Heroic with Brian Johnson | Activate Your Best. Every Day.
Heroic with Brian Johnson | Activate Your Best. Every Day.
Brian Johnson
Heroic with Brian Johnson features the best big ideas from life-changing books and practical tools to help you move from Theory to Practice to Mastery and flourish in Energy, Work, and Love. Get more wisdom in less time so you can activate your best, every day—so that we can change the world, one person at a time, together, starting with you and me and us, today! (Learn more at https://heroic.us)
+1: The Law of Karma (#1340)
How to Apply the Law of Cause and Effect   As we’ve discussed, Michael Singer is one of my favorite spiritual teachers.   After reading The Untethered Soul and Living Untethered, I decided to follow Joseph Campbell’s advice and take a deeper dive into his work. I went to Amazon to see what else he’s written. I found a couple of books he wrote nearly 50 years ago.    One of those books is called Three Essays on Universal Laws. The book has a chapter-essay on each of his three Laws: The Law of Karma, The Law of Will, and The Law of Love.   Today we’re going to chat about his (and my) take on The Law of Karma.   Singer tells us we can also call this the Law of Cause and Effect.   The basic idea is really simple.   He tells us: “For example, when we walk up and touch a hot stove the body gets burned, and thus, we learn ‘a lesson.’ Or if we stay up too long without sleep the body gets sick, and, again, we have been taught ‘a lesson.’ This holds true for staying out in the rain, eating the wrong kinds of food, staying too long underwater, and so on. By means of the Law of Cause and Effect, which will invariably repeat itself given the same conditions, we learn many ‘lessons’ concerning the care of the body. For there are certain activities which are in balance with the use of our bodily tool, while others are not.”   Now…   As I was working on that Idea in the Note I was creating, my 1,000-second timer went off.   As you know if you’ve been following along, that’s the prompt/trigger/cue for me to get up and, if it’s my AM1 Deep Work block (which it was as I typed this), bang out a set of 11 burpees.   So, that’s what I did.   As I hammered out the 11 burpees I thought about WHY I do them.    It’s simple.   I KNOW (with ZERO doubt!) that I feel more Energized when I go to bed early, spend 9-10 hours in bed, meditate, do my burpees, and hit the other 30+ Energy Targets I set up in my Big 3 protocol in the Heroic app.   And, I REALLY like feeling REALLY Energized so I can show up as my best, most Heroic Self in service to YOU and to our Mission so...   It’s easy for me to do the right thing. All day every day.    Except, of course, when I don’t. (Hah!)   Alas, I’m still human and, tragically, I will not be the first perfect human being () and there are plenty of times when I’m lazy and the little demon takes over (pushing my Daimon aside!) and I do things that I know aren’t optimal which leads to feeling *less* than Heroically Energized.   Then I step back half an inch, let my Daimon view the situation from what Singer beautifully calls “the soul’s point of view” (aka the “Objective Observer,” aka the “Witness”) and…   I MAKE THE CONNECTION between doing X and experiencing Y.   I shine a spotlight on what needs work, remind myself of what works when I do it and then take a hammer to the construction project that is my life as I strengthen the habits that help me stay plugged in and weaken the habits that don’t.   THAT’s the Law of Cause and Effect in action.   In short: If we do THIS, then we experience THAT.   That’s also one of the THE most important things Alexandra and I are trying to teach our kids.    We want them to have the Wisdom to MAKE THE CONNECTION between eating sugar and getting sick; between not exercising or sleeping well and feeling tired and cranky. And, of course, we want them to FEEL the joy of doing the little things that they KNOW help them feel GREAT.   Call it whatever you want: The Law of Karma.    The Law of Cause and Effect.    It’s real.   We need to MAKE THE CONNECTION between the thoughts and behaviors that help us (and our kids!) create the lives we want and the thoughts and behaviors that do the opposite.    Then we need to cultivate our structural, reactive and expansive disciplines as we use our willpower wisely to install the habits that will run on autopilot via empowering algorithms.    When?   TODAY.   Let’s go, Hero!
