(Podcast Top 5 RECAP)

First off, Happy New Year friend! I hope you had the opportunity to take some much needed time away from work to recharge, connect with family & friends, and gain some perspective on your plans for 2022. I spent the majority of my “vacation” introducing a brand new puppy into our family which is both wonderful and exhausting all at the same time.

[inserting obligatory puppy photo here]

Meet the newest member of our family, Addy!

Like tens-of-thousands of others this holiday season, I experienced my own version of travel hell trying to get back from Wisconsin (where my family lives) to Los Angeles, and it took two full days with last-minute flight cancellations, shuttle buses that won’t accept dogs, overnight stays in hotels, and all the other travel madness that ensued…none of which was made any easier having to quickly house train a puppy in -15 degree weather!

Because I got back to Los Angeles a day and a half later than expected, this newsletter is going out later than usual. As a self-proclaimed “recovering perfectionist” I contemplated not sending this at all given how backed up my schedule already is, but then I remembered one of the most important key mindsets I teach my students in my Optimizer coaching & mentorship program – Don’t pursue perfect at the expense of good enough.

So here is my good enough version of your weekly “Case of the Mondays.” 🙂

Having said that, I want to make sure you didn’t miss the final interview in my “Top 5” series that I shared all of December with bestselling author Cal Newport who coined the term “Deep Work” which is quite possibly the most important skill you can develop and master as a creative. There is no question the only reason I’m able to balance working as an editor & producer on Cobra Kai (currently the #1 show on the planet, btw!), running an online business, and training for American Ninja Warrior is my ability to eliminate distractions from my life and quickly snap my fingers into a state of deep work such that I do the highest quality creative work I’m capable of in the least amount of time.

December’s Top 5 Podcast Recap

Over the last 7+ years I’ve had over 250 conversations with some of the world’s most successful people, and below I’ve provided a rundown of the top 5 conversations I’ve had regarding how to design a life that you love…without having to sacrifice your health, relationships, or sanity in the process. Doing so isn’t easy, but with the right plan, the right strategy, and the right mentor, designing a life you love waking up to every day is relatively simple.

Doing so requires having a clear picture of what is truly meaningful in your life and what jobs align with your purpose which I discussed with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar.

Prioritizing the most essential things in in our life that align with your values (and eliminating everything non-essential) as I discussed with Greg McKeown.

Understanding your unique tendencies so you can follow through with new habits and create clear expectations that set you up for success, as I discussed with Gretchen Rubin.

Building systems into your life so that taking the right actions becomes practically effortless, and small changes can lead to huge results, as I discussed with James Clear.

And most importantly developing the skill of Deep Work so that you get the most out of your time and enjoy your creative work, as I discussed with Cal Newport.

Individually, listening to each of these interviews can inspire you to make positive changes in your life, sure. But ultimately what often happens is we consume consume consume…yet we never take action. Collectively taking action on even a small amount of the priceless advice in these conversations can completely transform how you spend your time and who you become.

Now imagine what you could accomplish if you had a step-by-step system to implement nearly everything you learned from these interviews?

This is why I’ve built an entire coaching & mentorship curriculum around the best interviews from the over 250 conversations I’ve had over the last seven years. These five conversations are just the tip of the iceberg of what I teach in my Optimizer coaching & mentorship program.

If you’re interested in working with me and a worldwide community of hundreds of creative professionals across the globe who will become your “Insta-network” of new best friends & colleagues, I’d love the opportunity to chat with you about your challenges and your goals.

General enrollment for my coaching & mentorship program opens next Monday, but if you’d like to jump to the head of the line,

→ here’s a link to the application with more info.

After reviewing the application, if you think it’s a good fit let’s set up a free 30-min Zoom chat this week or next, friend?

If it’s not a good fit, no hard feelings whatsoever. I hope these five interviews are enough to get you started on the path toward your most important goals.

And happy New Year!

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).”