Optimize Peak Performance

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Peak Performance 101

How to Reach Your Potential and Perform at Your Best When It Matters Most

Ready to reach your potential and perform at your best when it matters most? Fantastic. Let’s get clear on where you’re headed, go all in, and cultivate our grit + presence + self-confidence as we vacuum up any potential choke dust, visualize, let it rip and win or learn.

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It Takes What It Takes

How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life

Trevor Moawad is a mental conditioning coach to elite performers. He is well known for being the mental coach to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and has worked closely with prestigious NCAA football programs and coaches, the US Special Operations community, Major League Baseball, and the NBA. This book is, as per the sub-title, all about “How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life.” I loved it and, if you’re also equally fired up by the mental toughness in sports and life genre, I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Big Ideas we explore include neutral thinking (much better than positive or negative), goats and G.O.A.T.s, the law of substitution (focus!), the illusion of choice (if you’re REALLY ALL IN, there is no choice), and drawing a line in the dirt (and getting to it… again and again and again!).

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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.

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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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New Zealand’s national rugby team The All Blacks are arguably THE greatest team ever. In this book, James Kerr unpacks what makes them so great and how we can lead + create a Legacy. Big Ideas we explore include the fact that Better People Make Better All Blacks, Kiwi Kaizen, embracing expectations and leaning into the power of Loss Aversion (remember: no pressure, no diamonds), hitting the psychological gym and answering a couple questions that will help clarify YOUR legacy.

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The New Science of Working Less to Accomplish More

If you're looking to live an extraordinary life, this great book lays out the new model for rockin' it. In the Note, we'll explore some Big Ideas on how to get into your Trusting Mindset where you just let it rip as you eat stress like an energy bar and put yourself on super pilot. Remember that everyone who's ever made history was a nut… until they did what they said they'd do and then they were a genius.

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Talent is Overrated

What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

Colvin tells us talent is overrated. (As you may have gathered from the title. :) Where’s it at? 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, yo. That’s the bedrock on which greatness is developed. In this Note, we’ll check out The Mozart Myth (you think he was born great?! Think again!) to falling on your butt 20,000 times, and we’ll have fun seeing how we can create our own personal greatness.

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How Champions Think

In Sports and in Life

Dr. Bob Rotella is widely recognized as the world’s leading sports psychologist. He’s coached everyone from basketball stars like LeBron James to rock stars like Seal. The golfers he’s coached (including greats like Rory McIlroy) have won an astonishing 80+ major championships. Want to know how champions think in both sports AND life? Well, here you go. Big Ideas we explore include the importance of going for "exceptionalism" (by definition, to be great/a champion you need to be an "exception" to the norm so...), a message from God (key takeaway: focus on the process, results are all good), train it and trust it, enthusiasm (it's the catalyst of champions), how to create your own reality (hint: don't do what average people do), and how to win the ultimate game of life.

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From Good to Great to Unstoppable

Tim Grover was Michael Jordan’s trainer and, basically, his mental toughness coach. Kobe Bryant’s as well. And Dwayne Wade’s. And... Well, a ton of other elite athletes. He’s one of the world’s top mental toughness coaches and this book is, as per the sub-title, a manual on how to go “From Good to Great to Unstoppable.” Big Ideas we explore include: relentless commitment (vs. "Meh, good enough"), Do. The. Work (eat frogs and dominate), Pressure (pressure, pressure! BRING IT ON!), the source of true confidence, greatness math (remember: effort counts twice; just ask Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice), and turning your dreams into reality (ready?).

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David and Goliath

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

As millions of people would agree, Malcolm Gladwell is an extraordinarily (!) captive writer. This is another one of Gladwell’s gems—packed with riveting stories that challenge our notion of what it means to be an underdog and how, as the sub-title suggests, we can embrace our misfit status as we master the art of battling giants. It’s awesome—especially if you’re looking for a fun, entertaining read that’s packed with wisdom but delivered in a delightful package. Big Ideas include the fact that David SHOULD have won, full-court presses, the inverted U, earning courage and desirable difficulties.

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No Limits

The Will to Succeed

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history and arguably the greatest athlete ever. This book is a quick look at 8 virtues that led to his 8 gold medals in '08. Big Ideas we explore include how to train your mind, going all in, knowing what's important now (aka W.I.N.), and not confusing "can't" vs. "won't."