Nov 21
4 min
+1: Starve the Ghosts (#1339)
Feed the Good Guys   In our last couple +1s, we hung out with a couple of wise Indian masters and their gurus.    We talked about what to do if we’re afraid of ghosts (approach them!) and how to deal with the bitter process of changing our behaviors (keep chewing!).   Today I want to chat about ghosts for another moment.   This time we’ll go a little further east and visit Vietnam where the great Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh was born and raised.   When I searched my Mac for “ghosts” to find the Yogananda wisdom I was looking for, I saw that Thich Nhat Hanh ALSO talked about ghosts in his great book No Mud, No Lotus.   Here’s the passage.   He tells us: “The Buddha said that nothing can survive without food. This is true, not just for the physical existence of living beings, but also for states of mind. Love needs to be nurtured and fed to survive; and our suffering also survives because we enable and feed it. We ruminate on suffering, regret, and sorrow. We chew on them, swallow them, bring them back up, and eat them again and again. If we’re feeding our suffering while we’re walking, working, eating, or talking, we are making ourselves victims of the ghosts of the past, of the future, or our worries in the present. We’re not living our lives.”   Know this: Nothing (including ghosts!) survives without food.   So…   Want the ghosts to go away?   Then…   QUIT FEEDING THEM.   Eckhart Tolle echoes this wisdom in The Power of Now.   He tells us: “Once you realize that a certain kind of food makes you sick, would you carry on eating that food and keep asserting that it is okay to be sick?”   In The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz uses another metaphor to bring the point home.    He tells us: “Deposit only positive thoughts in your memory bank. Let’s face it squarely: everyone encounters plenty of unpleasant, embarrassing, and discouraging situations. But unsuccessful and successful people deal with these situations in directly opposite ways. Unsuccessful people take them to heart, so to speak. They dwell on the unpleasant situations, thereby giving them a good start in their memory. At night the unpleasant situation is the last thing they think about... Confident, successful people, on the other hand, ‘don’t give it another thought.’ Successful people specialize in putting positive thoughts into their memory bank.”   Let’s starve the bad stuff and feed the good stuff.   TODAY.   + + +    btw: We talked about a similar idea in this +1 on Starving Fear of Its Favorite Food.
Nov 20
3 min
+1: From Icky to Awesome (#1338)
Wisdom From Another Indian Sage and His Grandmother   In our last +1, we talked about Yogananda and his guru’s wisdom on what to do with ghosts/aka how to live fearlessly.   As you may recall, the trick is to APPROACH our challenges rather than try to avoid them.    The story is so good, we’ll quickly review it.   Yogananda’s guru tells him: “My mother once tried to frighten me with an appalling story of a ghost in a dark chamber. I went there immediately, and expressed my disappointment at having missed the ghost. Mother never told me another horror tale.”   Hah. Genius.   The moral of the story?    “Look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you.”   As I read that moral from an Indian yogi, I thought of another one of my favorite Indian sages, Eknath Easwaran.    In his great book, Your Life Is Your Message, he tells us about a lesson he learned from his Indian guru—who happened to be his grandmother.   The short story?    Young Eknath was complaining about how hard it was to meditate and to change his habits.   He tells us: “I complained about it to my spiritual teacher, my grandmother. She was a very plainspoken teacher, with none of the euphemisms of the intellectual, so she simply led me to a nearby amla tree. The amla is a beautiful tree, a little like the mimosa, with a small fruit. She picked a fruit and said, ‘Here, take a bite.’ I started chewing. It was pretty awful.   I said, ‘I’ve got to spit it out, Granny. It’s sour, bitter, unpleasant.’ She just said, ‘Bear with me. Keep chewing for a while.’ So I went on chewing, and to my surprise the amla fruit began to get sweeter and sweeter.   Similarly, meditation and the allied disciplines require sustained enthusiasm every day—even when it seems icky. Especially when it seems icky! If you keep at it, you will find those same disciplines becoming sweeter and sweeter. When meditation time comes around you will find yourself hungering for the inner peace and calm it brings. The time will even come when you want a double helping.”   Approaching our fears?    Rewiring our brains as we create new, virtuous habits that help us flourish while eliminating the old, vicious ones that don’t?   Of course…   The process isn’t always pleasant.    It’s often painful.   It tastes “icky.”    Until…   We have the Wisdom to see that approaching our fears and embracing the inevitable challenges of the journey and doing the hard work to win the ultimate game that brings us the sweet reward of tapping into our infinite potential.    Let’s do that.   TODAY.
