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+1: #995 10 Spartan Core Virtues

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

Release Date: 12/26/2019

+1: #1052 Warriors’ Ascent show art +1: #1052 Warriors’ Ascent

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

This morning as I was wrapping up my AM1 Deep Work time block—which, of course, was preceded by that morning’s meditation and the prior night’s bookend featuring an early shut-down complete, digital sunset and red lights at the Johnson house—I heard a tap-tap-tap on my office door.

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+1: #1050 Galileo on Optimizing show art +1: #1050 Galileo on Optimizing

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

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 our world.

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+1: #1045 What’s 1 + 1? show art +1: #1045 What’s 1 + 1?

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

In our last +1, we had fun with the ultimate riddles of life—from skunks and giraffes to watches and pearls. And… The answer to pretty much all of life’s riddles? Love.

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Optimize Interview: Irresistible with Adam Alter show art Optimize Interview: Irresistible with Adam Alter

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

Irresistible. That’s the perfect word to describe the growing array of addictive technologies that are capturing so much of our attention these days.

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Optimize Interview: The Psychology of Possibility with Ellen Langer show art Optimize Interview: The Psychology of Possibility with Ellen Langer

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

Ellen Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard and one of the world's leading experts on the science of wellbeing, and what she refers to as the "psychology of possibility."

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+1: #1035 Yesterday’s Home Run show art +1: #1035 Yesterday’s Home Run

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

In our last +1, we spent some time with John Maxwell and reflected on his wisdom on the pinnacle of leadership influence: Moral Authority.

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+1: #1030 Want to Make It Stick? show art +1: #1030 Want to Make It Stick?

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

We’re going to consult with Barbara Oakley on this one. Barbara taught one of the most popular classes in history. Nearly 2 million people from 200 countries have taken her Coursera class called Learning How to Learn.

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+1: #1025 Exercise: It’s a Well-Being Tool show art +1: #1025 Exercise: It’s a Well-Being Tool

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

In our last couple +1s, we talked about a key (arguably the #1 key) predictor of our long-term health/morbidity: our visceral fat. 

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+1: #1020 Learning Cycles show art +1: #1020 Learning Cycles

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

Today we’ll step back a bit and put in an AM Intention practice to go with that PM Reflection practice.

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+1: #1015 It’s Day 1 show art +1: #1015 It’s Day 1

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

In our last +1, we had fun chatting about the diploma we give to our Optimize Coaches. It so perfectly captures the underlying purpose of all of our work together that I’d like to share it again. 

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In our last +1, we hung out with my two favorite Joes: Scholar of the Hero’s Journey (and Grandpa in my spiritual family tree) Joseph Campbell, and gritty heroic exemplar (and soul brother), Joe De Sena.
 
Today I want to spend a little more time with Joe De Sena.
 
Let’s open up his latest book The Spartan Way. Page 14.
 
He tells us: Through work and endurance racing I have come to know many people. Some of them were unforgettable. These great ones all shared the same core qualities. I call them the Spartan Core Virtues. Combine these qualities into one person and you have the ideal boss, the valuable employee, the perfect business partner, or comrade in any endeavor. Here’s a short description of each of the Spartan Core Virtues.
 
Self-Awareness: Know who you are and who you are not. If you don’t, you’ll be confused daily. 
 
Commitment: Stick to it because the world is filled with people who don’t. You’re better than
that.
 
Passion: If you’re not passionate about what you do, you’re not going to be great at it. Take things seriously and learn to be passionate.
 
Discipline: Set your rules and stick to them. Be disciplined about it. 
 
Prioritization: Deal with the important things—important being what you define as
important—first.
 
Grit: Get gritty. Break out of your comfort zone. Do the hard, scary shit. Find your passion and persevere.
 
Courage: This is the ability to stay focused and work relentlessly with both intensity and passion through virtually anything, especially through failure.
 
Optimism: See the world as you want it to be, not as it is. Be ever hopeful. 
 
Integrity: If you’re not honest with yourself and others, then what are you? 
 
Wholeness: Live the life of a complete and whole Spartan.”
 
There ya go. The Ten Spartan Core Virtues.
 
Repetition is the essence of mastery, so let’s go through them again. This time, if you feel so inspired and didn’t already do a quick inventory on how you’re doing with each, please do.
 
Self-Awareness + Commitment + Passion + Discipline + Prioritization + Grit + Courage + Optimism + Integrity + Wholeness.
 
So... What’s awesome? 
 
What needs work? 
 
What can (and will!) you start doing differently? 
 
Let’s remember: It’s ALL (!!!) about OPERATIONALIZING VIRTUE.
 
+1. +1. +1.
 
P.S. One of the things Joe and I joke about is that I’m his brother from Athens. (Hah.)
 
Embodying those Spartan virtues? 
 
Well… That, of course, is what Aristotle taught us when he said that the summum bonum (the highest good!) is to live with eudaimonia—to flourish by having a “good soul.” 
 
How do we do that? LIVE VIRTUOUSLY!! 
 
(Again, echo, the one-word summation of ALL of our work together? Areté. Express the best version of yourself moment to moment to moment and voila! Enter: Eudaimonia + a deep sense of flourishing.)
 
More on all that soon (and forever)…