T-minus 26 days until 2022…are you ready for more than just “survival mode”?

This weekend was brutal…in all of the most amazing ways possible.

Without going into too much detail, I flew out of town to arguably the best ninja gym in the entire country and got to train all weekend with ninja legends. The best comparison would be that if I were a huge football fanatic hoping to be in the NFL someday, I got to spend my entire weekend learning how to throw the proper touchdown pass and read defenses from Tom Brady and his closest friends in private training sessions.

Spending a weekend like this just a few years ago would’ve been crazy – and completely unthinkable. I never would have been able to “find the time” for “frivolous” activities like this that didn’t lead to me being more successful. But what I’ve come to realize after working over twenty years in one of the most competitive fields in the world is that you have to be very deliberate about how you define “success” for yourself, friend.

If you’re not deliberate about defining what’s most important to you, the world will do it for you…and you simply become a part of someone else’s plan.

Success ten or fifteen years ago was about sacrificing everything outside the job (including my health and sanity), doing whatever it took to chase the gold statues, amassing blockbuster credits, and earning as much as I could to continue increasing the quality of my lifestyle.

Now success for me is as simple as creating moments.

Life is nothing but an endless string of singular moments, and I want to create the most memorable and enjoyable moments possible whether that’s loving what I do and creating awesome work that has a positive impact on others, spending time with my family, or going on crazy weekend ninja adventures that bring me back tattered, torn, completely exhausted, and absolutely fulfilled with how I spent my time.

This mindset change did not happen overnight, and it didn’t happen on its own. It’s taken years of practice, reflection, and learning from the best in the world about how to define my own version of a rich life and choose a path that is most aligned with both my lifestyle needs any my creative needs.

And one of the most influential voices in making this shift towards defining my own version of success has been Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar.

This Month’s ‘Top 5’ Countdown – #1


Earlier this year I recorded an in-depth podcast interview with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, one of the world’s foremost experts and scholars on understanding the psychology of happiness. In our discussion we discussed the practical steps you can take to better define your own path to ensure you are creating an endless collection of moments that leave you feeling fulfilled with your work to the point that it becomes your “calling” such that you honestly can’t believe people pay you to do something you love so much anyways.

And my interview with Tal is just one in a collection of my Top 5 interviews I’m releasing this month to help you set better goals and create a kick-ass plan to make 2022 the year that everything comes together for you.

Tired of ‘Survival Mode’?

As 2021 winds down and we approach the New Year, it’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of the holiday season and write off the end of the year as a loss, putting our goals and intentions aside and telling ourselves “We’’ll start fresh again in January.” But then inevitably when the new year hits and we create resolutions, life still gets in the way which leads to over 92% of New Year’s resolutions failing. (Don’t worry…I’m just as guilty as anyone else.)

If you intend to make things happen for you next year friend, you don’t need resolutions → you need a plan. 

That’s why for the last 5 weeks of this year I’m going to share with you my top 5 interviews on designing a more fulfilling life, setting goals, building habits, and taking actions that get you long term results.

Imagine if instead of crawling to the finish line the next five weeks in a haze of holiday indulgence you instead took the time to identify your true values, prioritize your life down to only the essential, learn to set habits that you’ll stick to, and ultimately focus on doing important work that matters to you? How much further ahead of the game would you be?

I’m not saying you have to start exercising 5 days a week, stop eating sugar and carbs, wake up and meditate at 5am every morning, or add 20 new activities to your daily routine during the most stressful month of the year…but wouldn’t it be awesome starting 2022 with a clear plan and the motivation to get started?

If this sounds like a better alternative, then stick with me for the next five weeks as I and five of the world’s foremost experts on setting goals and getting things done help you design a plan so 2022 can be the year that everything finally came together for you.

Next week in this five part series I’m sharing one of my favorite interviews of all time with Greg McKeown (a different interview than my most recent one, btw) to discuss his seminal book Essentialism.

Be well.
Zack Arnold
Creator, Optimize Yourself

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”