Nov 19
3 min
+1: Afraid of Ghosts (#1337)
Here’s What to Do…   Not too long ago, we talked about how I read a book.   I made the point that the most important part of how I read a book is how I decide what book I will read.   I also talked about the fact that, as I followed Joseph Campbell’s wisdom to immerse myself in the wisdom of an author who “grabs me” by reading everything that author has written AND everything by the authors who inspired them, I found myself going deep into Michael Singer’s wisdom AND deep into the wisdom of one of his biggest influences, Yogananda.   In fact, I read five of Yogananda’s little books/booklets in very short order.   They are PACKED with wisdom.   I was blown away by Yogananda’s PRACTICAL spirituality and I could see why Steve Jobs was such a big fan that he reread his Autobiography of a Yogi once a year and why he gifted that book to his friends as THE last thing they got on their way out of his memorial service.    (Think about the significance of that for a moment.)   So…   We’ll be talking more about Yogananda in the future as we bring his wisdom from the East to our modern lives in… I was going to say “the West” then I realized we have Heroic members from basically EVERY country in the world so we’ll make it …. wherever we are in the world!   Now…   Here’s a fun idea from a little booklet called Living Fearlessly.   Yogananda shares a story of him asking his guru to tell him some stories from his childhood. Here’s the exchange between a Master and his fiercely ambitious student.   “‘Guruji, I would like to hear some stories of your childhood.’   ‘I will tell you a few—each one with a moral!’ Sri Yukteswar’s eyes twinkled with his warning.   ‘My mother once tried to frighten me with an appalling story of a ghost in a dark chamber. I went there immediately, and expressed my disappointment at having missed the ghost. Mother never told me another horror tale.   ‘Moral: Look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you.’”   Those are the very first words of that little book.   Want to live fearlessly?   Be like Yogananda’s guru and look fear in the face. Then, it will cease to trouble us.   Yogananda left India and came to the United States as a 27-year-old yogi guru in 1920. His mission was to integrate the wisdom of the East with the West.   To help bridge the gap in cultures, he talked about Jesus as the perfect embodiment of spiritual truth. And, one of the American philosophers he references the most is Ralph Waldo Emerson.   Emerson echoes this wisdom about what to do with our fear.   As we discuss in our Notes on The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Self-Reliance, Emerson liked to say that “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.”    His advice on how to conquer fear was straight-forward: “Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do.”   What happens when we go straight toward the ghosts in the dark chambers? Well, Emerson tells us: “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”   Modern science, as we often discuss, agrees.   We must APPROACH rather than AVOID our fears.   As we discuss in The Upside of Stress and The Telomere Effect, when we are willing to act in the presence of fear and see that the stressors in our lives are not THREATS to our well-being but an opportunity to practice our philosophy and forge antifragile confidence, we change our underlying physiology from a “threat response” to a “challenge response.”   Do that often enough, and the ghosts will stop being quite so terrifying.   Let’s do that.   TODAY.
