Optimizing 2021 (with Brian Johnson)

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There probably aren’t many people reading this who will be deeply saddened to see 2021 in the rear view mirror. This has been quite a year, for certain. Now, it’s time to set our sights on the future and to think about how we will prepare ourselves for whatever is ahead. It’s time to steel our resolve and establish the practices that will enable us to bring our best each day in the coming year.

On today’s episode, Brian Johnson is here to talk about how to optimize your life and pursue wisdom in 2021.

If you want to accomplish anything in your life, you need to build the infrastructure to facilitate it. Nothing happens without the supporting mechanisms, disciplines, and practices to bolster your effort. As much as we love the romantic notion of “winging it” or “making it up as we go”, talent and instincts only get you so far. If you want to create deep impact, and to sustain that impact for a long season, you need to support your effort with practices.

Your practices do a few things for you:

  1. Increase your capacity. When you do something over and over, your capacity to do that thing increases over time. So, if you want to get better at study, then study. If you want to be a better writer, you write. If you want better relationships, you set disciplines around how and how often you engage with others.
  2. Increase your agency. When you obtain a sense of mastery in one area, it tends to increase your sense of agency to change other areas of your life as well. If you want to up your confidence, start doing one or two small things very consistently and very well.
  3. Increase life satisfaction. A lot of research points to the reality that small, everyday wins create a sense of deep engagement and enjoyment. If you want to feel deeply engaged with your life in 2021, just choose a few small, healthy habits or practices to implement and do them well and often. You’ll notice an uptick in your mood and your sense of overall wellbeing.

Here are the questions I challenge you to consider over the coming week:

What 1-2 new practices will you implement in 2021 to help you achieve your goals? (Will you start studying? Develop better exercise habits? Start a small writing practice each day?)

What will you stop doing in 2021 so that you have more space to do the things you want to integrate? You can’t just layer things into your life – you need to regularly prune.

Let’s make 2021 a great year!

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