What is the Carpe Diem journal?
Creating masterpiece days is how we operationalize our highest goal of flourishing, Brian Johnson shares in his year-long Optimize Mastery course. In future posts we will do a deeper exploration into this powerful idea, but today we start at the beginning. The beginning of our day.
Before we start our day, Brian recommends we create a “Carpe Diem journal.” This practice takes less than five minutes and includes as few as nine words.
We begin by creating a small table:
On the left are the three rows – categories of our lives on which Brian suggests we focus: energy, love and work.
We then add three columns: one each for identity, virtues, and behaviors.
Brian calls this “The Big 3 (x 2).”
For each of the energy, love and work categories:
1: We choose an identity, a word or phrase that captures the essence of the absolute best version of ourselves;
2: We consider the virtue which is most at play when we are at our absolute best. Note: we can find a comprehensive list of virtues and learn our own top virtues at: viacharacter.org.
3: We focus on one behavior we do when we are at our best
Brian suggests we have fun with this exercise. For our identity, perhaps we choose to be a superhero or the hero of a movie or book.
Here’s my take on my Carpe Diem journal for today:
1: My identity: The sun
2: Primary virtue: Zest
3: One behavior: Go to bed by 11 pm
1: My identity: World’s Best Dad
2: Primary virtue: Gratitude
3: One behavior: 100% present. Not distracted
1: My identify: Servant Leader
2: Primary virtue: Love of Learning
3: One behavior: Seek to understand, rather than to be understood.
Brian recommends we take time each morning to freshly consider and write down our answers to these questions. It’s a powerful way to prime ourselves for the day. We create a vision for our day and then collect small wins along the way by asking: What would the best version of me do right now?
Reflection: Do I start my days with a sense of energy and purpose?
Action: Experiment this week with the Carpe Diem journal.