OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time | Listen Notes


OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at optimize.me.)
United States
1217 episodes
since Aug, 2015


+1: #473 Confucius on the Long Game

In our last +1, we spent time trying to keep up with Confucius and his Optimizing intensity.   Today we’re going to focus on the time horizon on which we need to sustain that level of intensity if we want to actualize.   Pop quiz: How long does it take to master this stuff if you’re really good at it and super committed to it? (Like, say, as good as and as committed as someone like Confucius?)   A month? A year? A decade?   (Insert: Philosophical laughter here.)   How about a lifetime?   Here’s how Confucius puts it in the Analects: “The Master said, Give me a few more years, so that I may have spent a whole fifty in study, and I believe that after all I should be fairly free from error.”   Fifty years and he’s getting close.   Yet…   He says: “One who will study for three years without thought of reward would be hard indeed to find.”   And THAT was 2,500 years ago. Everyone was in a rush to get instant results back then as well!    I’m doing the math over here and see that was more than a few years before we invented smartphones and the ability to instantly gratify every desire with a single click.   I mean, he said that 450+ years before we even invented PAPER!! (For curious souls: That was around 100 BC. Thank you, China.)   So…   All that to say: Do you know the quickest way to FAIL in our Optimize-our-lives-so-we-can-Actualize-our-potential efforts?   Expect to get there tomorrow. Or next year. Or even the next decade.    Or, for that matter, EVER.   (Even worse: Constantly beat yourself up for not ALREADY being perfectly Optimized.)   Recall George Leonard’s wisdom: For the the true master, we’re so in love with the PROCESS of becoming that, for every step we take toward our goal, we HOPE that our destination gets TWO steps further away.    Today’s +1.   Let’s combine the INTENSITY of chasing the best version of ourselves with the LONG GAME perspective to KNOW that you’re never (!!!) actually going to get “there” and… Voila, via another beautiful antifragile barbell paradox, we arrive at enlightenment IN THIS MOMENT of pure engagement.   So…   How can you Optimize your intensity just a tad today?   AND…   How can you Optimize your patience/long-game perspective just a tad today?   Fantastic. Here’s to Optimizing your Optimization.   +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1.
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