Nov 18
4 min
+1: Tolerant with Others (Part II) (#1336)
The Most Frequently Asked Question in Heroic Coach   In our last +1, we talked about some Ryan Holiday wisdom from his new book Discipline Is Destiny.   As you may recall, we brought Cato the Elder, Ben Franklin and Marcus Aurelius to the party to talk about the importance of focusing on all the ways WE can get better rather than worrying about all the ways other people need to improve.   Cato told us: “I am prepared to forgive everybody’s mistakes, except my own.”   Ben Franklin told us: “Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.”   Marcus Aurelius told us to be: “Tolerant with others, strict for yourself.”   We could add Jesus’ wisdom to the mix. He told us to quit worrying about the speck of dust in your brother’s eye and to focus on the BEAM in yours!    Same thing.   This is a really important Idea.   And…   It’s funny because as I created that last +1, I thought of what is probably THE most frequently asked question from people going through our Heroic Mastery Series/Coach certification program.   It goes something like this…   “I’m really into this stuff and I can already feel my life changing as I start to move from Theory to Practice to Mastery. It’s amazing!!”   Then they continue with…   “But…”   Then I often know what’s coming…   “The problem is that my [wife/husband/kids/extended family/colleagues/insert someone other than them!] REALLY needs to work on this stuff and…”   I laughed as I typed that.   And I usually laugh when I start my reply to our Hero-in-training.   I typically talk about prescribing medicine for your neighbor, unilaterality and “How am I that?” as I encourage them to avoid proselytizing and simply focus on DOING THE WORK—letting our example be the primary lesson rather than the lectures we’re all tempted to give when we’re on fire with our own self-development.   Then I tell them about the fact that MY OWN WIFE doesn’t want me to coach her. (HAH!)    (Trust me, Alexandra doesn’t want me to coach her unless she explicitly asks me for the support. After fifteen years, I’m almost getting that fact! )   Now I’ve got another frame to use.   Let’s be prepared to forgive everybody’s mistakes, except our own.   Let’s search others for their virtues and ourselves for our vices.   Let’s be tolerant with others and strict with ourselves.   And, let’s notice EVERY TIME we’re tempted to do the opposite.   Then use that prompt/trigger/cue as an opportunity to cultivate our reactive discipline—stepping in between the stimulus and our old, habitual response as we choose a better response and practice our philosophy.   Not someday.   TODAY!!!   Trust me.    Your loved ones will thank you.    And, paradoxically at first glance but obvious at the second or third glance: This is the fastest way to actually convince your loved ones that you're on to something and that you have wisdom worth paying attention to.     Day 1. All in.    LET’S GO!
Nov 17
3 min
+1: Tolerant with Others (#1335)
Strict with Yourself   I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.   Ryan Holiday is one of my favorite writers. We’ve featured a bunch of his books including The Obstacle Is the Way, The Daily Stoic, Ego Is the Enemy, and Stillness Is the Key.   He’s currently working on “The Stoic Virtue Series” in which he’s creating a new book for each of the cardinal virtues of Stoicism: Courage, Temperance, Justice, and Wisdom.   We briefly chatted about the first book in the series: Courage Is Calling.   Today we’re going to chat about an Idea from the second book in the series: Discipline Is Destiny.   We’re going to talk about an Idea that didn’t make it into the Note. It’s from a chapter called “Tolerant with Others. Strict with Yourself.”   Ryan tells us: “’I am prepared to forgive everybody’s mistakes,’ Cato the Elder said, ‘except my own.’ Ben Franklin, many generations later, would put forth an even better rule: ‘Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.’ Or as Marcus Aurelius put it, Tolerant with others, strict for yourself.”   That’s Today’s +1.   Let’s be tolerant with others—looking for their VIRTUES and forgiving their mistakes.   Let’s be strict with ourselves—looking for our vices and getting to work on them.    We have more than enough work to do on ourselves.   Let’s do it.   TODAY.
