We all have areas of our lives we want to Optimize.
Stephen Covey tells us to think about our “Roles and Goals.” Tony Robbins calls it “Categories of Improvement.” The challenge with those is that we can get confused with a near-infinite number of Roles and Categories.
I like to boil it down to my Big 3: Energy + Family + Service.
Energy. For me, it ALL starts with Energy. If I have a tough time getting out of bed in the morning, I’m going to have a tough time living optimally. Therefore, I prioritize making sure my Energy is strong.
Family. Why do I want to feel radiantly alive and energized? First and foremost, I want to be an exemplary husband and father. I’m the only one in the world who can be a great husband to my wife and father to my children. In the midst of striving to do great things and make a difference in the world, it’s easy to forget that it all starts at home.
Service. The other reason I keep my energy strong is to be of service. I want to be, in the words of the French movement philosopher Georges Hébert , “Fit to be useful.”
So, here’s how I like to approach it: First, start by identifying what you at your absolute best would look like in each of those categories. Then capture the benefits you’ll experience when you live from that ideal. Then think of the #1 simple thing you can do every.single.day to make sure you’re in integrity with that ideal. Then schedule that thing into your Masterpiece Day. And, of course, DO IT.
For me, it looks like this:
Energy: Me at my best: I am a world-class athlete. (Defined as qualifying for the Spartan World Championships at the end of this year. I need to place in the Top 20 in my age group so it’s a JV-version of world-class but it was still a big stretch for me when I set the goal and it has great pull-power.)
The benefits (aka “The Why” a la Nietzsche’s “He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how.”): I am radiantly alive. I am grounded. Powerful. Calm. Confident. Energized. <-- I’ll take it!
The #1 thing I will do every day: Sunrise Trail Workout. I’ll show up on the mountain and bang out my 1=hour workout. CONSISTENCY of training (obviously oscillating intensity/etc.) is my secret weapon.
Family: Me at my best: I am an exemplary husband and father. I love to work and create. AND I’m committed to being a great husband and father. An exemplar. That standard fires me up.
The benefits: Joy. Presence. Love. Kindness. Patience. Consistency. Celebrating my 50th anniversary with my Love. 😃
The #1 thing I will do every day to make that happen: Quality time one-on-one with my son EVERY day. Defined as at least 30 minutes (target 60 during week and hours on weekend) of just me and him.
Service: Me at my best: I am an exemplary social entrepreneur, philosopher + teacher, and community leader. I am committed to using business as a force for heroic good while continuing to study, embody and teach wisdom I love and making a difference in our Optimize community.
The benefits: The joy of doing what I’m here to do. Flow. Energy. Enthusiasm. Connection. Impact.
The #1 thing I will do every day to make this happen: AM1 Deep Work. Before I go online, I will do my morning rituals and Deep Work. Period.
As I say all the time: You couldn’t pay me to hop online and blow my brain up before doing my creative work. My mind just isn’t quite the same after going online. I’m all about accreting a little more value every day and repeating that every day—allowing the gains to aggregate and compound as the creative power magnifies itself incrementally. It all starts with that first Deep Work slot every morning.
3 + 1 = Magic.