Are you living completely optimized?

I’m not talking about high productivity or output — rather — are you living consistently with a zest for life — with a vibrancy that only comes from living with a highly stoked fire-in-the-belly? That feeling is hard to articulate but I bet you know exactly what we’re talking about. It’s an intensity that’s calm, focused, and vibrant.

So — on a regular basis do you have “that way” about you?

If not, let that pain settle in just a bit. The pain of recognizing that we have a limited amount of time every day to live our lives (1440 minutes per day, to be precise) — and acknowledging that you alone are responsible for the quality of your life. There’s no magical external set of circumstances that lead to a more fulfilling life. Thinking that if he or she or this or that would change, that you’d finally be ok, is nothing more than an adolescent world-view. The harsh reality is that there is no one in your life that is responsible for you living in a “switched-on” way. This is your responsibility, alone.

It’s also not the external world that needs to change. Transformational shifts happen from upgrading the internal world – your patterns of both thoughts and actions.

These pattern shifts might just begin with moving beyond the drive for high performance; beyond the search for peak experiences; beyond being able to do more in your life. While the peaks are important and wonderful, the transformation of living more fully daily begins with a fundamental commitment to organize your life to be you at your best more often; to be more present, more grounded, more joyful, more playful, more focused — more “switched-on”. That way of living requires an investment in recovery: proper sleep, proper hydration and food intake, plenty of movement and an optimal way of thinking.

Make a commitment to invest in the quality of your thinking, by learning how to condition and train your mind to be more present, to think more clearly, to think about the future in a more optimistic way. Can you imagine how much better your life could be, without anxiety, worry, or frustration? It’s not as hard as it sounds. Hold the quality of your life in such high-regard, that from this point forward, quality and consistent recovery becomes a flat-out-non-negotiable-daily-mission. Game on.

Each day is uniquely new. Keep carving your unique path. Let go of the need to do more, to be more. Say goodnight to the search for balance. Invest in thinking well, by letting go of thinking patterns that no longer serve you well. If you’re a hard-charger, get organized. Be mission minded to live-with-a-fire-in-your-belly.


Dr. Michael Gervais is best known for his work as a high performance and sport psychologist in rugged, extreme and high-stakes environments.
He is co-founder of Compete To Create with Pete Carroll, the Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He also is the founder and host of the Finding Mastery Podcast and is the co-creator of USC's Peak Performance Institute.