In our quest to create what philosopher Brian Johnson calls masterpiece days, so far this week we’ve looked of two of Brian’s “Big 3:” our energy and our work.

Today, we turn our attention to the third element: Love.  

To love, we must be deeply present.

What’s the #1 thing in the way?


Yesterday we covered how digital distractions are the #1 enemy of doing genius work.  

New day.  Same lesson.

The single best thing we can do to both give and experience love is turn off and put away our phones.  

How does it feel when someone gives us their undivided attention?

It feels like a gift.  Right?

The reason it feels so awesome is because it’s so rare.  Who’s had this experience?  We’re talking with someone.  Let’s say it’s an important conversation.  We hear the phone’s notification ding.  And, what happens?  Someone whips out their phone to look at it. 

Who’s more important?  The people in our lives or random inputs?  

When we stare at a screen, we are not present to the people we care about.  Our presence is the greatest gift we can give our family and those we care about.  

Brian calls this Love 1.0.  With our partner, we aim for soul connection.  Brian suggests we make it a game: we can strive to “out-love” our partner.

Love this.

Before Love 1.0, however, there is Love 0.0.  Brian tells us before we can love others, we need to be able to love ourselves.  

How do we connect with our inner soul?  By putting our virtues into action.  

We ask: What’s our #1 self-care habit?  We do that.  We treat ourselves like we would a beloved child.

From there, Brian expands out the definition of love utilizing a framework from Barbara Fredrickson’s terrific book Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection. Barbara suggests we broaden our concept of love from just our family and few close friends.  

Love 2.0 is about looking for small moments to connect with other people.  Perhaps just 30 seconds or a minute.  

Opportunities to connect are everywhere all around us.  Instead of looking at our phone, we can choose to speak with someone.  We can stop comparing and complaining, and choose to connect and see what’s working.

Love 3.0 is heroic love.  Which involves encouraging others.  Brian tells us encouragement is one of the most underrated virtues.  Compassion is important.  But so is encouragement.  We don’t just suffer together.  With encouragement, we have courage together.  And, courage vitalizes all of the other virtues.  

Love 8.0 ties to the 8-hour workday and loving our work.  “Work is love made visible,” the poet Kahlil Gibran writes.  “For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.  And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.”  

Finally, there is Love. Infinity which involves loving all that life gives us.  With this infinite power, we say yes to all that happens in our lives, Brian tells us.  The good things.  And the bad things: OMMS: Obstacles Make Me Stronger. 

Today is the day.  Let’s create a masterpiece day TODAY.


Reflection:  What are some of the specific benefits to me of expanding my concept of love?

Action: Experiment with one of the ideas above.

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