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The Inner Game of Tennis

The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance

Originally published in 1974, this book is, as the sub-title suggests, the classic guide to the mental side of peak performance and transcends tennis/sports. If we want to win the game of life, we've gotta start by winning the inner game. In the Note, we'll take a quick look at how to do that, learning about Self 1 + Self 2 (and how to help them get along), quieting our mind and asking for qualities we aspire to have.

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The Rise of Superman

Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

The Rise of Superman. What an awesome title and vision. Steven Kotler is one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of flow. He created the Flow Genome Project that is all about “decoding the peak performance state of flow.” (<—Awesome.) In this book we take a peak at how we can get our greatness on. Big Ideas include a quick look at flow and how to hack it, achieving mastery sans misery, using fear as a compass and how to do the impossible.

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The Talent Code

Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown.

Whatever you want to learn, know this: It’s ALL about the myelin. Myelin? Yep. Myelin. In this Note we’ll learn what myelin is and why it’s so cool along with some other Big Ideas—ranging from the importance of “Deep Practice,” to the importance of baby steps as the royal road to skill and the fact that greatness isn’t about not magic, it’s about hard work.

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The Little Book of Talent

52 Tips for Improving Your Skills

In The Talent Code, Dan Coyle introduced us to the power of myelin and its role in creating world-class performance. In The Little Book of Talent, he shares 52 uber-practical tips on how to improve our skills. Big Ideas we explore include how to actually deliberately practice (hint: find your sweet spot), the most important skill (hint: get good at actually practicing), playing mental movies, adopting a blue collar mind set and thinking like a gardener while acting like a carpenter.

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The Story of Success

As with all of Malcolm Gladwell’s books, this is a fascinating read—exploring the underpinnings of what *really* makes great people great. In short: It’s more complicated than we think and it’s *definitely* not simply innate talent. Culture and hard work and other often wacky variables play a pivotal role. Big Ideas we explore: The 10,000 Hour Rule, no naturals + no grinders, The Beatles (and their 1,200!! shows before they hit it big), Bill Gates sneaking out of bed in high school and the three keys to meaning.


#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
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#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
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#15 Did I Win?

How to Sink a $1m Putt and Do Other Great Things
Gold-medal-winning mental toughness coach and author Lanny Bassham is all about focusing on the PROCESS of goal achievement. He tells a
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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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#31 "Needs work!"

What to Say to Yourself When Things Don’t Go as Planned
What do you say to yourself when things don’t go as planned? It could be in the middle of a big game or creative project or dinner
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#56 Greatness = Consistency on the Fundamentals

Universal + Specific (What Are Yours?)
Robin Sharma tells us that greatness is all about consistency on the fundamentals. Look at any great performer and that’s what you’ll
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#60 Never Waste a Mis-take

It’s All Awesome Data!
Have you ever made a mistake? (Hah.) Right. (I’ve made a mistake or 3 million as well.) Here’s the deal: When we approach it with the
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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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#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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#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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#92 The Gift of Greatness

We’ve All Been Given It — Here It Is
Anders Ericsson is the world’s leading authority on the science of what makes great performers great. If you’ve ever heard of the
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#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 +
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#160 Presence

Expanding into Your Best Self
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that the word courage comes from the Latin word for “heart.” Just as our heart pumps blood to
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#165 Flow

What It Is & How to Get in It
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the world’s leading researchers studying the science of well-being. He co-founded the Positive
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#230 Marginal Gains

Here’s How to Win
Once upon a time, no British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France. Over 100 years of trying, and, precisely, zero wins. Then a guy named

#264 Prior Best = New Baseline

Your Best Days? That’s Your New Normal
In our last +1, we entered our World Champion You Training Camp. * Cue Rocky theme song * Here’s one way Josh Waitzkin tells us we can go
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#311 Ideal Performance State

Emotional Consistency and Peak Performance
Jim Loehr is one of the world’s leading authorities on peak performance. He and Tony Schwartz wrote The Power of Full Engagement and
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#319 You Think You’re at an 8

But You’re Really at a 2
In our last +1, we talked about Tony Horton and the voices in his head that get him to work out consistently. Today we’re going to talk
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#367 Optimize = Optimus

= The Best Version of You
Somehow we’ve spent a year together with these Optimize +1s and we haven’t even talked about the ancient etymology of one of my favorite
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#544 Becoming a Champion