Nov 16
1 min
+1: You Are a Weirdo (#1334)
At Least I Hope You Are, Hero!   In our last +1, we talked about Abigail Adams and her letter to her son, John Quincy Adams.    As you may recall, she admonished the 12-year-old who would become the sixth U.S. President to LIVE WITH VIRTUE.   And, as we discussed, she wisely declared: “These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.”   As part of that +1, I mentioned the fact that I think she and her family would have been part of our Heroic movement—encouraging their kids to cultivate their virtue while doing the same on our Heroic app.   I also mentioned the fact that I think Benjamin Franklin would have either created something similar to our Heroic app to track HIS virtuous targets or joined the cause to help us win our current war between vice and virtue.   Then…   I typed “Benjamin Franklin” into my Mac’s search thingy to see if I could find a Big Idea from a PhilosophersNote on him and his commitment to virtue.   And…   I hit the jackpot.   Not only did I find a Big Idea featuring Benjamin Franklin and his idiosyncratic awesomeness, I ALSO found a reference to John Adams in the SAME Big Idea.   Fantastic!   The references were from Alan Cohen’s Spirit Means Business.   Franklin and Adams showed up in an Idea about helping us embrace our inner weirdos.     Alan Cohen tells us: “Being a misfit is not a defect. It may be your key to success. When I hear that a person is well adjusted, I ask, ‘Well adjusted to what?’ Learning how to find your way around a mental institution does not make you sane. Real sanity rests in authenticity. ...   Maybe you’re not so weird after all. Maybe your weirdness is your greatest asset. Maybe what you thought was wrong with you is what’s right with you. Just because you are out of the mainstream doesn’t disqualify you from vast achievement. You are in your own stream. World change agents do not apologize for their eccentricities or try to hide them. Idiosyncrasies come with the package. So just get on with your creations and make your contribution regardless of any oddness your personality has picked up along the way. Don’t wait until you are normal before you claim greatness. Normality and genius are rare bedfellows. As Walt Whitman proudly proclaimed, ‘Not a particle or an inch of me is vile . . . I celebrate myself.’”   That’s from a chapter in which we learn about some of history’s most awesome weirdos.   Get this: Did you know that Benjamin Franklin started each day with an “air bath,” standing naked outside for 30 minutes? Yep.    And, that fellow American hero John Quincy Adams swam nude in the Potomac river at 5 A.M. every morning, even in freezing weather. (Cold plunge for the win! Wim Hof would approve!)   Then we have Nikola Tesla and Steve Jobs with their whole array of idiosyncratic behaviors (and genius inventions).   Oh! And, let’s not forget about Albert Einstein.    Did you know that he didn’t even speak until he was three and, as an adult, would stop his car, pluck a grasshopper and EAT IT. Yep. That’s normal.     Then we have YOU.    How’s YOUR weirdness?   Alan tells us:   The Myth: Being a misfit is a defect you must correct. The Reality: Your nonconformity is your pathway to fulfillment.   And...    So much of that passage is so eminently quotable.    There’s this: “Learning to find your way around a mental institution does not make you sane.” (Hah!)    Plus, this is worth a quick repeat: “Normality and genius are rare bedfellows.”   Then we have the whole “Well adjusted to WHAT?” conversation which—as you might be able to guess by this stage—reminds me of Krishnamurti’s wisdom that being well-adjusted to a PROFOUNDLY SICK society is no measure of health.   In a world where “normal” is so astonishingly sub-optimal (from a mental, physical and emotional health standpoint), why, my dear friend, should we aspire for “normalcy?”   Much better to lean into our weirdness and entertain the possibility that, perhaps, “your weirdness is your greatest asset.”   Here’s to echoing Whitman’s proclamation as we celebrate every particle and inch of ourselves.   Not someday.   TODAY.    btw: Whitman also told us that “In the faces of men and women, I see God.”   You know what I see and what we encourage our Coaches to see in the faces of men and women?    HEROES.   Yes: I’m looking at YOU, Hero!!!
