Life Optimization 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Should I keep or eliminate x from my life?”

“Brian Johnson identifies the most important areas of one’s life as three in number. He calls them the ‘Big Three‘:


I love the elegance and simplicity of this model. I’ve played with quite a few variations of it, but I always tend to over-complicate it and end up coming back to the original.

Returning to your question, the way I approach questions is by asking more questions.

I like to start by getting perspective. [Mental Models: Macro, Big-Picture, Perspectives]

What’s the Most Important Thing (MIT)? [Model: One Thing]

An even better question is:

What’s the MIT in the most important areas of your life?

This is where Brian’s model comes into the scene. You can answer this question (and many others) through the lens of the Big Three model:

Energy: …
Work: …

How is x in relation to those things? [Models: Alignment, Relativity, Contrasting]
Does it add, subtract, or neither add nor subtract? [Model: Addition/Subtraction]

Another question you can ask is:

What’s your highest aspiration? [Model: Direction]

Energy: …
Work: …
Love: …

How is x in relation to those things?
Does it move you toward, away from, or neither toward nor away from them? [Model: Toward/Away from]

ELIMINATE everything that subtracts from your MIT, and that moves you away from your highest aspiration.

Heroic Level: Also eliminate everything that neither adds nor subtracts from your MIT, and neither moves you toward nor away from your highest aspiration.

You can also think of x in terms of what you’re gaining from it and what you’re losing. [Models: Opportunity Cost, Cost/Benefit]

There’s an opportunity cost to anything we do. Time and energy are limited. By choosing to do something, you’re choosing not to do something else. 

How much time does x take? Projected into the future, that time can add up to quite a lot. [Models: Time, Compounding, Marginal gains, Projection]

Is x energizing or draining? How energy-intensive is it? [Model: Energy]

How does x interfere with your thinking? By thinking about less important things you’re not thinking about the truly important ones. [Models: Interference, Mental-Space, Distraction]

How does x interfere with other systems of your life? [Model: Ecology]

For instance, one of the most important life-systems is what Brian Johnson calls the Fundamentals



Energy is the most important thing in one’s life, because it allows the full expression of EVERYTHING else. The first three Fundamentals are the essential pillars of Energy, especially the first one. Hence, they should be prioritized over anything else and non-negotiable.

To live an extraordinary life, eliminate anything that interferes with the Fundamentals.

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About Dani Trusca

Life-Artist, Thinker, Mover (Traceur)

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