What’s Your Best REALLY Look Like?
In our last +1, I introduced you to my new watch, Mr. Suunto, who asks me every day, “What direction are you headed today, sir?” To
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#545 Being a Champion

Is Way More Important Than Becoming a Champion
In our last +1, we talked about my mission to become a Spartan World Champion. My heart skips a beat just typing that. ❤ (Which, btw, is a
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#546 Catching Excellence

As We Chase Perfection
In our last +1, we talked about Ben Bergeron—the CrossFit Games coach whose athletes have won six world championships. I briefly mentioned
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#551 Maximizing Minutes

Ben Bergeron + Dan Millman on Mastery
A few +1s ago we spent some time with world-champion CrossFit coach Ben Bergeron. Let’s have another quick wisdom session with this
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#560 Full Effort = Full Victory

Gandhi, Matt Damon and Will Smith on Winning
We’ve been talking a lot about how champions maximize minutes—giving everything they’ve got into being the best versions of
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#587 Making the Impossible Possible

How to Make It What’s for Breakfast in X Tomorrows
As we’ve discussed, Steven Kotler wrote The Rise of Superman. His “No pressure, no diamonds” mantra goes through my head at least a
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#588 Flow Junkies

How to Attain Superyou Mastery Sans Misery
In our last +1, we made our plans to enjoy doing the impossible together over breakfast in the not-too-distant future after following a nice
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#617 Touchdown, Jerry Rice!

When? Every Time He Caught the Ball
Not too long ago, we had fun discussing some wisdom from Jerry Rice—the all-time great NFL wide receiver. He once said: “Today I will do
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#690 Your Engine: V-12 or V-Lawnmower?

Which Will It Be?
Continuing our theme of seeking/conquering fear, let’s have some fun with Jon Eliot and his wisdom from Overachievement. Here’s how he
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#856 Practicing with Kobe (At 4am)

Wonder What We’ll Work On…
In our last +1, we chatted about The Comparison Game with Alan Stein. Remember: The odds of us losing that game are (precisely!) 100%. So…
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#857 Practice: When Can I Stop?

Great Ones Say…
In our last +1, we hung out with Kobe Bryant and Alan Stein in the gym at 4am. Doing what? HAMMERING our fundamentals, of course. (Fun fact:
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#925 C.A.N.O.E-ing

On the Optimizing River of Flexibility
One of the core themes of our work together (in these +1s and in our Coach program, etc.) is the power of constantly (!) experimenting as we
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#991 The Peak Performance Equation

Stress + Rest = Growth
In our last +1, we talked about some wisdom from Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness’s great book The Passion Paradox. Recall1: We can have
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#1138 Playing to Win

vs. Playing Not to Lose
Wrapping up our tour through Robert Biswas-Diener’s brain and book, let’s talk about another Tool we can use to boost our Courage
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#1219 SEALs and Hoosiers

Get Your Tape Measure Out and Let’s Go!
In our last +1, we made it through one evolution at a time with William McRaven as he endured Hell Week and became a Navy SEAL. Fast forward
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#1220 Peak Performance You

Flip the Switch—TODAY!
In our last +1, we got an inspiring (Hoosiers-inspired) pep talk from Admiral McRaven right before engaging in our next most important
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#1257 “That Works!”

Let’s Do It Again (And Again) (And Again)
In our last +1, we talked about Trevor Moawad’s distinctions on Conscious Competence from his great book It Takes What It Takes. As we
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#1262 Goats and G.O.A.T.s

Game-Winning Touchdowns and Home Runs Gowith Game-Losing Interceptions and Strike Outs
Today we’re going to continue our brief tour through Trevor Moawad’s brilliant mind and book It Takes What It Takes. As we’ve
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#1263 The Illusion of Choice

Want Greatness? There Is No Choice
We’re kinda on a roll exploring some of Trevor Moawad’s peak performance wisdom from his great book It Takes What It Takes so, I say,
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#1267 Targeted Thinking

What Do You Want + Now What Needs to Be Done?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole idea of “neutral” thinking since I first read about it in Trevor Moawad’s It Takes What It
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#1280 How to Be a Success

Wisdom from Two World-Class Coaches Named Phil
In our last +1, we drew some Venn circles with my Yoda and had fun high fiving God by giving ALL we’ve got. Today I want to chat about