The 10 Principles for Optimal Living.
From old school sages to modern scientists, all the great teachers come back to the same Ideas again and again. Here are the 10 principles for creating our most authentically awesome lives.
It all starts with Optimism. If we can’t tame those gremlins in our minds and learn to shape the contents of our consciousness, the rest of this stuff doesn’t matter. We’ll start by learning what optimism isn’t (that’d be helplessness!) and we’ll take a quick peek at the results of a disempowered mindset (that’d be depression/anxiety/ick). Then we’re gonna explore what a range of great teachers have to say about how to Get Our Optimism On—from Marcus Aurelius and the classic Stoic philosophers to Buddha and modern Zen teachers plus Viktor Frankl, Byron Katie, Esther & Jerry Hicks and Positive Psychologists. By the end of this section, you’ll have the tools you need to de-gremlin-ify your mind and Rock Your Optimism!
Purpose. All the great teachers talk about it. Confucius tells us that an army can lose its commanding officer but even an average person is in trouble without a purpose while the Bible, the Gita, the Stoics and everyone else echoes the sentiment. We’ll explore Maslow’s need to self-actualize and his directive that “What one can be, one must be!” along with Deepak’s 7th Spiritual Law of Success—the Law of Dharma—as we have fun discovering our Highest Goal, holding the Dynamic Tension between our ideals and our current reality and celebrating both our Being and our Becoming. Good times!
It’s hard to figure out our Highest Purpose without a deep sense of Self-Awareness. As Socrates says, we’ve gotta know ourselves, eh? In this section, we’ll walk through transformative journaling exercises as we Discover Your Signature Strengths (using these daily is a scientific key to happiness), Begin with the Ultimate End in Mind, and learn to Be in Integrity (or Disintegrate). We’ll also meet our Angel’s Advocate, 110-Year Old You, make Five Wishes, take The Big Leap into your Zone of Genius and ponder 100 Questions + 10 of THE Most Powerful Questions I know. It’s time to Know Thyself, yo! (Socrates would be proud. :)
Goals. Goals. Goals. Whether it’s living with love/appreciation/joy/ kindness/generosity/and-all-that-goodness or starting a business, competing in a triathlon or creating financial freedom, Goals are (super!) important. And so are Intense Desires (minus the attachment, of course). We’re gonna look at Rat Racers vs. Hedonists vs. Nihilists vs. Happy Peeps, revisit our Highest Goal then go on a little Goal Bonanza as we imagine all the things we want to Be, Create, Do and Have (in that order) in our precious hero’s journeys. We’ll also create a Treasure Map, do a little Rocking Chair Test and bring it all home with our #1 Now Goal! Oh, yah. We’re also gonna remember that Outcomes Are By-Products of consistently rockin’ it. Which brings us to…
As the Greek guru Nike tells us, at some point it’s time to just do it, eh? Indeed it is. We’re gonna spend a lot of time thinking about how to best Diligently, Patiently, Persistently and Playfully crush it as we create the life of your dreams. It all starts with Commitment and Re-Commitment, Consistency on the Fundamentals, knowing that 99% Is a Bitch & 100% Is a Breeze, Acting As If, developing Blissipline, taking One Small Step (then another and…), practicing Kaizen and a bunch of other goodness. You shall be an Action Superhero by the end of this. (Well, actually, it won’t be official till you put in your 10,000 Hours of rockin’ it but you’ll have the sweet cape and tight costume and all that… then it’s up to you! :)
We’re gonna have a hard time living at our Highest Potential if we have a hard time getting out of bed, eh? That’s why we’ve gotta create Radiant Mind/Body/Spirit Health so we’ve got the mojo to rock it! This section’s split up into four key categories for Energy Optimization: 1. Exercise + 2. Nutrition + 3. Rejuvenation + 4. Money. We’ll learn how Exercise can be just as effective as Zoloft in treating depression (why isn’t that every other commercial on TV?), how Nutrition and lifestyle choices affect our well-being (or destroy it), how to get on The Rave Diet to prevent and reverse disease, why Meditation is a good thing (and how to tap into “The Relaxation Response”), and how to create the consciousness that attracts wealth of all kinds into our lives. Ye shall be an Energizer bunny by the end of this!
Wisdom. Wisdom. Wisdom. (Wisdom. Wisdom!!) Wisdom is all about taking what we know and making that the essence of who we are and what we do. We’re going to explore The Power of Mastery, the moment-to-moment choice of Stepping Forward Into Growth or back into safety (and the consequences of those choices on our destiny) plus Positive Negativity (it’s a good thing to see when you’re off course!), Higher Highs + Higher Lows, Pain Bodies & Concrete Gardens, turning Shoulds into Coulds, and the Spiritual Farts you’re gonna be stinking up your life with if you don’t actually live what you know to be true! (You will also be officially ordained a Philosopher (aka a “Lover of Wisdom”) at the end of this section! :)
Did you know the word courage comes from the Latin word for “heart”? Yep. Just as the heart is the organ that pumps blood to all the other organs, Courage is the virtue that vitalizes all the other virtues. Fact is, without the Courage to fully express ourselves and live our ideals we’re powerless. We’re going to look at The Source of Fear (it all comes down to expectations!) and my #1 most effective way to address it. We’re also going to recognize that everyone we admire experiences their own set of fears and how it’s not about getting rid of the fear but developing the Courage to move forward in sprite of the fear! (Aristotle will also make a guest appearance and tell us about his Virtuous Mean and where Courage fits in to his philosophy. :)
Ah, Love. All of the above is great but without love? Not worth a whole lot. We’re going to explore two key themes here:
- You can’t get what you don’t have—to Love others and the world, you’ve gotta start by loving yourself. And,
- If you want to master Love, you’ve got to study and practice with the same Diligence, Patience, Persistence and Playfulness you’d study and master a sport or a musical instrument or anything worth rockin’!!
We’ll get our Love on by learning to say the “I” in “I love you,” doing some tricks with the Magic # of Love, Retiring from Shadow Boxing, Mining the Goldmine of Golden Rules, honoring The Platinum Rule and writing Love Letters to our ideal partners and our ideal selves. Sweet! :)
Spirit. God. Divine Intelligence Universal Mind. Whatever you call that ineffable force that beats our hearts and keeps the planets in line, it’s a (very) good idea to align with it. In fact, that’s what the previous sections are all about—helping us more fully Connect To and Express the Divine within us. When we do that? God (theos) is within us (en) as we shine with a Radiant Enthusiasm that lights up our world! And that, ultimately, is what Optimal Living is all about, eh? :)
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Why Optimal Living 101?
Because it’s the most important class we never had – 20 classes, 30+ hours of content, 10 principles to optimize your life. Learn more.
What is Optimal Living?
Living with integrity and rocking every part of your life from health and wealth to joy and fulfillment by embodying the 10 principles of authentic awesomeness. Check out the 10 principles
Meet Brian Johnson
Brian loves wisdom. He’s the creator of PhilosophersNotes and enjoys long walks on the beach, happy dances, and of course, optimal living. Meet Brian