Nov 15
6 min
+1: Mom Says: “Be Virtuous” (#1333)
Abigail Adams and Heroic Mothers Unite   Abigail Adams was one of the Heroic Founding Mothers of the United States of America.   I’m convinced that she and Benjamin Franklin and their families would be part of our Heroic movement if they were alive today.   Why?   Because they were intensely passionate about cultivating virtue in their lives and in the lives of their children.   And…   I’m pretty sure () they would have preferred to have their kids on the soon-to-be-launched social features for our Heroic training platform cultivating virtue together rather than on Tik Tok watching another absurd 20-second video.   What data supports that hypothesis?   Glad you asked…   That’s the subject of Today’s +1.   Have you ever seen this quote from Abigail?    “These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.”   After reading a version of that in Warren Bennis’ great book On Becoming a Leader, I looked it up to find its source.    It’s from a letter she wrote to her son John Quincy Adams in January 1780–almost 243 (!) years ago. He was on a trip to France with his father to elicit support for our Revolutionary War. (Thanks, France!! )   I looked up how old John Quincy Adams was in 1780.    He was 12.    Check out the letter. It’s worth reading.    I printed it out and marked it all up because it was so good. (See my notes below.)   As you’ll see if you spend a few minutes reading her brilliant letter, Abigail starts out the letter by basically telling her son that she made him go to France with his dad and brother even though he was whining about it.     Seriously. It’s so good to see this great woman (a true Founding Mother of America) talking to a future president like, well, he was acting like a 12-year-old.     Then we get to the quote that made me find the letter.    But get this…   Bennis actually MISQUOTED Abigail.    He said that she said: “These are hard times in which a genius should wish to live. . . . Great necessities call forth great leaders.”   But that’s not *actually* what she said.    She didn't say great necessities call forth great LEADERS.    She said: “Great necessities call forth great VIRTUES.”    Which, for the record, MAKES THEM GREAT LEADERS.    Note: Both John AND his dad would become future U.S. Presidents. Virtue for the win!   Now…   Of course, that struck me (goosebumps) because our ENTIRE app is architected to help us operationalize the fact that ancient wisdom and modern science agree that the ultimate purpose of life is to express the best version of yourself (in service to something bigger than yourself!) by living with virtue.    And, of course, we believe the historically significant challenges we are facing DEMAND that each of us step up and show up as the best, most Heroic versions of ourselves.    Which is why I was even more struck by the rest of her letter.    When I read THIS passage, I could literally SEE Abigail and her husband John (who, in 1780, was the Ambassador to France in what was the fifth of an eight-year Revolutionary War!) and their kids using Heroic to commit to and then hit virtuous targets together all day every day (especially when they were so far away from each other!):   “I cannot fulfill the whole of my duty towards you, if I close this Letter, without reminding you of a failing which calls for a strict attention and watchfull care to correct. You must do it for yourself. You must curb that impetuosity of temper, for which I have frequently chid you, but which properly directed may be productive of great good. I know you are capable of these exertions, with pleasure I observed my advice was not lost upon you. If you indulge yourself in the practise of any foible or vice in youth, it will gain strength with your years and become your conquerer.   The strict and inviolable regard you have ever paid to truth, gives me pleasing hopes that you will not swerve from her dictates, but add justice, fortitude, and every Manly Virtue which can adorn a good citizen, do Honour to your Country, and render your parents supremely happy, particularly your ever affectionate Mother,”   Then I smiled when I realized that another beloved Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, would have probably created something similar to our app to track HIS virtues (with his friends and family!) if he was alive today.    Know this…   These are times in which Heroes would wish to live.    As we set out to make 2023 truly Heroic, may we remember that it is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station that great characters are formed.    Remember: “Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engulf the Heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake to Life, and form the Character of the Hero and the Statesman.”   With Love + Wisdom + Self-Mastery + Courage and profound Gratitude for all of your support in helping us create a noble and virtuous world, I say…   Heroes unite!!!   Day 1. All in.   LET’S GO.
Nov 14
7 min
+1: Are You Getting Better or Bitter? (#1332)
Which Will It Be, Hero? As we’ve discussed, Brian Cain is an inspiring human being.   He works with some of the greatest athletes in the world and has helped them go to the next (NEXT!) level.   We’ve talked about a bunch of Big Ideas from his two little fables: The 10 Pillars of Mental Performance Mastery and One Percent Better.   Today we’re going to revisit One Percent Better for ONE more wisdom gem.   But…   First…   Pop quiz!!!   Question: What’s 1% of a day?    Do you recall?   (And do you recall that trying to recall something is one of the most powerful ways to dominate Learning 101? Yep.)   Answer: 1% of the day is 14 minutes and 24 seconds.   Note: I’ve changed the countdown on my Timex watch from 16 minutes and 40 seconds (which is 1,000 seconds) to 14 minutes and 24 seconds (1% of the day!!) so I can measure my meditation and deep work time blocks and, well, a bunch of stuff in 1% increments. Super fun. We’ll come back to that more as we have fun seeing if we can make at least 51% (!!!) of our days Heroically intentional.   For now…   Here’s the wisdom gem I want to focus on…   Brian tells us: “If you don’t have a plan, how are you getting better? The problem is when you stop getting better, you start getting bitter, and nobody likes being around people who are bitter all the time.”   That’s Today’s +1.   Are YOU getting better or are you getting bitter?   It’s a simple question with far-reaching impact.   Which will it be, Hero?   Here’s to continuously refining our plans to GET BETTER lest we go the wrong direction and get bitter.   +1. +1. +1.   ALL DAY.   EVERY DAY.   ESPECIALLY TODAY.
