our Goals
In our last +1, we talked about some William James wisdom from Ryan Holiday’s new book Stillness Is the Key. Recall: According to
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#1019 Pythagoras’s PM Review

Via His Golden Verses
In our last couple +1s, we retraced my steps through the Optimize Stoic library of wisdom—going from Musonius Rufus’s Lectures and
Locked +1s

#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
Locked +1s

#1029 The Pen Is Mightier

Than the Keyboard (Science Says re: Taking Notes)
In our last +1, we talked about Phil Stutz’s insight that leadership entails a willingness to embrace what he calls “hatred and
Locked +1s

#1050 Galileo on Optimizing

Measure What Is Measurable
In our last couple +1s, we’ve been hanging out with Emerson, playing the “I Love You!” game and taking a quick look at the story of
Locked +1s

#1068 Science Says: Gratitude Works

In our last +1, we talked about the power of gratitude. We soaked up some science-wisdom from Robert Emmons, the leading researcher on

#1069 How to Cultivate Gratitude

Science Says: #1 Practice = …
Robert Emmons joined us to give us some EYE-POPPING (his words, my all caps!) stats: “People are 25 percent happier if they keep gratitude

#1074 OMMS Journaling

Science of: Gratitude, Suffering, and Redemption
In our last couple +1s, we reflected on the fact that we’d be wise to remember that time flies and the fact that (newsflash!) we’re not
Locked +1s

#1075 What Went Well? (And Why?!)

Proven Way to Pump up the ‘Ol Gratitude Muscles
Gratitude. Yes, we’ve been chatting about it quite a bit recently. That’s deliberate. You know how we recently established the

#1076 Gratitude Letters

Write One Lately? (Science Says…)
Wrapping up our foray into the science of gratitude, let’s chat about one more INCREDIBLY powerful way to boost our gratitude and,
Locked +1s

#1118 How to Carpe Diem Journal (v2)

Let’s Seize the Day → TODAY!
In our last +1, we spent some more time with Robert Emmons as we talked about a new gratitude journaling practice I’m integrating into my
Locked +1s

#1163 “The Most Robust Strategy”

To Cultivate Optimism Is…
In our last +1, we talked about some (more) crazy stats on the power of Optimism. We have those long-lived nuns and Martin Seligman telling
Locked +1s

#1288 Spiritual Windshield Wipers (Part II)

They Do a Soul Good
In our last couple +1s, we joined Ryan Holiday for a quick trip through the purgatory of the idiot to the school of genius and then we shook
Locked +1s

#48 How to Avoid Habit Suicide

OK to Suck. Not OK to Skip.
Let’s say you’re building a new habit a la the Quick How to on Habits +1. We talked about the importance of picking something that fires