#50: Optimising for the life YOU want

Adam Reed
Man Body Spirit
Published in
5 min readMar 13, 2021


It has become common to equate the concept of ‘optimising your life’ with a kind of achievement-driven pursuit of more. “Eliminate distractions, increase productivity, crush your goals, find your dream job, get the body, feel amazing at all times,” kind of thing.

Maybe that is the optimum life for some people, but the danger is that on channels like Instagram, versions of this become so pervasive that they can be interpreted by impressionable minds as the primary forms of validation for everyone. If we’re not working as hard, or putting in as many hours of training/learning/work/etc as those oh-so-perfect influencers then we’re somehow flawed as human beings.

But to do and have it all is unrealistic. Most of those that appear to do so either have a strong team behind them, or have made some very deliberate choices to double down on some areas of their life, and de-prioritise others. Life is all about these trade-offs.

What is also true of most people who are successful in their given field is that they’ve worked out methods, systems and habits that get them the results they want in the most efficient & effective way they can.

Whether that be getting the most of the restorative benefits of a walk in nature by leaving their phone at home, selecting or designing exercise routines specifically targeted to achieve the kind of outcomes they want, or identifying learning techniques that work best for them.

One thing that is true for all of us is that we have limited time on this earth. Wasting unnecessary amounts of it doing things that don’t bring us closer to the life we want to live, or take us far longer than is necessary is a terrible waste.

So, with that in mind, this week’s Power Up aims to provide a balance of perspectives, as well as some universal ideas that might work for you, whatever your idea of an optimum life.

In this week’s issue:

  • 100 short rules for a better life
  • The Inner Game of Tennis: Lessons on the psychology of high performance
  • When is the best time of day to work out?
  • How will you measure your life?
  • How to get materialsim under control in your life
  • How to use design thinking to create a happier life for yourself

Plus plenty of bonus content too…

As ever, I hope this week’s Power Up provides you with food for thought and some practical tools you can put into action to start optimising towards the life YOU want.


And if you’d like to receive The Power Up delivered direct to your inbox every weekend, you can sign-up here.

100 short rules for a better life

Living a good life starts with learning from the experiences of one another says writer and Stoic philosophy expert Ryan Holiday.

In this article he shares 100 of his favourite lessons on success, relationships, and being a good human.

The Inner Game of Tennis: Lessons on the psychology of high performance

Although using tennis as an analogy, The Inner Game of Tennis is actually one of the best manuals on mental mastery and high-achievement I’ve ever read.

Here, writer Nik Wignall extracts some of the key lessons from the book on mastery, potential and the disciplined development of powerful mental habits.

When is the best time of day to work out?

The time of day that we exercise can impact our sleep schedule, stress levels, and our results. Hit the gym too early, and you risk feeling sluggish from a lack of sleep; go for a run too late, and you’ve missed seeing daylight.

This article from GQ weighs up the potential benefits and pitfalls of what time you work out.

How will you measure your life?

Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen applies management and innovation theories to help people lead better lives.

In this article, he explores significant questions like: How can I be happy in my career? How can my relationship with my family be an enduring source of happiness? And how can I live my life with integrity?

How to get materialsim under control in your life

The Oxford Dictionary defines materialism as “a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.”

Rationally, most people realise it’s a losing proposition, but with 24/7 appeals to buy, buy, buy, it takes some willpower to resist.

This article offers some fresh perspectives and tools to overcome our materialistic programming.

8 practical ways to boost your self-confidence and unleash your personal power

We are all wellsprings of power. The only limit to what we can accomplish is our belief that there are any limits at all. But sometimes we don’t feel especially powerful. What we need at those times is a confidence boost to charge us up and restore our belief.

“That’s easier said than done,” you might be thinking. But it can be easier than you might think. And to prove it, here are eight simple and practical things you can do that will elevate your self-confidence and unleash the power that lies within you, starting today.


I hope you found something valuable in this The Power Up.

If you did, and would like to receive this in your inbox each week, you can sign-up here.

See you next time, Adam



Adam Reed
Man Body Spirit

I think and write about issues relating to 21st century masculinity, conscious living, holistic health & sustainable lifestyles. https://linktr.ee/manbodyspirit