Nov 13
7 min
+1: The Three Disciplines (#1331)
Of Self-Mastery: Reactive + Structural + Expansive   I’ve been thinking a lot about the three forms of discipline that make up Self-Mastery.   Here they are:   Structural Discipline.  Reactive Discipline.  Expansive Discipline.   We talk about them in Objective V of Basic Training and I’ll be writing about them in the Heroic book we’ll be launching in early 2024.   Now…   As I sat down to create this +1, I thought this would be the first time I’ve written about the three disciplines. Then, as I was going through the archives, I found that, in fact, we ALREADY chatted about the three disciplines.   We chatted about them in +1 #669 to be precise—over two and a half years ago.   Perfect.   Let’s dust that wisdom off and shine the spotlight of our attention on them again.    Why?    Because they’re SUPER important.   First…   A little more context.   As we’ve discussed many times, Phil Stutz is all about helping us cultivate what he calls “emotional stamina.”    How?    By getting to a place where, the WORSE we feel, the MORE committed we are to our protocol.   That’s become the foundation of what I now call “Antifragile Confidence.”    KNOW THIS: Getting this ONE idea may, in fact, be THE most life-changing thing we can do together.   What if…   When we feel like this little poop emoji (!!) (!), rather than spiral out and (let’s be honest folks! ), do all the stupid things we tend to do when we’re tired and overwhelmed and all that, we could get ourselves to be even MORE INTENSELY focused on doing what we know is best for us?!   What would happen?   Simple.    Easier said than done but…    If you can actually get yourself to do that even 10 or 20 or 30% of the time and then spiral up from there…   Then…   You’d change your life.    Fundamentally and permanently.   Now…    That’s the essence of the first of three disciplines: Structural Discipline.    It’s also why we spent so much time and money working with one of the best product development companies in the world to create the core experience of our Heroic app: the Big 3 Target Practice protocol.   Who are you at your absolute best? What virtues do you embody? What do you actually DO on a daily basis?   When we have structural discipline, we DOMINATE that protocol. We recommit to being our best selves in the morning. Then we hit virtuous targets all day. Every day. Soul Force score at 101. LET’S GO.   I repeat: GOOD LUCK having a series of really bad days when you do that. Your highs will be higher AND your lows will be higher and you will have earned the trust in yourself to KNOW that you can handle WHATEVER life throws at you.   That’s how you forge antifragile confidence by executing your protocol via Structural Discipline.   The second discipline is “Reactive Discipline.”   As I said in the old +1, Reactive Discipline is just what it sounds like.    Something triggers you. Can you step in between the stimulus and your normal sub-optimal response with the DISCIPLINE to CHOOSE a better response? Fantastic. That’s Reactive Discipline.   Then we have Expansive Discipline.    This is both the most important and the hardest of the three.    EVERY SINGLE MOMENT we have a choice.    Will we step forward into growth or back into safety?    If we want to live our most heroically awesome lives and have a shot at experiencing all that we’re capable of being, when we feel even a little niggle of fear, we must (more and more!) consistently choose to EXPAND. EXPAND. EXPAND. We need to make that expansion a discipline.   How? “Bring in on!!” is a FANTASTIC tool to practice.   That’s Today’s +1.   The Three Disciplines of Self-Mastery.   Structural Discipline.  Reactive Discipline.  Expansive Discipline.   How are YOU doing with each?   What’s awesome? What needs work? What ONE thing can you do a little differently Today?   Here’s to your disciplines.   All three of them!   Day 1. All in.    LET’S GO!
Nov 12
5 min
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